IconIT4GH AccountsOdds
IT4GH Accounts terminology
  • Auditor A person who has read only privileges to a restricted set of functions of the accounts of one business only
  • Client Your client account is the umbrella record you have with IT4GH
  • Customer The entities or corporations with whom you do business. You may refer to them as clients (in a professional context) or customers (in a merchandising context) but in an IT4GH accounts context they are both customers
  • Department A cost, or profit and loss centre
  • Locale A way of showing what country and language settings to use. Examples are 'en-CA' (English/Canada), 'fr-CA' (French/Canada), en-GB (English/Great Britain). Locale is important since it will affect how the software behaves, for example with the labelling of some buttons and how money items appear in an invoice

  • What is IT4GH Accounts? It is an online double entry bookkeeping system. You can record transactions, post transactions from invoices, and produce the customary reports such a balance sheet, trial balance, income and expense statement and ledgers. You will find that it has a heavy English and Canadian flavour since it was initially developed in Canada with that jurisdiction in mind. However there is an ongoing effort to make it as international as possible and to widen language access.
  • What is the underlying philosophy? First, establish a viable normalized database backend. Second, to build scripting access to input data effectively. Then to provide meaningful reports based on the backend. Be sensitive to language, currency, reporting periods, and jurisdictions.
  • What are the prerequisites? To use the software you will need a knowledge of double entry bookkeeping, a compatible browser and a connection to the internet (high speed or dial-up). The system was developed with Firefox browser in mind due to the browser's ability to support emerging technologies and the number of useful and productive extensions and add-ons that can help deal with presentation issues, but others should work and may well do just what you need. You are free to choose the browser that suits your purposes. Experiment!
  • Where do I log in? Here
  • I forgot my password. Here you can ask for a reminder to be sent to your registered e-mail address from the login screen. This process will reset your password to a random string, but once you have access again you can reset the password to whatever you feel is appropriate.
  • I don't have a client account. Where can I register one? Here
  • What are the strengths of this accounting system? Why should I use it and not another one that is more well-known?
    • Web based - wherever you travel you have access to your data
    • No updating of the software on your client machine - you always have access to the latest version
    • Works on any device that can run a browser
    • Multiple currencies
    • Year-end rollup or (rule-off)
    • Import/Export of Open Financial Exchange (OFX) 1.0.2
    • Definable taxes for invoice items and customers, taxes are applied per item and per customer
    • Invoice creation, posting and unposting from the invoice
    • Don't complain to us about document layout, use your own cascading stylesheet
    • Invoicing individual customers or by groups (if a number of customers belong to a group, then creating one invoice for the group results in the same invoice being sent to all members of that group)
    • Chart of Accounts setup from models
    • Database backend, including foreign key relationships that protect data. This helps to separate the data and the scripting
    • € ¥ and other multi-byte symbols supported
    • Speedy - data transfers generally are small
    • The software focuses on maintaing the data, and leaves the browser to take care of presentation and printing.
  • What are its weaknesses?
    • With any browser-based application there are certain issues related to caching and the use of the back button which can interfere with normal operation. After making a change, a visit to an old cached page in the history can show out of date data which can be misleading, or can result in duplicates of operations
    • Multiple user mode is weak. The software is designed for use by one person logged in on a client account at a time. Multiple clients can be logged in with no problem as long as they are working on different client (in the IT4GH sense) accounts
    • Requires a persistent internet connection while you are working on your accounts
    • MySQL tables limited to the latin1 character set
    • Diagnostic error checking is not as complete as it should be, but it gets better every day.
  • 'To Do' list
      Note that these items are not in any order. They may be addressed incrementally or in full according to time and resources. Some, like payroll, are distant projects which require extensive preparation.
    • Individual on demand backup and restore of personal data
    • Payroll
    • Charting and historical reporting
    • Receivables aging
    • Income tax online submission
    • Record locking in a multi-user context
    • Import and export of standard financial formats in addition to OFX 1.0.2
    • Improved diagnostics
    • Allow reference to external database of billable items
    • Many others, make a suggestion
  • What is its history?
    1. Design and first prototype November 2008
    2. Site first made public for alpha review end of December 2008
    3. May 2009 Improvements to Canadian Tax Reporting
    4. May 2009 Improvements to Canadian Tax Reporting - Business and Professional Income Reports
    5. Feb 2010 Auditor access added
    6. May 2010 Cash Flow Charting added
  • What does it cost? There is no cost to test and learn how to use the system, however some restrictions will apply. There is a charge for a full client account and an extra charge for access to your accounts on a secure server.
  • How does the programme deal with currencies?While most transactions in a business will be in the local or base currency for tax and other purposes, the programme recognizes that businesses will often hold accounts in different currencies. For example, amounts in a bank account denominated in foreign currency will always stay in that currency until exchanged. In IT4GH accounts each account is declared to be in a specific currency whether local or foreign. When a balance sheet is produced, the entry in the balance sheet will reflect the value of the foreign currencies in terms of the local currency using the latest exchange rate. Each currency actively used in a business will require its own Equity account, such as "Capital - USD", "Capital - EUR", "Capital - CAD". Income and expense items, while the contract may be in a foreign currency are deemed (for tax purposes anyway) to be in the local currency using the current exchange rate at the time of close of the contract and are normal transactions in local currency accounts unless the user wishes to treat them otherwise (at which point you talk to your accountant).
  • How is the backend database organized?
    1. Top level The top level is the client level. Each person who applies to use the system is reserved a username and password to allow authentication on the system. The client can only see resources private to that client plus other common data such as geographical information, currencies and account types.
    2. Administrator level: The system administrator has sole control over such data as currencies (according to ISO 4217) and exchange rates, country lists, province/state/county lists and account types (Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income, Expense etc). These features are pre-installed to assist clients and can be amended according to user feedback.
    3. Each client can:
      • Add/Edit/Delete Auditors
      • you can give access to an auditor to read the account set of any individual business, but that person will not be able to make changes to those accounts
      • Add/Edit/Delete businesses
      • a business is an entity that has its own completely separate set of accounts
      • Add/Edit/Delete departments (specific to businesses)
      • departments are profit and cost centres in a business
      • Add/Edit/Delete accounts (specific to departments and therefore to businesses as well)
      • Add/Edit/Delete customers (specific to a business)
      • once a customer has been entered the record is visible to one business. If you have two businesses that sell to one specific customer then you need two customer entries for that one customer
      • Add/Edit/Delete billable items (such as time or products)
      • Items are specific to a business. Items for one business will not be visible to your other businesses
      • Add/Edit/Delete terms (Cash only, Cash & carry, Net 30 days etc): these are specific to the client. They can be applied selectively to customers
      • Add/Edit/Delete taxes (specific to the client) and apply them selectively to customers and/or billable items
      • Add/Edit/Delete/Post/Unpost/Show/Print invoices and invoice details
      • Add/Edit/Delete/Show/Print transactions and splits - each transaction conists of a minimum of two split entries, one a negative amount and the other a positive amount making the net transacton value zero.
    4. How is the data protected? The backend uses the INNODB engine and constraints are in effect to prevent deletion of records on which details depend. For example, if you as the client enter an invoice for one of your customers and later try to delete the record for that customer the programme will refuse to perform the delete until you have first deleted the invoice.
    5. Since my data is stored on your server can other people such as you or your staff view my accounts? While we can see individual entries we cannot see the overall picture and have no way of knowing which client a record belongs to. Passwords are always encrypted at our server, so it is not possible for anyone at IT4GH to log in to your account and view your data that way. As with any other institution entrusted with private information we perform regular backups and protect our own systems, and allow you to view and edit all information stored on your behalf.
  • Do you provide support? Yes. There is a help file, an FAQ, and commercial support is available on a fee basis. Fee paying customers are always given priority over other demands on resources.

Terms & Conditions
  • This programme is not warranted to be suitable for any particular purpose. The onus is on the user to test the software to determine whether it will be suitable for the purpose they have in mind.
  • In all cases the liability of the software publisher and maintainer will be limited to the amount that the user has paid for the service during the current calendar month.
  • The management may at any time change the terms and conditions for use by free or non commercial access, including termination of access for customers who make unfair use of the system to deny use to others.

CB Accounts is published by IT4GH. You can contact them here. The software is written using PHP and uses MySQL as a database back-end. The programme is hosted by NetHosted in the United Kingdom, with data stored in a specialist data centre with an excellent record for uptime and attention to problems.


The detailed help page on posting and producing reports is here, and there is an FAQ.


The software is currently in beta mode.


F1Copyright Colin Beckingham IT4GH © 2008-2011 All Rights ReservedInfo