Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 10.48.41 PM.png
Frappe Books: Simple desktop accounting for small businesses and freelancers
With its easy-to-use interface and straightforward features, Frappe Books is the perfect accounting software for your small business to manage finances without any fuss.




May, 11 2023



min read

Let’s start with answering the most burning question - “How is Frappe Books different from ERPNext?”

ERPNext is Frappe's flagship product that helps organizations take care of their complex business operations in a systematic and efficient way. Over the years, it has developed several folds and is now one of the best fully-featured, open-source ERP software in the market. However, ERPNext might be a bit overwhelming for small business owners who are just starting out with accounting and are only looking for basic bookkeeping solutions.

That's when Frappe Books comes into the picture. It's a simple and easy-to-use offline application designed specifically for small businesses and freelancers who need help with their bookkeeping. In the initial phase of building this app, we tested a few similar software options, but they were all really confusing. We had to read long manuals to just make basic entries. So we created Frappe Books — to fill in the gap and make things easier for beginners. 💡💰 

Why did we ditch the web and make Frappe Books an offline app?

Here’s some backstory to answer this question — ERPNext was released in 2008 and made open-source for everyone. Back then, some users failed to understand its installation steps. Some people found installing it tricky because it required different parts and could only be used over a network. Installing ERPNext meant installing several dependencies of Python and Javascript, requiring a complex deploy and build process every time a new update was released.

Rushabh - Founder of Frappe, who was also the first one to work on Frappe Books from scratch, learned programming in the 1990s when the software was much simpler and was executed inside one container and not over a network. The “exe” files of the pre-internet era packed all the necessary components and required “one-click” to install. This is what inspired us to make Frappe Books an offline app and skip the complicated installation steps.

The goal was to be able to install Frappe Books in one-click. The platform of choice was Electron - which makes it easy for anyone to write an application. ” – Rushabh

What went behind the curtains while developing Frappe Books?

The real power of everything we do in Frappe is to take our tools very seriously and sometimes make our own tools to get the work done right. As we mentioned earlier, the original kick-off for this project was done by Rushabh. He started by building a new framework called FrappeJS, which was the Javascript version of our Frappe Framework. The new framework had a big difference in architecture as it allowed for object inheritance in a way that the original framework didn't achieve. It took him about 3 to 4 months to get a working model, and then Faris took over.

We also took this opportunity to work with Timeless, the design agency we now work with, to create a fresh and modern design for the app. Since Frappe Books didn't have a lot of baggage, we were able to let the imagination flow and design it the way we wanted. And the best part? We ended up using a lot of those elements in the Frappe Framework as well.

Faris then rewrote the front end in VueJS using Timeless design, and we launched it on Hacker News in May 2020. Faris later moved on to other projects, and Frappe Books lay low for a while. Later, Alan picked it up in October 2021. Alan is now the Product Owner of Frappe Books, and he recently launched the V 0.14.0 with support for serial numbers and several other helpful improvements.  

Screenshot of V 0.14.0 highlighting the tracking feature using serial numbers

Now, let’s talk business – How can Frappe Books help you get ahead in your game?

Assume that you have a small business that you started through Instagram in India that creates customized journals and planners, and you are constantly releasing fresh designs to meet the demand. Your designs got popular, and sales have doubled. You have also started receiving orders from other countries, and now you are to deal in foreign currency. In addition to this, you are planning a clearance sale through your new website before releasing the next design. That’s a lot to handle.

With more business comes more financial transactions and stock movements to manage. You want a solution that's easy to use and can help you stay on top of all the financial details.

Frappe Books has got you covered here. You can keep your business running smoothly by managing invoices, even if you are dealing with foreign currencies — all of this with customized invoice templates to match your branding. Plus, you can keep track of your discounts, taxes, and inventory movements in one place. ⚡️

Moreover, Frappe Books is better than just a tool to manage your finances. You can use its reports and insights to help make smarter pricing decisions. So not only do you manage your finances effortlessly, but also grow your business with confidence!

If this sounds like something similar to what you are struggling with, download Frappe Books and try it to see the difference. And if you're a visual learner, check out this awesome video from the #Buildwithhussain series, where Alan shows Hussain how to set the app up for his younger brother's small business. 

Way Ahead! 🚀

I personally think Frappe Books has a tremendous scope as a product. Basic accounting is a requirement for millions of small businesses, and there is no good Free and Open Source tool that helps them — something that is easy to use and also of very high quality. Frappe Books aims to cover that gap, and there has been great progress under Alan. I am excited to see how the community takes on Frappe Books.” – Rushabh

Frappe Books has come a long way with an improved design for better UX and added features for efficient solutions. With Alan working on it now, he has successfully made it more of a stable product keeping in mind the priorities of small business owners and freelancers and has rewritten most of it from scratch, even the Framework. 

We also have a Telegram Group where Alan tries to solve most of the doubts instantly. You can also follow us on Twitter to stay in loop about all new developments. We conducted a webinar on Frappe Books last month where Alan went step-by-step, walked everyone through setting up the app, and explained the accounting transactions. You can find the replay here. If you are already using Frappe Books, let us know about your experience, or try out Frappe Books if you haven’t already. ✌️

--->    Try Frappe Books now

Published by



May, 11 2023


Add your comment




Mass Technologies LLC


February 28, 2024

Frappe Books offers straightforward desktop accounting tailored for small businesses and freelancers, simplifying financial management with ease and efficiency. Highly recommended!

ideal accountants


June 6, 2023

MenaITech provides customizable payroll reports and analytics, enabling businesses to gain insights into payroll costs, trends, and other key metrics. This helps with decision-making and financial planning



Paul Mugambi


3 days


Beautiful read, and an insight into an individual I respect and have learned a lot from. Am inspired to trust the process and never give up.


Anna Dane


5 days


I must say this is a really amazing post, and for some of my friends who provide Best British Assignment Help, I must recommend this post to them.

Add your comment