We're very excited to announce BeansBooks, a new Open Source accounting SaaS product from System76.
Technology has reshaped today’s companies. They’re integrated, they’re efficient, they’re dynamic. They deliver rapidly and just-in-time. Online shopping carts, Square payment system, Facebook and Google Docs have made it easier and less expensive to collaborate, reach customers, sell products and operate a business. Accounting remains the perennial thorn in the side, slowing business down. Today, we’re announcing the availability of BeansBooks. A new accounting platform designed to remove the thorn by ushering in an age of easy, integrated accounting.
BeansBooks is different. It’s designed from a business owner’s perspective. From an accounting standpoint, owners think of their businesses as being comprised of customers and vendors. Where money comes in and where it goes out. Everything flows from there. On the customer side you track Sales Orders, create Invoices and receive Payments. With Vendors you pay Expenses, track Purchase Orders and pay Invoices. BeansBooks user interface logically organizes tasks to match existing business processes.
Of course, businesses operate in unique ways. BeansBooks is flexible enough that if you don’t use Sales Orders you can skip right to creating an Invoice. If you don’t send vendors Purchase Orders, you can simply create Expenses. It depends on your business and it’s up to you. The important takeaway is that BeansBooks is a fully featured accounting platform for mid sized businesses while being easy to use for small companies. That means that once you get big, you don’t have to migrate all of your books to a different platform. BeansBooks grows with you.
BeansBooks really starts to shine when you reconcile payments from customers and pay vendors. Customer payments usually arrive in batches. We make it extremely easy to record receipt of 5, 10, or 1,000 customer payments in one batch. Deposit the batch in your bank and when you download transactions the deposit will automatically match the payments you recorded. Paying vendors is just as easy. If you’re like us, you have a pile of invoices to pay every week. Since we use Purchase Orders regularly, we simply type in the the PO number and it’s added to the vendor payment. With BeansBooks, you can pay hundreds of vendor invoices in minutes.
Ease of use and fast reconciling are great attributes. Integration is the holy grail. Imagine no data entry and 100% due diligence. If you sell your products online or use a modern point of sale system, you can utilize the extensive BeansBooks API to create customers, products, invoices, purchase orders and more. A just-in-time company may tie their ecommerce system to BeansBooks and, when an order arrives, the customer invoice and vendor purchase order are automatically created. Data entry is crowdsourced through your sales channel. Due diligence is only a matter of reconciling payments when they’re made or received. Your company’s financials are now in real time enabling you to make fast decisions based on accurate data.
When it’s easy, accounting can be beautiful. It provides deep insight into your business performance. It tells you when a customer’s payment is late, when a PO you sent hasn’t been fulfilled in a timely matter and when your sales tax is due. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your financial position at all times enables you to make timely and wise investments while focusing on your company’s core objectives. We built BeansBooks to simplify accounting without sacrificing its potential.
The story about what BeansBooks is can’t be complete without the the story of why BeansBooks exist. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. System76, the company that created BeansBooks, specializes in manufacturing laptops, desktops and servers based on the Ubuntu operating system. Manufacturing PC’s demands highly efficient business operations. We’re also technologists at heart. We engineer solutions to efficiency and scaling problems. We built custom ecommerce, sales, customer service and technical support systems. We built custom PC imaging systems. The last piece was accounting. We searched high and low for an accounting platform that met our needs. It didn’t exist, so we built it. We also realized that the challenges we faced were not our own. Instead of building a private system for ourselves, we built an Open Source platform broad enough to fulfil the needs of most companies.
Why Open Source? As proprietors of products delivering the world’s most popular Open Source operating system, we have a great appreciation for the enabling power of open platforms. Simply put, any platform can only reach its maximum potential if its Source Code is freely available. We can’t wait to see how far BeansBooks goes as an open platform.
System76 offers BeansBooks as a hosted cloud service with benefits including server management, feature updates, security updates and support. BeansBooks can also be downloaded, installed on a server and used by anyone, for free.
We’ve been designing, developing and testing BeansBooks for fourteen months. System76 has used the platform internally since November 2012. We’ve experienced the enormous benefits of real time, easy, integrated accounting. We’re excited to finally deliver the same potential to all businesses.