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Old 03-03-2009
JCoyote JCoyote is offline
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Default A dynamic change for economies

I have this thought, working on some things today, about a way to accelerate and reduce expenses in the economy and government. It's simple, in a way.

A freely available federal accounting software. With state plug-ins. Accounting, ledgers, inventory, payroll. Something adequate for every individual and business with up to 500 employees, maybe more. A few different flavors and versions for Windows, Linux, Macs. Companies large enough to have custom applications are less a concern, but ultimately the goal might be to create systems for them as well later on, or at least some standards they need to follow.

Free, or more accurately, provided to any person or organization that files taxes. This would create a single set of accounting file standards, making audits faster and more efficient, and tax filing as close to painless as possible. Paper would still be acceptable, and legally always should be (it's the fundamental basis of accounting after all), but providing this as an option could save a fortune around the country, and insure that everyone with it is using the most up-to-date taxes and regulations. Nobody would HAVE to use it, but if it was made available for free and was simple to use in its personal and small business versions, I bet it would be adopted by many small companies and individuals that still don't do accounts on computer.

The biggest argument against it would be the government "competing" with businesses, but there would always be room for companies to make "easier" versions or more specially tailored versions. Secondly, I think the broad advantage this could provide across the country would outweigh this, it would be more like a part of our infrastructure; because accounting and taxes ARE part of the infrastructure as much as we hate them.

Mostly, I would think that spending a couple billion developing something that could save hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars across the country, is a more useful idea than half the things I've heard in "stimulus packages".

(Granted a flattened and simplified tax system would be even nicer, but not like you could get our government to try something like that.)

But I'm sure there are downsides, so go nuts telling me.
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Old 03-04-2009
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PT-The Italian Commie PT-The Italian Commie is offline
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Using open-source softwares for ALL sectors of the Public administration would be enough alone to help save the Local, State and Federal authorities millions every year. The sole city of Milan spends about half a million Euros yearly for software licenses, so figure out.
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