The 4 Best Open Source Accounting Software

Accounting can seem like a daunting and often impossible task to a new business owner. While business owners can pay top dollar for the best accounting software available, there are free and much more user friendly options available. Open source accounting software offers the same features as fee based software without a price tag.

We all know that there are many accounting applications out on the market. Some as I am sure most of us would agree are over-priced for what they do. While you do need to be careful with free accounting software, there are accounting solutions for little or no cost that deserve your attention. Below I have tackled some of the more popular software packages and written a brief open source accounting software review on each.

The 4 Best Open Source Accounting Software


open source accounting softwareGNUCash is the accounting program for someone who knows nothing about accounting. Simply put, people who can balance a checkbook can successfully use this program. The reason is that the user interface is set up just like a checkbook. Even better, the program helps you avoid errors in your entries by requiring that every entry have a debit and credit listing.

This program also offers a calendar for scheduling payments, graphs for comparing various expenses and incomes from month to month, and statement reconciliation that lets you know when an account does not appear correct. This program also includes features such as customer tracking, jobs, billing terms, invoicing and bill payment. It is available for download for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Some people believe that this is the best free accounting software on the market, but I’ll let you decide.


Grisbi is open source accounting software available for use in five countries and with 14 operating systems including Ubuntu, an open source operating system. The setup is beginner friendly, for the most part, with a simple to navigate transaction page. This small business software has a similar interface to Microsoft programs with tabs and drop downs at the top for ease of use. While this accounting freeware program does allow for the record keeping side of accounting, it does not provide invoice forms, so this feature must be acquired elsewhere. Grisbi is friendly for beginners and avoids the use of accounting terms replacing them with standard personal finance terms.


The LEDGER SMB open source accounting software is much newer to the scene, but its features are promising. The newest version is 1.3 which includes a bank reconciliation and contact management interface. LEDGER SMB features higher security for account information and has a library of forms that can come in handy for dealing with banks and customers. LEDGER SMB works on UNIX platforms, BSD and Apple. However, this open source account software does have numerous reported bugs when running on a Windows operating system. Try it out for yourself, but it is still a decent accounting software solution.


For those individuals running an inventory or product-based business, PhreeBooks is the best open source accounting software option. Along with the standard accounting features, PhreeBooks also offers inventory tracking. This is made possible by separating the vendor and customer accounts into two different interfaces and giving the user a clear ledger. This program also has added features that include bank statement preparation, check preparation, as well as import and export reports. PhreeBooks runs in a web browser, so it can be used with any operating system.

Open source accounting software offers business owners an inexpensive way to run their business and keep track of their records. From the beginning owner to a mid-sized business, using an open source easy to use accounting option helps everything run more smoothly. Try out an open source accounting software today!

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

    Leave a Reply

    One thought on “The 4 Best Open Source Accounting Software

    1. For starters, I’d try GNUCash. Thanks for the wonderful and helpful information! Very useful!