Subject: open source business accounting software?
From: Alex <xela@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 09:42:46 -0400

This is less a fsb question than a generic startup question, so
I'll welcome answers in the form 'try this other forum'.  I'm
having a lot more trouble than I expected finding an accounting
system.  Now, I'm a computer nerd who majored in humanities and
theatre who once, years ago, in an afternoon of utter boredom,
read an accounting textbook, so it's more than possible I'm just
grossly underestimating the difficilties here.  But it would seem
to me that there would be one pretty straightforward way to write
an accounting system:  pick a nice solid RDBMS with transactions
and design a coordinated collection of schema.  An approach that
sacrifices efficiency (and beyond a certain point, scalability)
for maintainability and robustness --- not a unreasonable set of
tradeoffs in this domain, I should think.  I'd have thought there'd
be at least as many open source projects of this sort as there
are open source databases.

I have found nothing.  Several hints that seemed promising, but
leading at best to proprietary products that reside on proprietary
databases.  I'm willing to accept proprietary, if I can get access
to the source and can customize it --- but it would have to be
either standard sql, written to be trivially portable, or already
run on top of postgresql:  while I'm willing to pay for an accounting
package, I can't afford to buy an oracle license just to run it.

Any pointers at all greatly welcome.