Printing invoices is somewhat key to cashflow (5 hours of flailing about...)

As I've mentioned a few times, GNUCash wasn't able to print out the invoice from last week. Neither for this week, it turns out. That's not good. I need to have the invoices going out if money is going to come in.

So, the 10 minute job I was planning on this afternoon has now turned into a 5 hour saga of investigating options from fixing GNUCash, through parsing the GNUCash file (which doesn't probably specify namespaces than thus isn't readily loadable by the standard XML parsers) and generating my own invoices, through using SQL-Ledger (which I now have installed and running, but which it turns out I really don't like much from a UI perspective (particularly for running a service-oriented company (it's inventory-focussed))).

Which is all to say that I'm getting pretty close to dropping the Open Source requirement and just purchasing QuickBooks. The flip side of that is that there is probably an opening in the Open Source market for a robust small-service-oriented company accounting product, either a reworking/repackaging of SQL-Ledger or something new. I stopped myself three or four times this evening from jumping into developing such a project.

Anyway, still no invoices and no OpenGL-ctypes hacking either. Bit of a waste of an evening all comes down to it.


  1. Jeff Kowalczyk

    Jeff Kowalczyk on 07/23/2006 1:09 p.m. #

    Luca is a 1 month new turbo-gears accounting project. No experience with it, just saw the announcement yesterday. Has PDF output.

  2. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 07/23/2006 6:23 p.m. #

    Have looked at it in the past, keep in mind when reading that feature table, only version 0.2 is finished. That is, even the table of accounts (which is the core of an accounting system) isn't finished yet. It's interesting for long-term integration with the Open Source billing system, but it's not likely to be useful for running my company tomorrow.

  3. Rene Dudfield

    Rene Dudfield on 07/24/2006 6:21 p.m. #

    I reccomend using something really simple when you're starting out. I have used a gnumeric spreadsheet for the first year of my freelancing business.<br />
    <br />
    You can create a simple html template, and then fill in the details yourself. Use firefox print to file in order to create a .ps version. To save yourself time, you can copy a customers old invoice so most of the details are already filled in.<br />
    <br />
    Emailing invoices to people is also better than printing, and sending snail mail.<br />
    <br />
    Not only is invoicing key, but also reminding for payment, and giving incentives for paying early. The wording of your invoice email can be important for when people pay too.<br />
    <br />
    This web based program is a pretty good one for service based jobs.<br />
    <br />
    I have not used it except to trial, but a another freelancer friend says it works ok for him.<br />
    <br />
    I have been working on an invoicing program that I will use myself at some point. It still needs a few more features though. I think having a program written towards my needs is the best. So I can change it and fix any bugs if I really must. Otherwise it could mean the difference between me eating one week or not.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    Good luck!

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