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About Open Accounting

Open Accounting is a time and expense billing system suitable for most professional practices that do not maintain an inventory. The software can handle Accounts for multiple customers, called Contacts, doing business with multiple companies, called Organizations. Note that an account is a unique combination of an organization and a contact, so the same person can be billed by two different companies.

This version of Open Accounting is deployed as a Microsoft® Access database. Two versions are available: one for Access 97 and another for Access 2000. Development is performed in Access 2003 with an Access 2000 format file.

The program can use the Jet database built into Access or any ODBC compliant database server. SQL code for defining and initially populating tables on the server are included in the distribution.

Because the replication cost for software is zero, there is no charge to obtain a copy of the software. However this work is copyrighted and the right of commercial benefit (among others) is reserved. To use this software commercially, you must either agree to the GNU General Public License, for which there is no fee, or obtain a commercial license and pay a fee. Details are in the legal section that follows.

Although the software is free, we do charge for consulting, customization, and support services. We are able to provide these services via email and telephone, or in person if transporation expenses are reimbursed. Please visit our web site for details.

About This Manual

This document is not comprehensive. Instead it contains the absolute minimum information needed to assist a person skilled in Microsoft Access to install, configure, and run the accounting system. Technical details for creating an ODBC back end database are included in an appendix.

Note when a word is capitalized mid-sentence, for example Transactions, there is an object in the database, such as a form, macro, or report, with that name. Words that look similar but are not capitalized, such as transaction, refer to an object instance or a database record instead.

The Future

We realize that Open Accounting is not truly open: it requires Microsoft Access to run, a considerable expense. However this is only the beginning. In the future, we plan to port Open Accounting to some system that can run on Apple®, Linux®, and Windows® computers without run-time fees.

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