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Updating Quickbooks Forces Online Membership? 462

garyebickford asks: "I've been using Quickbooks 2001 for a long time, sending out invoices via email. A couple of months ago it asked if I wanted to do an online update - these occurred occasionally and I agreed. There was no information regarding what the update would do, although IIRC there was some mention of 'new features' and 'improvements'. Since that time, it is now impossible to either fax or email an invoice without signing up for Quickbook's 'Online Business Member' program since it appears to use their own mail server. Membership is free for now, but the required click-agreement forces me to agree in advance to any future fees! I have no interest in letting Intuit know about my invoices and other financial information. As a result, this software is essentially useless and I must find a new accounting package. I've looked at various OSS packages but haven't found one that has developed far enough to use in this way. But there are many out there and I haven't kept up to date, so maybe someone else out there can suggest something. I'd prefer using it on Linux, of course. I'd also be interested if this loss of functionality would be sufficient to consider a class action suit to recover costs of conversion." The issue at hand is that commercial software has started to force consumers to fall into such schemes to maintain features that they already had. Today it is Quickbooks, but what about tomorrow?
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Updating Quickbooks Forces Online Membership?

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  • Easy... (Score:1, Informative)

    by AmigaAvenger ( 210519 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:29PM (#4839659) Journal
    Uninstall, reinstall, patch up to the level that caused the problem, and be happy with it.
  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:31PM (#4839675)
    Good luck finding the patches. Once they fall to a forced use scenario, it's common practice to only allow previous patches to include the forced use option.
  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:32PM (#4839686)
    Well, that sounds all well... but Quickbooks itself, also updates all of the Tax Forms, along with all other State / Federal tax filing information.

    You have to keep that information updated.
  • by otis wildflower ( 4889 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:33PM (#4839690) Homepage
    .. Largely because it's good enough for what I need, and it runs in OS X. There's annoying bugs (print to PDF, then attach to email, since they haven't kept up with Jaguar's Mail api), but I don't have to go sign up for no dumbass thing to use it.

    Also, TimeSlice for OS X is very nice, it itemizes your billing time (if you bill per hr) and exports it into CSV..

    There's also AccountEdge for OS X, but it's overkill and overpriced for my simple needs.

    Is there anything comparable for Xwindows? Good Q..
  • Workaround (Score:3, Informative)

    by yesman ( 72063 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:33PM (#4839692) Homepage
    Use a program like PDFmailer [] to send quotes and such.
  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:36PM (#4839718)
    I own a small business (yeah, me, can you believe it?) doing productivity consulting and stuffs. Although it takes me longer than it would if things were automatic, I use SPREADSHEETS for everything financial. I own it, it's mine, and I can do what I want.

    I looked at QuickBooks, MS Money, etc and for complete control, nothing can match using spreadsheets for all the tracking, etc. One master spreadsheet for accounting gets numbers from all the other spreadsheets (sales, expenses, etc). Will I need something stronger a year or two from now? Yeah, and I'll be reading the posts right here for an idea on what I will do then. But for anyone who is a one-h@x0r shop up to a couple of employees, spreadsheets fit the bill just fine. Oh, and of course online banking (Citibank is pretty sweet and reasonable fees for corporate account).

    Good luck!

  • by Thu Anon Coward ( 162544 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:36PM (#4839719)
    We had the same thing happen a few years ago to us. We were using it at the start of the new year wrapping up previous years finance stuff, a message came up saying that since they didn't want us to get in trouble, they were going to disable the tax tables in 30 days time so we couldn't use them. We would have to purchase new tax table info from Intuit, EVEN IF THE DAMN TAX TABLES HADN'T CHANGED!

    No tax tables makes Quickbooks about as useless as tits on a boar hog. Our CPA switched us over to Netledger at
  • What about tomrrow? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:37PM (#4839733) Homepage Journal
    Tomorrow all commercial software will pull this sort of stunt. To get to full 'pay per use' models.

    They will have to, once the unwashed masses become technically educated enough that they realize what is going on with this constant upgrade cycle and stops buying new products since what they have 'works well enough for me'.

    The entire market is based on this deceit. and will suddenly implode..

  • by LL ( 20038 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:38PM (#4839740)
    ... where access to the customer is being treated and fungible (and thus marketable). I can point to a whole string of court cases starting with CompuServe v Cyber Promotions, Ebay v Bidder's Advantage, Intel v Hamadi, etc which have basically ruled that companies who "own" the infrastrcuture for communications effectively are private networks (think cable) and courts are relunctant to impose common-carrier, anti-competition or even anti-competition rules on them. Companies are not stupid, if they can't get lock in one way, they'll try another legit mechanism and in effect, vertically coordinate their services (software, middleware, skinware = GUI/web layout, tangleware = EULA + legal entanglements) to capture business.

    Is it legal? ... yes
    Is it proper? ... debateable
    Is it worthwhile? ... depends on the customer whether they cna get satisfaction for service

    Perhaps you should write a little letter to your fair-trading rep or competition commissioner requesting investigation into unfair trading practices based on their market power to exclude future competitors (say ASPs).

  • Try GNUcash... (Score:5, Informative)

    by chupar ( 632295 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:38PM (#4839741)
    I used Quickbooks a *long* time ago to help out with my father's small business. For myself, I've been using GNUcash [] for about a year, and I'm fairly pleased. Some of the reporting options could use some work, but it keeps track of all my data, and that's the important part. Quick look at their website indicates a new stable version is on the way, with some things that might help you, although the faxing/emailing features don't seem to be on the radar...

    - Small Business Accounting Features:
    GnuCash now can be used for Customer and Vendor tracking, Invoicing and Bill Payment,
    and using different Tax and Billing Terms in a small business.
    - OFX Import:
    GnuCash is the first free software application to support the Open Financial Exchange
    protocol that many banks and financial services are moving to use. The development of
    OFX and HBCI support has also resulted in an improved transaction matching system that
    more accurately picks duplicate transactions.
  • Forcing updates (Score:5, Informative)

    by RuXc ( 144331 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:38PM (#4839746)
    I am switching Quickbooks after I send out W2's this year for very similar reasons. Quickbooks will stop allowing you to do payroll if the TaxTables get too out of date. This normally wouldn't bother me, but they offer absolutely no way (that I know of) to manually enter the tax data, the payroll functionality get killed.

    To get the new TaxTables, they have really upped their subscription price to more than I think is reasonable. Also, they periodically force an update to the Quickbooks software to be able to use the new TaxTables format. So, for me to keep using Quickbooks, I would have to pay for a new (higher) TaxTable subscription and also update to a new version, which I can't justify.

    I have looked at PeachTree, and it seems very usable. It's Tax Table like subscription is about the same as Intuits (around $150), but they do allow you to manually enter details if you need to.

    I hate to see Inuit stoop to this, I really like their product. I used Quickbooks at version 5, and liked it. (I don't need any features now that version 5 didn't have). I just can't justify them doing these kind of things to customers, though.
  • AppGen MyBooks (Score:5, Informative)

    by goldid ( 310307 ) <matthew@goldma[ ... m ['nin' in gap]> on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:40PM (#4839760) Homepage
    I haven't had time to fully use this yet, but I am considering purchasing: AppGen MyBooks ( []) which has a Windows/OS X/Linux accounting program. Looks nice to me.
  • by systemapex ( 118750 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:45PM (#4839792)
    I purchased Quicken Deluxe about this time last year. It came with a free downloadable version of QuickTax. I decided to download and install QuickTax around January so I could get a headstart on my taxes. Around this time, I upgraded my computer and had to re-install Windows. I re-installed Quicken Deluxe no problem but when it came time to re-install QuickTax I was notified that I could not do it. A version of the software had already been installed on a different computer! I was told to call their tech support line if this was not the case. So I did. I called their non-toll-free number long distance and was notified that their office was closed and would be until Monday (this was late Friday afternoon). So, I could not do my taxes that weekend. I waited until Monday and phoned their tech support line. I had to answer some questions to verify my identity and was told that if there ever was a next time, I would have to fax them with appropriate documentation verifying my identity! So, 3 days and 2 long-distance charges later I was left with a program that would only last until my next reformat. No thanks. I will never buy another Intuit product because of stories like my own and this one. Moreover, experiences like this helped push me to going 100% Linux/OSS - I've been doing so since late August with much less problems than I expected I would have.
  • Appgen (Score:5, Informative)

    by protek ( 96543 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:45PM (#4839795)
    I'd suggest checking out Appgen's MyBooks,

    It works on Windows, Linux, and Mac, will import your Quickbooks data, and you can try it free for 30 days. I've downloaded it, but haven't played with it much. Maybe other Slashdoters can attest to its usefulness.


  • by Kent_Franken ( 92437 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:49PM (#4839820) Homepage Journal
    Accpac [] has a great accounting package that has been around in commercial distribution for many years. It was recently released for Linux [].
  • SQL Ledger (Score:4, Informative)

    by umrguy76 ( 114837 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:50PM (#4839830) Homepage
    SQL Ledger [] is what I use for my small business. Granted, it's a little rough around the edges, but it's free, open-source and does everything I need it to do. I've got it on a Linux server, although it is also said to work on Windows and OS X.
  • by swv3752 ( 187722 ) <swv3752@[ ] ['hot' in gap]> on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:52PM (#4839843) Homepage Journal
    There is Kapital [], but that is really more of a quicken replacement.

    Then there is Gnucash [], that is more a cross between quicken and quickbooks. It now has invoicing in the newest release.

    For a List of other packages... I really don't know much about those.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:54PM (#4839855)
    I have several customers I work with and even I use Quickbooks. I am about to move one of them to Compiere. It is free but one catch, you have to run Oracle to use it. The project is working on moving from Oracle to something open source, but i think they have been working on it for about a year.

    GNUEnterprise is very promising also.
    Its a project that is in the works.

    Both of these projects do more then quickbooks does and are aimed more at running everything from the software. My customers were looking for an all round solution that would track everything from the cash register on back to the employees salaries. So both of these have the possibility to meet the needs of what they want. Inventory tracking, Point-Of-Sale, financial reports, tax tracking, advertising (be it paper or email), and etc.

    As for just a simple replacement for Quickbooks I would check out GNUCash and search freshmeat. Several projects are out there though.

    Oh and unless you are using the tax tables in Quickbooks you have no need to use it at all.

    Any questions?

    Email me
  • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @05:54PM (#4839856)
    I submitted a related article in March that never got posted about QuickTax using winXP style product activation.

    I got the refund on my copy of QuickTax under their satisfaction guarantee and yelled at their poor rep on the phone for half and hour. It was convenient that they had a record of my registered copies going back to 1992 and I made it clear I'd never buy another product from them.

    I still use Quicken 5 and I never upgraded that because I didn't want to run financial software that was aware of the internet.

  • I helped a customer migrate from an ancient version of ACCPAC for DOS (Computer Associates product) to Quickbooks 99, and the upgrade to 2000. During the upgrade to 2000, we notices a much stricter set of rules for use, registration (which has always been over the top), and even simple networking of multiple systems. And the updates process was a nightmare, with more hoops to jump through than a Sigfreid and Roy show. When the customer bought 2001, and brought me back in to upgrade, the noose tightened further. Despite having several hundred dollars invested in QB over the years, I recommended heavily that they find another product to move to, because I could see how harshly Intuit was trying to keep it's small business accounting marketshare. Despite the cost and commplexity of Peachtree, I did recommend that over QB again, or moving off of a Windows based platform altogether. I still recomend this to all small businesses. Intuit is no longer the good Quicken company they were...
  • Re:It's true (Score:2, Informative)

    by Repugnant_Shit ( 263651 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:00PM (#4839894)
    You can use LeechFTP for FTP resuming. I think it supports HTTP downloads too.

    There are *lots* of free zip utilities. (Personally I think WinRAR is much better and worth the money).

    For an alternative to RealPlayer...hmmm. You got me there :)

    WindowBlinds makes it clear that it is a demo, so complaints about it expiring are just lame. The LiteStep devs are working on skinning, and I think I saw a WindowBlinds FX clone recently (try Shell Extension city).

    Its possible to find lots of freeware for Windows, you just have to look harder. Look at GNUWin II [] for some open source apps.

    And make sure to download Ad-Aware [] to hunt down those evil spy programs.
  • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:03PM (#4839913) Homepage

    This message was recently posted to It appears Turbotax 2002 may be installing and starting a spyware service without any notice. I just checked my machine, where I installed Turbotax last week, and indeed, this service is running:

    Recently I found a running Service named C-DillaCdaC11BA on my Windows XP Pro system. Being an individual interested with Internet Security (viruses, etc), I naturally became concerned that my system may have become compromised. Starting my investigation revealed the associated file (called "CDAC11BA.EXE") located in the Windows\System32\Drivers directory. In addition, I found a hidden directories under the C drive. This first directory was named C_DILLA" and below it was a directory named "SafeCast Product Licenses". Contained within this directory was a single file called "BD6FD000.DAT".

    I traced the dates/times the files and directories were created to the same date/time I had installed this years version of Intuit's TurboTax. This is interesting because last year's version of TurboTax did not install this application and nowhere in this year's installation did it make mention of installing it, a third-party application that attempts to hide itself and runs as an additional service! A search of Google for C-DILLA revealed the following article, entitled "C-Dilla! "Copy Protection or Spyware?". It's located at id=45 []

    Nowhere on Intuit's website does it offer a description of this service or appropriate removal instructions. Is it really copyright protection or is Intuit utilizing spyware with their latest version of TurboTax?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:07PM (#4839940)
    I don't know of a single professional CPA who recommends Quickbooks...

    When I took accounting at college they recommeded Peachtree Accounting, and this seems to be what most accountants prefer. In fact, the university I went to now requires that you use Peachtree.

  • This is nothing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Locky ( 608008 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:10PM (#4839956) Homepage
    After losing information crucial to QuickBooks operation (ex-wife) I reinstalled QB99 on a new machine and called Intuit for my serial keys only to find out they don't support calls related to any product over 2 years old. They refused to give me my keys (which they had on file) and essentially forced me to fork out $400 for a new version of QuickBooks. Somwhere along the line they also threathened to take me to court after I demanded they give me what I legally own. Needless to say I will never buy an Intuit product again and encourage others to do the same.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:13PM (#4839971)
    Well.. cdilla is the licensing system used by AutoCAD, so yeah, it's a real system.

    (AutoDesk are seemingly much more upfront about its presence though - it's documented in the help and what not - and there are various ways of using AutoCAD that may or may not use cdilla.)
  • by mbstone ( 457308 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:13PM (#4839974)'d have known all about Intuit's anti-consumer practices months ago:

    Twist in Intuit's crippleware techniques doubles the cost of its tax-table service (4/27/01) []

    Intuit is up to its old tricks: Adding taxing burdens on its QuickBooks clients (3/17/00) []

    There is another column by Foster -- the #1 and only consumer IT columnist of whom I am aware -- on the practice of making QuickBooks users transmit invoices using Intuit's servers but you'll have to find it yourself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:22PM (#4840016)
    C-Dilla is a software-lock copy protection scheme. It's like a software based dongle. 3ds max has been using C-Dilla since version 4.

    It isn't spyware and no spyware finding software (that I am aware of) will report it as installed spyware.

    Without the C-Dilla service running any program that authenticates through it will fail to start.
  • Re:Whoa, here... (Score:2, Informative)

    by rollingcalf ( 605357 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:27PM (#4840050)
    The problem is that they *are* trying to force you to use their service, by gradually removing features that previously would run on your standalone PC.
  • Why upgrade? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:33PM (#4840087) Journal
    I really do not understand people's "need" to always have the newest version of a program.

    I upgrade *ONLY* when I encounter either a major bug (meaning "uncircumventable") in what I already have, or what I have simply cannot do what I need it to.

    For my web-surfing machine, I run W2K. I will *not*, *ever*, upgrade to XP simply because it doesn't do anything "new". Perhaps I will need to upgrade to the next version of Windows someday, but considering Microsoft's (and most companys') release habits, I doubt I'll need to for at least a few more versions. Hell, I only upgraded from NT4 because it had poor PNP and high-end multimedia support (which I don't really consider a "good" reason, technologically speaking, but when I couldn't run 90% of modern games or get any new hardware, I didn't have much choice). Before NT4, I used DOS (the entire Win95 line quite simply sucked, and amazingly, seemed to get progressively *worse*, not better).

    For email, I use Calypso (well, mostly, I use Elm, but for my junkmail account I find it easier to get it via POP and just let the nice filters strip out 99% of the spam). Calypso, for those who don't know it, still uses a text-only interface (basic support for HTML/RTF, but the only email I get in HTML consists of spam, so I don't really care 'bout that).

    For compiling under windows, I still use Borland C++ 5. I suspect I'll have to upgrade when 64-bit chips hit the mainstream in a year or two, but at the moment, that 6-year-old compiler does the job just as well as anything I could go out and buy today.

    The "solution" here seems obvious. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Don't get me wrong, I have no strong love for "retro" computing (except classic console video game emulation ). But of the programs I regularly use, not a single one has made any real improvement in half a decade.

    And now, we see companies moving toward *decreased* functionality in their programs, along with non-permanant licenses to use them. Explain how that benefits me?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:35PM (#4840109)
    If you don't install the updates, you can't use the updated tax tables you purchased, which means you can't issue your own payroll checks, which makes the program useless in a matter of 45 days, along with 10 years of historical data. Besides, Intuit almost demands you use its very expensive payroll services, instead. It costs as much as another headcount, a big hit for an org employing less than 10 people.

    Ever price QuickBooks checks? 4 times as expensive as generic Quill. Fun, eh?

    There is *NO* substitute for QuickBooks. We can't get the Linux based developers off their KDE vs Gnome kick, so we are stuck. Has any Linux developer ever finished any project?

  • hard (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:40PM (#4840142)
    You never have posession of the patches. They are a download through IE (only, Netscape will not work) and auto installed. Obviously, you've never used Koday image editing software for the cameras.

    Quickbooks is not a real app, it is a collection of scripts that runs in an IE window. Using 98lite to uninstall IE ruins your QB install.

    Now get off your ass and help write a Linux equivalent. +3 my dying backside, you're a nitwit.

  • by gatch ( 632444 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @06:56PM (#4840249)
    It's about 6 months old, but here is an article you may find useful on Linux Accounting systems. I am in the process of completing part 2 which should be available soon:
  • by Thu Anon Coward ( 162544 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @07:01PM (#4840284)
    there were a few other issues that demanded a move. but as for Netledger, we don't pay for it since he gets a special deal him being a licensed re-seller and all. and before you say anything else, Yes, I have seen my monthly CPA bills. they aren't more than they were before. one of the other problems was that QB data files were getting a bit too unwieldy to carry around or send via the Internet since we both work on the data files from different aspects. that and keeping them properly updated since we had to constantly work with them while he needed them for a few days each time. Netledger made a whole lot more sense, even if the interface can be a PITA to deal with
  • by Fable ( 136371 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @07:12PM (#4840346)
    SafeCast is a copy protection scheme. A company I recently worked for used SafeCast to regulate the usage of pre-release software - we made video games, and when we sent a pre-release version of our game to a member of the press (for a preview), SafeCast would require that the user register with our license server in order to preview the game. That way, we could see exactly who was playing what, and where. If the disc ended up in someone elses hands (this was a no-no), we could trace it back to the original user. If the user did not register, they could not use the software.

    So, does intuit track your usage? probably. That is exactly what we used it for.
  • Quickbooks sucks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 08, 2002 @07:16PM (#4840371)
    Get Simply Accounting, simple and less crap esp. if you live in Canada.
  • SQL Ledger and Nola (Score:3, Informative)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @07:41PM (#4840496) Homepage Journal
    Both solid, and useable, although still in process of development so they arent perfect..
  • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DivideX0 ( 177286 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @08:20PM (#4840708)
    Are you using Windows XP? If so, then check an see if the Quicking Update was caught by the System Restore feature under Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools. If so, then roll back your system to before the Quicken Update and you should be all set.

    Of course back up all your Quicken files, blah, blah, blah.

  • by D. Book ( 534411 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @08:39PM (#4840819)
    Intuit's sister program, Quicken, is headed down the same course. Here's the situation with the Australian version of Quicken 2002, which is produced by the local distributor Reckon:

    1) Forced registration and machine-specific activation, or the program stops running after X times.
    2) Forced collection of personal details during registration. In fact, if you just tell it your phone number, their automated system will tell you your address (unless you have an unlisted number).
    3) Forced telephone reactivation upon reinstallation. You can't reactivate over the Internet (this only works for the first installation).
    4) No right to sell your legitimate, boxed copy of the software to someone else if you no longer wish to use it (Kapital is the same in this regard, despite the company's claims).

    If you give them a fake name and address, you'd better remember them, otherwise you won't be able to reactivate. And, for your information, there is no QUICKEN.INI workaround in the Australian version, and no "cracks" available.

    Don't be surprised if us Aussies are a test market for this, and the rest of the world is next. I switched to GnuCash, but as far as I can tell, most other users have been perfectly willing to take it up the arse.
  • by el_chicano ( 36361 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @09:02PM (#4840928) Homepage Journal
    If you are willing to move your accounting over to a webapp, check out NOLA []. It uses PHP and MySQL and is free and GPLed. I looked at it a few months ago and it seemed promising, I need to grab the current code and see how it looks now...
  • Re:Easy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Sunday December 08, 2002 @09:03PM (#4840930) Homepage
    Oh no, it's much, much worse. I'm in the exact same boat as the sumitter with my business. My experience with Quicken / Quickbooks updates in the past has been that the software tags the data files (and may make other changes, but I haven't bothered trying to hack them) with the version / patch number currently in use. If you reinstall Quickbooks, it will refuse to use the data file until the software has been patched up the level that the data files were last used at.

    I've also been looking for a good OSS solution, but have come up short (I'll post separately on that subject).
  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Sunday December 08, 2002 @09:57PM (#4841193)
    The following tells quicken it's registered. Just copy and past into a text file, rename as a .reg and merge with registry. Walaa, Quicken thinks it's registered. Did I just break the DMCA?

    For other than XP:

    "AppID"= "1"
    "AppName"="Quicken for Windows"
    "Mo de"="Idle"

    For Windows XP"

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4E2B30D0-E0A2-11D2-9 E1 1-00105A26F05D}]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4E2B 30D0-E0A2-11D2-9E1 1-00105A26F05D}\1.0]
    @="Quicken 1.0 Type Library"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4E2B30D0-E0A 2-11D2-9E1 1-00105A26F05D}\1.0\0]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib \{4E2B30D0-E0A2-11D2-9E1 1-00105A26F05D}\1.0\0\win32]
    @="C:\\PROGRA~1\\Qui cken\\QWAPP.DLL"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4E2B 30D0-E0A2-11D2-9E1 1-00105A26F05D}\1.0\FLAGS]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_R OOT\TypeLib\{4E2B30D0-E0A2-11D2-9E1 1-00105A26F05D}\1.0\HELPDIR]
    @="C:\\PROGRA~1\\Qui cken\\"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 09, 2002 @01:29AM (#4842083)
    As the CTO of a mid-sized accounting firm, I can let you know there really is no open source solution - and most of the commercial solutions are pretty lacking themselves. The main question you really need to ask yourself is what specific needs do you have, how important to you are they, and how much value they will provide.

    What specifically are you looking for? If its a time and billing solution there are some choices that I'm sure others have opinions about that might be suitable. But if your looking for a more advanced system - one that handles tax processing and time and billing and does this for multiple clients (i.e. handling the T&B for several individual seperate buisnesses and all of their tax liabilities), your pretty much SOL if you want an OSS. The main reason for this isn't the creation of a database and then publishing it as open source, the problem is maintaining it with respect to changes in tax law. Changes that happen continually at the international, federal, state, and local levels. If you've got a client base spread accross 8 countries and 44 states, this becomes a significant problem in that you just cannot write the code once and plug and chug from there, the code itself has to continually be changed to fit the current legal environment.

    I myself experiemented with the idea of producing our own system in-house to solve this problem, and began searching for possible open source solutions. It is an impossibility. Realistically, a truely robust accounting system requires that you have 1) a group dedicated to doing nothing but keeping up with the constantly changing tax laws of basically EVERYWHERE, be it a change in the Fed, a change in tax law in the state of Mississippi, or a change in the tax law of any local city that your clients may be located within. Now that you've got a group (or realistically, a person) doing this, they then have to pass on all changes that need to be made to a programmer - yes, you have to keep a programmer on staff at all times just to continually update the system with the law, and then if you really have any common sense, you have to then send through quality control. Open source just cannot accomplish this for you, and anyone who would do this continually open source is either a fool with no money or someone paid by a government. I have yet to encounter either.

    When you run the numbers its actually just more cost effective to outsource the solution. We spend ~$10k US annually to have a complete system provided for us that updates as often as a few times a week, a whole lot more cost effective than maintaining the staff necessary to do this otherwise.
  • Re:Packet mangling! (Score:4, Informative)

    by FauxPasIII ( 75900 ) on Monday December 09, 2002 @03:15AM (#4842405)
    Dammit. Make that:

    firewall# iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -p tcp --dport 25 -d ${INTUIT_SMTP_SERV} -j DNAT --to ${FRIENDLY_SMTP_SERV}

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.