ACCOUNTING practice question

Lewis Overton akakie at
Sun May 20 15:35:39 EDT 2007

Thanks for the suggestions. I took a cursory look at the two *nix programs
you mentioned and may decide to switch. I'm running on a MacBook under
X-Win, so those are possible and may have advantages (shared SQL database).
At the moment, though, I'm at a more basic level, trying to cope with the
underlying accounting.

Suppose I get $100 from MaryJane for jazz music. I record this:
Debit bank account $100
Credit contributions:direct:from individuals $100

Now it seems I need to move something around to separate this $100 from
general funds. Here is where I'm confused. I still need to reconcile with
the bank. Can I somehow divide the cash asset between unrestricted and
use-unrestricted and still reconcile? This seems intuitively reasonable, but
what does my intuition know about accounting? :-/

Or do I create something else somewhere to do the tracking?

My experience is very limited and training is very old (read forgotten).
Local help is minimal here. That's why I'm asking here. I hope I'm not
stretching the forum too much by asking for this kind of help.


On 5/19/07, Arthur Dyck <arthur at> wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-05-19 at 11:31 -0800, Lewis Overton wrote:
> > I'm the treasurer for a non-profit community band. We have now received
> our
> > first grant specifically for purchase of music, so I need to set up a
> way to
> > track the funds. Rather than blunder ahead blindly, I thought I would
> ask
> > how others do it.
> >
> > We have one bank account for cash. The real money goes there. I want to
> use
> > gnc2.0.4 to reconcile the bank account.
> >
> > The source is in accounts tracking kind of donor (individual, corporate,
> > government, etc.).
> >
> > Contributions for music come in three classes: any kind, music for the
> jazz
> > band, (potentially) music for the concert/park bands.
> >
> > I presume I need accounts for temp-restricted assets: jazz music,
> concert
> > music, any music.
> >
> > UCOA v3 includes accounts:
> >
> > 3110    Use restricted net assets    Control accounts for program
> restricted
> > grants    equity
> > 3110    Use restricted net assets    Net assets - temporarily restricted
> for
> > programs    equity
> > 3110    Use restricted net assets    Temporarily restricted net assets -
> > programs    equity
> > 3110    Use restricted net assets    Use restricted net assets    equity
> >
> > Suggestions for how to structure this using GnuCash (which I really
> like)
> > appreciated.
> >
> > Lewy
> In my experience, it's hard with gc, especially if you have more than
> one grant.  There are software programs out there which have a project
> feature to which you can allocate income and expenses.  Then you create
> an income account for each grant you receive, e.g. income:city grant,
> income:state grant, create a project for that grant and allocate that
> income to that project.  Then when you spend that money, you allocate
> the expense to the same project.  Then you can create reports which will
> show the project details.  I find this is easier and cleaner than
> creating multiple accounts to handle each grant or project.  This,
> however, may be more than you need and can be handled the way you are
> suggesting.  But I'm usually juggling 5 - 6 grants and found that is the
> way to go.
> If you want to stick to linux, take a look at Ledger-smb or SQL-Ledger.
> Both have project features.  If you're on Windows, Quickbooks and Simply
> Accounting will do the job, for a price.
> Arthur

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