Currencies / the accounting equation.

Dave Peticolas
Sun, 01 Oct 2000 23:25:06 -0700

Al Snell writes:
> On Sun, 1 Oct 2000, Dave Peticolas wrote:
> > What if we required transactions to have a common valuation currency?
> > What if the currency were associated with transactions instead of
> > splits, and we always balanced with the value?
> I designed a financial system once - for internal cost accounting in
> computer systems where a resource has to be subdivided, eg a process with
> a 4Mb memory budget can divide that into budgets of 1Mb for each of three
> child processes, then allow the remaining 1Mb to be shared between them if
> they go over their budget, with a maximum of 512Kb each... it could track
> real external budgets (which could be spent on "expensive" communications
> links such as point to point dialup, ordering real products via EDI, etc)
> too, along with things like "printer credits" or units that represented
> power stored in a battery.
> In order to make this flexible enough to be useful, I had to represent a
> "value" as a list of currency:amount pairs. Transactions had to balance
> seperately in every currency involved.
> So my "cash" account could hold 500 dollars, 250 punds, 10 Euros, and a
> packet of crisps.
> This is handy for asset tracking and expressing manufacturing processes,
> too.

That's probably the most general solution. It may be a bit too general
for our purposes, though, at least in the short-to-medium term timeframe,
as that would be a major overhaul.