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Thread: GnuCash 2.6 Tries To Improve Open-Source Accounting

  1. #1
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    Default GnuCash 2.6 Tries To Improve Open-Source Accounting

    Phoronix: GnuCash 2.6 Tries To Improve Open-Source Accounting

    GNU projects seem to be in the season of releases with this week having GNU Octave 3.8 and GNUnet 0.10, while being prepared for release right now is the GnuCash 2.6 open-source accounting software...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU1NTE

  2. #2
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    Sadly, GnuCash is still rather rudimentary and doesn't meet the needs for most business professionals. When checking out GnuCash 2.4, I'm still much better off using Intuit's proprietary web-based products paired with a spreadsheet or text file than this open-source accounting software package as Intuit's software is much more useful and complete.
    I'm just curious what features you find missing. I only use it for personal use, but it has everything I need. I generally read in the OFX files from my credit cards / bank accounts and it's pretty smart remembering old purchases to put them in the right expense accounts. It takes care of my loans, stock prices, expense reports, budgeting, etc. I even do some pretty advanced stuff with the database file directly and having easy access to the data makes GnuCash pretty useful to me.

    Now like I said I don't run a business, so I'd be interested in what you have to say. At least from a personal finance perspective, I would sat GnuCash is very mature.

  3. #3
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    I looked at GnuCash while looking for a program that could generate invoices. Unfortunately, at least at that point, invoices were pretty basic and changing them was pretty difficult (you had to edit template files that are written in some really weird programming language). Have there been any improvements in that regard?

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    I've never seen a business NOT use spreadsheet's paired with their accounting package. It just seems to be the glue oft-times. Personally, that has also been my experience, and GNU-Cash will probably be my new 'accounting' package when I set my self up again. It'll be limited (as noted, invoices seemed limited?), but hell, you can at least build a rapport with the dev's for new and localised features! Australian tax law is no worse or better than any one elses, so I'm curious as to how they manage that whole international thing (like Nigeria =P). Time for reading again!

  5. #5
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    Well I can't say too much about invoices specifically because I've never needed them as a personal user, but I have looked into the templates and they certainly are complicated. I would say that with GnuCash you're definitely stuck with the basic default look and feel. They're not really customizable from an aesthetic perspective. I generally stick with income/expense reports and all I really want is the pie or bar chart, so it works for me.

  6. #6
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    It also looks terrible on windows. I really wish there was a qt version of it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ua=42 View Post
    It also looks terrible on windows. I really wish there was a qt version of it.
    Within its Start Menu group, it has a 'Select Theme' utility. I agree that the default looks ugly but a theme change can fix that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiiixy View Post
    I've never seen a business NOT use spreadsheet's paired with their accounting package.
    Those are generally the companies that get themselves in deep audit trouble. With a proper accounting package there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use a spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is needed there is likely one or more of the following happening:

    1) Their current accounting solution is crap (I'm looking at you Intuit that allows disconnecting do accounts to allow one sided arbitrary entries)
    2) Their current accounting package has crap data in put into it
    3) The user doesn't know or understands G.A.A.P.
    4) The user wants to "cook" the books, usually to cover up true financials to either to embezzle or to try to secure additional funding for the business by covering up their financial trouble
    Last edited by deanjo; 12-28-2013 at 08:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Those are generally the companies that get themselves in deep audit trouble. With a proper accounting package there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use a spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is needed there is likely one or more of the following happening:

    1) Their current accounting solution is crap (I'm looking at you Intuit that allows disconnecting do accounts to allow one sided arbitrary entries)
    2) Their current accounting package has crap data in put into it
    3) The user doesn't know or understands G.A.A.P.
    4) The user wants to "cook" the books, usually to cover up true financials to either to embezzle or to try to secure additional funding for the business by covering up their financial trouble
    So what software do you recommend? It seems you know about accounting, so I would like to know about your perspective both in FOSS and propietary sides

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Those are generally the companies that get themselves in deep audit trouble. With a proper accounting package there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use a spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is needed there is likely one or more of the following happening:

    1) Their current accounting solution is crap (I'm looking at you Intuit that allows disconnecting do accounts to allow one sided arbitrary entries)
    2) Their current accounting package has crap data in put into it
    3) The user doesn't know or understands G.A.A.P.
    4) The user wants to "cook" the books, usually to cover up true financials to either to embezzle or to try to secure additional funding for the business by covering up their financial trouble
    You go right ahead and tell government organisations that they're doing it wrong =D They'll probably agree, but enjoy banging your head convincing otherwise. The ones I saw were using a combination of SAP, Excel and some other wierd shit from the 80's and 90's. Govvy team/section/dept managers/heads are quite often fail-at-commercial sector uni-business grad's or nepotistically appointed their position and then start using the same old 'cant get fired for using MS'-style mantra. Here in Aus, quite often if you question a government payer 'where's my cheque?', they'll happily pay you the next day and pass the contract to your competitor. They pay when they're good and ready =D

    On a smaller note, so long as your sheets, or whatever package you're using, are done correctly with receipts etc, they're valid to the Aussie Tax Office. They're quite good when it comes to tax offices, and very helpful if you ask with tonnes of free advice and software (mostly Windows, unfortunately. They canned our Linux-based yearly tax return software). They're also the one organistion you DONT fuck with. If they say you're shit's good, who are you to say otherwise. No black flag for you!

    And there's absolutely nothing wrong with using spreadsheets in my opinion. You can do everything you need real damn quick if you know the function calls. For example if you're in the business of buying tanking businesses, you can quickly bring them back up to scratch with proper 'books', and sell off the business once you've recovered it. No need to lock people in to accounting packages people aren't familiar with. It's not ideal as an end product obviously, but it works well enough to function as an intermediary in such a case as I just presented.

    It's not all cut'n'dry in the trenches unfortunately and quiteoften you jsut gotta use what's at hand. I'll be fucked if I'm gonna pay out hundreds of dollars every other year for tax software I can barely control when I dont have to.

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