What has been your experience with open source free accounting software packages?

I was wondering if anyone on SavvySME has experience with any of the following open sourced free accounting software packages: Adempiere, FrontAccounting, Gnucash, Ledgersmb, Openbravo, Community, Tryton, Turbocash, Weberp?

What do you think of in comparison to the likes of MYOB, Xero, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Money, Oracle E-Business Suite, Quickbooks, Quicken, Sage, or SAP.

Top voted answer
Rhys Roberts

Rhys Roberts, Director at Viridity

I am not sure of the purpose of this question.  The range of Open Source Apps you list range from those suitable for micro businesses (Gnucash / Turbocash) all the way through to medium/large organisations (Adempiere).

Similarly the paid for solutions range from SME (Quicken / MYOB / Xero)  through to enterprise solutions (Oracle / SAP). 

If you are looking for a software application for your business you will make the selection process much easier by identifying the features you need for your business first, then identifying a (small) number of applications that might meet your requirements.  Then compare between those. 

Whether they are locally installed or cloud, open source or not is generally of less importance than how well the features of the program you select meet your needs.  I have written a guide to assist with making this selection, it is available as a free download from my website,

Cheers, Rhys

Rosella Floral Designs

Rosella Floral Designs at

The purpose of this question is to gain feedback on the mentioned opensourced software packages or other free accounting packages, that not only cover the basics, but also provides scope for expansion. We are very familiar with MYOB, but due to our committment to cost management and passing our lower costs on to our clients, a paid solution is currently not within our budget. As the Finance/IT/Marketing Manager, I have familiarised myself with the features of the mentioned open source packages, but I am looking to determine whether there are any flaws with the packages or shortcomings that don't lend themselves to use in the Australian environment.

Rhys Roberts

Rhys Roberts, Director at Viridity

Hi Rosella, I am going to have to disagree with you here (sorry!). I understand that you want to consider all options, but ultimately many of those you list (from both groups) simply won''t be suitable for your business. I really do think you need to narrow down your search rather than looking for comments accross such a broad range. Let me use an analogy. If you were looking for a vehicle to deliver your products to your clients you wouldn't seek comparisons on everything from a bicycle to a road train. You would narrow it down then research vans or trucks within a range that met your needs. I believe you will find the decision making process easier if you adopt a similar approach with software. That is eliminate that which is clearly too basic, eliminate that which has many features that you will never need but which do make the product more complex and harder to use. Focus on those that are close to your ideal solution. I'll leave the open source / paid for comparison to one side for now. Good luck with your search, Cheers, Rhys

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Jane Jones

Jane Jones, Manager at SavvySME

If you need a free accounting software package for your small business but don't have much room in your budget, there are loads of free open-source accounting software packages available (like the ones you listed above) that can be customised to meet your business requirements and needs.

1. ADempiere combines CRM, enterprise planning and supply chain management and POS solutions. The tool is particularly good for SMEs in the production industry.

2. FrontAccounting is highly suited to small businesses and has solutions for accounts payable/receivable and inventory among much more.

3. GnuCash software is great for small sole trader businesses and personal accounting. It has solutions for bank account tracking and monitoring income and outgoings via a very user-friendly interface. GnuCash doesn't have as many features as other free accounting software, but it provides everything you need for a relatively simple business. 

4. OpenBravo offers a cloud-based and mobile platform and is a great option for medium-sized businesses that need solutions to track inventory, logistics, supply and demand forecasting and store operations. 

All of the free open-source software programs mentioned above allow you to tailor the software to suit your needs. Sure, bigger names such as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks provide more robust and extensive accounting solutions, but it's certainly worth exploring some of the free options mentioned above!

Apurv Bhalla CPA

Apurv Bhalla CPA, Accountant at Success Tax Professionals

Top 30% Tax

I know one software www.eazybooks.com.au.

Its good if you are startup and its free. 

Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman at

Be careful with with a lot of the open source (free) solutions. It can easily cost you a lot more in technical implementation and stress, to keep up with updates, backups etc. It's always important that you work backwards from a solution your accountant can efficiently work directly off.

Rosella Floral Designs

Rosella Floral Designs at

We have our own inhouse accountant who is more than happy to learn new systems if they provide superior information to facilitate decision making