Ledger is a command-line based double-entry bookkeeping application.
Ledger uses text files for input. It reads the files and generates reports; there is no other database or stored state. To use Ledger, you create a file of your account names and transactions, run from the command line with some options to specify input and requested reports, and get output. The output is generally plain text, though you could generate a graph or html instead. Ledger is simple in concept, surprisingly rich in ability, and easy to use.
The software is published under an open source license.
Ledger is written in ANSI C++.
- The software mever creates or modifies your data. Your entries are kept in a text file that you maintain, and you can rest assured, no automated tool will ever change that data.
- The amount of data required by Ledger is minimal. It figures out from looking at your data what you mean by it and how you want it reported back to you. Accounts are created as they appear; currencies are created as they’re referenced. Anywhere that a value can be calculated, you can leave it out.
- Double-entry accounting tool, meaning that all entries must balance. If an entry does not balance, it will cause an error and the report will not be generated. Ledger is always checking the accuracies of your entries at every run; you won’t ever run into problems with “unaccounted” sums in an account.
- 100% currency-agnostic. You can store multiple currencies in any account, convert between them, or even pay in one currency and receive change in another.
- International. UTF8 is accepted anywhere in data files, Ledger uses ISO format dates, attaches no meaning to the naming of accounts, and can accept data in either US or European decimal formats. It will report currencies back to you following the manner of your own entries.
- Uses a simple set of base commands which can be extended in countless ways. You can create monthly reports, average reports, check account balances, reconcile accounts, keep track of capital gains on stocks, etc.
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