Credid cards and curriencies

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Thu Nov 6 11:10:12 CST 2003

Stuart Ward <stuart.ward at> writes:

> I have looked through the various posts about how Gnu-Cash handles currencies.
> As I understand it you can create sub accounts on a credit card for
> instance in other currencies that I could enter CC transactions in
> and these would be reflected in the main CC account in the native
> currency.

Nope, that's not true...

> My situation. I often have to work in other countries, and so have
> transactions in many currencies on my CC. What I do at the moment is
> enter transactions and put the approximate amount in the transition,
> then I add a comment with the foreign currency amount.

That's what I would recommend.  Have the CC account in the currency of
the CC (for instance all my CCs are in US$).  When I travel to a
foreign country I pay for something in that currency using my CC,
let's say I spend 10000 Y at dinner in Tokyo.  I can enter a
transaction immediately and guess the exchange rate, or I can enter it
in later when I know the exact exchange rate.

If I decide to enter it in immediately with a guessed exchange rate,
then when the statement comes and I see the exact exchange rate I'll
need to fix the transaction.  Unfortunately fixing the transaction
isn't necessarily as easy as you would think.  I know I spent 10000Y
but I don't know how many US$ that was until the statement arrives.
So, what I can do is open up the JPY Expense Account, click on this
10000Y transaction, and then Edit Exchange Rate.

When you edit the exchange rate it will change one of the numbers, but
it's not always clear which number will be adjusted.  So after you get
the exchange rate set you may need to reset the balances.

Note that you're always looking at the numbers in the LOCAL currency.
This means in the JPY account you'll always see a balanced transaction
of 10000Y, whereas in the US$ account you'll always see a balanced
transaction of, say, $99.27.

> my question is firstly is there a better way of doing this with the
> current release of gnu-cash?

See above.

> and secondly in the next version how are you planning to enhance
> things so that it works better.

AFAIK nobody is working on that code at the moment.

> Stuart Ward


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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