Less accounting? Sold.


I’ve been doing a bit of a hunt for accounting software recently. I’m getting the odd bit of work over and above my lecturing job. A spot of writing, the odd seminar — that sort of thing. So I need to keep track of invoices and receipts.

Trouble is, I hate accounting. Loathe it with a fiery passion. Don’t want to spend any time at all doing it. I can have the most organised music collection on the planet, but debit card receipts spill out over my desk most of the time.

When it comes to accounting, less is definitely more.

So, having tried out pretty much every bit of accounting software I could get my hands on, I discovered something that definitely appealed. It’s called Less Accounting — and it’s clearly targetted at people like me.

It’s an online Web 2.0-ish system (written in Ruby, if that’s helpful) that you can access from any online computer (sweet), sends out invoices by email and tracks them in a sensible and idiot-proof fashion.

It’s just come out of beta, and it looks like the way forward for non-business-orientated creatives. Like all decent accounting systems, it costs money — but after a decent trial period, this one reverts to a reasonably affordable monthly system. They’re improving it all the time too.

Not being a fan of credit cards, I sent an email asking if they could make Paypal an option. I got a message back within a couple of hours promising that it would be added — and if they didn’t get to it by the time my trial expired, they’d simply extend it for a month at no cost.

In the long run, it might cost me a bit more, but I’m always far more happy to deal with these kind of enterprises that are obviously set up by smart and enthusiastic independent operators than I am to, for instance, shell out for a copy of Microsoft Money.

I still have some time to make up my mind, though — so your suggestions greatly appreciated. If you’re making money from music, what computer-mediated tools do you use to keep track of the day to day business?