Why do you say "Existing Open Source ERP Systems Seem to be Left Out"?
Posted May 3, 2013 15:34 UTC (Fri) by bkuhn
In reply to: Existing Open Source ERP Systems Seem to be Left Out
Parent article: The SFC aims to create better non-profit accounting software
I've seen a lot of people commenting all sorts of places about our campaign saying that we're ignoring existing FLOSS solutions. I appreciate jerrykan's quote of our first phase, which makes it clear we do not want to reinvent any wheels.
Existing open source ERP systems have the essential functionality needed for all of the operations in proprietary nonprofit accounting software. It is all in the way that the open source ERP system functionality is perceived and used. No new software needs to be written.
As to emes' point, I'd be curious to know what criteria emes' used to determine that these open source ERP systems already have anything we need. I'd love to reuse your criteria list in our evaluation, emes! FWIW, I used OpenERP for about 10 weeks in 2008, working many hours to get it going for Conservancy, reading everything I could find in the documentation, and asking questions in IRC about it. I ultimately found that OpenERP (in 2008_ simply couldn't be adapted easily for NPO use, particularly for a fiscal sponsor. (I was, BTW, migrating away from GNUCash, which had reached its limits and was causing us serious accounting problems at the time.)
The reason we put Phase 0 in is that my last evaluation of all these options was in 2008, and that deserves a reevaluation here in 2013. However, I'd note this other part from our campaign document to point out that it's highly unlikely fiscal sponsorship features exist:
Conservancy reached out into the broader fiscal sponsorship community beyond the FLOSS NPO community and discovered that many larger fiscal sponsors — even those willing to use proprietary components — have cobbled together their own unique systems, idiosyncratically tailored to their specific environments. Thus, good, well-designed, and reusable accounting software for non-profit fiscal sponsorship is not just missing in the software freedom community; it's missing altogether.
emes, thus, if you could tell me how these open source systems handle specific fiscal sponsorship issues (that are somewhat unique to fiscal sponsors), I'd love to hear about your experiences with this. Would you mind joining our mailing list and posting about it? Thanks in advance for your help!
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