RFP: Generic Comparison Report

Christopher Lam christopher.lck at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 01:24:37 EST 2018

Hi D

Wish to move to devel, technical and policy details abound.

There's already work done to enable periodic subtotals comparison. This 
feature has been named "Subtotal Summary Grid". This is done by reusing 
and augmenting the (most excellent) transaction report's grouping and 
subtotals. I'm not sure whether this allows 100% coverage of users' 
requirements for periodic comparison, but I suspect it would.

For example, setting *accounts* = expense accounts (+ children), 
*primary-key* = account, *secondary-key* = date,*secondary-subtotals* = 
monthly, *subtotal-summary-grid* = enabled -> will provide a nice 2D 
grid whereby Y-axis = accounts, X-axis = monthly expense subtotals. This 
feature will reuse the subtotals already generated within the 
transaction report, therefore any errors in subtotals are not from my 
code. Example at https://imgur.com/a/unDAD

Unfortunately it was completed after string and feature-freeze for 
upcoming 3.0 -- I'm afraid that inclusion into 3.0 isn't guaranteed yet. 
Although, as I have notified devs, if this feature is renamed "Grid", it 
could be written into 3.0. The translated string "Grid" already exists.

If you wish to experiment, the code is currently available at 
- (note, this commit link isn't permanent).


On 10/02/18 13:35, D via gnucash-user wrote:
> Hello,
> I want to raise a discussion here about the creation of a generic comparison report.
> I would preface this discussion by saying that, although I am a long time user of Gnucash, I have repeatedly demonstrated my utter inability to generate useful code for the project, so any ultimate action on the results of this discussion would have to be applied by someone else.
> As we have seen recently, and as I have seen repeatedly over the years, one of the more common requests for reporting is to be able to see numbers from different time periods in order to evaluate a financial situation.
> As far as I can tell, other than the multi column report, nothing of the sort exists in Gnucash. I started thinking that it might be good to begin the process of detailing what features might go into such a report in order to make it generally useful, with the idea of perhaps stirring up someone's interest in creating such a report.
> Some initial ideas include:
> * Definable periods. Should be able to set the unit period, with options for common units (month, quarter, year).
> * Definable numbers of periods.
> * Definable accounts, but with some common groupings (Assets, Liabilities, Investments... Are there others?)
> * Perhaps the option to use another report as a template? I have no idea how that might work, but the fact that folks seem to want side by side balance sheets suggests this to me.
> Does anyone else think this would be helpful? Is it a reasonable idea? Is it something that someone in the community with Scheme skills is interested in pursuing? Are there other elements that would make this a better idea? Are there elements that are absurdly difficult or impossible?
> Cheers,
> David
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