What does the company do well? At the top of the list in what GNUCash does well is offer a completely free and open-source program. There are no fees whatsoever to use this accounting software. Following price is privacy. Your financial information is stored locally, so you won’t have to worry about the developers having access to sensitive data.Setup wizards, or built-in step-by-step assistants, guide you in creating new books, budgets, entering business information, and creating your preferences for bill, customer, employee, and other number formats. You can store vendor, employee, and client information. You’ll have to either manually enter all the data needed, or you can import via CSV of QIF files.In addition to allowing you to perform double-entry accounting with transaction tracking across as many accounts as you’d like, GNUCash offers you the ability to create invoices, schedule transactions, and manage billing. Plus, there are dozens of helpful reports, including profit and loss, general ledger, cash flow, and payable aging.If you have the patience to learn the system, there’s a wealth of information in the tutorial under the help tree. Otherwise, if you run into an issue, you can contact developers in an IRC channel, a chat client, or just search the internet with your issue to find how others solved the problem.GNUCash offers mobile functionality on Android devices, though not iOS, and the mobile interface is more attractive than its desktop counterpart.
What does the company not do well? GNUCash isn’t going to win any beauty contests. The UI/UX is lacking in intuition, and its appearance is outdated. More importantly, the system is slow. You might notice the desktop application locking up when you run a report. Be patient as it draws up the report - it’ll come eventually.Although this is a simple program, it isn’t exactly easy to use. GNUCash doesn’t offer much by way of automation. It’s a checkbook-style of bookkeeping, so it should look familiar to anyone who has had to manage the books. Figuring out where everything is and how to perform a function you want can be frustrating at times.Plus, support for GNUCash is hard to come by, unless you hang out in the IRC channel the developers frequent. This is more of a do-it-yourself approach to accounting, but only if you already know what you’re doing.While competing accounting software offer plenty of integrations, such as with point-of-sale (POS) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and more, GNUCash offers none to consolidate or streamline workflows. Quicken documents can be imported, though.Syncing data between the GNUCash Android mobile app (there is no iOS app) and your desktop version requires you to export and import QIF files, which makes for a tedious process.This is not cloud-based software, so you won’t be able to ever have a real-time view of your finances. You’ll have to manually update and reconcile transactions constantly for accuracy.
What do you wish you had known about the company before using? The value of GNUCash is that it’s a safe program for you to store your financial information and it automates calculations for you. It’s more than an upgrade from a spreadsheet system, but it doesn’t offer live support. You’ll likely need to devote a bit of time to learning the program, and it’s not the easiest software to use.
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