technical: pointer-token-null?

Al B. Snell
Sun, 17 Sep 2000 22:56:13 +0100 (BST)

On Sun, 17 Sep 2000, Dave Peticolas wrote:

> > For the record, I'm very impressed with gnucash. I'm running a small
> > company on it. Lovely piece of software. I'm very glad to be seeing UI and
> Excellent! Let us know if you have any suggestions. The next major release
> of GnuCash will round out the single-user features with things like graphing
> and budgeting. After that, we plan on concentrating on small business
> features.

You're a star. I don't have much time to spare for development or writing
manuals, but I'm a professional technical architect, small business user,
and I'm a passable technical author, so I'll be happy to discuss
implementation issues, features, and proof read manuals...

Features I'd like? Hmmm... I haven't played with "big" accounting
packages like Sage much, so I'm not 100% sure what to expect from a
business accounts package, but that's probably a good thing in many ways.

As a small business user, I'd like:

1) Printing of invoices and the like onto paper
2) Prepayments and accruals. My company's main business right now is
renting space for servers in a rack. I pay X to the colo center for the
rack for a year, and people pay me Y for a sixteenth of that for a year
(16Y > X :-). However, halfway through the year, if I make a balance
sheet, I have an invisible asset of the 0.5X "worth" of rack time I have
yet to use but have paid in advance for, and an invisible debt of 0.5Y
"worth" per customer for the time they've paid for but I've yet to give
them. Ugh.
3) Hmmm... something to work out the tax (VAT etc) on transactions at the
flick of a switch, automatically transferring a given percentage of the
value of a transaction from an income account to cash into a "tax" expense
account for that kind of tax. Possibilities of multiple types of tax with
different rates that may apply, drop down for these with "none" as a
default, is the obvious way of doing it. Config file stores for each tax
code a rate, a name, and an expense account to pay it to. There should be
an option of specifyinf the basic amount in the transaction before or
after tax; eg:

a) Specified sum includes VAT; a transaction for 100UKP to cash is split
as 75 quid to cash and 25 quid to tax


b) Specified sum does not include VAT; a transaction for 100UKP to cash is
split as 100 quid to cash and 33 quid to tax

(assuming VAT is 33% - eeek! :-)

4) Depreciation? Given a depreciation rate and method (linear or
geometric), automagically transfer from an asset account to a nominated
depreciation expense account an appropriate amount each year.

Hrm... not sure about group accounts. Not had to face that minefield yet
myself, luckily.

There's a couple of other things that are needed legally in a company's
annual reports in the UK at least. I'd be happy to look into how an
acocunts package could help with that with the goal of designing a system
that would allow for national plugin module s(Mmmm, embedded languages...
:-) to produce appropriate end of year reports, VAT returns, etc... eg,
just specialised reporting modules, I guess, but more importantly, a
standard library that would make producing customised balance/P&L/cash
flow statements for given nation's laws easy.

> dave


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