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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Running on HTTPS

(updated on April 8th, 2016)

Thanks to the great team of, free hosting for free people, and taking advantage of Let's Encrypt technology, our site runs since today with full HTTPS support.

You can check the class-A HTTPS certificate at QualysSSLLabs site.

Simple, unencrypted HTTP is now disabled.

Simple, unencrypted HTTP is still available, because old browsers do not recognize the validity of certificates emitted by the "Let's Encrypt Authority X1".

Anyway, you are encouraged to use HTTPS connections whenever possible. Should you experience any problem, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Instructions for instructors

If you are a teacher or an instructor, and you want your students to practice accounting, might be the right tool to use.

These are its advantages:

  • students can cooperate, sharing a firm to practice accounting on;
  • everything is online, so students can work both from home or from school;
  • students can login with their social accounts credentials; 
  • to discuss an exercise, one just needs to share the public address of the firm;
  • when an exercise is completed, the firm can be frozen, and a timestamp is applied (useful in case of assessments that have a specified due date);
  • the balance sheet, the income statement and the statement of changes in equity are automatically generated, so that one can see the effect of each transaction;
  • data can be easily exported to a spreadsheet, for further management;
  • data can be easily backed-up (a single file download) and reimported if needed;
  • it is easy to take a snapshot of the current trial balance;
  • each student can see what other firms have done, so it is easy to simulate a world of firms interacting with each other (we'll soon provide an interface to make it even easier).
  • journal entries are analyzed (transaction analysis);
  • there are some helpful things that students can use, like an online calculator and a debit/credit swapper;
  • entries can be easily excluded (for what-if scenarios);
  • you can have automatic closing entries;
  • the chart of accounts can be customized (it's possible to add, delete and edit accounts, to change their position in the chart, to set the ordinary outstanding balance for each account, etc.);
  • the style associated with each account can be customized, in order to get, for example, colored accounts;
  • you can use some smart comments;
  • once a firm is created, other firms can be forked from it, inheriting all its properties (chart of accounts, templates for journal entries, custom styles, etc.);
  • changes in the "parent" firm's chart of accounts can be easily transferred to its "children";
  • you can get a slideshow from a firm's journal; 

If you or one of your students prepare a chart of accounts that you want other students to use, you can either pass them the slug of the firm or ask us to make it public, so that everybody will find it listed.

If you need more information, we'll be glad to help. This is an open source and free resource, and lives thanks to the contributions of its users. Just email us to or use the contact form.

P.S. In's peer review there are two concerns that are actually unfounded:

Existing accounts in the default chart of accounts can not be deleted. As a result instructors, particulary in the U.S. will need to create their own chart of accounts. The account number, not the title must be entered when creating a journal entry, otherwise error messages occur.

Existing accounts can of course be deleted. The only limit is that an account can not be deleted when either: a) it has some children or b) it is used in some journal entry. And there is a standard US-GAAP Chart of Accounts ready to be used.

When you add a journal entry, you can choose an account by entering its code, or typing part of its name, or choosing it through a tree-view window. If this doesn't work, it might depend on browser-related issues. In case, please contact us.

Anyway, we'll try and improve the interface to make this clearer and easier.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What about colored accounts?

As an experimental feature, we added the possibility of having different styles associated with accounts in the journal of the public page and in the slideshow of a firm, here at

Let's say you want to have all assets in blue, all liabilities in red, all revenues in green and all expenses in orange.

It's quite easy. By using the keyword @classes in the comments text box, you can specify a class for each account:

Well, actually you don't need to do that for each account. The classes you specify are automatically inherited by all the children accounts.

In the Chart of Accounts page, at the bottom, you'll find a link saying Toggle visibility of classes that helps you visualize how inheritance is applied.

For instance, you should see that all accounts children of Asset Accounts are automatically assigned the class assets:

An account can have more than a class, and inheritance is not affected. This might be useful because in a complex chart of accounts you could desire to have a distinction between fixed assets and current assets. Nothing prevents you to specify a class assets at the main level, and an additional class fixed at a lower level. The result will be that you'll have two classes for the children accounts, like fixed assets.

If you want to prevent inheritance, you can put an exclamation mark after the class name.

Once you have defined your classes, how can you get colors? In the page of the configuration of the firm, click on Show advanced options: you will be presented a text area named CSS.

Here, you can past the following text (provided as an example; you can of course adapt it to your own needs):

  color: blue;

  color: red;

  color: green;

  color: orange;

and click on Save. The result should be what you expect, a colored journal:

If you want to know more about CSS, start with reading the pages at W3School, and if you have ideas for improvements, please share them with us.

Slideshow from journal entries

Some teachers like to show the journal entries of a firm and explain them to their students. Others may ask the students to show their work, entry for entry. What about letting the application generate a slideshow from the firm's data?

It is now possible: we integrated remarkjs, a handy javascript code, into our application, and now you can show the entries, one by one, followed by the connected transaction analysis.

As an added feature, you can press "p" to toggle the so-called presenter mode, and "c" to clone your view in a different browser's window.

Let us know if you have ideas on how to improve this.

Five-star Peer Review on

Our website got recently a five-star peer review on, a program of the California State University System aimed to provide a Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching.

The review led to five stars on Content Quality, Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool and Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty.

There are some concerns, but they denote a lack of documentation on our side more than a deficiency in the application itself: in the next days we'll add some information in the handbook to fix this.

Many thanks to the reviewer!

Update: We wrote a new blog post, Instructions for Instructors, when we explain better what teachers can do and expect from the website.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sections' visibility in public page

It is now possible to toggle the visibility of the different sections of the public page of a firm: the description of the firm, the journal, and the statements. It is also possible to toggle the visibility of the excluded journal entries in the journal.

This is expecially useful if you want to print only some of the things shown in the public page.

Smart comments for accounts

For each account, you can set some comments that could help to understand how to use it or to find some extra information.

The format of the comment is free, so you can just type what you need. But, to stay organized, it is better to use some keywords to express special meanings (keywords are at the beginning of the line, prefixed with a '@' symbol).

In some of our system-provided firms, we used these keywords for ordinary accounts:

  • @aka, which stands for "also known as", for accounts that could have given other names in other chart of accounts, but with the same meaning;
  • @href, for URLs of web sites that explain the meaning of the account or provide examples on how to use it;
  • @example, to provide an example of a situation where the account could be used, or to better explain the meaning;
  • @meaning, to express the meaning of the account in a short sentence;
  • @see, when we want to point to another related account (mainly to consider the difference);
  • @check, when we are not sure of the name or of other information (help us to improve the chart of accounts if you can answer our doubts).

When you choose an account using the tree view window, you can check whether the meaning of the account is correct for the transaction you are recording:

Also, when you look at the ledger page of a single account, the comments are shown, so you can better evaluate if you did the correct job:

Some kewyords, if used, are specially interpreted by the application. For instance, @href makes the text afterwards a link, as you might have noticed.

Keywords and comments play a special role in the Financial Statement Configuration, where instead of accounts we have items that keep accounts organized and let us fine-tune how the Financial Statement gets prepared.

In a previous post we discussed the use of the following keywords:
  • @caption, to specify the description that is shown after the title of the statement;
  • @strip, to tell the application which part of the description of the journal entries has to be stripped away when analyzing accounts (for the Statement of Changes in Equity);
  • @analyze, to tell the application which accounts have to be analyzed.
Here, we introduce a new one:
  • @closing, that you might want to set to "no" if you don't want for the related accounts to be proposed a closing entry.
Other keywords for our smart comments could be introduced in the future. Meanwhile, you can safely play with the above ones.