GnuCash and running a business?

Gerd Arlitt
Tue, 22 May 2001 11:03:09 +0000

Paul Lussier wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm wondering if I will be capable of (in the future, not
> necessarilly soon) running a business with GnuCash someday.  Or do
> you think that (the still vaporware) GnuEnterprise project is better
> suited for that type of things.

Unfortunately I don't know anything about GnuEnterprise . Will have to look
into it.

> I guess the things that I'd be interested in seeing in
> business-related software would be things like:
>         - payroll
>         - project tracking
>         - billing (time/services)
>         - personell/materiel management
> etc.
> It seems that financial apps out there today (Soloman, AppGen, SAP,
> PeopleSoft) are essentially a general ledger (like what GnuCash is
> today) with modular add-ons that allow you massage the items in
> question (like milage, lunch, widgets,etc.) into numbers that plug
> into the general ledger on one hand, but all be manipulated
> separately on the other for various reports generation.

I think you are plainly wrong here if you compare  GnuCash with Applications

like SAP or Peoplesoft in general. You'd better read some application
i.o. to get some feeling  what they cover. Of course it is debatable if one
couldn't do it better (and cheaper) as they do it ;-) ... I have my thoughts
about this too ...

> This is meant more as a general discussion question, rather than a
> feature request, since at this time I"m gainfully employed by someone
> other than myself, and therefore have no current (personal) need for this
> functionality :)
> What are the intricacies involved in developing a package that does
> deliver all this functionality?  I'm sure it requires a significant
> amount of time/effort, but is it overly complicated, or is it *just*
> time/effort that needs to be put into coding?  What are the issues
> involved?

Well ... I spent most of my business life in these application areas as
analyst, consultant and development manager and I can tell you that this
domain is very complex and not just a a bunch of programs to be run in order
to satisfy some singular business needs. Not that the algorithmic part of it
is very difficult. Overall consistency, (easy) adaptability  to individual
business needs are the problems..
Once you get into the areas of  material managment interleaved with supply
and prodution control and that in differing business types, it can become
quite complex. And don't forget that organisational processes and software
must go well together.

There is a lot more to say to this ... and I have my own views about the
fututre in these areas, application and softwarewise. I am not convinced
that conceptually redoing again and again what has been done 30 years ago
already with punched cards is the way to go. I believe in new approaches and
architectures which allow for better management of complexity of company
processes as well as reducing the software complexity going with it.

> Just curious :)

Thats valid to be :-)

This may be all too much off topic .... maybe it can be discussed somewhere
else but I woulden't know where ....

Maybe someone else on the list could comment on that. ....

Gerd Arlitt