Two Income Statement patches: Assets & Value

Frédéric Brière fbriere at
Thu Jan 29 12:03:42 EST 2009

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 09:33:03AM -0500, Mike or Penny Novack wrote:
> Back to the original question which was really "how do I properly keep  
> the books to reflect "depreciation" and what information must I be able  
> to report for my jurisdiction. That's NOT a GnuCash question. That's a  

Actually, it was not.  But I can certainly understand how it could seem
that way to you.

My question/need was actually technical: how much money went into asset
account X last year?  [*]

This need comes as a result of two things:

* Under Canadian law, the half-year convention applies to everything.

* Most (if not all) of my assets are actually small things, regrouped
  into generic accounts.  I'll be damned to create a specific account
  for each USB stick I've ever purchased; they all get dumped into
  "Computer Equipment".

Taken separately, these two issues wouldn't be a problem at all;
applying the half-year rule to an account that only has one asset is
easy as pie.  But when you've got years worth of stuff in there, you
really need to know how much was bought/sold this year, ie. how much
falls under the half-year rule.

(I guess most businesses don't give a rat's ass about their USB sticks,
or simply cheat and declare them as expenses.  Lucky them.  <g>)

Now, I'm not claiming that this patch is a good idea, or even that it
works for other people.  Heck, you still have to manually add back any
amount withdrawn for depreciation.  But it sure beats going through the
account and adding a bunch of transactions manually.

All of this to say that I needed an answer to "how much did I spend on
USB sticks" (an asset account), just like "how much did I spend on cat
food" (an expense account).  Being lazy, I came up with the easiest
method possible.

I hope I'm making sense.  :)

[*] Come to think of it, this is strikingly similar to: "How much did I
    contribute to my RRSP/IRA/401(k) this year?"

Beeping is cute, if you are in the office ;)
		-- Alan Cox

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