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Thread: GNU/Linux for Small Business

  1. #11
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    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    Since I write the software and for small to large businesses, let me state an ipinion?

    accounting is accounting and size is just how much is put in. One makes a chart of accounts to start a company off and the accountant can add to that base as needed. Reports for that are numerous and have to be able to access the added chart accounts and a thourough manner. Those reports are really for internal use.

    CRM is, in some cases, where you keep track of clients and make your invoices as well as reports to show what they have done in the past. Totalling reports that can take in geographical locations(small or large) and produce reports are derived off the crm side. for simplicity, i am including sales into the crm.

    CRM is generally software created by programmers with the specific nature of the company built in. accounting can be used for any business of any size.

    it is wonderful to have the crm feed information into the accounting system at the close of a transaction. It makes the accountants job easier.

    Wanna make money? Create some of this software(easy part) and sell it(hard part).

  2. #12
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    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    Quote Originally Posted by ian-weisser View Post
    This subject has been discussed several (many!) times before.

    "Business" covers a huge variety of organizations and needs.
    No single business metapackage or distro can cover enough of that variety to be useful, and the blowback from ill-fitting business packages will harm Ubuntu's reputation more than it attracts business users.

    This iteration of the discussion did not start with looking at those needs. Merely throwing a bunch of already-existing applications into a tin, and labelling that tin to be "business-friendly" is not a substitute for researching the needs of the target communities.

    Docaltmed's point is a great example of free software not yet meeting a business need. In this case, there are a couple really good reasons why free cash-basis bookkeeping and accounting is not available for Ubuntu.
    I understand the broad implications of the term "business" but what I wanted to learn and discuss was what are the common basic needs of businesses. I tried to aim the discussion to small and medium scales, mom and pop shops, to reduce the complexity of the resources needed. What I really wanted to talk about is the feasibility of creating an ecosystem that is friendly to these business owners.

    As for looking at the needs of small businesses, I knew that I wasn't addressing alot of the needs in my first post. Thats why I asked for a discussion in this area. I now realized that this discussion may encompass more than just US businesses making the project more unfeasible. "How can I address the needs of a Chinese business owner when I'm in America?" I suppose the best route to take would be to try and address the needs of the community I'm a member of, city, municipality, etc. and possibly creating a business from it myself.

    However one of my main questions may still be valid for discussion. Where does open source and free software fall short in addressing the needs of business owners? The Gnucash example is something I was looking for. Since the problem is identified, the way gnucash issues its reports for taxes, is there a simple solution to fixing it, like making a simple plugin, or will it require more work, like modifying the source code.

  3. #13
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    davem1946 made a very good point CRM and ERP software are the ones that need help. it's different depending on business type, region etc. so if oyu want to help it is indeed best to offer local support first. see how it goes...
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
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  4. #14
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    Jul 2013
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    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    Quote Originally Posted by mcglowca View Post
    Since the problem is identified, the way gnucash issues its reports for taxes, is there a simple solution to fixing it, like making a simple plugin, or will it require more work, like modifying the source code.
    Here's a problem with accounting and taxes showing why the tax issue is non-trivial:
    Tax structures vary from country to country, and among state/provinces/departments, and among cities/counties/regions.
    Taxes may vary among goods and services bought, sold, produced, destroyed, in inventory, and components.
    Taxes may be collected on number or type of employees, members, partners, contractors, and/or on the amount paid. Multiple taxes and perhaps mandatory witholding on each, too.
    And each of those taxes may be paid to a different taxing authority, and each tax is subject to change at any time. That's thousands of tax tables to be updated annually in the United States alone.

    Now add in the liability for penalties if software not designed for that location or industry calculates the tax wrong. Who pays that penalty?

    It's simply easier and more reliable for a business owner to locate an accountant familiar with the industry and local tax requirements, and to have the accountant set up the bookkeeping system so all tax-relevant data gets captured. The accountant sets it up in whatever system they feel most comfortable and productive with (like QuickBooks). There *are* comparable linux-native or web-based bookkeeping packages...but they are not free, and many accountants are less familiar (unproductive) with them.

    In this example, it's not really a code problem. It's an accountant-training problem.

  5. #15
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    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    One must simply(simplify) what a business needs most now(right now) and what will be the next step.


    Now:
    IF a business has inventory and sells from the inventory, then the sales application needs to have inventory where it maintains levels(or not). If the business sells time, then no inventory is really needed. If manufacturing, the end product(s) are sold and keeping up with the inventory used to make the product needs to be accounted for. That all being said, then the part of the sale and follow up(crm) is needed with the ever popular math portions.

    Generally it is the crm/sales/inventory type app needed most and this extends from the mom&pop to fortune 100 companies. This is pretty much universal around the world and I have programmer friends from china headed east to Germany/Italy I even know a couple in India. These things are the same.

    Next on a Maybe:
    The accounting thing has to be dealt with in most countries(all that I know of) and is really a basic mathematical exercise. Again, it all comes from a chart of accounts where one side is added and one is take-away. The few static are for a different reason. Just basic boring stuff.

    Remember: A very small mom and pop can get by with ink and paper until the math starts killing them and the customer base gets too large.

    To me, a Linux server is a great plus because one can create a database application and have it sit on a web space anywhere or on a lan if needed. That would be a good repository for all data and very secure if done right. I have been using them for years.

  6. #16
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    Sep 2012
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    Re: GNU/Linux for Small Business

    Now add in the liability for penalties if software not designed for that location or industry calculates the tax wrong. Who pays that penalty?
    It is the business owner, but if he was supplied bad tools, he is not going to be happy at the least.

    When I give a client a piece of software, it is up to the business to insert the rates into the tables and to keep up with them. It is that simple, but it is like and extra piece of software I have to make.

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