Direct Debits and Standing Orders

Keith Refson
Thu, 3 Aug 2000 14:10:34 +0100 (BST)

Robert Graham Merkel writes:
 > Stephen J. Thompson writes:
 >  > I am wondering how to set up a reoccuring direct debit or
 >  > standing order in GNUCash?
 > I presume you mean you've got an arrangement where a fixed amount money is
 > automatically transferred from your bank account to, say, a mutual
 > fund, and you want gnucash to record this automatically.
 > We don't have the ability to do this yet, but it's on the front burner.

In that case, it might be apposite to explain the terms Steven
Thompson used as they might not be familiar to US citizens.  These are
two mechanisms for paying regular transactions common in the UK but
which have substantial differences from each other.

1.  A "direct debit" is where you give an institution (say the
    electricity company) permission to take the amount of the bill
    directly from your bank account and supply them with the details.
    The amount usually changes on each transaction as the amount of
    the bill differs.  The amount and date of the transactions are not
    always predictable. However some DDs are for regular amounts on the
    same day monthly, for example a savings plan, although this is not
    necessarily so.

2.  By contrast a "Standing Order" is an instruction you give to your
    bank to pay an amount at regular intervals to a recipient, whose
    details you supply to your bank.  As the amount is fixed it is
    therefore not suitable for paying utility bills, but is frequently 
    used for rent, making regular savings etc.   

Can your proposed functionality do anything useful in these cases?
One use i see for this: I have several between accounts, all under
gnucash and when I download my main bank statement I have to update
the destination account by hand each time, which is cumbersome. It
would be useful for gnucash to recognise this and keep track of the
destination accounts.

Keith Refson

Dr Keith Refson,        "Paradigm is a word too often used by those who would
Dept of Earth Sciences      like to have a new idea but cannot think of one." 
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