Forum OpenACS Development: OACS Accounting
I am still trying to find ways to turn OACS into a booking system for the travel industry. From what I have been reading, and trying, curent developments in logger, project mananger and bugtracker seem to offer an answer to most issues, although I would need some additonal features to be added. I won't bother you with these details right now.
Billing issues are mostly covered by the features in e-commerce, as well as statements of account. What we still lack is an integrated accounting package. I found http://www.twinfield.com/content/en/whytwinfield.asp to be a sollution that seems to be acceptable to accountants and bookkeepers. Because I am starting a business, I can't aford to wait any longer, despite the costs, I intend to open an account with them,to find out how this service could be interfaced with OpenACS.
I don't wan't to invent the wheel, and since accounting seems to be a pretty staight forward issue, but with essential features spread over diffent modules, using OACS as an accounting platform is rather complicated. question ... do we have folks in the network looking into similar solutions?
1. Who would be interested to join this experiment? maybe by joining forces we can come up with solutiosn, and create an OACS accounting platform, whre hackers cut and paste existing code into one package. That would create our own Twinfield.
2.Are there allready initiatives underway in this respect? I have a feeling if we would ofer a basic accounting package this would be benifical to the evangalism of Open ACS.
Have you checked out SQL Ledger (http://www.sql-ledger.com/)?
I've been seriously considering adding an accounting module to Project/Open (http://www.project-open.com/, a continuation of the old ACS 3.4 Intranet module). However, conversations with customers have convinced me that this would be a bad idea for several reasons:
- They trust their already installed packages (their accountant know how to use them...)
- Accounting rules differ widely between countries.
- Accounting is a "commodity" functionality that you can cover using a standard software for US$ 149.90...
So Project/Open is going to get an export interface for several applications in the future, covering Germany (KHK Kaufmann) and Spain (Conta Plus). Nobody has asked yet for SAP-FI, but this actually doesn't seem to be that difficult...
I agree, building a standalone multipurpose OACSaccounting package is like inventing the wheel. The export function however is the way too go. Having siad this we still have the problem that daily work done in either an intranet or logger/projectmanger will have to end up in the accounts dept. being based in the Netherlands, Twinfield seems to be a solution accepted by major accountants. In that respect it might be interesing to look at Twinfield, hence my reason to go for this service. From what I have read sofar they seem to cover the accounting systems outside Europe aswell, but that's something I need to dig in some more.
I hope to have Twinfield up and running next month, and will create a demo acocunt for testing purposes. From what I have read this is more or less in line with your German and Spanish systems. I look forward to work with you in finding a workable solution.
I remember this too. It was called "Greenspan" and was for ACS 3.4 (Oracle). I couldn't find anything on either Google or web.archive.org.
I've written a much too complicated spec (warning: it isn't finished and is internally inconsistent), but whether I'll have time to implement it in this millenium is doubtful.
Accounting rules are different in all countries, but the basic bookkeeping principles are the same.
We came to the same conclusion here. Why write an entire accounting package, when other accounting packages are going to do a much better job?
Connecting with an accounting system does seem to be a common requirement, though. I'll probably have similar requirements at some point.
I guess you're going to be the first one to hit the ground with Twinfield, because the accounting export of Project/Open will probably still take several months.
I'm particularly interested in how you think to resolve the mapping between the OpenACS cost/time categories and the cost accounts in the software. Also, the counter-accounts (?, sorry, I had my accounting classes in Spanish, I don't have the precise English/American terminology...) will need to be configurable, because some companies are going to account working time as maintenance type of costs, while others will treat them as an investment...
But maybe it's not worth to try to keep the configuration flexible, and a single successful case of such an interface would already have an important value...
I will keep you posted on my findings once the programm is activated.