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Accounting at SFLC

By Clint Adams | September 7, 2011

At the Software Freedom Law Center, we do our internal accounting with free software. We had been using John Wiegley's Ledger for quite some time, and now we are also using Simon Michael's hledger.

We log most of our transactions either through manual entry in hledger-web (the hledger web interface) or import from .csv files via hledger convert. hledger can read comma-separated values from a file you might retrieve from a financial institution, and outputs entries in ledger format according to a set of rules that you specify. In some cases the data quality is poor enough that we do some preprocessing before feeding it to hledger.

Since we have no need for a large database-backed ERP system, we can take advantage of the benefits of the plain-text ledger format, and view reports from ledger, hledger, and hledger-web. We also plan to automate the generation of spreadsheets from the ledger entries.

There are some features we would like to see in or accompanying hledger-web: interactive CSV conversion, a VCS backend (through Data.FileStore), per-transaction atomic edits, tracking of which user made which changes, and the ability to intelligently deduplicate transactions.

If you know Haskell and would like to help us out, please take a look at this guide.

Please email any comments on this entry to press@softwarefreedom.org.

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