Virtual accounts question

Iain Woolf woolfie at
Tue May 22 16:04:26 EDT 2007


I'm a newbie convert to gnucalc, hoping that it will help me move away
from my own double entry system using a spreadsheet.

I've previously made much use of sub-'pots' of money in my chequing
account. Looking through the archives for this mailing list I see them
referred to as virtual accounts.

I have some questions regarding how to implement these and track
purchases/deposits, etc. when using virtual accounts. Please bear with

If I have the following set up:

chequing:car savings

and download my account transactions from the bank, assigning it to
the chequing account, how do I reconcile a payment which is
attributable to one of the virtual 'pots'?

For example, if I deposit $50 to the bank account which I want to
earmark as being kept for car savings, it shows up in the chequing
account as a $50 deposit. Do I have to add a separate transaction to
transfer $50 from chequing to chequing:car savings?

What about a payment for a hobby purchase? If I spend $123 on my
hobby, paying for it from my chequing account, then it will show up in
the QIF file I download from the bank as a withdrawl of $123 from
chequing. Where should this withdrawl go? chequing:hobby? I don't want
to see a transfer from chequing to expenses:hobby, because I really
want to see expenses:hobby getting the money from chequing:hobby (the
whole reason for creating it in the first place).

If I reconcile an entry in my chequing account detailing a purchase at
Hobbies-R-Us such that the withdrawl from chequing translates to a
deposit in chequing:hobby, then the matching entry in chequing:hobby
shows up as a deposit from the store. This is confusing. Have I got it
backwards? Maybe I need to create a transaction from chequing:hobby to
chequing for $123 and then leave the Hobbies-R-Us transactions as a
transfer from chequing to expenses:hobby?

Is there a better way?



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