THIS IS A DRAFT; State of the GnuCash project, part II: What can YOU do to help?

Michael Hall ninti at
Tue Nov 4 16:57:39 CST 2003


Thankyou for your patience. I was certainly not intending to sound like I was
demanding a solution in six months ... the operative words were a wishful "would
like". I appreciate that GnuCash is a volunteer effort and recognise that an
enormous amount of great work has been done already.

What I meant was that I would be happy to work (alone or as part of a group) for
six months to nail this GST thing (ie, making it easy and pretty ... a
'no-brainer' if you like) if there was any interest in such a project or
likelihood of it happening. 

Splits may be the only way to do GST, but all the commercial packages here in
Australia just have a check box marked GST, then all amounts entered while the
box is checked are processed for GST automatically. We only have two rates (0
and 10 percent) so it is pretty straight forward. I have something that simple
in mind. It might use splits behind the scenes, but the user never has to think
about it.

Anyway, considering my skill set I think contributing to a web-based solution
might be a quicker way of achieving my goal of being able to say to clients
"Yes, Linux will do your GST" with no ifs or buts. The client machines I have in
mind will be attached to a Linux network server anyway.

Sorry, but I am just keen to get working and trying to work out where my effort
is best spent. GST is a real log-jam in the adoption of Linux by small business
in Australia.


Quoting Derek Atkins <warlord at MIT.EDU>:

> Michael Hall <ninti at> writes:
> > Before I proceed with contributing to the GnuCash project, I would like
> to
> > determine if there is any likelihood of modules or whatever being developed
> to
> > handle GST/VAT type taxes in a straight forward manner (no splits, etc).
> Is
> > anyone working on this area at the moment?
> It HAS to be handled as splits.  That's the ONLY way it can be done.
> Otherwise there is no way to map the GST to a specific Transaction.
> Having said that, at this point nobody has stepped up to offer to
> implement a more integrated GST system.  I personally have no plans to
> do this (without some big incentive).
> What we've got now _can_ handle it.  It just isn't the
> easiest/prettiest.  I suspect a few extra dialog/druids to help users
> set it up, and then a report to clean up at the end, would solve 95%
> of the problems I think there are.
> > I would like a solution within say six months
> And I'd like a pony....  This is a volunteer effort.  If you don't
> like what you get, I'll give you triple your money back!
> >     ... if I could write C and Scheme
> > i would start myself today. I would certainly be willing to help in
> whatever way
> > possible on such a project. 
> Well, find someone who can?
> > I would appreciate any comments re where GnuCash is going with GST,
> because
> > other than its lack of direct support for GST, GnuCash is a great product.
> It's
> > funny, I have consistently avoided anything related to finance and
> accounting
> > all my life, but now see it as the number one priority to advance the
> uptake of
> > Linux in small business and the wider community.
> If it were implemented cleanly I'd gladly apply the patches, but
> frankly I just don't see what needs to be done.  A druid to help you
> set up the tax tables, and a report to give you the quarterly/yearly
> GST report...  What else do you need?
> > Mick
> -derek
> --
>        Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
>        Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
>        URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
>        warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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