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Re: Accounting Roadmap V9

Eva Pinter
- 10/10/2014 10:38:14
I have read and commented the Accounting Roadmap and my conclusion is not positive at all.

The idea is clear to transform the accounting of Odoo in something usable for small companies only. The direction is "take all the complex functionality and throw it away".

If you have to look up to xero, then the thing you have to take from that is the nice and beautiful user interface. This is obtained by putting an extra layer on the existing functionality with some kind of defaults but not with taking away the already not so developed functionality. If you have to look up to a system related to basic functionality, then look up to SAP.

The other element is that the reporting in finance is much more than P&L and BS. This should be developed much more for medium sized businesses.

The third element that disturbs me a lot is the missing evolution of analytics. At the moment, the analytic module does not allow a very simple overhead accounting or profitability analysis. We are missing many features for cost assignment and monthly closing.

The fourth element is that the foreign currency management is non existing and is not at all thought about. I do not understand that.

In conclusion, the strategy is not clear. If you want the companies with more than 3 users to be paying for the system, then do not only offer functionality for one-(wo)man companies.

I really hope that next week, things will move in the right direction and correct this very strange document.

Best regards
Eva P.

On 10 Oct 2014, at 05:16, Fabien Pinckaers <> wrote:

> I know xero.  It is designed for companies without accountants, who have a 3rd party accountant approve their accounts once per year plus do tax returns.  It is awesome for that.  In fact I agree, that in terms of usability in many parts it is the standard.

To be clear. Our goal is not to make a clone of Xero. We actually analyzed a lot of different software.

I named Xero because:

1/ Xero is a good example because they are good where we are weak. So, that's an area where we have things to learn.
2/ I want to force the team/the community to think out of the Odoo mind. To get great specifications, we should not only think in terms of "what can we improve in Odoo?"

But, of course, there are plenty of area where Odoo is or can be better.

> I have started work on one of the best features for OpenERP which is how it does sales tax returns.  But once you have more than 50 accounts and live in a fiscal world requiring more than basic professional services accounting and small business returns it is a pain to work in.  Let me be clear, many of the objectives here I agree with, it was late, and I was in a total state of shock.  But a small few are IMHO totally unworkable for anybody with more than a few users.

Can you be more explicit? What's wrong in proposed specs in the Google doc?

> As an experienced user in both systems I feel there are parts of each which are good, parts which are poor.
> In Xero there are parts which are truly outstanding.  You have selected some of these, but not the really amazing parts,

Which one?

> but also selected some of the poorer aspects.  You have also selected some of the most expensive to develop aspects. There is a good reason xero chooses not to use the standard banking integrations, there is also a good reason it chose not to buy bank-link (I happened to meet their CEO that day who gave an impromptu presentation on it).

I was not aware of that. I don't plan to do like Xero. I plan to use web services like Yodlee or plaid (if they improve their coverage quickly enough)

> I'm not saying you can't develop direct bank integration and the threshold to this is lowering, but to do it at the level of Xero is a custom job for each bank.  Their last trading update and presentation to investors which was yesterday or the day before explicitly mentions the investment they make here and celebrate adding 3 banks in the UK in a 6 month update.  They have far more people working on this than you ever will.  An acquaintance of mine through social circles heads up the automated testing division for a company (a world leading one) that does nothing but banking integrations for UK and European banks.  It is not a small team and the stories he tells me are frightening regarding compliance.

I think we agree on this. There are several great web services we can use instead of reinventing the wheel.

> Just have a bunch of default view accounts automatically linked to the account type, have a _defaults which updates parent_id field which is hidden in view.  Use filtered list view for accounts.  Done.

As explained in the  document, my proposition is not the remove hierarchies but:
- to manage hierarchies at the reporting level instead of the account configuration level.
- have reports to become the default browsing methods instead of tree views

> But removing the entire feature (if you can call core requirement a feature) is the crazy part.

As said, I plan to replace the feature not to remove it.


> On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM, Torvald Baade Bringsvor <> wrote:
>> Hi
>> Also some improvements to multi company should be possible. For example: you have a virtual chart of accounts that consists of accounts from two companies. Then you try to view the balance sheet, and you select fiscal year (2014). Mistake, because the fiscal year belongs to one of the companies so you only get the amounts in your virtual chart of accounts for that company.
>> Would be a good thing to fix too.
>> -Torvald
>> 2014-10-09 23:11 GMT+02:00 Fabien Pinckaers <>:
>>> Guys,
>>> You may have misunderstood the "remove hierarchy" technical spec.
>>> I completed the "Reporting" section to make it more clear on our goal
>>> to improve the 'structured' CoA.
>>> Fabien
>>> On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 10:35 PM, Fabien Pinckaers <> wrote:
>>> > Hello,
>>> >
>>> > A few notes:
>>> >   - the accounting spec is in draft. A lot of things will probably
>>> > change after the meeting of next week.
>>> >   - we did it quite quickly so it's not complete enough: a lot will
>>> > evolve over the next weeks
>>> >   - My feeling is that it's only 20% of the spec. (especially, all the
>>> > usability stuff have not been analysed yet. More will come later.)
>>> >
>>> > I changed the access rights on the document so that anyone can add
>>> > comments and/or ideas:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Please only add constructive comments to keep the document readable:
>>> >   - try to argue with links or examples
>>> >   - avoid subjective arguments (no +1, ...)
>>> >
>>> > Thanks,
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 8:16 PM, Ben Olsen <> wrote:
>>> >> I must agree with Lek. Many of the new and redesigned features sound great,
>>> >> but losing account hierarchy would cause serious issues. In our company we
>>> >> must maintain a very complicated and detailed Chard of Accounts, because we
>>> >> face scrutiny from government auditors. We need the account hierarchy to
>>> >> keep everything organized, and trying to throw our 500+ accounts into one
>>> >> giant list would be a disaster. Additionally, we rely on the View types to
>>> >> sum up all totals from child accounts, giving us quick overviews of
>>> >> different sub-sections of the Chart of Accounts.
>>> >>
>>> >> I looked over and can see why Odoo would want to aim for that kind
>>> >> of user-friendly interface. However, in terms of functionality, Odoo needs
>>> >> to remain a full-featured ERP and allow for much more complicated settings,
>>> >> especially with Accounting.
>>> >>
>>> >> Perhaps v9 could offer a simplified accounting system for small businesses,
>>> >> but allow the more complicated features, like account hierarchies, to be
>>> >> enabled if desired?
>>> >>
>>> >> Thanks,
>>> >> Ben Olsen
>>> >> IMSAR LLC
>>> >>
>>> >> On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM, Wipawii <> wrote:
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Greeting from Thailand,
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Agree with Lionel. Budget is important for an organisation. It is to
>>> >>> control how your business should go. It is a plan of finance.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> +1 for Reconciliation, reduce complication of Tax setting, very good for
>>> >>> restart sequence for new FY, tax is workable on Expense, More flexible on
>>> >>> Reporting with pdf and excel are optional and last one menu items is NICE!
>>> >>>
>>> >>> However, removing account hierarchy  is incomprehensible. Account
>>> >>> hierarchy is sort of like basic of accounting in part of presentation for
>>> >>> management assertion, unless Odoo will have other friendly feature to
>>> >>> support CFO to create their own financial report template freely. Hopefully,
>>> >>> new account type and reporting in this roadmap will help.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Cheers,
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Lek
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Sent from my Android
>>> >>>
>>> >>> On Oct 9, 2014 9:58 PM, "Lionel Sausin" <> wrote:
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> I find the beginning of the document very worrying :
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> "(...) Not a priority:
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Budget
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Analytic"
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> I'm worried because our company is into manufacturing, and our accounting
>>> >>>> is so simple that we didn't even bother making it in Odoo - EBP compta does
>>> >>>> the job for ~200€.
>>> >>>> BUT analytics and budgets are major features for us, the only ones we'll
>>> >>>> really use in Odoo's accounting.
>>> >>>> So please, by all means do improve whatever you want on accounting, but
>>> >>>> do NOT remove any more existing features.
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Lionel Sausin
>>> >>>>
>>> >>>> Le 09/10/2014 15:51, Graeme Gellatly a écrit :
>>> >>>>
>>>> >>> cite=""
>>>> >>>> type="cite">
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Omg. You are taking your model from a 1-10 user accounting system with no
>>>> >>>> concept of stock, no concept of anglosaxon, not even a concept of a sales
>>>> >>>> order really and literally quoting their CEO verbatim while inserting
>>>> >>>> screenshots of their product.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Dont get me wrong, i like xero, i use xero, i have written integrations
>>>> >>>> between xero and openerp, in fact i own shares in xero, but this is either
>>>> >>>> crazy or odoo is abandoning anybody subject to anything but a small business
>>>> >>>> reporting standard.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> I feel sorry for partners. I think you just got screwed but at least the
>>>> >>>> direction is clear early.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
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>> --
>> Torvald Baade Bringsvor
>> Bringsvor Consulting AS - Odoo (formerly OpenERP) implementation partner
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