Common Cents is a web-based personal finance and accounting system written by P. Eric Huber
(aka Moonlight Design) based on an earlier DOS-based (clipper) version first written in 1992. The goal of Common Cents
is to provide not only a way to track and reconcile bank account registers, but also to track expense, capital and income
account balances through double-entry transactions.
A list of features provided by Common Cents is listed below:
- Multiuser capable. One administrator controls master list of accounts and setup of new users.
- Register Maintenance. Registers are setup by individual users (a register is equivalent to a bank, savings or credit card account)
- Account Maintenance. Each user selects applicable accounts from the master list and optionally assigns each asset or liability
account to a register.
- Transaction Entry. Transactions are entered by type (ie: Check purchase, Debit Card purchase, Credit Card purchase, Adjustment, etc).
Each transaction type is a grouping by which transactions are remembered. When you create a new transaction definition,
you give it a description and associate a credit and debit account with it. When you return to perform this type of
transaction again, you select the definition and then just provide the date and amount. How that amount is applied
(account to debit and credit), is already done for you.
- OFX Import. Transactions can also be imported from OFX file (Microsoft Money format). You must have an OFX file to begin with.
Then it is just a matter of processing (or skipping duplicates) each record received. Imported transactions must also be linked to
internal transaction definitions as well, but over time, the system will remember transaction types from merchants and limit definition
records to be selected from.
- Automatic Transactions. Automatic or reoccuring transactions can be setup (through agent script setup as a cron job). These
transactions can also automatically track varying portions of a fixed payment amount (ie: A monthly
mortgage payment with a fixed escro amount and a varying interest portion - based on monthly or daily
- Budget breakdown capability. Ability to setup a breakdown for main income received. When you record
your paycheck, you enter the amount of the check, and the system breaks it down for you automatically based
on how you set it up. Breakdown can be setup as fixed amounts or percentage of total, or combination of both.
Part of the budget setup includes defining an account which serves as a catch-all account for any remaining
balance once everything else has been allocated.
- Register Reconciliation. Registers are reconciled to bank statements received. Transactions are marked and checked
against the statement ending balance. If register is in balance, then all transactions are marked with an "R" to indicate
- Posting Transactions. Once registers are reconciled, transactions can be posted to accounts. Once posted, the
transaction no longer appears in the register for viewing.
- Trial Balance Report. The trial balance report lists all accounts with balances in order of account number. The total
debits should equal the total credits. Each account can be clicked on to show the unposted transactions effecting the balance
of that account.
- Income/Expense Graph. The income and expense graph is a bargraph portraying YTD income and expenses for each month.
- Expense Breakdown Graph. The expense breakdown report shows a pie chart indicating the breakdown of expenses for a
particular month. Accounts are also listed as links and can be clicked to "drill-down" to detail transactions for that specific
account and month
- Account History Graph. The account history report shows a YTD bar graph view of a particular account. Each month of
the year is also listed as a link which can be clicked to "drill-down" to detail transactions for that specific month and account.
Invoice Cents. This module was setup to track time spent doing web development (or any
other) work for clients. It has the ability to setup client info and custom hourly rates for each client. Transactions are
entered as hours worked or fixed amounts. Invoices are generated and e-mailed to clients as PDF attachments. Invoices are
then sent to queue for aging. When payments are received, then processed from aging queue and sent to Common Cents as
budgeted breakdown income transaction.
Music Cents. This module was setup to track payments for music lessons. Families are setup
individually with start dates and monthly payment amounts. One or more student records can be created for each family. Checks
are entered as a batch with each check being broken down by type (ie: an $80 check might be $40 for books and $40 for tuition).
Once all checks are entered, the batch is processed and sent to Common Cents as a budgeted breakdown income transaction. Payment
categories can be setup, however, to override budget breakdown in certain circumstances (ie: I want all money collected for books
to be put into an asset account "Prepaid Piano Books"). The payment log report shows the months paid for all families in the
current "school" year.