I put in a few git issues to correspond to some things that I noticed in OODO that ERPNext does not have:
One thing they mention a lot on their site is “time saving” features:
Reduce data entry
Automate wire transfers
Automate bank feeds
This is one area where I think ERPNext can excel. We have issues labeled accounts that cover a good deal of these. As per my previous comments on this forum, if we can get the accounts module up to speed and make it very feature rich, then the foundation will be top notch!
All these issues and more would be taken care of by an integration with QBO. Otherwise, we are looking at man-years (or man-decades) of design/developement/testing etc. Even then, the accountans still won’t trust it vs. something they know. Personally, I don’t see the point of re-inventoring the wheel over and over again. Maybe it makes sense to have a short term vs. long term plan. That’s my perspective.
QBO is Quick books online. Already has everything you are talking about developing, and many more things. I am not trying to push QBO. I just feel that this approach makes more sense for a lot of companies who are already using, it, and there are millions. In order for them to move to Erpnext, they would have to give up many of the things that they already have working in the accounting, which may have taken them years to implement. To me, the API route makes sense for the accounting as much as it dos for the shopping cart, but even more so. There are many other reasons why I think that this approach makes sense, but I think that’s enough for now. We have had this discussions many times before.
ERPNext is an ERP system. To even consider integrating ERP to an accounting software will significantly underpin the integrity of the package.
Shortcoming of ERP should be addressed and fixed within the package not integrating with another. No business in their right mind will look to implement an ERP system while integrating with another accounting package.
Business which use QB aren’t even on a scale to implement ERP and if they are then they have to let go of QB.
all these issues would be taken care of by using not using ERPNExt but odoo as well …
I do not see the point of your argument. Accounting is a central part of any ERP system there needs to be a good accounting build in. I’d vote for making build in accounting module competitive instead of spending valuable time to build dependencies on external systems (which a connector to QBO does in my eyes).
I think that you are missing the point that I am trying to make. If you don’t want to use the accounting integration, THEN DON’T USE IT. Just like you don’t have to use the shopify integration if you don’t want to, or any other integration. If the accounting and/or ecommerce in Erpnext meets your needs then use it. If you want to spend years trying to develop other features that already exist, then do it. It will never happen, and they will never work properly, since there isn’t enough accounting expertise in the community to properly design/code/test etc.
As far as integrating an ERP with a core accounting system, there seems to be a lot of companies out there who are doing it now (thousands of companies are using these integrations for example, and they work): https://apps.intuit.com/category/inventory-management?locale=en-US
In my opinion, Erpnext should be in the Intuit 3rd party market place, and not trying to compete with them. Its not one versus the other. Its about ecosystems.
This is a recent example of what I am talking about:
The point is that QBO already has more than 2 million users, and is growing. Most of the accounting firms already use and support it. That will only increase since it is integrated into their accounting and tax processes etc. That is the business model of the accounting firm of the future. So you can try to work with the growing trend, or try to fight it and re-invent everything yourself. Accounting firms will recommend against Erpnext because they don’t know it and it doesn’t fit into their business processes.
Everyone has different priorities and opinions. You shouldn’t assume that everyone has the same needs or perspective as you do. You don’t seem to get the concept of API’s. That’s what “best of breed” approach is about. The old monolithic ERP systems that try to do everything are unsuccessful, and very difficult to implement. Just try googling SAP and lawsuit. That is the model that you are trying to emulate. Clearly, we need a different approach in this generation of systems with better API’s etc.
BTW - In my opinion, Odoo is an example of a “bizarre” accounting system clearly designed by non-accountants. Do you know any accountants who use Odoo? That is why most of the older ones are still using the old proprietary systems. At least they know them, and they work. All the younger and progressive ones are standardizing on QBO in North america, and Xero in places like australia and new zealand. I could cite many articles if you want to read them. Call me crazy, but I believe that a discussion of how to design accounting systems, should involve accountants.
Hopefully we all can agree that QuickBooks desktop or the newer online SaaS offering has a lot more accounting features than what ERPNext does. It is also well known and trusted by accountants all over and is designed with accountants first in mind. It is up to the foundation development team to determine how they want to approach this challenge. Whether that is some kind of integration with QBO or do it all “internally”. My main premise for this conversation was to show that ERPNext needs work in the accounts module just to come up to speed with ODOO, another direct competitor in the (mostly) OSS space. I would venture to say ERPNext needs a lot of work to get close to what QB does. At the core of any business is “the books”. ERPNext is not designed for or by accountants and while that is not an issue per se, it simply requires too many clicks and documents to complete a transaction. That is a big distraction from an accounting function workflow perspective. There are also a ton of reporting and other things that QB does that not only streamline work, but also come out of the box. No tailoring or customization required.
I have mentioned this in multiple posts. I have asked on more than one occasion for the ERPNext team to seriously evaluate what is the roadmap and to consider that accounting and accounts module should get some attention in the short to mid term. Accounting is the foundation of any company and certainly and ERP platform. If accounting is not rock solid, then you are building a house on sand.
I run a small business. I have a handful of employees. We use ERPNext to run everything. The person I have running accounting for me has mentioned to me several times that it would be much easier to do accounting in QB. We are seriously considering moving to QB due to lack of feature support in ERPNext. While that distresses me some, it is a sign that the platform does not do accounting well. Clearly a number of other organizations feel the same way.
Most of the core committers are in India, where QB, QBO, and Xero have little traction. That’s probably the source of what you perceive as “lack of interest”.
Maybe once the North American or other chapters are up and running, they could take the initiative to drive this particular integration.
Is there an actual specification in place for QBO integration that can be used by someone looking to do this?
Can the existing connector be used? What are the bugs/blockers currently remaining? In their updates, they posted some difficult problems to solve. Are there answers to those problems?
At the end of the day, the question will be what the potential solution is. If this is needed on the Foundation roadmap, then influence the foundation by convincing other members, or becoming a member. Or, create issues (which you are doing), and get others to show there is a high amount of general interest with a thumbs ups on github. If you can round up enough financial resources to improve things, then that’s great.
As an aside, i completely agree that the accounts module needs improvement, and that integrations are good. I am just responding as such because i think the trajectory of this thread is moving away from fruitful discussion.
Yes, accounting is done differently, in different parts of the world. And everyone has a different idea of what a really good accounting system should be depending on where you live, what size company, what industry, what priorities you have, what you need etc. I personally don’t see the point of spending tons of time “re-inventing the wheel”, when the difficult problems have already been solved.
Here is the only Erpnext/accounting integration that I have found (there may be others):
There doesn’t seem to be any activity, since November 2016, as far as I can see. There was an Indiegogo project which I contributed to, a couple of years ago which seems to have been abandoned as well. I guess it didn’t get enough funding. I was told several times that it would be part of the core solution (by developers in India). But I guess its a matter of priorities and funding.
Personally, in an ideal world, I would love to see a strong accounting system as part of Erpnext so that everything could be fully integrated, but I really don’t think its realistic. I don’t think people realize how much resources it takes, and I don’t think its ever going to happen, since it really should be designed by accountants. Even if it does, people will complain that its not what they want or need (especially the accountants). There is no “one” solution which would meet everyone’s needs. It is true that scalability could be an issue for some large companies. But it seems to me that if we can integrate with one core accounting system, it can be done with others as well. The concept is there.
Personally, I prefer opensource solutions. I am not trying to push proprietary solutions like QBO. But there aren’t any that have strong accounting systems. My point is that QBO is already succeeding in our local and global markets for core accounting “as a service” with more than 2 million users, and their 3rd party ecosystem of “integrated” solutions is huge and growing. They have taken a different strategy of integration thru API’s, rather than monolithic systems that try to be everything to everyone, which hasn’t worked in the past. I am not a developer but, It appears to me that the newer cloud based environments have better API’s than the older generation of “SAP” type systems. I have seen too many disastrous implementations of those types of systems, which leads me to believe that there must be a better way. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. I am just saying that this strategy should be taken seriously.
Even though I use the Accounts module in ERPNext and not an external platform, I completely agree with your above statements on integrations. But my point was just a bit different.
Is there an actual specification in place for QBO integration that can be used by someone looking to do this? This doesn’t need to be a technical specification, but at least a functional specification. As an accountant, maybe you could contribute in this area - if there’s an actual specification, then people will become interested
Can the existing connector be used? What are the bugs/blockers currently remaining (maybe install the connector and report on the experience)? In the developer updates, they posted some difficult problems to solve. Are there answers to those problems?
Fundamentally there will need to be some active leadership from the community if we want to see a QBO connector.
Fundamentally there will need to be some active leadership from someone/anyone in the community if we want to see a QBO connector. And as of now, it doesn’t look like anyone wants to take that responsibility.
Until that changes, the status quo will continue. That’s just the simple fact of the situation.
@adam26d - it is actually the other way around. Its what you can do on quick books that you cannot do on ERPNext. Lots of good discussion and certainly lots of ways to “solve” for this challenge.
The biggest challenge with an integration of some kind to any accounting platform (QBO or any other one) besides the technical challenge is the process challenge. Different companies have different needs and the various processes that each company uses to operate are probably going to be somewhat different. Each company will have to determine where the demarcation point will be between what is kept in ERPNext and what is done in external accounting package/integration.
One of the things that annoys folks that use the big ERP platforms (SAP, Oracle Financials, PeopleSoft) is those platforms force you to work “thier” way. One of the great things about ERPNext and OSS in general is that they are more fluid and allow for different operating environments. This is one area where ERPNext does well. However with more fluidity, comes more complexity. More settings to tweak.
I am neither all “for” or “against” a connector. I do agree with @fblauer that the amount of features in quick books is massive in comparison to ERPNext and so if the foundation team is interested in keeping it all in ERPNext then that will require a great deal of development time and effort. Hence the call for the connector (thinking that would be easier).
I will continue to be an active member of the community and will continue to advocate for features and improvements in the platform. However they are developed are up to different set of folks.
This last comment is going to be off topic – If the foundation and ERPNext team really want to improve how things operate in the tool they really need to look at the interface. Multi-page dialog boxes are a pain point. Tons and tons of clicks just to get stuff done is a pain point. This is not just in accounting, its fundamental. Just my two-cents.
I think we can all agree that the accounting module could be improved. Prioritizing accuracy and great test coverage over features.
Connectors and integrations are always good in that it gives people options they are comfortable with.
Can we get a document going for what the a) specs of this connector and and b) roadmap for the accounting module specifically should be?
I have been using ERPNext for two years now and my CA (Accountant) is still not comfortable with the accounting module yet so I can relate to the discussion here. The trust she has with Tally is just not there yet with ERPNext. For the next year our company is running both systems to cross-check the reports.
We can contribute my CAs time towards any help required as well as some development time from a company developer (a newbie not an expert).
However, to use the time wisely we would need clear specs and tasks of what needs to be done.