Who's using ledger?
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The author has been using Ledger to manage his personal finances since its creation in September of 2003. Previously I had used Quicken rather heavily, and then Gnucash, but always found there were certain custom reports I wanted that were exceedingly hard to achieve. Plus I was always finding mysteriously unbalanced money, which had to be reconciled into a Misc account. With Ledger, unbalanced sums are impossible, as they produce an error when attempting to parse the ledger file.
I ended up choosing Ledger for our company a few years ago when it was just a tiny startup because of the flexible way Ledger can handle multiple currencies. All the other software I looked at insisted on converting foreign currencies to a base currency at the time of booking and this caused exchange rate issues if you have both expenses and income in multiple currencies. Instead, Ledger allows you to keep the balance in a foreign currency and only convert it when you need to. Also, the ability to work with text files and version control is just so much more intuitive to a programmer, the way accountants handle version control really seems primitive by comparison.
By now we have clients in over 40 countries and a serious revenue stream, and ledger is still at the center of it all. The fact that it's all just text files really pays off: We wrote a bunch of ruby scripts to feed in postings from banking software and to convert the output into a format suitable for our tax software. This has allowed us to automate almost every part of accounting, while with commercial sofware we would need lots of manual workarounds for our (admittedly non-standard) business.
—Jan M. Faber, SuperSaaS.com
I’m a college student who just moved from the dorms to an apartment, complete with the myriad of new expenses entailed in growing up. I use Ledger to track my personal finances, including doing some fancy things I haven’t seen in other programs. I work as a contractor, so at the end of the year I get 1099s instead of W-2s, with no taxes taken out by my employers during the year. Using Ledger’s automated transactions feature, taxes are set aside from every paycheck automatically. This frees me from the burden of remembering to take taxes out manually, and keeps me informed as to how much money I really have, versus what my bank balance is.
The flexibility of Ledger’s reporting, and the ease with which I can enter transactions, has made my entry into double-entry accounting a breeze. I can use Assets, Expenses, and Liabilities with the flexibility and glorious power they were meant to have.
I’m a software developer who has used Ledger to keep my finances sane for more than four years. It has been a huge help as I was getting myself back onto my feet after college, and even helped me pay my car off far earlier than anticipated. I wrote this article in 2010 about how I use ledger.
I have being a heavy user of ledger, since I found it ~4 years ago. The most charming part is that everything is just a plain-text file. Though it looks simple, it really powerful and wonderful!
Ledger also inspire me to implement an accounting/banking system deployed in the way of SaaS. Users can access the system from web browser, or android/iphone app. And everyone’s finance data is stored in a seperate sqlite file. The data can be exported as a ledger file.
This is a free system, I do it for free. And the main philosophy is borrowed from John Wiegley.
We got inspired by Ledger after having used a traditional heavy ledger for several years. Ledger brings a straight forward, non-bloated ledger and best of all everything is kept in plain text files, which enables Git revision control.
I came across Ledger when I was browsing the suckless website. I had grown tired of managing my finances in LibreOffice spreadsheets and felt that I could find a way that was closer to my preferred workflow (urvxt + tmux). Ledger offered a simple syntax, fail-proof accounting, and accessibility that its competition only dreams of having. Being able to manage my finances over SSH from any computer in the world and produce reports directly in the terminal is amazing. My experience with it has been stellar. I use it on a daily basis to manage my finances. If you organize your accounts well, you can nail down things that are preventing you from saving money or paying on debts. It's really an indispensable tool. Anyone who's serious about their money owes it to themselves to at least try out Ledger.
— Daniel Campbell, Sporkbox Productions
I love Ledger for it's simplicity, syntax and double accounting. I was trying to use a lot software for personal finance accounting (kmymoney, aqbanking, grisbi, cab, gnucash), but ledger is more convenient for me. I use it on a daily basis to manage my finances for about 7-8 years and recommend it to use for others.
I earn and spend money in different countries and ledger has been the only tool that has enabled me to successfully manage my finances in a single unified way. Other software can do it, but not seamlessly. The tool set it provides means I can quickly answer any question I have about my money.