Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Notes on FrontAccounting Install

After comparing several book-keeping solutions (see Comparison of accounting software) I decided to go with FrontAccounting. This would be a fitting choice for me because it's PHP based and this would make any future integration with existing software (also PHP based) easier. It also appeared to have a nice up-to-date interface.

Here are some notes of things I found were left out of the installation procedures/manuals, at least for version 2.3.7.

- Install requirements page will give this bogus error about a 'config_db.php' file not being writable. What it's really trying to say is that it cannot create the file because it doens't have write access to the root FrontAccounting directory. For the sake of installation, give the directory that you're running FrontAccounting from full r/w access (777).

- Install requirements page mentions that directory '../company/0' needs to be writable but forgets to mention the 'company' directory itself also need to be writable if you plan on adding any more than 1 company. If you forget to do this, FrontAccounting will allow you to add additional companies anyways but then you'll get strange behaviour and won't be able to delete them.

- If your using the latest release of MySQL, all the .sql script files under the 'sql' directory will need to be updated. Replace all 'TYPE' occurrences with 'ENGINE'.

- To set desired currency, remember to set under Setup>Company Setup>Home Currency as well as for each applicable bank account under Banking & GL>Bank Accounts. You must set the currency for the bank account before any transaction is created that relates to it, otherwise FrontAccounting will not let you change the currency, even if you delete relevant entries. So be sure to set the proper currency for each bank account before making any journal/GL entries.

- When adding a new company, remember to assign a new script password even though it's optional. I found that if I didn't do this the results were unexpected. In my case, the password for the demo user of the demo company was assigned, even though I would have expected the existing admin password to be used.

- Keep in mind that certain admin features available under setup (such as create new company, system diagnostics, etc.) are only available if logged in as the admin to the first company that was created. In my case, that was the demo company.

- If you are installing extensions (Setup>Install/Activate Extensions), remember to activate any applicable access afterwards under Setup>Access Setup or you won't be able to access the installed extension. Additionally, you must do this for each user in each company that should be able to access the extension. At least this was the case for me for the "Import CSV Items" extension.

Here are some other non-setup related tips I found helpful:

- If you need to edit transactions from a year other than the current, you can set the active year under Setup>Company Setup>Fiscal Year.

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