27 December 2006

Quiet, efficient, FOSS-based WA small business

It’s been a while since I’ve thought about these guys, which is a testimony in itself. The Book-Keeping Network have quietly & efficiently maintained my books for several years now, & are absolute experts at dealing with the myriad requirements of, for example, the ATO. Not bad for a WA small business.

On a more personal level, they stepped in and arranged for a number of local providers to step in & do work while I was in hospital between February & September of this year getting my head patched up & their principal is helping to run SLPWA this year.

Their systems run on D3, a platform-mostly-independent Pick derivative, based in their case on Linux. And I’m glad it is, because it’s run reliably for a very long time in a specific way which would be very difficult to maintain on, for example, Windows. It also means that most of the machines on their LAN don’t have to panic about net-borne viruses, both because they’re generally not based on susceptible systems, but also because their mail is scanned (on a Linux box) for viruses as it arrives.

It’s not a trivial system, either, since it ricochets database-backed web pages around the network to cater for a variety of applications, runs Skype, emulates assorted printers & all manner of other little complications. Reliably.

Even the few Windows workstations run OpenOffice, Firefox & other FOSS software. These guys learn what works, test it thoroughly, & then use it.

Aaaanyway, if you’re looking to forget about paperwork worries, this is the closest you’ll come in this lifetime. The ATO has actually changed serious laws based on these guys’ recommendations, & I’m very happy with their combination of patience & their attention to the right details. Give them a call & let your paper (and non-paper bookwork) take care of itself.

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