Accounting using Excel or OpenOffice

Discussion in 'Accounting Software' started by Dave Boland, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest

    I'm looking for something like Quicken/Quickbooks and I'm
    open to using Excel or OpenOffice to doing this. It will
    mean some programming, but that is fine since it gives me
    complete control over my destiny, and I learn more about
    double entry accounting. This is for both personal and a
    small consulting business.

    I didn't find much on this topic on the 'net, so I was
    wondering if anyone has done this? What were the problems?
    Any other advice? Is there some way to do online
    banking/bill paying via Excel or OpenOffice?

    Dave Boland, Feb 7, 2005
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  2. Dave Boland

    chuck Guest

    Have you looked at the new Simple Start by Quickbooks? Basic, easy to
    learn, in plain english, with the double entry "hidden".
    chuck, Feb 8, 2005
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  3. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest


    One of my goals is to get away from Inuit, Microsoft
    (accounting software), and perhaps Peachtree. All have
    either propriety data formats or very limiting sunset
    clauses, and all are trying to coral their customers. I
    like open standards and open software so that my interests
    are ahead of some software company's profit interests.

    In addition, I would like to learn more about double entry
    accounting. The best way to do that is to use it, but an
    even better way would be to write some code to automate it.

    Dave Boland, Feb 9, 2005
  4. Dave Boland

    Lance Mertz Guest

    Interesting exercise, but not very efficient or effective. If you are
    running a company or business I would just buy software and run your
    company. if you want to write software, write software... the writing
    of a full double entry accounting package looks like a full time job
    to me.

    That said, go to or some such site and download one of
    the lower end Shareware or Freeware programs. Most allow you to muck
    about in the source code as well. This keeps you away from the
    reliable, tested software that all real businesses use. Yes, I am
    being sarcastic, because you are jumping over dimes to get dollars
    here. Good (well sometimes not so good) business software is
    expensive to maintain and and support. Most also offer the ability to
    easily export reports and data.

    Just because you cannot get in the back door and mess with data does
    not mean they are bad. Those controls are there because accountants
    demand audit trails and controls over the data they use and audi, not
    because the software companies have a hidden agenda. No auditor would
    trust your home grown software. Large firms that run thier own
    in-house programs pay big auditing fees to test controls standard
    packages come with.

    So, the answer is, if you want to play with software have fun, but I
    would just run my business and make money if I were you.

    Lance Mertz
    Lance Mertz, Feb 9, 2005
  5. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest

    Thanks Mike.

    Dave Boland, Mar 13, 2005
  6. Dave Boland

    mike Guest

    mike, Mar 13, 2005
  7. Dave Boland

    Peter Embina Guest


    I appreciate quality open source software as much as the next guy. As a
    businessman with some technical ability I know the value that quality
    free software like OpenOffice can bring. However, I must agree with
    Lance that if you are looking to program your own accounting
    information system from scratch, even for learning and
    personal/business use then you are being extremely inefficient.

    If you are that confident in your programming abilities, have such
    strong convictions for escaping profit-oriented software companies, and
    have that much time to devote to this task, then why not look into the
    GnuCash, TurboCash or other open source accounting software projects
    and start contributing to the open source community. There are many
    different existing open source accounting projects that can be found
    easily by searching for "open source accounting" in Google.

    However, is it possible you are simply frustrated with trying to learn
    either the software or the accounting skills and have decided that the
    only way that works is to do it all yourself? I only ask because I find
    it confusing that you would ask how you could build software that would
    give you "complete control over (your) destiny" using Microsoft Excel?

    I understand that there are different learning styles and that some
    people learn best by getting under the hood and seeing how things work.
    However, maybe an analogy works for you here:


    I'm looking for something like a Ferrari/Corvette and I'm
    open to using scrap metal or pocket lint to do this. It will
    mean some mechanical engineering, but that is fine since it gives me
    complete control over my destiny, and I learn more about
    automobile manufacturing. This is for both personal and NASCAR use.

    I didn't find much on this topic on the 'net, so I was
    wondering if anyone has done this? What were the problems?
    Any other advice? Is there some way to make it turbo-charged via
    scrap metal or pocket lint?


    This is not to say that people haven't built their own cars - from
    go-karts to hot rods, it's been done - but the scope of that kind of
    project generally requires solid knowledge first - unless you don't
    care how long it takes because you are doing it strictly as a hobby. If
    that's the case, then have fun.

    Peter Embina, Mar 15, 2005
  8. Dave Boland

    gploosley Guest

    gploosley, Mar 30, 2005
  9. Dave Boland


    Feb 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I used the OpenOffice template found at to do double entry bookkeeping. It worked fine for the first year or so that I used it, but for some reason I can no longer get the formulas to work. I'm now deciding to switch to proper bookkeeping software, debugging mistakes in it (the no-longer-working formulas as well as mistakes in data entry) was just taking way too much time.
    Aliz, Feb 21, 2016
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