expense cash-flow report

Vasil Vasilev vasil-gnucash at sychron.com
Thu Jun 10 17:54:17 EDT 2004

On Thu, 10 Jun 2004, Derek Atkins wrote:

> Larry Siden <lsiden at comcast.net> writes:
>> Another prime example where I might credit an expense account is after I
>> return merchandise.  When I download my cc statement and import it into
>> GC, now there will be two transactions to clear, one for the purchase
>> which generates an expense to say, Clothing, and one that might occur a
>> few days later for the return which negates part of the above expense.
>> On my ideal expense report, I would like the sum for Clothing for that
>> time period to reflect one number for the net expense, not two numbers
>> for "inflow" and "outflow".  (After all, I'm not one who returns store
>> merchandise for "income"! ;)
> But in this case I still want the double entry.  I want to keep it
> distinct that I bought something and later returned it.  I dont want
> the report to hide this from me.

I think the confusion here is how to account for the return. The return of a 
purchase is a rebate and not income. The column in an expense register even 
says that. So, if you do that, all is clear, and it is the total that seems to 
Larry. BTW, the report is called cash flow and if you remove some entries, you 
may think your cash flow is fine where you don't have enough money: you are 
expecting money from your credit card but they haven't come yet... So, 
wouldn't a transaction report with all its options and total for each account 
and period you are interested in be more appropriate here? For example, show 
only the expense accounts and nothing else.

Also try matching transaction for returned good that spread accross two CC 
statements; or even worse they are in foreign currency to CC, and because of 
the fluctuation in exchange rates the two amounts are not always the same; 
same happens when you return only one thing when you purchased several.

In the previous case of effective CC cash advance, if you use a split 3-way 
transaction, the credit card transaction is $40, while your expense shows as 
$20, which shows correctly in any report. In the expenses only $20 will show, 
in the cash flow a correct flow of money will be shown from the CC to cash.
I think there is a confusion between reports for cash flow and expenses.

Flexibility is always good but to a degree. For the most flexible reports, I 
would say exporting to CSV and to a spreadsheet will be best as there are 
reports you can't actually do in Gnucash unless it allows an SQL-type query. 
For example, I want to report some transcations in multiple classes of 
expenses - adding them does add to 100%. I guess, for starters an option to 
sum the totals of subaccounts belonging to different trees.

Sorry if some of these isn't too coherent.


More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list