How would you compare manager to other paid accounting software?

Is there an accountant here? I got into a sort of argument with a professional recently, and I would love to ask, how would you compare manager to other paid accounting software?


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I am a business person and this is my view on only some points. Managers simplicity is great but like any piece of software once you know where to do what, it will function as you would expect. Manager has a draw back and it is in this that its functionality and features are changing rapidly. This can be disconcerting when compared to similar paid software. I think we understand the reason for the rapid change and it is largely driven by user feature requests and demand. We can see this actively in this forum. Of course there is the vision that Manager will reach the point of maturity in an accurate and timely fashion. Many of the features requested, for example the scan to file and upload of documents etc are already found in paid web based accounting applications. So to be fair Manager has some way to go. Something not to be taken lightly is Manager’s ability to look identical on any operating system platform, accessible from any device while delivering great performance. The application’s scalability is good from the testing I have done. Probably one of the greatest benefits of Manager is its team who listen and then deliver in a way to address the issue / request. This is not readily found in other similar paid products and their support. I do think that the reporting can do with some fine tuning and deliver graphical reports. Paid versions of accounting software are already doing this in their reporting. This effectively shows a company’s business position in terms of financial health swiftly and it cannot easily be ignored. The end result for me is that the numbers must reflect a true result, offer little room for user error and show accountability. When that occurs confidence in the product escalates leaving little room for argument. I like manager, its flexibility and I think the team will get there with our support to seek out the key features which will add value beyond what the paid versions offer today.


I actually showed Manager to my book keeper and she was extremely impressed.

Over the years, I have used Quick Books and MS Money for an NFP Animal Rescue Group that we run and they were OK but when I started my business I did start using MS Money and found it (just) OK.

As well as being a free app, I’m amazed at the flexibility and it was quite an easy learning curve for me with the assistance of Lubos and other Forum Members.

I really have no complaints whatsoever and although I can’t really compare it to other apps as I haven’t used anything else so for me it’s absolutely ideal !


I am an accountant too and an accountant of a small scale company. My company however has a very huge budget and a very big bank account. We are currently using Tally ERP 9 software (paid software) and I used manager along side it. I also set up manager for small scale companies i help with accounting.

For now i can say Tally has more features than manager, it has a Payroll feature which is amazing.
It can give various reports far beyond Manager can show. It has sub ledger and group features where you can create a group and sub ledgers under the group and then create ledgers under the subledgers. You can even determine if that group or sub ledger must appear as a line on the balance sheet/P/L instead of being under another.

It has a very simple Bank reconciliation feature as well. In Tally a customer under customers (sundry Debtors) can be used in journals unlike manager where you have to direct that journal to an invoice.

It has multi-location for inventories, inventory groups and categories, and also supports NGO organisation reporting etc.

But Tally has been around since the 90s if not the 80s and honestly from the way things are going Manager in it matured stage will be a lot better than Tally ERP. Manager must just improve upon reports, inventory, payroll, and some other few areas. And the interface development must focus on ease of access and displaying of details.

You can be assured that next year around this time manager will be far better than it is now (glance through the change log), and Manager actually allows you to contribute to it growth. All these features in Manager for free or for a small fee if you are on the server or cloud is amazing. To me Manager is a growing threat to the other accounting apps, it just needs to keep the fire burning and keep developing till it can do everything

@lubos is doing a great job, already manager can handle almost every aspect of accounting for a Medium size company. Manager is cost effective and provides quality bookkeeping administration.


We actually sought out Manager as a replacement for MYOB which our book keeper had found unbearably slow in the Cloud version. We had tossed up Quickbooks and Xero as alternatives, but couldn’t justify the cost for more than one company.

We trialled Manager in parallel with MYOB for a month (Cloud version) and our book keeper checked it out for fit and recommended bringing over the other company as well.

Transfer of data for almost a full 12 months accounting period our book keeper said was faster than it would be under MYOB, a package she has used every day for more than a decade. Aside from settling in and being unfamiliar with how to set up the system and how to operate it, we’ve had virtually no issues. She did have some annoyance at how Manager did the reconciliation process vs MYOB but that has improved- the same as other features have rapidly developed over the short period we have used the system.

In fact, in the early days we had several people entering data into the one database for the one company on different computers a lot of the time. We were amazed at how fast the system was updated by each others’ keystrokes. We could not tell any difference in lag from a single user on a MYOB desktop.

Price and support are Manager’s other major features. Can’t complain at the monthly price, and we’ve never previously experienced the level of support and (let’s face it) unbridled passion that Lubos has for the product.

I am no expert at Manager, but my accountant visited last week to start work on last year’s tax. He had never seen it and asked for a P&L and balance sheet for each company. I had never attempted to extract these reports before - but we were both impressed at how intuitive the selection parameters were, and in no time at all we had all the reports printed and he is underway. In the past I would have had to recruit the book keeper to do this for me.

Before my accountant left with his reports I set him up to view the companies within Manager. So, from the comfort of his office in the Gold Coast, or while away with his partner in Sydney he can check out any discrepancies in the books. He was suitably impressed and said he would certainly be recommending the product to other clients.

cheers and I hope that helps




I have not used Manager for so long, and I have not used so many other accounting packages (I once installed Tally, and I seriously could not get anything done on it. It just made no sense to me, and it didn’t have a very visible and easy help system like Manager).

From the moment I saw Manager though, I fell in love with it I guess. The interface is so intuitive that starting is hardly ever difficult…

I wanted some others with more experience to sound off on this though so I could get a more solid assessment, as I have already started recommending Manager to every other businessman who cares to ask (or sometimes doesn’t :smile:).

I simply love the passion of @lubos, the way he works towards industry standards and ease of use in the software, the help system/forum and the great community that has been built up around it.

Thanks all for your comments. They were great…

By the way, @lubos, when a product starts getting very good with multiple users like this, it is normal that offers for a buyout would start coming. I implore you, please let’s keep it this way… Do not give up what you’ve worked hard to perfect all these years… PLEASE do not sell…! Please.

Let’s keep the powerful assessments coming in, and let’s assist others with reasons to drum up massive support for Manager - online and offline - because it just makes sense to use it!


I’m a certified public accountant. I have used myob, peachtree, quickbooks, and bs1enterprise before. I found manager a lot user friendly than other softwares. It has great support from lubos and other users.

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I’m a free-lance book-keeper to five companies, I think it’s brilliant and all five accountants I deal with are very happy with it.


@Abeiku I’ve fallen into this thread for some reason (I should be in bed).

A year on from your post, I’m wondering how you (or anyone) feel about it now?

I myself chose it for various reasons including it’s price-point, which for a company that hasn’t opened it’s doors yet (me), is fantastic! (I’m currently on the desktop version but will likely look to migrate to the server or cloud version once we’re in place). I’m also a mac user and happy with it’s cross platform nature. I’m not anti-cloud, but I like to have certain things on my computer, not locked away in the cloud if I’m away from the internet. (I haven’t tried the cloud on mobile, I should have a look).

I was going to go with MYOB because I did use it MANY years ago, and it’s one of the industry norms here, and was familiar with it at that time (we’re talking almost 20 years ago now—DAMN I’m getting old). I personally didn’t like the crippling nature of MYOB or Xero for small business and the expense of monthly fees (at this point in time). The fact that dev(s) have gone back to traditional software models and away from software as a monthly paid service (cloud excepted) is also a big tick for me. I don’t like the new model of paying for software month-by-month, which seems to be the motivation for a lot of things going to the cloud. (The paying for cloud services is a different matter and not at all what I mean. If you want something in the cloud, there’s a cost associated with that and you have to pay for it). Gone are the days of buying software and using it for as long as you were happy with that feature-set.

I pretty much stumbled across and have been delighted with the support that floats around here, another reason why I think I’ll be staying.

To a lesser point, I was also happy it’s an Aussie product and knowing that the dev has an understanding of our tax system (not that it would differ too greatly I suppose).

Anyway, I see the version number changing constantly, new features, plenty of discussion, the dev* jumps in all the time, and experienced users such as yourself, @Tut and @Brucanna have heaps to offer; it’s just awesome! Heaps of fun times ahead. Just wondering how you felt about it now being that we’re a “year on” from your post?

I deliberately didn’t tag lubos because I didn’t want to bore him with my ramblings :stuck_out_tongue:



I’m in my third full year with Manager and keep liking it more and more. I, too, am a Mac user on the desktop edition. The big positives are:

  1. Selective enabling of modules. The program doesn’t have to be more complex than you need.

  2. Unbelievable development responsiveness. When I first began using it, for example, billable expenses and time were visions on the horizon. Their initial implementations were workable, but not outstanding. But they very quickly improved to the point where they might have been custom designed just for my business. Similar rapid improvements occurred with the concept of uncleared payments and deposits to cash (and in olden days) bank accounts, which have of course been conveniently consolidated. Custom control accounts were a very welcome addition. All of these things sprang from suggestions of the user base. Never have I had the developer of a commercially available software application respond directly–let alone quickly–to my personal inputs.

  3. The supportive community. I started contributing to the forum because people helped me when I was a new user. Of course, I now spend entirely too much time here, but I have round the entire crowdsourcing model quite interesting and useful.

  4. Suitable output. Sure, invoices could be glitzier. Reports could be fancier. Everything could come with more customization options. But all that would be at the expense of software bloat, which I despise. And you can produce very professional results with what’s already here. My view is that this isn’t marketing communication, it’s accounting. It’s supposed to be boring. :wink:

I also have a few frustrations, all of which are ironically tied to the positives above:

  1. The pace of development outstrips documentation. I would love to see more comprehensive information about intended use so we wouldn’t have to rely on reading the forum and hearing about others’ ideas of what to do quite so much. But I also know the developer has plans in this area.

  2. Early adopters are guinea pigs. Many solutions are rolled out without adequate testing and incomplete evaluation of their effect on the existing workflows users might have in place. Sometimes those changes modify previous transactions (as happened when ability to inject HTML into Notes fields was added). Yet no one forces us to update (except cloud users). And bugs are addressed quickly. Still, each update causes a brief moment of panic and some require feedback to be generated to help get things right. Using Manager fully requires a conscious decision to participate in an ongoing experiment in small-business accounting under a specific business and crowd-based support and improvement model. I’m sure that’s not for everyone. But it has exposed me to concepts I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise and made me think about accounting and management information on a deeper level.

  3. Small tweaks are difficult. The more capable Manager becomes, the harder it gets to make little changes. For example, I used to modify the sales invoice just to add a bigger margin at the top so I could bind paper copies with a top clip. That required only a couple lines of HTML, which I could stumble through. Today, I’d have to rewrite the entire template from scratch, which is beyond my abilities, to maintain full functionality. I understand why the change was made, but I grumble every time I punch holes through my company logo.


I think @Tut has said a lot, there has been a lot of improvement, there is now sub accounts, special accounts, custome control accounts, withholding tax improvement, sales tax improvement (componentized), Bank reconciliation improvement, creating of invoices improvement, ability to use non inventory items and inventory in receive money improvement,

Next year around this time if we are all here God willing I will talk about Warehouse Features, Audit trail, Budgeting, and improvements across all areas even Payroll (hopefully). There are a lot of free Accounting Apps out there but I have this feeling Manager is better and going to be bigger than all of them.
I can say the only thing QuickBooks has that I envy is the Purchase Order and Sales order Management where you can create invoices for customers or send inventory to customers and see the status of the Sales order adjusted automatically and also create purchase order and see automatic adjustment as you receive invoices or inventory against the purchase order. You can mix both inventory and non inventory items in the order, you can even just select an expense account for purchase order or a revenue account for a sales order. I seriously envy that feature because the modern business really needs it accounting software to help Manage Orders by providing automatic adjustments. @lubos please look into it.

Also I need automatic numbering of payments and receipt :wink:

I am very pleased about this application and visits the forum more than I visit Facebook.
Please tweet about manager, share manager on Facebook and all, I do. And don’t just sit back and watch, share your ideas and help make Manager better.

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Hmmm… The thread comes up again lol

I guess Manager is now almost getting to as good as really good paid software. I’ve enjoyed it for so long. Could something be done so it could export to excel though? @lubos

Thanks for your comments…!

Hi @Tut,

If you want I can maybe help you with the puncture holes. You are helping so many people here I can at least try. Can’t give you a timeline since I am in the middle of buying a house but still.
Let me know !!

Remember that you can adjust the margins! Just right-click on any WYSIWYG screen in Manager, select Print Preview, and click the gear icon in the preview to change margin sizes. Alternatively, any changes you make to margins in Internet Explorer will also apply to Manager, since the latter uses the former as its display/print engine.

I think this is only available with Microsoft Windows, not with Apple/Macintosh

Absolutely true. :sob:

confirming, that’s not available :frowning:

@Tut Not an elegant solution, but I’m guessing your logo is in the top right corner. In OS-X the printer dialog includes scaling and you could reduce the size of the document by 10% which scales it away from the bottom and right edges.

Sadly, @d3mad, your solution causes the application to crash. This is a known bug which, like several other printing and emailing issues, awaits development of an internal PDF generation capability. It’s coming.

Ah. I was experimenting but didn’t print anything. I was just looking at the preview window and it seemed to work. Although it did crash when I changed the preview value and it went thru zero. I’d put it down to that.

What about the system print dialog to PDF then print the PDF from preview app? I know it’s a stuff around but if it saves that precious logo :slight_smile:

The print-to-PDF option works fine, and for Mac OS X is built-in, not relying on a 3rd-party app.