Accounting applications designed by programmers

I am now finished my first iPhone application and am getting anxious to make the official announcement.  That said, doing so before being accepted into the developer program probably isn’t the best idea.  Hint: it’s an accounting application designed with double-entry accounting theory as the foundation.

It always makes me question an accounting application’s initial design when a developer announces that the next version will support split transactions or the ability to transfer funds between accounts.  I can guarantee you that these systems were not designed by accountants.  Double-entry accounting theory gives you a data model that will let you record any and every type of transaction you will ever need.  The ideal data model in my opinion includes (at least) Line Items, Accounts and Transactions.  Each Line Item belongs to one Account and one Transaction.  Accounts and Transactions each have many Line Items.  

This complexity added by double-entry (as opposed to single-entry) accounting can be quite easily hidden from the user.  That said, this is one instance where there may be benefit in educating rather than accommodating the user…

Note: this post should make a little more sense when my announcement and the accompanying screenshots and videos are posted.  Stay tuned.

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~ by lucasgladding on July 9, 2008.

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