QL Cash Trader

Packaging for Sinclair QL Cash Trader Leaflet for Sinclair QL Cash Trader

QL Cash Trader was originally released in 1984 for the Sinclair QL by Accounting Software Limited directly, and then released through Sinclair Research Ltd just one year later. It then appears that this company was taken over by Quest Automation Ltd who released it as Trading Accounts with minimal changes.
Leaflet for Sinclair QL QL Cash Trader

The main program was originally supplied on its own for £75, with an Extracted Reports module for an extra £50. That reports module was included in the version supplied by Sinclair Research Ltd for a total package price of £69.95.

The program works as a cash accounting system, providing simple double entry book keeping and VAT returns for a small business. As you enter transactions, the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet figures are instantly updated and shown in a window above the input area.

There is a comprehensive manual supplied with the software, and also a simple sequence of learning and training exercises to help you get used to the software before setting it up for your own business.

QL Cash Trader allows you to keep track of your accounts, prepare trial balances and final accounts, all handled semi-automatically. No need to work this all out on paper anymore! It includes an easy-to-enter accounting routine with instant Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss a/c, VAT report, VAT return and trial balance.

Quest were originally planning bolt-on modules for Cash Trader, including more detailed analysis of profit and loss and balance sheet, as well as an invoicing module. They also developed Cash Trader for the IBM PC and other machines, such as the Apple IIe and Apple IIc, Apricot and F1, the Amstrad and the Epson PX-8 (certainly there appears to have been a version released for the Amstrad PCW).

When Quest Automation Limited disappeared from the Sinclair QL scene, Chas Dillon was asked to re-write the software for PDQL, which he did, with minor changes to the data formats. He also released a reporting module (CT-Analyser) and made the program much quicker, compiling it with Turbo.

PDQL also produced their own improved version of Cash Trader called (again) Trading Accounts - although all of these features were later encompassed into the version QL Cash Trader as it has survived today. Unfortunately, the other bolt-on modules planned by Quest do not appear to have ever been released.

Eventually, the rights to market the software transferred to Digital Precision Ltd, although the software was still supported by Chas Dillon. Following the withdrawal of Digital Precision from the QL market, Chas agreed to release the source code for Cash Trader as public domain, subject to no-one else making a profit from his sources.

RWAP Software then took on the mantle of Chas Dillon's version of this software, making changes to get around the millenium bug and correcting a few minor errors, adding password protection and minor improvements. RWAP Software then sold this enhanced version for a nominal amount, to cover the costs of continuing to support the software.

This version includes the Analyser module which enables you to analyse accounts for management and auditing purposes (analyse all ledgers by date or by expense type). This can also be used to provide daily summaries and bank reconciliations.

This version was then released as public domain as part of the RWAP Software's 30th Anniversary celebrations in 2016 - again, subject to the proviso stated by Chas Dillon, that no-one else is allowed to make a profit from the sources.

An interesting side note on this software (and possibly one of the biggest legacies for the QL), is how it has inspired other accountancy packages. According to one source, a copy of the original program was purchased by one person, who liked the user-friendly interface so much that they designed the original Sage Accountancy program on Cash Trader. There also remains a PC accounting package (specifically aimed at pension funds) which was created based on the original Accounting Systems Limited version Visit M-P Systems website

Screenshot of Sinclair QL Cash Trader Business Accounts Software
Title: QL Cash Trader
Language: SuperBASIC compiled with Turbo
Author: Original by Accounting Software Limited, then handed over to Quest Automation Ltd, Later re-written by Chas Dillon and updated by Rich Mellor
Publisher: Accounting Software Limited, Sinclair Research Ltd, Quest Automation Ltd, PDQL, Digital Precision Ltd and RWAP Software
Year of Publication: 1984
Platforms Suitable for: All Sinclair QLs and emulators (min 256K memory)
Commercial Status: Quest Version - Unknown, PDQL, Digital Precision & RWAP Software Version - Public Domain
Price in October 1985: £75, Extracted Reports Module £50
Reviewed: (Sinclair Research/Quest version) QL User (May 1985), QL World (July/August 1985)
Sources Available from: Download Chas Dillon Cash Trader Sources. Download RWAP Software Cash Trader Sources
Latest Version available from: Sinclair QL Homepage

  • qlwiki/ql_cash_trader.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/05/12 15:11
  • by normandunbar