GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. GNU is one of many free operating systems available in the open source software market. It is an open source application meaning that anyone can download and develop the software for free adding new features and integrations.
Designed for simplicity, GnuCash is a double-entry accounting application supporting customer invoicing, vendor expense management, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting.
GnuCash is not like most entry-level accounting applications. There is no official company behind it. Instead, it’s developed and supported by a global network of programmers and consultants who’ve been working collaboratively on the product since it’s inception in 1997 and it’s first release in 1998 with the first release of accounting in 2001.
GnuCash has been translated into more than 20 languages and supports multiple currencies.
Donations may be made to support the GnuCash development and general GNU open source project to the organization based in Belgium but this is completely optional.
GnuCash is not for everyone. While it’s free, so are a lot of other great cloud-based products that have launched over the past decade. GnuCash is well documented and support is available from developers for a fee. It is stable with constant updates and new features available. In our opinion, most small businesses will likely be best served with another product unless they have a specific business need where they can develop specific functionality within the GnuCash application that could not otherwise be managed with commercially-available software or third party applications. With that said, it’s apparently a very attractive option for a lot of people as it’s been downloaded approximately 3 million times.
There appears to be limited existing functionality for inventory management and manufacturing making GnuCash more of a platform to develop this functionality than a complete ready-to-go SMB ERP product. Installation, configuration, and maintenance of the application push it (in our opinion) outside the traditional entry-level accounting market but the free price tag make it an alternative to commercial accounting applications in this market space.