Book clsoing [was: Re: Addition of HBCI support, Maturity of 1.7-branch, next stable release time frame?

Michael T. Garrison Stuber
Mon, 15 Apr 2002 22:23:40 -0400

My original question looked so innocent didn't it?  :)

This sort of thing is exactly what I was wondering about.  I realize this 
idea would probably fail the simplicity test as well, but there is 
something to be said for breaking out stock information into a separate 
file that is not "closed" when the books are closed.  This of course just 
ends up being a method for backing into special handling of stocks, but it 
might allow simplicity to be retained for standard accounts.  One thing 
that I can see as an issue is a user closing out the books, and then 
choosing to archive the files from the previous year, only to be mystified 
when her stock reports didn't run properly.  While we're on the topic where 
is the metadata that let's GnuCash know that there are other files to look 

> Ooops, I guess I goofed twice, Derek is right as well.
>> So, yes should probably really think about how this is going to work.
> actually, I think I know how, because gnucash-1.2 had a cap-gains fifo
> in it (which was lost somewhere along the way).
> To make this work without having to load multiple books, one would have
> to do several things:
> 1) save what kind of accounting method is used (FIFO, LIFO, or
>    one of the other IRS/tax-authority approved methods).
> 2) save enough of the fifo state to be able to compute the cap gains.
>    This means saving not only the transactions for unsold stock,
>    it also means saving the 'age' of the balance, and the price at which
>    the balance was bought.
> So if I bought 100 shares 5 years ago, and sold 50 two years ago, I need
> to make note that I still have 50 (the balance) and that the balance is
> 5 years old (long-term cap gains rate).
> If I bought 100 shares 5 years ago, 100 more 1 year ago, and sold 175
> 6 months ago, then my balance of 25 shares is only 1 years old (if using
> the FIFO method) or 5 years old (if using the LIFO method).  Note
> the difference in the the cap-gains rate that applies at tax time ...
> Needless to say, storing extra stuff in the file format/database is
> a real pain in the butt.  SO the easy way out would be to automagially
> access old books, under the covers, whenever a report needed old data.
> Maybe not a performance win, but ... hey.