sales tax & more

Linas Vepstas
Fri, 7 Jun 2002 20:05:28 -0500

On Thu, Jun 06, 2002 at 06:13:58PM -0400, was heard to remark:
> On Thu, 06 Jun 2002 17:00:49 CDT, the world broke into rejoicing as
> (Linas Vepstas)  said:
> > On Thu, Jun 06, 2002 at 04:15:58PM -0500, Bill Gribble was heard to remark:
> > > In Texas, for example, retailers just make one report to the state with
> > > the total amount of tax collected.
> > depends on what you're selling.  If you're selling airline tickets,
> > its a *lot* more complicated.  (although the airlines usually handle
> > this for the travel agent, to keep the agent's job easy).
> Probably there's some happy medium somewhere in between in terms of
> complexity.
> If an airline wants to use GnuCash to manage their ticket sales, I think
> it would be reasonable to expect them to add some developers to the team

Well, actually, now that you mention it ....

The actual problem, as I remeber it from my airline-ticket-selling days,
is how to apply a rather complex billing formula:

-- some customers get charged a tax, some don't.
-- some destinations have a 'gate fee'; many don't. 
-- some fare types require a flat-rate markup, some a percentage, depending on contract
-- markups depend on the season. (departure date)
-- and, of course, seller's profit margin.

This is something a smaller-to-mid-size travel agent might engage in;  the
games that airlines play are fantastically far more complex.

The problem with allowing the travel agents to do this by hand was (highly)
error prone, and we were constantly screwing it up (usually to the customers 
benefit, and a loss to the business).   I ended up writing
a module that worked out the pricing formulas automatically.  

What I'm trying to say is that I think Derek should work all weekend long, 
starting right now, (and he better be done by monday), adding a feature
whereby one can add an arbitrarily complex spreadsheet-like formula to
a gnucash invoice. 


pub  1024D/01045933 2001-02-01 Linas Vepstas (Labas!) <>
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