Befuddling business suite

Don't expect this business software to be easy to use.

Computers have revolutionized the way that we do business, making record-keeping, banking, invoicing, customer relations, and many other business functions easier than ever. Compass Business Management Suite aims to combine several of these important tasks into one program that lets users access their data from anywhere. Although we think it's a great idea, in practice we weren't too impressed.

Upon first launching the program, you are required to register and set up a username and password. Compass Business Management Suite saves your information on a remote server, meaning that you can log in and access it from any computer with an Internet connection. The program requires no installation and is small enough to fit on a USB drive, so you can take it with you wherever you go. The program's interface isn't the most attractive or intuitive thing we've ever seen, but its basics are fairly easy to figure out. There are tools for managing invoicing, partners, and projects, as well as a document explorer that arranges documents by project.

Although navigating among these features was easy enough, many of the details of how they actually work were unclear, and we had no success trying to launch the Help file. We were interested in the fact that Compass Business Management Suite lets users import bank transactions stored in CSV files, but when we tried to do this we were informed that we'd have to contact Compass Solutions' customer support to have them create a custom Import Controller file. We also found the program's performance to be somewhat slow. Although we like the idea of storing business data online so it's accessible from anywhere, this program isn't easy enough to use for us to really recommend it.

Compass Business Management Suite comes as a ZIP file.

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