Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
19 December 2004

I had a quick look around and found grisbi (which has all its documentation in French), jgnash, Sacash, Eurobudget, and Jcash among others but many of them (other than the first two) don’t appear to have been updated in the last year or two. Gnucash is very popular I gather but it doesn’t run on Windows. Am I missing something? How is it that there doesn’t seem to be a prominent open source alternative to Quicken and Microsoft Money? Note: it would have to be easy for someone to use who hates accounting (me), has to allow me to divide my expenses into categories – preferably automatically as they are imported – and has to read and write QIF files to be able to shuffle data between my online banking and my Palm.

I would be willing to actually purchase Quicken but the company doesn’t appear to offer a demo so I can’t see whether it would work for me! I’ll take a look at Microsoft Money (which does have a demo) but I would really prefer something open source…


  1. I’m willing to write one,but i have no time.

    Comment by Johnkuang — 20 December 2004 @ 10:49 am

  2. I’ve just switched from Quicken to MS Money, because Intuit annoyed me too much with their forced upgrades (and the fact that each new version seems to add gratuitous new features and lots of new bugs :-).

    The core of these programs (a running ledger, and reporting tools) should be simple to create, but it’s not an “itch” for most programmers, since either a) someone else does all the accounting, or b) we just don’t pay attention as long as the cheques keep exceeding the bills 🙂

    Comment by Harald — 20 December 2004 @ 4:46 pm

  3. Whilst not open sourcce – I can’t recommend Moneydance ( http://www.moneydance.com ) highly enough.

    It’s java based – runs on OS/X, Windows, Linux, and wherever theres a JRE available.

    It’s seriously cheap, and seriously well supported by Sean Riley, theres a good active user community mailing list as well.

    Its also extendable via plugins/extensions, as well as having a python based scripting engine/extension available.

    Theres a free trial version available which is crippled only in the area of being limited to 100 transactions.

    Comment by Mark Derricutt — 26 December 2004 @ 8:58 pm

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