replacement for QuickBooks?

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replacement for QuickBooks?

Charles-H. Schulz
Hello,

I have an friend based in the US who really starts to get interested in
open source for his small business. He asked me if there was an Open
source replacement for QuickBooks.... Do you know any?

Cheers,

Charles.

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Daniel Carrera-2
On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 12:06 +0200, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
> I have an friend based in the US who really starts to get interested in
> open source for his small business. He asked me if there was an Open
> source replacement for QuickBooks.... Do you know any?

The latest version of GnuCash is very good (I like it) and there is a
Windows port in Beta.

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    return 4; // Generated by fair dice roll.
              // Guaranteed to be random!
}

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Charles-H. Schulz
Hello Daniel,

Daniel Carrera a écrit :

> On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 12:06 +0200, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>  
>> I have an friend based in the US who really starts to get interested in
>> open source for his small business. He asked me if there was an Open
>> source replacement for QuickBooks.... Do you know any?
>>    
>
> The latest version of GnuCash is very good (I like it) and there is a
> Windows port in Beta.
>  

Thanks. Since I've never seen QuickBooks, how would you compare the two,
GnuCash and QuickBooks?

Best,
Charles.

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Daniel Carrera-2
On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 12:14 +0200, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
> Thanks. Since I've never seen QuickBooks, how would you compare the two,
> GnuCash and QuickBooks?

I know GnuCash but not QuickBooks so I can't really compare. But judging
from the Wikipedia page, this is my guess:

* Both are focused on the same market: small business.

* They appear to have similar functionality with perhaps a slight lead
for GnuCash. GnuCash can handle multiple currencies, and AFAIK
QuickBooks doesn't. This is important to me because I regularly deal in
three currencies (e.g. making a transfer from my UK bank to my Canadian
bank might be difficult with QuickBooks).

* Both use double-entry bookkeeping, but it looks like QuickBooks hides
it more than GnuCash.

Both try to shield the user from some details. In GnuCash you don't need
to know the difference between a debit and a credit. It uses common
terms like "deposit" and "withdrawal". But judging from the Wikipedia
article, it looks like QuickBooks might hide it a bit more.

* The visual layout looks different. QuickBooks looks a lot more "GUI".

If your friend understands the very basics of double-entry bookkeeping
he'll be fine with GnuCash (and really, he should if he wants to run a
small business).

But all this is from someone who has never used QuickBooks. I just read
a Wikipedia article and saw some screenshots.

Daniel.
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    return 4; // Generated by fair dice roll.
              // Guaranteed to be random!
}

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Daniel Carrera-2
On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 11:45 +0100, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> If your friend understands the very basics of double-entry bookkeeping
> he'll be fine with GnuCash (and really, he should if he wants to run a
> small business).

Btw, GnuCash comes with very good documentation. It is organized in
tutorial format, starting with the most important or common concepts to
the least. It teaches you not only how to use the software, but also
accounting itself. Each chapter has three sections:

* Concepts: Teaches an accounting principle. People who know accounting
can skip this.
* Feature: Shows you how to use the relevant feature in GnuCash.
* Example: Practical example where you use apply the concept using
GnuCash.

The community is friendly, and they are willing to help you not only
with the software, but with accounting concepts. They've answered a few
accounting questions for me.

--
int RandomNumber() {
    return 4; // Generated by fair dice roll.
              // Guaranteed to be random!
}

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Rod Engelsman
On 3/28/07, Daniel Carrera <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 11:45 +0100, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> > If your friend understands the very basics of double-entry bookkeeping
> > he'll be fine with GnuCash (and really, he should if he wants to run a
> > small business).
>
> Btw, GnuCash comes with very good documentation. It is organized in
> tutorial format, starting with the most important or common concepts to
> the least. It teaches you not only how to use the software, but also
> accounting itself. Each chapter has three sections:
>
> * Concepts: Teaches an accounting principle. People who know accounting
> can skip this.
> * Feature: Shows you how to use the relevant feature in GnuCash.
> * Example: Practical example where you use apply the concept using
> GnuCash.
>
> The community is friendly, and they are willing to help you not only
> with the software, but with accounting concepts. They've answered a few
> accounting questions for me.
>
> --
> int RandomNumber() {
>     return 4; // Generated by fair dice roll.
>               // Guaranteed to be random!
> }
>
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> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
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I tried it a couple of years ago and I have to say that my experience wasn't
as positive. It wasn't particularly friendly toward home users accustomed to
Quicken or MS Money, yet it didn't have all the features (at least in
working form) that business users needed and expected. I recall issues from
business customers regarding it's handling of invoicing and payroll in
particular.

I had a couple of issues with the program and found the support sorely
lacking. One was a loan calculator wizard that produced wildly inaccurate
results (orders of magnitude in error) and the other was the tax file
exporter (produces txf files for import into tax prep software; a relevant
issue this time of year!!). I was basically told by the lead developer that
he didn't personally use those features, couldn't possibly know how all the
modules worked, what the problem might be, and didn't particularly care.
Frankly, he struck me as a narcissistic little martinet who lived for people
to tell him what a fine person and programmer he was. If you didn't show the
proper level of obeisance he didn't want to hear from you.


As to the double-entry accounting stuff, I would just as soon that it was
hidden. Debits and credits don't mean anything anyway. The whole system is
basically a mechanical device invented about 700 years ago to catch math
errors and crooked bookkeepers. Quicken, Quickbooks, MS Money, etc. all
employ the basic accounting logic that money can't just appear or disappear;
it has to come from somewhere or go somewhere. Sort of like the law of
conservation of energy applied to money. Yet while money can't appear or
disappear at will, /wealth/ certainly can appear or disappear on it's own.
Stock prices go up and down, houses appreciate, cars depreciate, currency
values fluctuate, etc. So to keep track of your net worth you have to create
fictional cash flows that you then later have to balance out when you
eventually dispose of the asset.

Just my take on things. The package may have improved since I last used it,
so YMMV.

Rod
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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Daniel Carrera-2
On Wed, 2007-28-03 at 07:57 -0500, Rod Engelsman wrote:
> I tried it a couple of years ago and I have to say that my experience wasn't
> as positive.

I tried it several years ago (longer than two years) and I thought it
was a piece of crap :)

It's gone a long way since them. But I still wouldn't be surprised if
someone used to a more GUI product didn't feel comfortable with GnuCash.
*I* like it better, but I am hardly your typical user. I like having
everything divided into Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income and
Expenses. My impression from other packages is that they are more likely
to hide those (don't quote me on that though!).

> I was basically told by the lead developer that
> he didn't personally use those features, couldn't possibly know how all the
> modules worked, what the problem might be, and didn't particularly care.

Ouch! Sounds like a real jerk. Do you remember who that was?

> As to the double-entry accounting stuff, I would just as soon that it was
> hidden. Debits and credits don't mean anything anyway. The whole system is
> basically a mechanical device invented about 700 years ago to catch math
> errors and crooked bookkeepers.

I don't think it should be all hidden. I think you shouldn't need to
hear about debits and credits. But I think that having every transaction
affect two accounts is a good idea beyond catching errors. Every
expenditure come from somewhere, every income must go somewhere, etc.

> Quicken, Quickbooks, MS Money, etc. all
> employ the basic accounting logic that money can't just appear or disappear;
> it has to come from somewhere or go somewhere. Sort of like the law of
> conservation of energy applied to money.

Uhmm... that's the basis of double-entry bookkeeping :)

> So to keep track of your net worth you have to create
> fictional cash flows that you then later have to balance out when you
> eventually dispose of the asset.

That seems odd. With GnuCash I keep track of my net worth without
anything fictional (unless you consider assets, expenses and income
fictional...).

> Just my take on things. The package may have improved since I last used it,
> so YMMV.

After reading your comments I'm less confident about GnuCash's ability
to replace QuickBooks. I certainly think it's a good package. But maybe
just not the right _kind_ of package. Maybe it's too technical. I don't
find it too technical, but I'm not your typical user.

Cheers,
Daniel.
--
int RandomNumber() {
    return 4; // Generated by fair dice roll.
              // Guaranteed to be random!
}

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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Chad Smith
In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
From osalt.com

Open source Money alternatives GnuCash 2.0.5 <http://www.osalt.com/gnucash>
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
GnuCash is open source personal and small-business financial accounting
software. Keep track of income an expenses from all of your accounts. The
small-business features allows you to keep track of... Read
more<http://www.osalt.com/gnucash>Grisbi
0.5.9<http://www.osalt.com/grisbi>
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
Grisbi is open source personal accounting software for practically any
platform/operating system. The project strives to provide simple and easy to
use software for managing your accounts. Grisbi... Read
more<http://www.osalt.com/grisbi>jGnash
1.10.6<http://www.osalt.com/jgnash>
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
jGnash is an open source personal finance manager. It will help you monitor
and keep track of your accounts including investments. jGnash can import
from Quicken (qif) and GnuCash - and generate... Read
more<http://www.osalt.com/jgnash>GFP 0.6<http://www.osalt.com/gfp>
Available for: windows mac linux unix java
GFP is a free open source personal finance manager written in Java, which
allows it to run on virtually any operating system. It's designed to help
people with little financial knowledge managing... Read
more<http://www.osalt.com/gfp>
It lists the same four projects as alternatives to Quicken.  A search for
Quickbooks yielded a "cannot be found" result.

On 3/28/07, Charles-H. Schulz <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello,
>
> I have an friend based in the US who really starts to get interested in
> open source for his small business. He asked me if there was an Open
> source replacement for QuickBooks.... Do you know any?
>
> Cheers,
>
> Charles.
>
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> To unsubscribe, e-mail: [hidden email]
> For additional commands, e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>


--
- Chad Smith
http://www.chadwsmith.com/
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Re: replacement for QuickBooks?

Gregory J. Neumann
In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
Charles,

Unfortunately, nothing purely open source
exactly duplicates QuickBooks. I've been looking
for years! There are very good accounting
packages for Linux, but none are exactly open
source. Another thing, when I hear "replacement
for QuickBooks", the unspoken assumption is that
it will use the native QuickBooks formats for an
outside accountant to use. That's a very
difficult task to accomplish legally.

Latest versions are a weird embedded Sybase
iAnywhere implementation. Work is being done on
a native Max OSX version - may be ready, I'm not
sure. I've heard rumors of QuickBooks releasing
a native Linux version of QuickBooks on the
QuickBooks forums, but so far, nothing
substantial. Since they moved to the Sybase
iAnywhere SQL engine, it should be a
relatively(?) easy move, and if Microsoft has
finally pushed them far enough w/ the IE7 for XP
"critical update" debacle, maybe they'll finally
get smart.

-Greg

> Subject:
> replacement for QuickBooks?
> From:
> "Charles-H. Schulz" <[hidden email]>
> Date:
> Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:06:18 +0200
> To:
> [hidden email]
>
> To:
> [hidden email]
>
>
> Hello,
>
> I have an friend based in the US who really starts to get interested in
> open source for his small business. He asked me if there was an Open
> source replacement for QuickBooks.... Do you know any?
>
> Cheers,
>
> Charles.

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