The end of the accounting search

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2023-05-21 14:30:03

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By Jonathan Corbet May 5, 2023 Some things, it seems, just cannot be hurried. Back in 2007, your editor first started considering alternatives to the proprietary accounting system that had been used by LWN since the beginning. That search became more urgent in 2012, and returned in 2017 with a focused effort to find something better. But another five years passed before some sort of conclusion was reached. It has finally happened, though; LWN is no longer using proprietary software for its accounting needs.

The system used until now — QuickBooks — was a legacy from the beginnings of the company in 1997. It has long exhibited a full litany of the sorts of misbehaviors endemic to proprietary systems. Regular (paid) updates were forced, despite the fact that new versions brought little in the way of new capabilities. Crashes were frequent; QuickBooks users know to make backups every few minutes to avoid losing work. The software had arbitrary limits meant to force "upgrades" to the "enterprise" version. More recently, Intuit has discontinued support for the desktop version entirely in an effort to force all users to its online, paid-by-the-month service.

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