ACCOUNTING practice question

Arthur Dyck arthur at
Sun May 20 17:24:51 EDT 2007

You are correct in your accounting.  If you are using projects, you
would allocate the debit to a Jazz Music Purchase project, andd then
allocate subsequent credits to the same project.  You could keep track
of credits and debits on a project report.  When your credits equal
debits, it's time to stop spending money for jazz music.  All the money
is stored in one account, but you are using the account for different
purposes, so you don't have to move it around.  You just have to keep
track of it. 

The other thing you can do if you want to keep using gc, is to record
your projects on a separate spreadsheet in the same way.  If you're not
running a lot of different projects, that might be the simplest.  But
it's hard to keep track of within gc itself.  Of course, I might be
wrong, too, and someone else might have some better ideas.


On Sun, 2007-05-20 at 11:35 -0800, Lewis Overton wrote:
> 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. 
> Lewy
> 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

More information about the gnucash-user mailing list