You are correct Barry, but I, for one, listened to much the same about
linux & windows for nearly two decades and certainly in the early days
they were, by and large, correct. But we are were we are today because
some people stuck with it, and instead of taking the easy route helped
improve things. The same applies to open source business solutions.
The generic functionality is out there and available already - what is
missing is the Irish specific requirements (banking, ROS, standard Forms
etc). So long as people say ah well it's easier to use .... (<-fill in
your closed source app of choice) then one thing is certain and that is
it will never be any different!
And using open source is not all about pain.
I'm sure there are many companies in Ireland who were using proprietary
software from firms that Sage bought up when then went on their buying
spree to take market share. All those who invested in that software
lost out and were force to change - either to sage or something else.
Well perhaps this won't happen for sage .. they are too big!? But so
was Baan, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft or Navision, Great Plains or Solomon
(to name but a few) .. all mega stars of the business software world
whose users must now wonder what the future holds.
With closed source the vendor creates artificial separation of the
market so they can charge a premium as the organisation grows. This
usually means implementing different versions of the application as you
grow... any we all know implementation is not only expensive but risky
too... never mind all the hassle of retraining staff.
Or what about the hidden costs of the proprietary infrastructure it must
run on .. usually the database. How many small companies are left
sharing logins because might just need an additional 1 or 2 users but
cannot afford the next 5 or 10 units the vendor sells in ... for the
software and the database or mail.
The the services provided usually carry a premium too. More often this
is actually out sourced but the providers has had to pay the
"certificate or authorised tax" to the vendor so we do not get a free
and open market for these either.
So yes there is a little pain in using open source business solutions
now, but unless someone embraces it, uses it, buys services around
it--just like they do for proprietary software--then I suspect things
will never be any different! And while the pain will currently be with
Irish specific requirements you will also get potential benefits that
would simply not be available for the price you pay for the proprietary
And meanwhile as a country our competitors in the likes of South
America, Asia and Eastern Europe (and Germany too) are embracing FOSS -
mostly out of necessity, but regardless or what brought them to open
source this will be just another reason why they will be more efficient
Barry O'Donovan wrote:
>> Thomas, all,
>> I started with GNU Cash and used it for two tax years. It served me well
> to be honest.
>> However, as we grew, its limitations became obvious.
>> My first venture into commercial products was SAGE QuickPay. It
> immediately paid for itself as I was no longer calculating wages and
> taxes using OpenOffice, P30s were generated is ROS format and year end
> became a step by step procedure instead of a head scratcher.
>> After that, I decided to try Quickbooks Pro for my new tax year. Again,
> this has absolutely paid for itself over and over again. VAT, invoicing,
> debtor tracking, stock control (not that we have a lot of that), etc are
> all just handled. There is a learning curve to be sure (and time to set
> up invoice templates, etc) but once you get there, it just works. My
> accountant is also delighted and when quoting fees he did ask what
> accounting package I used first.
>> We're a company that evangelises open source software - but only where
> it makes sense. For Ireland, the only sense is a commercial accountancy
> package running on Windows (in VirtualBox on my Linux desktop :D).
>> If I had to do it again, I'd try and find an accountancy package with a
> wages plugin as I still have to transfer transactions from SAGE QuickPay
> to Intuit QuickBooks. I believe Quickbooks has a PAYE module so some
> research on that would be advisable.
>> - Barry
>> PS: Seriously, as a company owner, QuickPay / QuickBooks earns its own
> keep allowing me to concentrate on earning money.
>>> Thomas Pedoussaut wrote:
>>> Just a peep at any self employed/ SME people here. What software are you
>> using for invoicing / payroll.
>>> Ideally running on Linux or a samba share (to stay on topic).
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!