Will Manager meet my simple accounting needs?

I have been using Quickbooks for over 20 years. I am ready for a change. I only have very simple requirements. The only module that I use is GL. Here are the functions that I use:

General journal entries
Import bank statements
Import credit card statements for purchases
Import credit card merchant transaction for sales
Basic accounting reports
Export data to send to accountant

It should be noted that the credit cards and merchant transactions are effectively equivalent to bank statements if they can be mapped properly.

I reviewed the Manager website and did not seem much regarding the importing

I’m not a very advanced Manager user but I believe all the features you listed are present within Manager. I’ll tackle each of your items. No guarantees, no warranties. :slight_smile:

  • General journal entries
  • Import bank statements
    • Yes this is a feature. I think I tried it once and my financial institution didn’t output their CSV data in quite a nice enough format for Manager. I prefer to make manual transactions so the lesson here is YMMV.
  • Import credit card statements
    • In manager, credit cards are treated the same as any other bank account except you expect them to have a negative balance. This is documented lots on the forums and I think in the manual. To this end, it’s the same as the previous section on importing bank receipts.
    • I will also link below the instructions for importing a bank reconciliation which is often handy for performing a balance check.
  • Import credit card merchant transactions
    • Someone else can correct me here but I think you’d once again use the import bank statements feature. Ultimately a statement of receipts (revenues) is no different from a statement of payments (expenses).
    • There’s also the batch create feature.
  • Basic accounting reports
  • Export data to send to accountant
    • So this is another YMMV. It depends on what software your accountant is willing (and/or able) to use. The really great thing about Manager is that it’s free if you are running it as a single user/single computer. Even if you are using the server or cloud version, you can backup the business file out of Manager and give it to someone using the free/desktop version. So if your accountant is willing to install and spend a bit of time learning Manager, they can just install Manager, load your business file, and they’re off to the races.
    • It’s worth consulting with your accountant first to have a plan ready before you spring this change on them. They may also be able to inform you with regards to any regulatory considerations before making the switch.
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Manager will absolutely do everything you ask. But don’t expect the experience to be like using your former program. Most things will be easier and more intuitive, but not the same.

Try it out. It’s free and you can create as many businesses as you want to experiment. Read the Guides.

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That you for your quick and thoughtful response.

I wanted to keep my question simple. But as additional information I would like to add the following:

Over the years I have found that banks provide a very simple interface using either IIF or nowadays not even that but just plain CSV.

Because I am a software developer with substantial accounting experience, I have always taken that simple output from the bank and modified it using a script. So it transforms each entry which the bank offsets into suspense into an actual journal entry into the proper account.

So I get good accounting via the automated script. If it were not for this programming, I would find bank downloads pretty useless, and don’t understand how the world considers this acceptable.

The bottom line is that if Manager can import such scripts, then we should be good to go with banks, credit cards, and merchant transactions.

I suppose the next step would be to just try it out.


Thanks for your response. See my comment about the scripting that I use to process bank and other downloads in my reply to @jamesaepp.

Indeed, the best way is to setup a test business and experiment. I kept 2 test business ever since starting using Manager and trial and error whenever I try to figure stuff out, So just give it a go.

So here’s my shower thoughts for you.

I am not a developer (edit for clarity: Not a developer by trade, nor a developer of Manager) and Manager is the only bookkeeping program I’ve used. If it has a built-in way to setup(use) customized scripts or a REST API or similar, I would not be familiar with it. For all I know they have a plugin/mod system hiding in plain sight.

That said, (and I’m unintentionally going to misrepresent here) the Manager Desktop application is just a web server, the web site front end & backend (whatever that is under the hood), and the web client (chromium based I’m guessing).

If you right click on most any navigation button in Manager, you’ll get the option to copy the link like any other browser. You can take that link over to your preferred browser and paste it in, and you’ll hit (in the case of Manager Desktop) the local web server that manager is running.

What I’m getting at is I could imagine a person of your skills developing a Chromium or Firefox extension/plugin that modifies the website to your needs when it detects you’ve browsed to the Manger web server, then do whatever you want in the interface.

This is probably a lot of work though.

I definitely recommend like the others to install and play around. Maybe you’ll find a feature built-in to Manager which means you don’t need to do anything custom. At the very least, you currently don’t know what you don’t know. But after you use it, you’ll know what you don’t know and then you can spin up new forum topics which will be more focused in nature and probably attract the right people to it.

How does this relate to your earlier post, quoted below?

Different users, @eko.

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:rofl: :joy: :rofl:

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@jamesaepp Thanks for your thoughtful response.

I noticed that it mentioned somewhere in the documentation that sqlite3 was the database used. I was able to drill down to find the database, and fire up sqlite3 to look around a bit. That was interesting.

Since i have not entered anything in to the system yet, the data tales related to transactions seemed to not be present. My theory is that when you start entering data, that the appropirate tables are created.

Generally it would not be a good idea to interact at the SQL level, as that is asking for trouble. But it is nice to be able to take a peek in this way.

For the bold but not reckless, the database is at ~/.local/share/Manager/CompanyName.manager, where “CompanyName” is that name that you chose for your company.

@jasimon9, you’re looking at the application data folder. The location varies with different operating systems. It’s also important to understand it is not a SQLite database, but only structured similarly.

Sorry @Tut but please explain further as using for example DB browser for SQLite on a business I get all db info I need see screenshot below:

I only repeated what the developer has said.

Manager.IO IMO is FANTASTIC! Was in the same boat as you. Have used & thoroughly tested MANY different accounting programs since the late 80’s. This one IMO is by far the best. Particularly IF you rely heavily on downloaded transactions. IMO, nothing comes close. Makes Quickbooks look slow and CLUNKY!.. Rules are transparent and easy to use/update while you’re reviewing downloaded bank transactions too!

ONLY thing I miss is the ability to sort on columns on this one screen. (Sorting exists virtually everywhere else in Manager.IO EXCEPT it’s missing from the screen that “batch accepts & importing bank statements.”)

Note: Downloading and working with bank transactions is far superior to Quickbooks IMO, with the one exception noted above. Hoping that sorting gets added to this screen: Because it is far easier to spot rule based errors when all similar transactions can be sorted so they’re all together. (sort by bank memo field etc.) The ability to sort by “Rule Applied” would also be FANTASTIC! - Never seen that anywhere else… And unlike Quickbooks, if a rule is not working properly: You can edit the rule right there, fix it AND see how it effects ALL the transactions that have not been accepted yet!

PS: The only tricky part for setup was integrating the “Control Accounts” feature. (This is the feature that provides grouping of similar accounts ie: multiple checking accounts under a parent account.)

Best way to begin using Manager.IO is to grab an end of year/end of month balance sheet. We began using it Jan.01 2023. Kept two identical sets of books for comparison through end of April. FLAWLESS RESULTS! It’s lightweight, fast & you only add the features you need. (Keeps the interface CLEAN!)

One other thing: Adding accounts/customer/suppliers on the fly etc. is not directly supported BUT all you have to do is right click on a link and open that link in your default web browser. From there, you can open multi-tabs to accomplish the same thing. Need a new supplier? Add one in the supplier tab and then refresh the other tab. (Manager is a web browser based app which I thought I would not like… How wrong I was!)

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