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OAccounts – Open Accounting Data

What is OAccounts?

OAccounts is an initiative to create an open standard for representing organisations’ detailed financial data – the kind of data which is typically held by accounting, bookkeeping or invoicing software packages. Because it is an open standard, anybody may use it in their applications without any fees, permission or licensing required.

The aims of OAccounts are:

Why OAccounts?

Accounting software is currently a market dominated by a small number of large, established players with competition from numerous start-ups. Most software providers, both large and small, are storing their data in proprietary formats; this makes it harder for customers to move from using one application to another, and this “vendor lock-in” is perceived as a competitive advantage by many software providers.

We argue that a common open standard, supported by many different applications, would be an advantage to everybody. Reasons include:

What is the current status of OAccounts?

OAccounts is currently an early draft, and we are currently seeking contributions from anybody with an interest in interchange and processing of accounting data. If you would like to contribute, please contact us (see below).

OAccounts builds on the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) standard, which has been mature for years and is being adopted in some jurisdictions as mandatory electronic data interchange format for public-sector billing. UBL focuses on providing the tools and protocols for negotiating and executing one particular transaction. OAccounts aggregates all of an organisation’s transactions (represented in UBL format) into a repository representing that organisation’s accounts.


Blog posts discussing OAccounts:

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OAccounts is an initiative by Martin Kleppmann, based on the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) standard, Copyright OASIS Open 2006. The OAccounts standard and all associated material is Copyright by Martin Kleppmann and respective contributors, and released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute, please contact Martin Kleppmann (martin at eptcomputing dot com) who is currently coordinating the OAccounts efforts.