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We’ve finally opened our bank account. Now we need an accounting system. Since we have little or no intention of doing any accounting ourselves, we need something that both our accountant and we can easily access.

Naturally, my first idea was to open a Quickbooks Online account. Looking at the costs; $9.95/month for the first 3 months, and then $19.95/month, it was reasonable. Everything online. Easily accessible for both me, Alex and our accountant. It can even communicate with our bank. I looked at some of their interactive demos, and it looks really good.

So why didn’t we sign up right away? Well, looking a bit closer, I discovered something unexpected. Quickbooks Online ONLY SUPPORTS WINDOWS 2000/XP WITH INTERNET EXPLORER. Seriously? What kind of web-developer creates an online service that is platform dependent? That defeats half the purpose of having the service web-based. Their recommendation for Mac/other users is to use Virtual PC or other Windows emulator. Are these guys for real?

To make it even more funny/sad, they do offer their ‘offline’ software for both Mac OS and Windows. So they can apparently write a Mac OS application, but cannot make their web service platform independent.

At this point I don’t know what system we’ll settle with. A web-based accounting system would be to prefer, but it needs to be platform independent (since Alex and I use Mac OS, and we don’t know what our accountant will be running). I’ve been looking at both Gnucash and TurboCASH, which are two Open Source applications, but neither of them are web-based or support multiple users.

The search goes on. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

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  1. I wrote an open source accounting package for professional practices in Access ( Does it run on anything but WinTel? Unfortunately not.

    Next time I’ll try using Oracle XE. Free for up to four gigs of data and it does run on Linux.

    Jason Paul Kazarian

  2. Jason,
    Cool. Thanks for the info. Looks like it has some potentials. Too bad you don’t have any screenshots on your page.

    I’m just curious why no one develop a web-based Open Source accounting system using PHP and MySQL. Sure, MySQL might not be a sufficient engine in a large corporation’s accouning systems, but for small and mid-size business it will certainly be enough.

    Just a hint if you feel like changing direction on you project =).

  3. I think that if you write an accounting application and you manage to outgrow MySQL, you’re doing something wrong. :)

  4. scribe63 says:

    scribe63 writes:
    You need to checkout sql-ledger and se if it suit your needs.
    sql ledger

  5. scribe63,
    Thanks a lot.
    Seems quite promising. I just took a quick look at it, and it seems really cool.

    I’ll research this software later on today to see if this will be sufficient for our needs.

    Again, thanks.

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