Trying to find a better solution for your data and billing process.

Right now we use Excel to enter our customer information at 5 sites around the city. The files are saved to a NAS. At the middle and end of each month we bill the companies that the customers work for. Invoicing through Quickbooks.

Problem is that billing is complicated and hard to track. I setup 1 excel file to pool all the data into one. Also, the end users have problems even with Excel files that I have locked down and simplified.

Things I have considered:

  1. Access database
  2. Hosted website (user access only)
  3. Creating our own solution through Visual Studio.

I am comfortable with all areas of computer software. Limited program knowledge though.

I have these limitations:

  1. Extremely low budget
  2. Needs to be easy for everyone else
  3. Everyone is uncomfortable with a lot of change.

I know it is a tall order, but I know there is something better that we can use for a long time. I just can't think of what to do right now. Been looking at too many things.

  • 3
    Are hosted options OK, such as Odoo? If you have the knowledge and ability, you can download the open-source version and it should satisfy your requirements, plus allow things like timesheet tracking, project management, accounting, billing, invoicing, etc. Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 0:40
  • Do you have a server on which you can install web-accessible Java or PHP software?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 2:50
  • @NathanClayton You can post Odoo as the answer,it seems to be a better solution for this question :)
    – Heisenberg
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 12:13
  • Thank you for the ideas. I am checking out Odoo right now and I will see if it will work. We currently do not have a server, but I could setup a Linux server from some of the backup computers we have. I prefer not to have someone else host, as some of our info is sensitive.
    – Brad
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 2:57

2 Answers 2


I'd recommend that you take a look as something like Odoo. It's open-source so you can install it on your own system, or they'll host it for you. You can integrate it into AD for unified logons if you like.

Also, it can handle loads of additional things for you, from your business website, invoicing, accounting, timesheet/leave/expense tracking to warehouse maintenance.

  • Thank you, I am check Odoo out. We do not have a server right now, but I will try it on a Linux server.
    – Brad
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 3:00
  • Any time. You can download a Windows installer off of nightly.odoo.com. I'd go for the 8.0 branch and get the latest build. If you like it you can always install on Linux or whatever server OS you prefer later on and migrate the DB to a proper host. Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 3:14

Did you tried Dolibarr ERP CRM . It's an Open Source web application with a low learning curve. If you just want to test without installing it on your Linux server, you can try a demo (a small list of demo providers is maintained on the list of SaaS instant demo)

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