custom expense and asset/liability report question

Mark Johnson mrj001 at
Tue Dec 6 18:37:48 EST 2005

Derek Atkins wrote:

>Karl Anderson <kra at> writes:
>>Mark Johnson <mrj001 at> writes:
>>>I use a customized cash flow report for this very purpose.  When you are 
>>>viewing the cash flow report, click options on the toolbar.  You can 
>>>change the accounts for which you view cash flowing in and out.  For 
>>>example, I have my credit cards selected so that my custom report treats 
>>>credit card spending as though it were a cash flow item.  (I pay the 
>>>bill in full every month.)
>>Okay, I get it - only select accounts from the expenses or liabilities
>>end and don't worry about where the money comes from.  Thanks.
>>This is kind of confusing because the report contains only two
>>sections that are actually pertient - the Selected Accounts list and
>>the Difference total.  The money in/money out list isn't really
>>important, because it doesn't matter to me whether I bought something
>>with cash or a credit card.
>>The money in/money out list is also confusing because it handles every
>>part of a split as money moving through an account.  For example, I
>>deposited two checks at an ATM - a $200 rebate check that went to
>>lowering an expense account, and a $300 check which came from an
>>income account.  The bank lists this as a single $500 transaction, so
>>I recorded it with a split.  Looking at the cash flow report for the
>>expense account only, it lists the $300 as coming in from income and
>>then going out to my checking account where it was deposited, as well
>>as the $200 rebate check going out to the checking account.
>>This isn't a bug, the Difference number adds up in the end, I'm just
>>pointing this out because it was what was misdirecting me before.  I
>>had to play with the dates to figure it out.  Ideally, my bank
>>wouldn't glob the deposits together, and I wouldn't need to use a
>This sounds like you want to run a P&L Report, not a Cash Flow
>report.  Cash Flow tends to be useful to show the flow around
>Assets and Liabilities..  When you want to see the flow of
>Income and Expense you /probably/ want a P&L.
I use the cash flow with only certain asset accounts selected rather 
than the P&L.  The P&L shows income within tax-sheltered accounts that I 
would rather not consider. It also does not consider a flow from my 
checking account to my car savings account.  I do want to consider 
this.  This account is really a sort of deferred spending, so I would 
prefer to see it as an "expense" rather than an asset.  The built-in 
cash flow or P&L reports would not note this transfer.  I want it to be 
noted as though it were cash flow out.  Similarly for contributions to 
retirement savings.  I think this is closer to what the OP wanted as he 
did mention 401(k)'s.

Also, he didn't want to include credit card payments.  (I assume he 
wanted to have the individual purchases tracked as cash flow out.)  This 
can be achieved by selecting the appropriate liability accounts.

I have to admit though: I haven't looked to see if I can do something 
similar with the P&L, but I do believe that this kind of custom cash 
flow is closer to what he wanted.


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