Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Traverse Accounting Software

Hi all,
We are a small non-profit organization with 100 employees. We are trying to implement CRM/Accounting system and our contractor suggested Traverse Package.
Has any of you used this? What are your thoughts?
Any other suggestions?
(Albert Kallal - I was searching on Google groups, and I read somewhere that you have experience with it :-). What are your thoughts? Thanks.)
Thanks in advance for all your inputs.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Traverse is a accounting system that was ms-access and JET based. I found it quite slow on a network. This slow ness was both in the speed/response, and also the interface was somewhat clumsy.

This idea of “flow” is a difficult concept to explain. The main selling points for the package is that it can deal with multiple currencies, and the source code is also available. This means that other systems such as custom quotation systems or custom order systems can be integrated into the system.

That “flow” problem I talk about is what makes good software good, and bad software bad.  I also believe now Traverse has a SQL-server based version.

It is my sense that the original design of the accounting system was lifted from a older mini computer “basic language” design. You know, those “business” basic 4 and other variants that ran on those older mini computer systems. If you ever seen the code for those systems, then you will know what I mean. Not a pretty sight. Lots of array to “forms” type code. This is only my “sense”, as I don’t know this for a fact in the case of Traverse.

As technology changed, then pc’s and small networks came along, then those products were obviously converted to run on pc’s and low cost networks. As a result, the designs that worked well in a text based procedural type language did not convert well to a event driven GUI type environment. There is a lot of table driven stuff that is obviously is from a design that come from some where else!  I could be deal wrong on this..but it sure looked that way to me.

I think the only real standout feature is that you can get the Source code for an additional price (they don’t unlock everything for you..but about 99% is). The small 1% is licensing control stuff anyway. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the product is ms-access. You need first rate developers  to modify and extend that system. That means good VB coding skills in addition to ms-access skills.

There  is a lot of code in that system. Way Too much for my tastes! I guess what accounting system don’t have too much code and ugly stuff!!

To me, the lack of snappy nesss (response time) was a sign of bad designs.

Many people just assumed that Traverse was not good due to the fact of ms-access and JET.  However, the very popular Simply Accounting package is also based on JET, and the mdb file format (same as ms-access).

Simply accounting is very responsive, and has that great “flow” to ease of use that we all talk about. It works like good software should. Note this is a issue of feel and flow, and not the final actual feature list.

Traverse had the all the features. But it lacks good flow. It was a bit of a un-tamed animal. It always seemed overloaded.

It does have the features, but I did not like the design of many reports (way too much code again).

The above is my opinion here. I don’t want to discourage you simply because of my emotional response I am giving here.

At the time (about 4 years ago now), a SQL server based version was not available. I believe that the new version now supports SQL server.

In that range of accounting system (the next step beyond Quicken, and the basic Acc-pac). Business Visions also in a good system for that range.

I not giving Traverse a rave review. I never did see anything in the product that make me go, gee what a great design, or gee what a great system.  It is like bland food, and not really well done..but eatable.

I am simply going to state that much of the above is my instincts.  I can only suggest that you get a trial period and really test it out.  If it serves your needs, then my above comments are not really fair, are they?

I do believe that an accounting system DOES NEED to be modified to some degree  for a business to really make it right. This is especially for some types of specialized manufacturing companies. Thus, again, you only need source code and modifications if you need to INTEGRATE other special systems. Otherwise, accounting is just accounting, and most systems will do the job.

Traverse also follows the VAR model (Value Added resellers). This was a fantastic model for pick systems. That means that each city would have some computer vendor/consultant that is the dealer for that product. This can work very well if the product is a good solid product and the var is good.

I mean, for me to offer an integrated accounting package with my software makes me look like a real professional vender. If two companies offer a product, and mine has a accounting system available as an add-on, then I look much better. Just the fact of an accounting module/system being available for your product can increase sales.

There is also more work (billing hours) if they run your accounting system. The support costs and dollars now go to you, and not some other accounting vendor. Thus, becoming a dealer for such systems can generate business for you. (the owners of the software also need you the vendor in the city, and you will get referrals from them as a dealer in your city).

I most certainly could use Traverse. That allows me to offer systems to a business. (my travel software for example could use this). By having a accounting system available, then you can offer more complete systems to customers. You thus “brand” the accounting system as part of the package.

I have considered doing this for my Rides product
check out

I have not yet chosen an accounting package to integrate with the above Rides package, but I am in the process of looking to do so. My bets right now are with Simply Accouting. (but, I am looking at a slight smaller company size then what Traverse would be used for). I also did not really fall in love with Traverse.

My other choice for accounting system to include/integrate for Rides is:

One last thing:
    You must insist on talking to a company that is CURRENTLY using the product and you MUST find out what they like, or don’t like.

DO NOT just go on my above comments, or the comments of some VAR or dealer. Again, you MUST talk to some one who is using the system, and how do they like it.

This is super simple advice. Please at least do that!

Things have changed in the last 4 years, so my thoughts might be out of date concerning Traverse.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, February 07, 2003

Thank you very much for inputs Albert,
We are still evaluation various packages, but I will speak to some customers who are actually using it. People who will be using the system actually like the features etc., but I was bit concerned about this whole Access frontend(forms) for SQL Server backend thing. But I will test it more and see where it stands. Once again thank you very much.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

I was testing search engines and found your comments on Traverse.  For more information go to


Roy Stock
Monday, September 15, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home