[GNC-dev] Further feedback

Stephen M. Butler kg7je at arrl.net
Mon Feb 4 13:37:16 EST 2019

Some additional thoughts.
In the summary listing at the top of the report, in addition to the
last-reconcile-date and fixing the existing amount columns, add one
final column which is the account ending balance (which should match the
check register or sum of all check registers for that account).  It
would also be the bank ending balance + outstanding transactions.

Also, I selected a Placeholder account plus all the children.  In the
summary the placeholder account has all zeros in the columns.  Suggest
that if the account is a placeholder account and the column value is
zero, then blank suppress the amount.

Column recap:
Account -- account name as now shown.  Allow option to get the full name.
Reconcile-Dt -- Date of most recent reconciliation for the account. 
Most likely will be today or very recent.
Starting -- Sum of all reconciled transactions for this account prior to
Reconcile-Dt.  AKA -- Bank Starting Balance
Reconciled -- Sum of all reconciled transactions for this account on
Reconcile-Dt (only those transactions just reconciled).
Ending -- Sum of Starting and Reconciled -- AKA Bank Ending Balance.
Outstanding -- Sum of all non-reconciled transactions for this account
(include future dated transactions).
Balance -- Sum of Ending and Outstanding.  Should be the account balance
shown in the Accounts tab.

Note -- on the options Display tab, the Amount can be None, Single or
Double.  Changing this appears to make no difference in the report.
Perhaps it should be removed if it does nothing.

Also when selecting all accounts, the summary did list all accounts
including those that never had a reconciliation.  Perhaps we should
impose a filter that the account has to have been reconciled at least
once before showing up in this report.  I'm thinking maybe add an
additional restriction that it has to have been reconciled more recently
than x days ago (a really old account that was reconciled years ago is
just hanging around but gets included because it was reconciled a
century ago -- slight hyperbole!).  I would probably pick 100 days as
there are accounts that get a statement only quarterly.

That way we could pick some options that 80% of the user base could use
without having to click on the options button to configure the report:
*  All accounts
*  Reconciled within the last 100 days

That way the default report would pop up and it would suffice for the
vast majority of users.  It would only show accounts that had been
recently reconciled.


On 2/3/19 6:58 PM, Stephen M. Butler wrote:
> On 2/3/19 3:35 AM, Christopher Lam wrote:
>> Hi Stephen
>> If possible I'd be grateful if you would check my branch
>> maint-scheme-progress
>>   * cd gnucash
>>   * git fetch --all
>>   * git checkout chris/maint-scheme-progress
>>   * dpkg etc (note there will be gnc-date error - ignore)
>> Main issues for feedback:
>>   * Reconciliation report modified header hopefully is satisfactory
>> Thank you, your (and house accountant) feedback *very* much appreciated!
> git describe
> 3.4-104-gacbcc6a1a
> Reconciliation report.  Looks like I can no longer select the date for
> the reconciliation.  I had done one a few days ago.  At this point it
> showed only the un-reconciled transactions. 
> This summary at the top was interesting (I selected a parent with 3
> children):
> Account          Starting     Reconciled   Ending
> BECU              $0.00        $0.00            $0.00
> Checking        $1,591.23  $1,591.23     $4,039.74
> Money Market $1,004.44  $1,004.44    $17,004.61
> Savings           $454.09    $454.09       $486.21
> With apologies to wm, and warning therefore that TMI is forthcoming (wm,
> skip to next email to avoid being offended).
> At first I was expecting the Reconciled column to show what had been
> reconciled in the last pass.  However, it shows everything that had been
> reconciled up to that point.  My question now is, when would those first
> two columns be different after the first reconciliation?
> The Ending column appears to go into the future.  My checking register
> has upcoming entries that I know will happen so I an forecast if the
> account will be overdrawn at any point.  I'm wondering if it shouldn't
> end at today.
> I then reconciled the bottom two accounts and noted:
> 1.  Unable to locate the option to see the reconciled transactions.  I
> should be able to see the transactions just reconciled (most recent date
> reconciled).
> 2.  The bottom two accounts had all three columns the same as the ending
> figures above.  In this case I would expect:
>     A.  Starting column would have the account balance prior to the
> transactions reconciled in this just finished action (most recent date
> reconciled).
>     B.  The reconciled column would have the total reconciled.  In this
> case I think you need two numbers.  Total credits and total debits
> reconciled.
>     C.  Ending column should be the account balance just after the
> reconciliation.
> At this point I sat down with the accountant and had an enlightening
> conversation.  Let me translate into coding speak.
> 1.  She said to get rid of Reconciled column -- as presented it doesn't
> make sense.  [I suggest the net balance of Funds In and Funds Out for
> items just reconciled.]
> 2.  Need to show the most recent reconciled date (so I know the checking
> was last reconciled last month) and the other two were just reconciled.
> 3.  Starting balance needs to be what the bank statement showed at the
> end of last month.  [You can get this by summing all reconciled
> transactions up through the last month's reconciliation -- ie, not
> including the most recent reconciliation date.]
> 4.  Ending balance should show the bank statement at the end of this
> month.  [Ending = Starting + Reconciled]  sum all reconciled
> transactions including the current cycle.
> 5.  Must see the just reconciled transactions with the CR/DR sub-totals 
> just like you show for the unreconciled.
> 6.  Good to see the transactions still not reconciled.
> Summary:
> Locate the most recent reconciliation date for the account.
> Get the starting balance by summing all reconciled transactions up to
> but not including that date.
> Get the reconciled amount by summing all reconciled transactions on the
> most recent reconciliation date.
> Ending balance = the sum of all reconciled transactions (inclusive).
> You might want to add an Outstanding column showing the sum of the
> transactions not reconciled.
> Then show the reconciled transactions for that last date followed by the
> unreconciled transactions.
> The implication for my situation is that the checking account would show
> last month's values since I hadn't reconciled it yet this month.
> Hope this gives you some idea of how to accomplish the accountant speak
> to get the bank starting and ending balances without peeking at the
> actual statement!
> --Steve

Stephen M Butler, PMP, PSM
Stephen.M.Butler51 at gmail.com
kg7je at arrl.net
GnuPG Fingerprint:  8A25 9726 D439 758D D846 E5D4 282A 5477 0385 81D8

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