Open source accounting software

The rise of the internet has led to mass collaboration and proliferation of open source software. Accounting software has joined the move to open source and has some quality alternatives that are just as good if not better than their overpriced commercial alternatives.

More and more private individuals and companies are switching. While the switch is primarily due to cost cutting to avoid licensing fees or upgrade costs, as the community grows, so does the quality of the product. As the product gets better, more people use it and the cycle repeats itself. Ultimately, your open source accounting software will outperform as traditional accounting software vendors can’t keep up with community innovation.

While I jumped on the open source bandwagon, it has its downsides. Before deciding on an open source product, check what support is available for the product. Most traditional software vendors have a support hotline that you can call. Open source products do not provide this service. However, the products have community support through forums and online tutorials. The forums are usually very good but can be more time consuming than just calling someone.

Before you go ahead and choose an open source accounting software, you need to take a step and assess your needs. Some of the most important questions to ask yourself are:

  • What kind of business do you have? Services, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Non-Profit, Retail.

  • Need help with payroll? Does this have to be built into the software or is it outsourced?

  • Do you manage inventory? Different accounting packages have different levels of inventory management. They can range from none to fully customizable.

  • Do you do quotes? Do you need to do job costing and workflow management?

  • Do you do the 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 adapt with your business?

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After determining your needs, you can look at the different options. There are two different categories of applications. First, there is accounting software that only manages the company’s financial information. The second type is accounting software that is part of a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. He takes care of the internal and external resources of the company. Both types of applications have excellent open source options.

Some of the best free or independent open source accounting software applications include:

  • GnuCash is a free and open double-entry bookkeeping software program for home users and small business owners. It is a standalone 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 standalone desktop program that runs on GNU/Linux and Windows.

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

  • Other free or open applications include JGnash, KMyMoney, LedgerSMB, PhreeBooks, Skrooge, and TurboCASH. Download and Review Best Free Open Source ERP Accounting Software

Some of the best free and open source accounting software programs that are part of ERP systems include:

  • Adempiere is a free, open-source ERP software application. It offers accounting features such as general ledger, accounts receivable and 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 of free accounting software applications for various industries