Two Income Statement patches: Assets & Value

michael.mckay at michael.mckay at
Thu Jan 29 13:14:47 EST 2009

I'd use the cash flow statement to answer this question.  The cash flow 
statement should show you how much an account changed in a period.  You 
could use the report in a multi-column format to have 1st-half and 2nd half 
of the year.

Specifically, if you set up the report to use your fixed asset and 
accumulated depreciation accounts, you will see how much your assets changed 
by adding new assets and depreciating or writing off old ones.

Good luck,


>From: Frédéric Brière <fbriere at>
>To: Mike or Penny Novack <stepbystepfarm at>
>CC: gnucash-devel at
>Subject: Re: Two Income Statement patches: Assets & Value
>Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:03:42 -0500
>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amount withdrawn for depreciation.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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