Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto,…
Shannon is a writer and editor focusing on the tech space. She has previously worked as an editor for Healthline and MedicalNewsToday. She also covers…
The best open-source accounting software in 2024 is GnuCash, as it’s fairly simple to set up and use while also providing you with all the key accounting functionalities and quite a few advanced ones on top of that.
The distinct advantage GnuCash offers over other tools in its category is that it lets you handle multiple accounts, each denominated in different currencies. It’s also one of the few open-source options that let you run payroll for your team.
That said, it lacks inventory management, so one of the alternatives, like LedgerSMB, might be a better fit, depending on your business needs.
Keep reading to learn exactly what each of the 5 top open-source accounting solutions offers and how they compare, so you can make an informed decision.
Show Full Guide
Here are quick reviews of the top five open source accounting tools on the market that you can utilize for handling both personal and business finances:
GnuCash is a feature-rich open-source accounting platform with features and functionalities on par with some of the leading premium accounting solutions.
This double-entry accounting platform lets you keep track of every transaction, handle multiple accounts, enter split transactions, reconcile bank statements, and even manage your customers and vendors.
The app offers plenty of customization options for both appearance and display style, and you can leverage color coding to gain valuable insights regarding your business’s financial position at a glance.
GnuCash also allows you to schedule transactions, generate a variety of customizable financial reports, plan and manage your budget, and even utilize Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable to run payroll for your team.
The app also features a smart search function, helping you find the transaction you’re looking for in an instant.
Read the full GnuCash review here.
GnuCash is fully open-source, so it’s free to use forever.
Odoo, while still an open-source program, is more akin to premium cloud-based accounting tools. It’s feature-rich, with a modern UI, and has two paid pricing plans users can choose from.
What makes Odoo stand out from the other paid accounting software is the fact that you can get any one app in its arsenal for free. In other words, you can use Odoo for free accounting, invoicing, expense tracking, document organization, or e-signatures.
That said, you’ll likely need access to all of these functionalities if you want to utilize the app to run your business’ finances. You can get access to all of them with a paid plan, as well as a variety of other apps across HR, sales, marketing, website building, inventory, services, and productivity categories.
This gives you unparalleled flexibility and lets you pick and choose which functionalities you want to add to the platform, ensuring that all your business needs are met without being overwhelmed by dozens of features you won’t be using.
If you need a robust business management solution that can help you streamline and automate virtually every aspect of your business and have the budget to support it, Odoo is a no-brainer.
Read the full Odoo review here.
Odoo’s pricing is unique in that you can get any single app for free with unlimited use. If you want access to everything the app offers or want a fully customized solution, you can choose between yearly or monthly subscription plans. The app also gives you a 15-day free trial, so you can test out all of its functionalities before committing.
LedgerSMB is an open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) software that enables businesses to efficiently manage their operations, gives them full control over their cash flow, and lets them track and plan budgets by project and department.
The platform offers double-entry accounting and lets you manage all your business accounts, easily transfer money between them, and enter all your transactions, invoices, and payments in a wide variety of currencies.
You can also use LedgerSMB to track quotes, sales, and invoices, create purchase orders, handle vendor bills, and manage your inventory and fixed assets. This makes it the best open-source accounting tool for businesses that sell physical goods.
The app also lets you track time spent working on different projects and enables you to easily convert billable hours into invoices.
What LedgerSMB is lacking is payroll functionality, plus its reporting capabilities are quite limited. If your business primarily revolves around digital services and you don’t need inventory management, GnuCash is a better option since it can be used for payroll and lets you generate more in-depth, customizable reports.
LedgerSMB is free to use forever.
HomeBank, as the name suggests, was designed to help people handle their personal finances, but solo entrepreneurs and small businesses can still utilize it for professional purposes.
The platform lets you manage multiple account types (bank, cash, asset, credit card, liability), allows you to categorize and schedule transactions, lets you sort everything with tags, and helps you plan your monthly and annual budget.
You can import your transactions from various formats, like QIF, OFX, QFX, and CSV, so you can save a ton of time you’d otherwise waste on manual data entry. Additionally, HomeBank will automatically detect duplicate entries, ensuring the accuracy of your financial data.
The platform also lets you set up custom rules for payees and categories and will automatically assign each transaction to the correct source. You’ll also be able to directly add new categories from the transaction register, as well as find any specific transaction with an intuitive keyword search function.
HomeBank also lets you generate a wide variety of dynamic financial reports, visualize the data with 2D charts, and monitor all key financial aspects of your business.
That said, the platform lacks advanced accounting functionalities like multi-currency accounting, inventory management, and time tracking, so GnuCash and Odoo are better alternatives for most businesses.
HomeBank is completely free to use.
Apache OFBiz is another open-source ERP platform designed to facilitate accounting, inventory and warehouse management, fulfillment, project, and content management. It’s the most feature-rich platform on our list, and it’s super flexible, but it has a rather steep learning curve due to the sheer number of features and functionalities it offers.
When it comes to accounting, you can utilize Apache OFBiz to create and send invoices, monitor expenses, handle your taxes, run payroll, set up recurring transactions, and generate a wide variety of advanced financial reports.
You can also use the platform to store business documents and manage content for your website, blog, forum, and knowledge bases. The app also features a content navigator, so you can quickly find the documents you’re looking for.
Apache OFBiz also lets you manage your inventory, online catalog, and prices, as well as create and track purchase orders, streamline shipping through UPS integration, and handle returns and refunds.
This makes Apache OFBiz a solid choice for manufacturing, e-commerce, and retail, although the tool lacks the time tracking and budgeting functionalities LedgerSMB provides.
Apache OFBiz is free forever.
After reviewing and comparing the top 5 solutions on the market, we’d say that GnuCash is overall the ebay open source accounting solution in 2024. It’s easy to set up and use, compatible with all modern operating systems, and offers all the key accounting features you need to effectively manage your business’ finances.
The platform also offers double-entry accounting, lets you handle multiple accounts (in differently-denominated currencies), can be used for storing all your important business documents, and can even be utilized to run payroll for your team.
Click the button below to try out GnuCash for free and see first-hand if it’s the right open-source accounting tool for your business.
Open-source software is typically free to use forever, but there are a few exceptions, like Odoo, which offers premium plans as well.
What’s worth noting is that most accounting software solutions that advertise themselves as free limit you in one way or another. They usually only offer free plans with limited numbers of invoices you can send or a limited number of users.
On the other side, truly open source software is free to use forever, with no limits, hidden fees, or strings attached.
So, if you’re on a tight budget, open-source software is typically the better option. However, given that these tools are mostly built by volunteer developers and are a community project in most cases, they have outdated UIs and are much more difficult to learn and fully utilize compared to free plans of premium accounting tools.
When testing, reviewing, and comparing open-source accounting software, we put an emphasis on the following characteristics:
If you can’t make up your mind between the five tools we’ve reviewed in this guide, here are a few key factors you should consider that will help you make the right decision for your business:
It’s a term used to describe accounting platforms with openly accessible source code. This promotes transparency, removes licensing fees, and typically enables a ton of flexibility and customization.
No, Sage is a cloud-based accounting tool, but it is not open source.
Most of the time, yes, but there are exceptions like Odoo.
The main disadvantages are poor security, vulnerability to malware, operational inefficiencies, clunky UIs, and lack of customer support.
Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…
Trending NewsLatest GuidesReviewsTerm of the Day