The Atari Accountant series of software was said not to exist. Mentioned only in a few adverts from 1981, some promo materials and a couple of people talking about the 1980 CES where it was announced. This fabled software came in three modules, General Accounting, Accounts Receivable, and Inventory Control each to retail for $500 and required a new double density, twin drive device, also announced at the same show, called the Atari 815 that would cost an additional $1200, an Atari 850 interface module and an Atari 825 printer!
Bill Lange over at ATARI 8-bit Ads did a lot of research into the Atari Accountant at the end of last year, starting with a mention of it in the Atari Bean Counter Ad from September 1980 which is well worth the time required to read it. Bill mentions that only a few copies of this expensive and short lived product are known to exist and that the software has never been archived.
Curt Vendel the famed Atari archivist and founder of the Atari Museum mentioned that he had a copy of the Atari Accountant he found while dumpster diving behind some of Atari’s buildings in Sunnyvale and loaned it to Kevin Savetz who scanned all the documents and with the technical input from experts on AtariAge, archived the disks which sadly had some bad sectors on them. Fortunately there were two copies of the disks and a complete copy was patched together from the dumps.
These disks wouldn’t work in any drive except the Atari 815 so DjayBee from AtariAge cracked the protection and produced new images that could be used in any drive.
Roland Wassenberg (luckybuck on AtariAge) has done a painstaking job of collecting all the information together and presenting it on the Atari Wiki, this entry is still growing as more information becomes available.
So there we are. After 38 years and the efforts of an international group of people, the generous donation of extremely rare software, and the careful archiving of same, we now have a working copy of The Atari Accountant, with full documentation, preserved for the future.
I’ve included a link here to a download of the original and patched software and the scanned documentation.