GNUKhata: Open Source Accounting Software for SMEs
Built by the technology team at Digital Freedom Foundation, GNUKhata is an open source accounting and inventory management software. The product recently launched its new version making it more GST-friendly with user experience enhancements especially for non-accountants i.e shopkeepers, dispensaries, small and wholesale traders etc to use GNUKhata with ease.
GNUKhata is a free and flexible software for accounting and inventory management that supports a wide range of applications in every field of economic activity, including factory or farm-based production, a point of sales accounting & inventory and work in the service sector. While it serves such traditional accounting requirements, it is best-suited for the emerging sectors of the economy who are being required to keep audited accounts, such as self-help groups, craft producers, and micro-finance groups. GNUKhata is highly customizable, given its open source nature. It can be easily transformed into Indian languages, largely unreached by existing software solutions. The project is currently funded by International Center for FOSS a Kerala government undertaking and is now adopted by AccionLabs.
Small to medium enterprises from computer, stationery shops or cloth stores, small retailers, schools, small rural or semi-urban shops, service sector industry of micro to medium scale such as IT startups and NGO’s are all potential customers of GNUKhata. The version 5 of this free, fast and feature-rich accounting software is more enterprise-ready with a lot of new additions to the already existing modules. These new additions include sales and purchase order, Credit and Debit note, Rejection note and a revamped invoice module, all GST ready. In fact, the Delivery note is also GST ready. “We also have the sales and purchase register revamped for new updates to GST. After a long discussion with our existing customer base, we decided to export all reports to xlsx instead of the previous ODS format this makes it easy to send data to other popular accounting software. Note that data provided in spreadsheets from other programs can also be imported in GNUKhata. We have also revamped the Profit and Loss statement and made it more auditor friendly. Lastly, we have made the import from software like Tally even easier,” informed KK.
Open source = free out of the box and only pay for your own customizations. Features like dual ledgers highly appreciated by auditors and other users. Generates accounting entries automatically when user create invoice, credit/debit notes. Easy to manage accounts/finance for people with no or little accounting knowledge. Can be deployed even on a small network with only browsers required to use on client machines. This means 0 installations for end users. For bigger companies it can be deployed on cloud. “If you compare it with Tally or Quickbooks, except a few complex reports that these products offer, there is no major difference between GNUKhata and them,” informs KK. It is more about getting accustomed to the features and use of the software on a day-to-day basis solving practical working requirements of small and medium businesses that have made it popular.
The system is designed in such a way that entire business logic is written as a core set of REST API based on an international standard called JSON. This implies that a third party application such as an Android app can be easily programmed to get specific information such as reports with no change to the logic. The software is developed using the Pyramid web application framework, used by companies like Mozilla and bit torrent. Postgresql is the relational database with more than 25 years of development and credibility. All this is open source stack with great performance, 0 cost, and high reliability and transparency.
GNUKhata is being used by many organizations now. Kerala state government-run schools mandatory users of GNUKhata due to govt rules for using the only free software. Perfect accounting solution for Schools and NGOs is using the product. International centre for FOSS (ICFOSS KERALA Government) is actively deploying the software in startups, small businesses also included in commerce education in the said state. “The product received a good response from the members of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and talks are on with other similar trade associations as well,” informed KK.