Free Accounting Software for Cheapskates

The ability to create invoices, track expenses, pay employees, and so forth is essential for many businesses. The right financial software can be an extreme help, especially if you are doing it all yourself. For a small business or self employed individuals, financial software can be expensive. Well open source saves the day again with GNU Cash.

GNU Cash Title

If you are familiar with other accounting software like Quickbooks, GNU Cash has a short learning curve. There is a tutorial and accounting concepts help if you are not familiar with accounting software. GNU Cash will automatically set up many common accounts or categories for you cash to flow in and out. It has many of the features that expensive software like Quickbooks has such as invoices, reporting, and account reconciliation.
GNU Cash AccountsGNU Cash Expense reportGNU Cash InvoiceGNU Cash Save

Some features that I was surprised to see in this free accounting software was the ability to import Quicken and Quickbook files, automatic saves and online banking integration. It is safe to say that this free software is an open source gem that can be used by many small businesses.

However, if you are new to accounting software, you may want something more mainstream since you are more likely to find support. Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks have a FREE version of Quickbooks called Quickbooks Simple Start. It is a scaled down version of Quickbooks Pro but it has many of the features you would need for a new or small business. If this sounds to good to some of you that are already using Quickbooks, the catch with the free version is it will not allow you to open Quickbook files created in other versions of Quickbooks.

Shrinking Vista Virtual Disks in VMWare

It is sometimes convenient when doing development or testing to copy your Virtual Machines to DVD. By doing this you can save an original untainted version of your VM in case you screw it up royally. VM’s take up a lot of disk space and it’s nice to free up the space. I was trying to do just this running a Vista as the guest. According to VMWare documentation you need to open VMWare tools and select “Prepare to Shrink” from the Shrink tab. However in Vista, you get a wipe message stating “Unable to create file in c:\ directory, Please check that the user who runs VMWare Tools for Windows has the right to write in that directory. Alternatively, you may want to run VMWare Tools as the Administrator”


Here is my workaround:

1. Open C:\program files\VMWare\VMWare Tools

2. Right click VMControlPanel.cpl

3. Select run as Administrator

This should give you full access to the tools. This is also useful for other applications that are giving you trouble. You may also get a prompt to allow the access as Administrator.

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