Apportioning GST in the account register

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at
Wed Aug 6 09:16:51 EDT 2014

Steven Patrick wrote:

>The GnuCash invoicing process does this automatically for larger businesses, but many smaller businesses use only cash book records and need to be able to automatically calculate and record GST in bank account transactions.  Because it is already being done in the invoicing process, it would seem logical it can be done in the bank account process.
Well let me put my analyst hat on to see what additional problems might 
be there.

Not "bank account". What might be needed here is an "account type" 
designation (for accounts otherwise simply assets) which for the moment 
I will call "GST figuring accounts". Would have to be treated as asset 
accounts for balance sheet purposes.

In other words, might have to be more general than "bank account". I 
don't know how your small business or organization does it but the 
organizations I keep books for do not  necessarily make daily deposits 
at the bank. So there would be an "undeposited cash" account used 
because it is possible that the payments were received in one accounting 
period but deposited in another << maybe your country is different, but 
over here its when the money gets to you, not when you get around to 
depositing it, that counts for "cash basis" accounting >>

However I really think you overestimate the ease for which this can be 
easily automated, possibly because "sales tax" computations are much 
simply in your jurisdiction than in some of the ones with which I am 
familiar. For example, in MA <assuming the business is a small supermarket>
1) The bottle of laundry detergent is taxed.
2) The small box of donuts to be taken home is not.
3) The small box of donuts and coffee eaten in the store while going 
over the sale list are taxed, but a different rate than the laundry 
In other words, over here in some jurisdictions things aren't simply 
taxed or not taxed, but possibly taxed at different rates.

Might I suggest something? Maybe what is missing isn't this feature you 
see as missing but an entire  "point of sales" system and it is the 
output of that system which enters the "accounting" package -- also 
typically feeds the "inventory system", also missing. Note that these 
are not normally PART of the accounting package. Some commercial 
products are a complete SET of packages, accounting, inventory, point of 
sales, etc. In cases like this it is a business decision of the vendor 
of such packages which jurisdictions to support and which to ignore (too 
small to be enough potential customers to compensate us for tailoring a 
version for their specific needs).

Michael D Novack

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