Entering stock transactions

Fred Bone Fred.Bone at dial.pipex.com
Mon Sep 22 13:19:47 EDT 2008

On 09 September 2008 at 10:23, Charles Day said:

> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:06 AM, Fred Bone <Fred.Bone at dial.pipex.com>
> wrote:
> > On 08 September 2008 at 15:02, Charles Day said:
> >
> > > On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Fred Bone <Fred.Bone at dial.pipex.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 08 September 2008 at 13:22, Charles Day said:
> > > >
> > > > [plenty]
> > > >
> > > > Thanks, I think I can see what you're getting at and I think I can
> > apply
> > > > that to my other not-quite-the-same problem transactions.
> > > >
> > > > I think ... ;->
> > > >
> > >
> > > The tricky part is knowing when to change the capital in the stock
> > > account, as in splits 4 and 6 of the transaction I gave, and when to
> > > use capital gains instead.
> > >
> > > Just make sure that after each investment transaction:
> > > 1. The trial balance still balances.
> >
> > This has been the problem. A bug that was fixed in 2.2.6 meant that I
> > had a spurious imbalance all along, but now the bug has been fixed I see
> > I have some real imbalances. Which I'm trying to clean up.
> >
> To give you a hint, I currently know of only two ways to create an
> imbalance via the GnuCash GUI: 1. Sell the only remaining shares of a
> particular holding (bringing the stock account balance to zero) without
> properly accounting for capital gains on that sale or one of the previous
> sales in that account. 2. Bring the balance of a foreign currency account
> to zero without properly accounting for currency gains on one of the sales
> in the account.

After a great deal of experimentation, I have narrowed my problem down to 
the Euro transactions. Unfortunately I have quite a few, spread around a 
number of accounts. However, the balance is not zero except in one case 
(where an Expenditure account got zeroed to Equity; deleting that 
transaction has no effect on the "imbalance").

My main currency is GBP, and I have one Euro account under Assets 
(Assets:Currency:Euro), two under Equity (Equity:Opening Balances:Euro 
and Equity:Year end:2007:Euro), and four under Expenditure. I buy Euros 
(cash) from my bank Current account, and deleting all the cash-
expenditure transactions makes no difference.

What does make a difference is deleting the four transactions where I 
purchased Euros, and three where I charged Euro transactions to my (GBP) 
credit card.

I have checked all the exchange rates, and although they are all 
different, they are all reasonable. I also have cash SFR and EEK 
accounts, with cash purchased from my current account in the same way, 
and these are not causing a similar problem (or at least, deleting all 
the transactions makes no difference, whether singly or all together).

Deleting a single EUR purchase and re-entering the same amount with the 
same exchange rate yields the same "imbalance", so it's not a case of bad 
data in the file.

The last such transaction was on 2008-05-20, when I bought EUR305.00 for 
GBP250.29. If I delete this transaction, my "imbalance" changes from 
4218.29 to 8.10. If instead I create another one (dated today or some 
arbitrary other date, makes no difference), the "imbalance" becomes 

FWIW, the other bank-to-cash transactions are
2007-02-20 EUR290.00 bought for GBP201.07
2007-07-11 EUR290.00 bought for GBP202.68
2007-10-07 EUR280.00 bought for GBP200.70
and the credit card transactions are
2007-10-10 EUR258.00 charged at GBP183.78
2008-06-01 EUR85.50 charged at GBP69.55
2008-06-06 EUR55.10 charged at GBP45.29

I cannot make any sense of what is going on. Especially the huge variance 
in the effect of duplicating or removing a single transaction.

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