Archiving question

Leslie Katz lesliek at
Tue Aug 2 23:16:07 EDT 2005

Thank you all for your replies.

I have two comments.

First, in case anyone else should be searching for archiving 
information and find this thread, I believe that the perl script to 
which Derek Atkins was referring was posted to the users list by 
Jonathan Kamens on 1 February 2005, under the heading "Perl script 
for 'closing the books' in a GnuCash file". (I wonder, should I try 
now to figure out how to use a perl script or postpone that until I 
figure out how to install Apache Ant, which was going to be this 
afternoon's project? It seems that, with Linux, for every step 
forward I take, I immediately take two back!)

Secondly, regarding Maf.King's reference to the English tax year's 
end of 5 April not being very sensible, although I know nothing about 
Gnucash, I do know a bit about why 5 April is the date.

Before 1752, the English calendar year began on 25 March, rather than 
on 1 January. In 1751, the law was changed to make 1 January the 
start of 1752 and of every subsequent year. The same law also 
provided that the next date after 2 September 1752 would be 14 
September 1752, after which the dates would run as they had before.

If one were keen, for some reason, to measure a year's time from 25 
March 1752 (the former start of the 1752 calendar year), that time 
would end on 5 April 1753 (because of the loss of 3-13 September 
1752). Then, if one were keen to measure a year's time from 6 April 
1753, that time would end on 5 April 1754 and so on and so on.

For reasons which I don't know, the revenue authorities seem to have 
thought it important to retain these annual periods when the 1751 
Act's changes were implemented and have never altered them since, so 
that the English tax year continues to begin on 6 April and end on 
the next 5 April. It may not be sensible, but at the same time, it's 
not a random choice.

Thanks again for your replies,


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