Friday, 6 June 2014

Simple Accounting softare for Aussies using Linux!!

One of the annoying things about Australia is our tax system.  One of the annoying things about Linux is that almost everything is available for Linux except a simple small business accounting system that is designed for Australian and designed for Linux.
There is a partial solution however...

Windows users are catered for with just about everything you can imagine, but so many commercial products just will not run under Linux and Wine.  Wine though, is getting much more robust and will run more and more Windows programs.

I tried winCashbook when I was trying to help a friend solve a problem.  Downloaded the trial version and installed it is seconds.  It found all the printers connected to my computer, told me during installation that I had a strange font setup (correct), and went ahead and did everything I wanted to do.

Now, so far I have not even glanced at the manual or tutorial.  It is simple and reasonably intuitive even for a beginner to use, although some of the terminology had be lost for a while.  I just had to think what the programmer 'meant' by things like 'Money IN cashbook and Money OUT cashbook'.  Obviously another way to say Income and Expenses, but it still sounds strange to me.

All the basics are there for a small business that does not use Point Of Sale equipment.  Some things like creating an Invoice, are not immediately apparent on some versions of Linux.

For example in Mint 16 with KDE desktop, there are icons in the left panel for various tasks, including Invoice, which do NOT show.  In some case, hovering the mouse shows them but not always.

A few minutes use and clicking from top to bottom in a section brought up the correct options.  I just had to click the correct spot to bring up the invoice

If I was planning to use a business and tax program I would either make myself a cheat sheet, or ask the developers to consider fixing the problem.

As the program is designed for Windows only, I consider that it works in Linux a bonus, and I would be quite happy to work around that small issue.  Chances are it works in Gnome derivatives anyway.

winCashbook has a strange licencing system.  You pay $192 (at June 2014) for a 4 year licence, which works out to around $4/week.  Or you can choose to pay $40 for 4 months which would be about $120 for a year.  Or you can pay $40 for the first four months and renew the licence monthly as needed for $15 a month.

Even at $192 for 4 years it is cheaper than most commercial accounting programs were when I had my businesses.

The big blue area under CASHBOOK in the left panel should show three buttons, including the Invoice button.  Moving the mouse over them shows an indented blank button, so you just have to remember what is on that part of the screen.
Annoying, but remember - this is NOT meant for Linux.

Strangely, in SETUP and REPORTS, hovering the mouse will bring up a tool tip with the buttons.  Only CASHBOOK shows nothign on my computer.

It is probably not perfect under Linux, and I will probably find a few more things that will require me to resort to looking for instructions, but so far it looks fine.

Pity I don't have a business any more..

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