[GNC-dev] book currency is what ... question mark

John Ralls jralls at ceridwen.us
Mon Feb 11 23:48:53 EST 2019

> On Feb 11, 2019, at 6:49 PM, Wm via gnucash-devel <gnucash-devel at gnucash.org> wrote:
> at the risk of appearing to be an imperialist, what is "book currency" ?
> I think of "home currency" as whatever currency most people close to you (the reader) use to buy and sell ordinary stuff like carbohydrate staples (rice, bread, etc) and water
> in the UK that is GBP, in the USA it is USD, in most of Europe it is EUR, in other places, depending on government, it might be something else.
> my point is, unless your government is failing, you should be able to use the same currency for your home currency and your bookkeeping.
> presuming I haven't gone insane yet, does anyone know what a "book currency" is?
> If someone really wanted to run a set of accounts in another currency gnc isn't stopping them, the underlying transaction stream works perfectly regardless.

Book currency is the currency of the book's root account, which you set when you created the book. For nearly everyone it is indeed their home currency, but that's immaterial to GnuCash.

Suppose, though, that while your book currency is GBP, you have accounts in EUR and RUB and you do a transaction between those two. The transaction will set the transaction currency to the account whose register you use to create it and will balance the transaction in that currency: If you start in the RUB account then it will convert the EUR amount to a RUB value and check that the credit and debit values are equal.

 What Alex is working on is to instead use the book currency for balancing: GnuCash would in this example convert both RUB and EUR amounts to GBP values and balance the transaction in GBP. It's an interesting idea but I suspect that it will be very difficult to get right, a suspicion at least somewhat borne out by the fact that Alex has been working at it for at least 3 years.

John Ralls

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