Monday, March 04, 2013

FrontAccounting, alternatif dari QuickBooks.

DIY: FrontAccounting is a free alternative to QuickBooks

Takeaway: If Intuit’s QuickBooks is out of your price range, you should look into FrontAccounting, an open source, web-based accounting/ERP package that is a breeze to install.
As a certified QuickBooks engineer I have been on the lookout for a good, reliable alternative to QuickBooks that could cover budget-strapped companies’ accounting needs. I finally foundFrontAccounting, which offers tons of possibilities, is simple to install, is completely web-based, and best of all is free. The application might seem a bit overwhelming to anyone looking for a simple money management tool, but for those looking to take control of the company accounting and standard ERP, this tool has it all.


  • Purchase Orders
  • Goods Receivable Notes
  • Supplier Invoices/Credit Notes
  • Payments
  • Allocations
  • Accounts Payable
  • Items and Inventory
  • Stock
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales Orders
  • Customer Invoices/Credit Notes
  • Deposits
  • Allocations
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Dimensions
  • General Ledger with Budget
  • Languages
  • Currencies
  • Multiple Companies


You can install FrontAccounting on any server that meets these requirements:
  • A working HTTP web server (e.g., Apache, IIS)
  • PHP installed on the web server
  • A working MySQL server with innodb tables enabled (see notes below)
  • PDF Viewer (for viewing the PDF reports)
Follow these steps to install FrontAccounting:
  1. Create a database called frontacc. (I like to use the MySQL Workbench tool for this.)
  2. Download the archive from Sourceforge.
  3. Move the archive into the document root of the web server.
  4. Unpack the archive in the document root.
  5. Give the newly created directory write permissions for user, group, and other. (You might want to revisit this step to tighten security after installation is complete.)
  6. Point your browser to http://ADDRESS_TO_SERVER/frontaccounting/ and begin the simple web-based installer.
Once you’ve reached the web-based installation, you are home free. Simply fill out the necessary sections, and FrontAccounting will do the rest. You should make note of the admin user/password because that will be the only way to enter the site.
The first task, upon authentication, will be to go to the Setup tab (Figure A) and walk through the setup of the company, users, taxes, and more.
Figure A
This is where many users might be put off from FrontAccounting. (Click the image to enlarge.)
Although it might seem overwhelming at first, you should go through each section of the setup. When it’s complete, you will have an incredibly powerful accounting tool that will work wonders for your small business and/or non-profit.


I won’t get into accounting best practices, though I will point out that it is critical to the function of your accounting and your installation of FrontAccounting to make sure this tool is used properly with respect to accounting. But, unlike QuickBooks (or QuickBooks Point Of Sale), you won’t be checking in inventory against a Purchase Order to update inventory quantities; this is handled through the Inventory Adjustments section. Although FrontAccounting is an outstanding accounting package, it should not be used as a point of sale system.
Before diving into FrontAccounting, I highly recommend reading the FrontAccounting ERP Wiki, so you can get up to speed on how to use the tool. Unless you get a proper start with the tool, you’ll wind up having to make some possibly serious corrections down the road. Those corrections will take up precious time and potentially lead to data loss. You can avoid this altogether by making sure you know what you’re doing before you start using the system.


FrontAccounting offers plenty of maintenance. The most important aspects of maintenance for the administrator will be these options, which you can find by going to Setup | Maintenance:
  • Backup and Restore
  • Create/Update Companies
  • Install/Update Languages
  • Install/Activate Extensions
  • Install/Activate Themes
  • Install/Activate Chart of Accounts
  • Software Upgrade
An automated backup cannot be created within the tool. Since the backup tool only does a dump of the database (which you will need to download), it will also be necessary to back up the frontaccounting directory (which can be automated). With the help of cron or the Windows Task Scheduler, it would be possible to create an automated backup of the system.
As you can see in Figure B, the backup system is fairly rudimentary. It does, at least, offer the simple means of uploading a database dump back. So if the site went belly up, the worst case scenario is you re-install the site and then upload your backed up database with this tool.
Figure B
If you view the backup, it will download the backup as a php file called backups.php, which can be viewed through a browser or an editor. (Click the image to enlarge.)


FrontAccounting might seem too robust for a small business, but the more help that can be offered for accounting and ERP, the better. FrontAccounting is an incredible way to manage your business. Give it a try and up your DIY cred!

DIY: Manage your inventory in FrontAccounting

Takeaway: Jack Wallen walks you through the process of setting up and managing inventory items in FrontAccounting, an open source alternative to QuickBooks.
For any business, inventory management is a crucial means to a financially successful end. You must know what you have in stock, how much items cost, how to order those items, and more. Fortunately, FrontAccounting is up to the task.
FrontAccounting is a powerful, open source solution that could easily take the place ofQuickBooks for businesses that don’t have the budget for the industry standard software. In a previous column, I covered the installation of the web-based software (DIY: FrontAccounting is a free alternative to QuickBooks), so now I’ll show how the tool can help you manage your inventory. I will assume you have a working FrontAccounting system set up, as well as have administrative access to said FrontAccounting installation.

Step-by-step instructions

Before you start adding inventory items, you must set up several pieces of information. The first piece of information you need to set up is the tax rate. You can have multiple tax rates in the system, but you should at least have one set up. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your FrontAccounting system.
  2. Click the Setup tab.
  3. Click the Taxes link.
  4. In the Description section (Figure A), enter a name for the taxes (such as the state associated with the rate).
  5. In the Default Rate section, enter the percentage for the taxes.
  6. Select the Sales GL (General Ledger) account from the drop-down.
  7. Select the Purchasing General Ledger account from the drop-down.
  8. Click Add New.
Figure A
You can create different types of tax rates, such as reduced taxes for various institutions or clients.
There might be instances when you have different tax types. For instance, if you have clients that are tax exempt, you will need to set up a new tax type. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click the Setup tab.
  2. Click the Item Tax Type.
  3. Give the Item Tax Type a name (Figure B).
  4. If the Item Tax Type is fully tax exempt, select Yes from the drop-down. If the Item Tax Type isn’t fully exempt, select the tax to be used for the Item Tax Type.
  5. Click Add New.
Figure B
You can have as many tax types as you need, and you can make a tax type exempt from the tax type listing by clicking the check box for Exempt.
The next step is to add Item Categories, which will be used to help categorize your inventory and to help you stay organized. To create Item Categories, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your FrontAccounting system.
  2. Click the Items And Inventory tab.
  3. Click Item Categories.
  4. Give the new category a name (Figure C).
  5. Select a Tax Type, Item Type, Unit of Measure, and any other information that is applicable.
  6. Click Add New.
There may be other configurations (such as Item Dimension) that you need to configure depending upon your needs, so follow the previous six steps for every new item category you need.
Figure C
Adding items
With all of your taxes and categories in place, it’s time to begin adding items to your inventory. Follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your FrontAccounting system.
  2. Click the Items And Inventory tab.
  3. Click Items.
  4. Enter the necessary information for the item to be added (Figure D).
  5. Click Insert New Item.
Figure D
If the information is not applicable, leave those sections blank.
When it comes to adding items to inventory, you don’t want to get into the habit of doing item adjustments. Not only is this poor accounting, it also will not work properly with your FrontAccounting system. You have to create a purchase order for the items, and then once the order has arrived, check in items for the purchase order (PO). In order to do this, you must first create suppliers. To create a supplier for a product, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your FrontAccounting system.
  2. Click Purchases.
  3. Click Suppliers.
  4. Fill out all necessary information for the new supplier (Figure E).
  5. Click Add New Supplier Details.
Repeat the previous five steps for all necessary suppliers.
Figure E
Pay close attention to the associated accounts for the supplier; otherwise any purchases made from that supplier will be taken out of the wrong accounts.
Now you can create a new PO, order items, and check items in when they arrive. When you check those items in, the item inventory will be adjusted.
To create a PO, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your FrontAccounting system.
  2. Click Purchases.
  3. Click Purchase Order Entry.
  4. Enter the information for the PO (Figure F).
  5. Click Add Item.
  6. Click Place Order.
Figure F
The Place Order button will not appear until at least one item is added to the order.
When the order arrives, click Purchases, and then click Outstanding Purchase Orders Maintenance (this link will not show up if there are no outstanding POs) to check the order in.
You have officially created items, ordered items, and checked items in. Inventory is now flowing into your FrontAccounting system.