Set Up A Double Entry Accounting System For Personal Finance Open Source Accounting Software

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Open Source Accounting Software

The rise of the Internet has seen massive collaboration and the proliferation of open source software. Accounting software has joined the open source movement and there are some high-quality options that are as good, if not better, than their overpriced commercial alternatives.

More and more people and businesses are switching. While the switch is primarily due to cost reduction to avoid license fees or higher grade costs, as the community grows the quality of the product also increases. The better the product, the more people you will use and the cycle repeats. Ultimately your open source accounting software will excel because traditional accounting software providers cannot keep up with innovation from the community.

While I have jumped on the open source band wagon it has its draw backs. Before you decide on an open source product you evaluate what support is available for the product. Most traditional software providers will have a support line you can call. Open source products do not provide this service. However the products have community support through forums and online tutorials. Forums are usually very good but can be more time consuming than calling someone.

Before you rush out and choose open source accounting software you need to take a step to assess your needs. Some key questions you should ask yourself are:

  • What kind of business do you have? Services, manufacturing, property, non-profit, retail.

  • Do you need support for payroll? Does it need to be integrated into the software or will it be outsourced?

  • Do you manage inventory? Different accounting packages will have different degrees of inventory management. They can be completely customizable in any way.

  • Do you quote? Do you need to manage job costs and workflow?

  • Are you doing bookkeeping? Is the software easy to use?

  • Is the software compatible with your operating system? What operating system will you be running?

  • Will the software be able to grow and specialize with your business?

Once you have assessed your needs you can start exploring different options. There are two different categories of applications. First there is accounting software that simply manages the financial information of a business. The second type is accounting software that is part of a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It looks at the internal and external resources of the business. Both types of applications have excellent open source options.

The best free or open source independent accounting software applications include:

  • GnuCash is a free and open source double-entry accounting software program for individual users and small business owners. It is a stand-alone desktop program that runs on GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. GnuCash offers multi-language versions for international users including German, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, etc.

  • Grisbi is a personal finance system that can manage multiple accounts, users and currencies. It is a stand-alone desktop program that runs on GNU/Linux and Windows.

  • HomeBank is a free financial accounting software program for individual users. It is a stand-alone desktop program that runs on GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

  • Other free or open source applications include JGnash, KMyMoney, LedgerSMB, PhreeBooks, Skrooge, and TurboCASH. Best free open source ERP accounting software downloads and reviews

The top free and open source accounting software programs that are part of ERP systems are:

  • Adempiere is a free and open source ERP software application. It provides accounting functions such as general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, financial reporting, cash management budgeting, and VAT/TAX/IVA.

  • Other free or open source ERP accounting software applications include BlueErp, Compiere, Dolibarr, JFire, Apache OFBiz, Openbravo, OpenERP, PhreeBooks, Postbooks, Tryton, GNU Enterprise, and webERP. Details about free accounting software applications for various sectors

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