The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit

Apple: 'The apps you use every day.' Except that one. And that one. And those are right out


The macOS Catalina bad news train kept on rolling this week as AccountEdge, friend of the Apple-using beancounters, threw in the towel over the forced migration of Macs to a 64-bit world.

Mamut software, a UK tentacle of the Oslo-based Visma group broke the bad news to customers this week that Acclivity Software (the developers of AccountEdge) would not be making the software Catalina compliant "now or in the future."

Mamut has long been selling on the software as "user-friendly, powerful accounting for Apple Mac," replete with HMRC "Making Tax Digital" compliance but, alas, while the rules might be bang up to date, AccountEdge won't be (at least as far as Apple's OS emissions are concerned.)

Mac users are hardly spoiled for choice when it comes to accounting software. Indeed, while Apple's marketing puff for its latest OS cheerily proclaims: "With macOS Catalina, the apps you love are now more beautiful and intelligent than ever", Cook's gang strangely fails to add "unless it's something you want to run a business with, in which case you can fsck off."

Register reader Michael Shaw commented of the situation: "The failure to upgrade their solution will drive the user base to the online solutions like Xero."

While Acclivity had embarked on a "multi-year 64-bit upgrade project", "In the end, AccountEdge's 30-year-old codebase proved too outdated to establish compatibility with Apple's newest operating system," Visma said.

Greybeards will recall a compatibility layer to ease the transition of code from classic macOS to OSX back in the day.

The options available to users are stark. If you want to keep using AccountEdge (and get its updates), then don't upgrade. If you have upgraded, then consider something like Parallels to run an older OS in a virtualised environment or perhaps dust off that old Mac that's been lurking in the corner and use that instead.

Or maybe have a crack at downgrading things.

Catalina's arrival last October broke oh so many things, including several of Adobe's wares.

Despite considerable warning from Apple that it was coming, the dropping of 32-bit support caught many unawares. Indeed, even now Adobe recommends uninstalling 32-bit apps before attempting a Catalina upgrade and warns that little-used apps such as the 2018 release of the Creative Cloud (or earlier) probably won't work properly.

"We have no plans," Adobe's support page reads, "to update apps that we no longer support or develop."

Still, at least the beancounters get to join the creatives in Apple's Catalina pain-party.

"The power of Mac. Taken further."

The Register contacted Acclivity via its owner, Priority Software, for its take on the situation, but we have yet to hear back. ®

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