Business, Freedom and Privacy, Investing, Technology, Tutorial

Backing Common Stuff Up in Akaunting

Warning: I’m so busy these days I don’t have time to do nice editing and correction of typos but whenever I have something I think needs to be logged for others I just slam it out. Apologies for the lack of polish but hopefully the content is valuable.

After I took so many days to finally set up my business books and chart of account (COA) stuff in Akaunting, I wanted to immediately do a quick backup of that stuff. Not so much the data but more the framework so that I could at least have the rows and columns as a spreadsheet in case I needed to do a reinstall from scratch again one day.

Quick initial kudos: Kudos to the Akaunting team. this is by far the most promising accounting suite I’ve seen so far in the free and open world and in my opinion the only one that could compete against Quickbooks in this realm. Looks great, and feature loaded. Nice. A few ‘fails’ which I will explain this blog too but overall very promising.

First, create a directory called ‘backups’ or whatever you want in a logical place for your accounting files.

To export data is pretty easy since each ‘module’ is roughly the same. The key is to name your files intelligently for later, so here is my ‘intelligent’ way:

1. Items

  • Click ‘items’
  • go to ‘export’ at the top right
  • Save the file. It will give this name: Items.xlsx
  • Rename to something like this: “akaunting_items_export_202030.xlsx”
  • Check the file is there
  • Open the file to make sure it looks ok

Side note: one very disappointing thing about Akaunting is that it does not export data to .csv or to LibreOffice format at all. This is a bad example and huge fail for a free and open software project. It should have these, default to these, and then give the option of .xlsx only if the person wants it. I get it, they are trying to be ‘more to more people’ but I think not having .csv as the default format is unwise and sends the wrong message to the market that probably supported them first. My two bits.

One thing to explain that is not crystal clear is that the export button exports everything. You do not have to click the select all button or manually select the items.

The other important thing to know here is that if you want to select certain items then you can manually select them and then choose the ‘export’ option from the ‘bulk actions’ dropdown at the top of the list. Neither of these were clearly explained but ‘fairly’ intuitive.

2. Invoices

It was very cool to find out that you can export invoices as raw data, just like the items. This is where Akaunting is a clear winner over anything that I’ve looked at. This proves that they are not trying to hold you hostage like Quickbooks and other such environments. Exporting is simple, clear, and fast, and gives you data you can use anywhere. The export of the invoices gives you multiple sheets with various data. Very nice.

3. Revenues
Same deal. See above

4. Customers
Same deal, see above.
Another clear winner here about making customer data easy to export, HOWEVER… I must say that I’m super disappointed with the fact that the customer data currently only has one field for company name, one block field for address (no postal code, city, country, etc fields!) and that’s about it. This strikes me as a subtle way of perhaps pushing the user towards their paid CRM app but I’m not sure. I found a pretty neat hack to move customer data in a basic way over to Akaunting, though, by using a LibreOffice Calc hack. If you wish to know about that, read that here, otherwise, skip down to point 5 way down below.

How to move Quickbooks customer data with multiple fields into Akaunting’s basic one block address field using Libre Office Calc

  • export your Quickbooks customer data
  • columns C, D, E, F, G should all have the Quickbooks customer / vendor addresses
  • in column H (or whatever column you want), enter the following code into the cell at the top of the column you choose:
    =$C1&", "&D1&", "&E1&", "&F1&", "&G1

you will see that this cell now has all the address fields merged into one cell with commas separating. You would think you could just copy and paste the column from here but you’d be wrong. Hold this thought

  • Go to Akaunting and click their ‘import’ button. it will take you to a page where you can download their sample file. Download this somewhere convenient
  • Paste the appropriate QB columns into the appropriate Akaunting files in the sample file
  • Go to your newly-created one-block address column above and highlight the whole column. You can do this quickly with shift + page down and shift + arrow down.
  • Right click ‘copy’ the stuff you just highlighted
  • go to your Akaunting sample file to the address column to the top and right click and choose ‘paste special’ and then sub-menu ‘text’. you should now see the addresses populate the Akaunting address column.
  • Assure that the stuff you just pasted matches the stuff you pasted before by scanning a few rows (easy to be one off and goof it up)
  • if it looks good, save the newly adjusted Akaunting file and save it somewhere intelligent
  • go to Akaunting and click the ‘import’ button. As long as you aren’t missing any fields they require (such as currency!) then it will work otherwise it will give you red flags telling you to try again when it’s done warning you.

Hope that hack helps!

(still pretty lame you can’t import the individual address fields and other common CRM fields…)

5. Bills
See ‘invoices’ above – same / similar. Quite a nice and complex exported document.

6. Payments
Same deal. Simple export of data in a straight list.

7. Vendors
See ‘customers’ above in point 4. The ‘hack’ should work as well here 🙂

8. Transfers
Nice and simple export of transfers in a list.

9. Reconciliations
Not sure if this one will have an export / backup. Haven’t done one yet at the point of writing.

10. Chart of Accounts (if you have Double Entry App)
Great export of the important stuff you’ll need especially when setting up your software. Nice easy way to look at things too. Probably won’t need to back this up too often but worth while adding on the list.

That’s pretty much it. If you run through and back these up on a schedule you should be in a good spot in the event you ever need to do an audit, or change servers, or what have you. This doesn’t replace a normal server backup but certain is wise to have in addition to one.

I hope some or all of this helps one or more of you…

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