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Re: (OT) Perl Open Source accounting packages?

by rir (Vicar)
on Oct 10, 2002 at 22:00 UTC ( #204346=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT) Perl Open Source accounting packages?

Update: Ouch, on the vaporware remarks below. My interest has not waned, but divorce and single-parenthood has put my bookkeeping system on a backburner. (Oct. 2007)

Don't get a Perl system without use strict; just don't. Update: Maintenance and extensibility are the reasons.

I chose the last system based on:

  • Hundred-plus longtime similiar-to-me user base.
    This is a proof of viability.
  • On supportable, affordable, scalable platform, meant *nix here, then.
    This has saved much in OS support, admin and license costs.
  • Required features. Don't over spec up front, just what
    accounting issues have to be handled.
  • Ease of customization. Cause you'll need
    specialisations to make everyone happy.
  • Accountant okays reports. Given item one this should
    be easy.

Though I have some complaints with my choice, I'd do it
again the same way.

(People usually hate change so expect aggravation.)

One large problem I have with this system is convincing
the accountant or the bookkeepers that some function
can be written in. Simple UI interfaces may help create
this rather nice problem.

Warning! Warning! Vaporware alert!

I am working on a beast like you request. The core of it, aside from
the UI is getting close to releasable. A few weeks work equals
several months lag, though.

After General Ledger and General Journal come together,
A/R, A/P, Inventory should benefit from much reuse.
Purchasing, Receiving, and Sales will follow thereafter.

I have vague intentions on Payroll as no one seems to be interested
unless you provide annual tax updates.

No current plans for Depreciation, Job Costing, Bill of
Materials or Fixed Assets journals.

There is SQLedger and GNU has a couple of accounting (GNU-Cash?)
products. Those all seem oriented toward one or two person offices.
Don't believe me on this I have not been following those
SQ-Ledger seems to have a solid following, it runs through a
browser interface.

My project is being targeted at businesses like wholesalers,
auto-parts stores, lumber-yards, etc. Businesses with large
inventories with moderate transaction rates. It should scale up
pretty well. With all the journals it would suit cities.

When I have the GL ledger and journal okay, I'll release.
As everything else can pretty much be a report against
the data base.

At present I'm only planning on supporting Average Costing.
I am willing to hear, or be aimed at literature, about
tracking batches or individual items; and fifo, lifo, etc.
costing. Now I might consider factoring such in, later
I'll probably want to push such issues into the distant future.

I'm using Linux, Perl, Tk, DBI, and Postgres. My code is
fairly portable but *nix-centric. Without bribes I won't
be dealing with other platforms. Perhaps other UIs, though.

When you see any practical questions from me it will be
to support this bookkeeping system.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: (OT) Perl Open Source accounting packages?
by tphyahoo (Vicar) on Feb 28, 2005 at 16:46 UTC
    Rir, this sounds very interesting. I have been done some research looking for open source accounting packages that could be adopted to the wild ideas described in ledgerism, or in various utopian community currency and bartering schemes, such as my scrawled-on-a-napkin idea nbarter. The idea I am most interested in is a scheme called community wizard that would empower groups of people to better understand the flow of money in their neighborhoods.

    Total vaporware as of now.

    But I wanted to see what already existed in open source that could be scavenged, to implement this. The first thing that would be needed is a multi user general ledger with a web interface.

    For candidates I wound up with just sql-ledger, which is unfortunately is not the most robust code, and Compiere, which runs on java and requires oracle.

    Neither of these sounded real appealing. I did like the rich/reach (windows widget/web) idea of Compiere, but it runs reeeal slow and has too much overhead to factor just the general ledger stuff out of it. (Even if I knew java, which I don't.)

    Martin Bramwell is putting together an open source package he calls CACH (Community Automated Clearing House), which I am also very interested in. He said he was aiming to release in March, but unfortunately until then there's no public information about it online.

    I don't know if your work would be helpful in this regard, but I would be interested in learning more about what you are doing, and maybe beta testing it if you need anyone.

      Thanks for your interest. Life changes have pulled me away from my accounting system work. I am just getting back into it and am grappling with the user interface.

      That interface is to be in Tk, but I am trying to keep a separation of concerns.

      The working name is Rbks. It is a fairly simple and flexible double entry bookkeeping system. As it stands now I have the General Journal backend code fairly squared away. Which is to say a Gj_entry posts itself correctly.

      Ledger and journal reports don't concern me much. These seem to be straight forward SQL reports. I haven't found any strong justification to have reporting be part of the objects. I am open to argument and think the design is flexible enough to add this.

      I have looked at the ledgerism reference. For practical purposes I have a distrust of such all encompassing models. The other links you give don't work for me.

      I am researching scaffold code for basic database Find/Prev/Next/Add/Update/Delete interface screens. If I don't find anything soon I'll be posting a long SOPW.

      I'd rather have an interface before releasing code, but I am willing to share the overview info. Be well,

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