Archiving question

Andrew Sackville-West andrew at
Thu Aug 4 14:21:21 EDT 2005

that's what I love about this list. Lots and lots of interesting 
information about who knows what. fun!

What do you all find to be the great use in "closing books" at the end 
of a year? I personally only make 12/31/xx entries to bring my 
depreciation and other annual expenses into line with the accountants 
numbers and march on. This allows me to do year to year comparisons and 
so forth.

Is there some practical advantage that I'm missing here? Some GAAP 
advantage I'm missing?


Leslie Katz wrote:
> 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,
> Leslie
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