Geek Ranch Accounting Solution
First, a quick review of the requirements:
- Decent A/R, A/P, General Ledger
- A useful CRM system
- Handles multiple currencies
- Is at least available in Spanish with Spanish/English a plus
- Is possible for a bookkeeper without a Computer Science degree to learn to use
Well, after a lot of false starts, I settled on PostBooks from Xtuple.com. Don't let the .com part scare you away if you are looking for something useful and free—there are three products with PostBooks being the free choice. The system includes MFG/ERP and those parts get more sophisticated in the other editions. Far from being "crippleware", PostBooks will do more than most non-manufacturing businesses need for accounting.
I set up PostBooks here about a month ago but if you look at the web site, you will see why it became the right answer yesterday. They have been working on translations for this version, but yesterday they launched their translation portal. Spanish is mostly done and eight other languages vary between 50% and complete. The portal allows and encourages user input to complete translations.
The system design itself is very interesting. There is a KDE-based client which talks to a Postgres database. The client (which is the same for all the products) is just the user interface. All the business logic is implemented as functions in the database. There is no server code outside the database.
The translations are also cleanly implemented. All you do is put the translation files, *.gm, in the same directory as the executable and they become available in the user configuration screen. Anything that is not translated is just displayed in English. The actual translations are done using QtLinguist. If you don't have QtLinguist, there are executables of it available on the Xtuple site as well.
Besides being a solid product that seems very well designed, I find the business model interesting. Xtuple sells the high-end software and support services which, of course, is no surprise. But they benefit from the give-away product. Because the client is the same for all versions, what we contribute (bug fixes and translations, for example) decreases their expenses related to their commercial offering. In return, we get to take advantage of various things from the commercial offering. For example, documentation includes manuals and even videos on how to use the product.
To me, this is a perfect example of how Open Source can be a win-win for a commercial enterprise.
|PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database||Jan 29, 2015|
|HPC Cluster Grant Accepting Applications!||Jan 28, 2015|
|Sharing Admin Privileges for Many Hosts Securely||Jan 28, 2015|
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform||Jan 23, 2015|
|Designing with Linux||Jan 22, 2015|
|Wondershaper—QOS in a Pinch||Jan 21, 2015|
- PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database
- Sharing Admin Privileges for Many Hosts Securely
- HPC Cluster Grant Accepting Applications!
- Internet of Things Blows Away CES, and it May Be Hunting for YOU Next
- Designing with Linux
- Wondershaper—QOS in a Pinch
- Ideal Backups with zbackup
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform
- Slow System? iotop Is Your Friend
- January 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Security
Editorial Advisory Panel
Thank you to our 2014 Editorial Advisors!
- Jeff Parent
- Brad Baillio
- Nick Baronian
- Steve Case
- Chadalavada Kalyana
- Caleb Cullen
- Keir Davis
- Michael Eager
- Nick Faltys
- Dennis Frey
- Philip Jacob
- Jay Kruizenga
- Steve Marquez
- Dave McAllister
- Craig Oda
- Mike Roberts
- Chris Stark
- Patrick Swartz
- David Lynch
- Alicia Gibb
- Thomas Quinlan
- Carson McDonald
- Kristen Shoemaker
- Charnell Luchich
- James Walker
- Victor Gregorio
- Hari Boukis
- Brian Conner
- David Lane