What foss financial software seems to be missing:


W

walterbyrd

All of the following is based my limited understanding, and my
opinions. Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this.

* Cost advantage: QuickBooks simple start is free:
http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/free-accounting-software.jhtml
Or I can buy the full version of QuickBooks in only $128:
http://www.qbpro2008.com/quickbooks-2008-coupons-for-amazon/
Seems to me that any cost advantage of using a foss alternative is
negligible.

* Ease of use: Somewhat debatable. But some people site this as a
primary reason for Intuit's amazing success with QuickBooks -
supposedly 87% of small businesses use QuickBooks. Although, I have to
wonder how the number of foss users can be accurately counted?

* Integration with online banking: my understanding is that only
intuit or msft products can easily integrate with online banking. Not
absolutely sure about that.

* Payroll: very regional, and changes often == not well suited for
foss.

* Taxes: somewhat regional, and changes often == not well suited for
foss.

* Wide acceptance: I think most businesses are much more comfortable
using products that are accepted standards.

* Wealth of available add-ons: Intuit has a very active community of
3rd party developers. You can buy practically any kind of an add-on
you can imagine. These add-ons cost money, but at least they are
available.

* Major company: I think a lot of businesses are not comfortable with
a product unless there is a major company behind that product. I have
to admit, even I am not comfortable with software products that are
essentially one man operations.

* Support: I can always hire somebody who knows quickbooks, or find a
"ProAdvisor" consultant, or I can get support from the company, and
there are hundreds - if not thousands - of developers who specialize
in developing for quickbooks. I can not see where that is true for any
project.

* Training availability and costs. I can hire people who already know
quickbooks. If I hire somebody to work on some foss alternative, then
there will be a significant training expense. Of course, there is also
the issue of training availability.

* Documentation: If I had to pick one thing that kills the usefulness
of more foss projects than anything else, this would win in a slam-
dunk. Of course, this varies among projects, some foss projects have
great documentation. But, I can always find plenty of books, or other
documentation for popular proprietary financial apps.

* Many accountants, maybe as many as 200,000, use QB and recommend it
to their clients. Some accountants will charge much more for files
that are not in QB format.

* QB has much better 3rd party integration. For example, ecommerce
packages like oscommerce, and magento, work with quickbooks, not foss
alternatives. Msft accounting works with ebay. I can not find that
sort of integration with foss software.
 
L

lochgorm

All of the following is based my limited understanding, and my
opinions. Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this.

* Cost advantage: QuickBooks simple start is free:http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/free-account...
Or I can buy the full version of QuickBooks in only $128:http://www.qbpro2008.com/quickbooks-2008-coupons-for-amazon/
Seems to me that any cost advantage of using a foss alternative is
negligible.

* Ease of use: Somewhat debatable. But some people site this as a
primary reason for Intuit's amazing success with QuickBooks -
supposedly 87% of small businesses use QuickBooks. Although, I have to
wonder how the number of foss users can be accurately counted?

* Integration with online banking: my understanding is that only
intuit or msft products can easily integrate with online banking. Not
absolutely sure about that.

* Payroll: very regional, and changes often == not well suited for
foss.

* Taxes: somewhat regional, and changes often == not well suited for
foss.

* Wide acceptance: I think most businesses are much more comfortable
using products that are accepted standards.

* Wealth of available add-ons: Intuit has a very active community of
3rd party developers. You can buy practically any kind of an add-on
you can imagine. These add-ons cost money, but at least they are
available.

* Major company: I think a lot of businesses are not comfortable with
a product unless there is a major company behind that product. I have
to admit, even I am not comfortable with software products that are
essentially one man operations.

* Support: I can always hire somebody who knows quickbooks, or find a
"ProAdvisor" consultant, or I can get support from the company, and
there are hundreds - if not thousands - of developers who specialize
in developing for quickbooks. I can not see where that is true for any
project.

* Training availability and costs. I can hire people who already know
quickbooks. If I hire somebody to work on some foss alternative, then
there will be a significant training expense. Of course, there is also
the issue of training availability.

* Documentation: If I had to pick one thing that kills the usefulness
of more foss projects than anything else, this would win in a slam-
dunk. Of course, this varies among projects, some foss projects have
great documentation. But, I can always find plenty of books, or other
documentation for popular proprietary financial apps.

* Many accountants, maybe as many as 200,000, use QB and recommend it
to their clients. Some accountants will charge much more for files
that are not in QB format.

* QB has much better 3rd party integration. For example, ecommerce
packages like oscommerce, and magento, work with quickbooks, not foss
alternatives. Msft accounting works with ebay. I can not find that
sort of integration with foss software.
GnuCash is FOSS program that can do all recording for small (say one
owner/family company) use, however the stumbling block (outside USA)
is its adaption to Value Added Tax (Sales Tax in/out difference
payable to tax authorities) recording automatically.
It can handle payroll quite OK for UK situation in combination with
Inland Revenue software.
The tax can be handled by two entries for each purchase cost & tax
and similar sale and tax for sales.
 
F

FirstUser

GnuCash is FOSS program that can do all recording for small (say one
owner/family company) use, however the stumbling block (outside USA)
is its adaption to Value Added Tax (Sales Tax in/out difference
payable to tax authorities) recording automatically.
It can handle payroll quite OK for UK situation in combination with
Inland Revenue software.
The tax can be handled by two entries for each purchase cost & tax
and similar sale and tax for sales.
Nice observations! For scenarios where multi-currency accounting is
essential P2P Accounts http://www.p2paccounts.com works really well.
 

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