technical: pointer-token-null?

Robert Graham Merkel
Mon, 18 Sep 2000 11:19:13 +1100

Al B. Snell writes:
 > 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

This is planned, but it's a longer-term thing.

 > 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
 > or
 > 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! :-)

Yeah, as I'm in Australia and we've just moved over to a VAT-like
system I can appreciate the need for this :)

 > 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.
I don't know about automatic transfers (yet . . .) but Dave, weren't
we going to add this kind of thing to the financial calculator ?

 > 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.
I'll be working on this.  We're going to be working on the reporting
infrastructure to make writing reports a little easier.

Robert Merkel