Question about the trial report in Gnucash

sunrise2000 at sunrise2000 at
Sun Mar 26 20:40:13 EST 2006


> I am currently working on the translation of gnucash 1.9 in french. I 

Thanks for helping with translation.  We could always use GnuCash
in more (complete) languages!

> It is about the 'merchandising' options of the trial balance report.
> This option panel enables to select accounts for 'gross adjusting', but 
> I haven't been able to find a definition of 'gross adjusting' (and how 

Strangely, I think a couple of different things are going on here.

#1, the Trial Balance report in my version of GnuCash (a slightly
modified 1.8.10) doesn't have a "Merchandising" tab.  In fact, the
word "Merchandising" doesn't appear anywhere in my trial-balance.scm.
It does have an "Entries" tab which I created, for rudimentary support
for adjusting and closing entries.

Adjusting Entries pattern:
Adjusting Entries pattern is case-sensitive
Adjusting Entries Pattern is regular expression <--- (case error! file a bug!)
Closing Entries pattern:
Closing Entries pattern is case-sensitive
Closing Entries Pattern is regular expression

If you see no difference when entering patterns here, it's because you
have selected a post-adjustment "Report variation" (on the General
tab).  Select "Report variation: Pre-adjustment Trial Balance", and
you should see the effect the adjustments have.

But I'm pretty sure that a trial balance for a merchandising business
will look the same as a trial balance for any other kind of business.
It doesn't treat Purchases/Sales or COGS accounts any differently, so
there shouldn't be a "Merchandising" tab in the trial balance options
at all.

#2, I do have a "Merchandising" tab in my Income Statement options
tab.  I added that so that the appropriate lines on the income
statement for merchandising businesses could be generated.  As you
suspected... this has to do with inventory.

The merchandising tab is split into two parts: "Operating
Income/Expense Accounts" and "COGS Accounts".

The "Operating Income/Expense Accounts" pane gives you the ability to
tell GnuCash which of your income/expense accounts are your operating
income/expenses accounts (things like paying the electricity bill,
royalty income, etc.), to distinguish them from your sales/
discounts/returns accounts.  It's the sales, discounts, etc. which are
used in the calculations specific to merchandising businesses.

The "COGS accounts" (another case error! bug! bug!) panel lets you
select the accounts you use for purchasing, returns and allowances,
etc.  These accounts are used to calculate the Cost of Goods Sold,
a.k.a. "COGS" for merchandising businesses.

These merchandising-related accounts are selected in two separate
panes because they appear at two different places on the income
statement.  Since accounts like Purchasing Returns & Allowances may be
recorded as contra-accounts (income account) to Purchasing (an expense
account) (and because similar situations may occur for revenue
accounts), simply knowing the type of an account isn't enough to
classify it as a revenue or COGS account.  So, two separate lists are
used to do this.

If your business is NOT a merchandising business, you can leave all
the Merchandising accounts unselected, and the report should render
without the merchandising features (Net Sales, Cost of Goods Sold
lines, etc.).

#3, It has been almost 3 years since I've even laid eyes on an
accounting text book, so I'm defenitely a little fuzzy on the details.

#4, I know that other people have had their fingers in this code since
I was last there, so it may very well be that the trial balance report
now has a merchandising tab.  <shrug>

Hope this (albeit brief) info helps.  If you have any more questions,
I could certainly get my hands on an accounting text and figure out
what I'm talking about. :)


P.S.  I was recently wondering this, so I figure I might as well ask
while I have the eyes of the devel list: so, why is there a "Gnu" in
the name "GnuCash", anyway?

 "So many people like XML because so few people understand Scheme."
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