What foss financial software seems to be missing:

Discussion in 'Accounting Software' started by walterbyrd, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. walterbyrd

    walterbyrd Guest

    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:
    Or I can buy the full version of QuickBooks in only $128:
    Seems to me that any cost advantage of using a foss alternative is

    * 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

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

    * 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

    * 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

    * 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.
    walterbyrd, Feb 7, 2008
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  2. walterbyrd


    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.
    , Mar 9, 2008
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  3. walterbyrd

    FirstUser Guest

    GnuCash is FOSS program that can do all recording for small (say one
    Nice observations! For scenarios where multi-currency accounting is
    essential P2P Accounts http://www.p2paccounts.com works really well.
    FirstUser, Mar 11, 2008
  4. walterbyrd

    Trevor Davis Guest

    Trevor Davis, Apr 6, 2008
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