About (the product and distribution)
This software is currently only available from Registered/Licensed Professionals at this time.
The long term goal is to make this available via download with only suggested licensing fees for all who consume, but we need a far more educated and self-conscious user community before that can transpire.
This open source, web based, data independent, modular double entry accounting solution represents the most private, cloud based solution that can be offered at this time.
The Software has no hooks back to us to control distribution or licensing and no hooks back to us for updates. All data imports are manually executed by the user in a surprisingly fast process. That's what makes it so private.
It has one-time, life-time licensing fees for Professionals and End Users alike for unlimited copies for your own personal and small business use. (Large Companies are treated different)
It's just a google Sheet Template that will be as private as your Google Drive and fully customizeable.
About (the developer)
Not a Fly by Nighter. 38 years with an eye on this as of 2020 !
1982 to 2020 in a Nutshell with bullets!! My path to EZ Accounting Software was a long and arduous one. Yours needn't be!
1982 - Mom forced me to setup bank accounts and Grandpa taught me to track stocks, manage money, and plan for retirement.
Grandpa was born in 1903 or so. He lived in Indianapolis and worked in Accounting for the Telephone Company for his career. He also owned a farm in Shelbyville.
1987 - My junior year in high school I took an Introduction to Accounting at the Vocational School attached to my High School.
I also did a term paper on Accounting Careers and I decided that was of no interest to me, yet here I am!?!.
1988 - I got my first computer and learned to digitally track money with some of the first personal financial software on the market.
My first accounting software was Quicken by Intuit. These were not the friendly Eskimo-ish kind, although few knew then and still not many fully realize their subtly unfriendly ways still today!!
1988-1995 - I studied Mechanical Engineering (Virginia Tech) and accumulated two years of work experience in Robotics and Automation in the Nuclear Power Industry (Babcock and Wilcox, Nuclear Technologies).
I helped design and maintain robotic end effectors and supporting electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems for the servicing of radioactive steam generators.
1994 - I took Accounting 101 and 102 in Grad School (Virginia Tech) and OMG, what the heck was that!?
After 5 years of Mechanical Engineering and two years of intense engineering related work, I knew my math, and I had never seen anyone or any curriculum make addition, subtraction, multiplication and division so f---ing confusing?! I remember wondering, "beings from what f---ing planet created this vocabulary and this curriculum?!" What a way to take simple math related concepts and turn them inside out. That was utterly painful.
1996 - I was given my first opportunity to try to use Quickbooks for a small Business, and Great Holy Crap!
This is when I realized I couldn't even do basic bookkeeping without confusion, even after a years worth of Graduate Level Accounting. It only took me a day or two to clear the haze, but it's then when I became fascinated with the Intuit Gang.
1997-2002 - I had more opportunities to engage with Quickbooks and Accounting Pros in a "meaningful" way. It was abysmal.
The Bookkeeping and Accounting professionals I found just made up dump categories to handle basic errors. They didn't care about proper fundamentals -- and the software was missing a few small features that would have made it simple and transparent to handle those -- and those omissions could have only been by design. To compound matters, new software versions were released every year, and if you wanted your Pros to tweak your files, you had to upgrade annually. It's only if you had an accounting background but weren't wed to the Intuit nipple that you'd realize the entire system and industry was all about smoke and mirrors covering up one very large, energetic drain. I knew then I had a task to pursue. I needed to build my own, transparent, user friendly Accounting Software.
2002-2016: Early Prototypes with Data Independent, Web Based Database Systems
My initial prototypes in early 2002 were all website based with Microsoft Access databases. They allowed for local service on a PC or remote hosting on a $3-4/month website from a host of your choosing. The ability to convert to larger databases and other scripting languages was available.
There were version upgrades to my own, private work in 2008 and 2012 that were impressive.
Unfortunately, we needed a very technology literate society for these to be of any use, and that was a totally different problem that I watched grow exponentially after a good start in the 1990's got foiled by them too.
2016: Proof of Concept with Cloud Based Spreadsheets
In 2016, out of shear frustration and mind shattering, cognitive chaos from too many angles, I decided to try a Proof of Concept in Google Sheets.
- Within 30 minutes I realized that all the ideal attributes for the software solution needed could be delivered via cloud based spreadsheets.
2016-Present: Commercial Development of Cloud Based Spreadsheet Templates for Accounting Literacy
- Cloud based spreadsheets don't offer the graphical design advantages of websites with CSS, so the task was filled with hundreds of hours of work that would have been far faster in traditional web based technology. But that had extremely powerful advantages too!!
- Spreadsheets in general offer far less native data entry and ongoing data integrity controls, so non-standard data integrity tools needed to be developed to help novice to expert users find errors and problems, and those are now complete.
To be clear here. These are simply spreadsheet templates and a scripting library that, once downloaded and configured, have ZERO ties outside of your very own Google Drive.
- There are no auto-updates because there are no links back to the developers, and that's what makes this the most secure and private cloud based accounting solution that can ever be.
And here's another version with a little more prose...
In the mid 1990's, I started to play with small businesses. To my surprise, I wasn't in a position to do digital bookkeeping after having spent 7 years in college while getting a Degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master's in Business and being in one of the first classes through college where having your own personal computer was a requirement.
I could track my own finances digitally in Quicken (by Intuit), but that was different. That offers categories for income and expenses. They are not "Accounts" in the truest of senses, although they are kind of. But that wasn't the only problem. That software is not setup to properly support the manual or digital creation of a Balance Sheet for proper cross checks and financial reporting.
A small business friend was familiar with Quickbooks (by Intuit). As I started to work with him he was shocked at my lack of basic understanding of how to setup and use a main stream digital bookkeeping solution. And so was I.
As a computer and math guy at heart, it didn't take me but a day or so to get a proper feel for things, but what kind of education had I gotten in Grad School that left me so naked, and why didn't I get these types of bookkeeping basics in High School even?
Given this is the land of "Capitalism", not a single child should get released into the very carnivorous Arena without some basic bookkeeping skills.
How on earth would they ever know how to assess the omni-present danger from the financial lions, tigers, sharks and piranha?
And most likely, there in is the rub.
When the commercial lions, tigers, sharks and piranha control the curriculum, as they've done for centuries, they make sure they leave out the information everyone else needs to properly identify them individually or collectively.
Adults literally prey on people decades younger than them when they are the most impressionable and vulnerable because that's what they were taught to do by their parents, who were taught by their parents, who were taught by their parents (presumably, anyway).
From 1995 to 2002, I got a lot more educated in Small Business Bookkeeping and Accounting. As things progressed, I became far more dis-illusion-ed with the CPAs, bookkeepers, and software vendor(s) claiming to be professionals.
Many I met were nothing more than charlatans taking money from the less educated and whistling all the way to the bank. And a few were clearly quite carnivorous.
In 2002 I wrote my first web based accounting software program in Classic ASP, using a Microsoft Access DB. initially I hosted it on my local device, but eventually I served it to myself from a $4/month web hosting account.
That's when I set a goal of someday offering cloud based, data independent bookkeeping software for mass consumption (of them).
NOTE: Data Independent implies my data would not be sitting in a ginormous database along with records belonging to thousands or millions of others. That type of data situation, which I often refer to as a Data Silo, becomes a sitting duck just waiting to be queried by Software Vendors, their data mining customers, and hackers alike for some very no good behavior.
In short. I've been working part time on this for 18 years. Some years more than others. Some years not much at all. This project was one of a half dozen (or two) that fed my programming hobby. It was far cheaper than Golf and a few other hobbies I had to let slide.
Truth be told, I had no idea if I'd ever get a solution that could work and make sense.
The basics of my web based solution was looking good by 2015, but it was still short a few features, and it was going to be a real arm full for anyone other than those with a ton of web based tech background. Good for them, but not so great for those they might then eat.
Around 2015, I started futzing with Google Drive and Google Sheets, and it was around 2017 when some more bad experiences with my own web host and Quickbooks that a very angry and furious light bulb went off.
And we've been working on versions of this in Google Sheets part time since 2017
And as of 2/3/2020, with Brexit in very near arrears, we are almost ready for a real debut!
These two versions will likely merge at some point... just not a priority yet.