I have to set up a system for a startup company, and I’m having a hard time choosing software. Here are my parameters:
They will have a single office at first with 3 stations, with possible expansion up to 20 offices with up to 10 stations each.
Data should be centralized and read/write accessible from any of the workstations.
The software should do the following:
[list][li]Employee tracking[/li][li]Job tracking[/li][li]Customer tracking[/li][li]Payroll, including overtime and holiday pay[/li][li]Invoicing[/li][li]Accounts payable and receivable[/li][li]Be network-aware[/li][li]Multi-user, with per-user, per-function permissions [/li]They would like to spend less than $5000 total to start out, including hardware, and hardware cost comes to about $3500 including operating systems.
My first thought was “maybe you should try fantasy land”.
My first productive thought was Quickbooks, but even the enterprise version ($2500-$3000, not even out yet) only allows up to 10 simultaneous connections (is this enough for the anticipated expansion? I wouldn’t think so, but who knows?). I considered loading up all the computers with some free Unix (BSD or Linux), then writing the app in SQL with a PHP/HTML front-end, but it’s a lot more complex than I can write. I don’t think I can make it do everything they need AND be reliable enough for day-to-day operations. They don’t want to spend the money on a big program like quickbooks, and they don’t want to wait (or pay) for a big custom-written app.
There’s one thing on the horizon that I’ve been able to find: KBooks, which is supposed to be a full replacement and, eventually, even better than QuickBooks, but it’s only in pre-alpha now.
So am I wasting my time? It looks like I’m going to have to tell them to just bite the bullet and cough up some medium-sized money, but is anybody aware of a free package that will fit? Or even a combination of free or inexpensive progs that will interoperate?
Anybody willing to do some cheap contract SQL+Frontend programming?