Generally, and it's been discussed a lot on the mailing list/irc, people end up finding just writing down transactions in a text file works best. e.g. google keep, or simplenote, or Notes app etc.
I keep my ledger file on dropbox, so I can edit it directly.
I've not tried hledger-web on my phone to see what it looks like, but that has an add transaction function. So you could just go to your site and edit it. Obviously want some security to prevent others accessing it, e.g. VPN to home network.
It supports filters (time, tags, account and payee) and you can find a demo here: http://fava.pythonanywhere.com
Personal accounting is about data capture; if you don't gather good data, you end up with garbage in garbage out analysis. Having a simple, non-propretary file format enables so many things. The data capture side (OFX/QIF/CSV files, bank websites, etc. etc.) is still clunky and painful but that's a hard problem to solve.
The idea is to run the app in a web browser using IndexedDB. It's written in React and all client-side, so I'm hoping this could run in a web browser or as a native app. It could also run purely client-side as a Chrome App so you don't have to trust a server.
I've put a ton of work into the data layer, which is pretty functional, but I'm a backend guy and not very fast at writing UI's. If anyone is interested in helping me on the UI I'd love that. (Fair warning: since I'm a Googler by day I released this as a Google Open Source project, and to contribute to it you'd have to sign the Google CLA. I understand if some people might not be into that).
It even has a (very rough) importer from Ledger format.
At my bank, I have a "Chequing" and "Savings" account (that's their use, anyway). I use GnuCash for Android as kind of an additional data layer on top of my bank accounts.
In GnuCash I have a Savings and Chequing account I manage, but I've got a whole separate hierarchy of "bank accounts" called "Budget". Under that I build a whole tree of "Bills", "Planned Purchases", "Car", "Credit Card Payment", etc. When I get paid I transfer the appropriate amounts into the various "budget" accounts to plan for my bills and such. The displayed amount for my "Savings" account is actually "money that is not allocated to anything right now". (The true total is Savings+Budget.)
If I pick something up on my credit card (e.g., buying something online), that expense gets logged against my credit card right away and I can just transfer some money from Savings/Chequing/Budget into my "Credit Card Payment" budget item.
It doesn't really provide me any forecasting, and I can't really set up "future bills", but once I move the money into the budget accounts it's essentially "spent", so it serves the purpose just as well.
(As an added benefit, I've set up the expense accounts to more or less mirror my budget accounts, with some additional ones for the unbudgetted day-to-day. I can always get an accurate picture of "how much have I spent on <x> since I started tracking", which is interesting.)
For personal finance or very small businesses there is GnuCash.
The project is reasonably stable, but still takes a bit to set it up. The community is quite active (https://discuss.erpnext.com) and there is a long list of things that need to be done (https://github.com/frappe/erpnext/issues)
It has a metadata based framework and has REST API's out of the box. Its never been discussed on HN, so would love to get feedback.
The UI for LedgerSMB is just horrible. I don't think it's really been updated since 1999.
I really haven't messed with ERPNext, mainly because I can't get it to install correctly.
It's my opinion that there really are not a lot of good, truly open source ERP/Accounting systems for businesses out there.
Please post any issues, tracebacks on the forum. Install is pretty straightforward and works well for most people https://github.com/frappe/bench
Edit: You can also use the VM https://erpnext.com/download
(for example, click POS and enter an order..)
. Client + invoice integration
. Invoice preparation, with translated templates
. Multiple currency invoicing, with auto-calculated gain/loss
. Cashflow reports
. P+L, balance sheet
. UK tax calculations for self-assessment and for corporation tax
There's a chance I could replicate some of this in Ledger, but that's got time, energy and potential mistakes written all over it.
The accountant I work with charges more than average (from what I can tell - I pay £1k per year all-in, more or less, rarely have to lift a finger) but a) includes me on their own Freeagent  license ('saving' £300 pa) and b) is very tax efficient.
Knowing what I now know after years of working with accountants, however, there's an outside chance I could be as efficient without the associated costs. But then a contact of mine pays £500 a year for their accountant to submit official accounts and has to do his book-keeping manually, with no real cashflow oversight. Plus with ever-changing regulations and the ability to more easily sell or obtain credit for the business, it really makes sense to work with an accountant, as far as I can tell.
Anyone else wrestled with this before? I take it some of you might have, as this CLI accounting approach seems to appeal to us DIY'ers.
This year I do intend to get serious about accounting and my approach to finances. First I'm going to read Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs , as previously recommended on HN and elsewhere, to get a handle on what I ought to be looking at on a regular basis. Then I'm going to start to follow my new YNAB  account closely, although the use of that is unfortunately complicated by one of my accounts not importing statements automatically (the import option in the web application is not visible, despite the docs mentioning one) and so I may have to manually add all transactions which... I'm not keen on doing.
I found a spreadsheet that does what YNAB does, but without the bells and whistles, and with manual data-entry, I'll pay for the modestly priced online offer if it turns out to be simple enough to use.
Overall, it's not that things are in bad shape, but they could be better and I'd like to know what to focus on to ensure stability and growth.
So yes, interested in DIY accounts, but not able/willing to contribute to improving them just yet.
 - https://lukespear.co.uk/2011/07/online-accounting-for-freela...
 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1422119157/
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Need_a_Budget
There's accountants and accountants, and £1k for an accountant who knows their stuff is reasonable. I prefer that to having a glorified book-keeper-cum-accountant who doesn't think beyond what's needed to do the paperwork, as some of the larger firms targeting small companies have become.
You probably don't even need to do double-entry bookkeeping. If you look at your files from the last years, it should be pretty easy to figure out how to handle the different transactions. It only gets complicated when you start hiring people (as employees, not contractors) or have debt/investments.
Your accountant should at least let you do the monthly stuff yourself (usually very easy: just add the VAT you charged) and then do the yearly accounting for much cheaper, as long as you can get him/her the data in an easy=to-process format.
Your affairs sound so simple I'm surprised there isn't the equivalent of a low-cost, online-only type of accountant in Germany. Plenty of those here, at least, in GB.
My other thought was for you to enlist the help of a local to call around for quotes to confirm whether or not you are being quoted an "English premium".
I pay a bookkeeper to keep our books, and the accountant only comes into the picture at the end of the year when the company's accounts need to be filed and corporation tax needs to be paid.
Our company pays more for those services than your quote above, but if you're not incorporated as a company surely you could get a cheaper way to file returns?
At the least, you could take the monthly bookkeeping side of things away from your accountant.