Guidance on a Year-To-Year Comparison Report

Phil Longstaff plongstaff at
Mon Jan 24 09:33:55 EST 2011

My apologies.  I completely forgot about this.  Thanks for the reminder.

I used to be a hypochondriac AND a kleptomaniac. So I took something for it.

From: David T. <sunfish62 at>
To: stepbystepfarm at; Phil Longstaff <plongstaff at>
Cc: Users Gnucash <gnucash-user at>
Sent: Sun, January 23, 2011 11:48:14 PM
Subject: Re: Guidance on a Year-To-Year Comparison Report


I don't want to take advantage of your time and expertise unfairly, but I wonder 
whether you ever were able to figure out a way to make a report like this?


--- On Thu, 12/16/10, Phil Longstaff <plongstaff at> wrote:

>From: Phil Longstaff <plongstaff at>
>Subject: Re: Guidance on a Year-To-Year Comparison Report
>To: "David T." <sunfish62 at>, stepbystepfarm at
>Cc: "Users Gnucash" <gnucash-user at>
>Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 10:25 AM
>When I get home this evening (it's now 1:24PM EST), I'll take a look at the 
>report and see if I can help.
> Phil
>I used to be a hypochondriac AND a kleptomaniac. So I took something for it.
From: David T. <sunfish62 at>
>To: stepbystepfarm at
>Cc: Users Gnucash <gnucash-user at>
>Sent: Thu, December 16, 2010 1:06:00  PM
>Subject: Re: Guidance on a Year-To-Year Comparison Report
>--- On Thu, 12/16/10, Mike or Penny Novack <stepbystepfarm at> wrote:
>> From: Mike or Penny Novack <stepbystepfarm at>
>> Subject: Re: Guidance on a Year-To-Year Comparison Report
>> To: "David T." <sunfish62 at>
>> Cc: "Users Gnucash" <gnucash-user at>
>> Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 5:14 AM
>> David T. wrote:
>> > I am interested in having a two column report  that
>> would compare amounts for two comparable periods of time.
>> This would allow me to compare my spending in those accounts
>> over two comparable time periods. The report would allow you
>> to select the accounts to compare, and specify established
>> time periods for the two columns (for example, Year-to-Year,
>> Consecutive Quarters, First Quarter, etc.). Additionally, it
>> might allow specification of the starting year (e.g.,
>> entering 2008 would establish a report for 2008-2009).
>> > 
>> > I'd give it a shot with the new reporting modules in
>> 2.3.17, but need help even knowing where to start.
>> > 
>> > TIA,
>> > David
>> >  
>> This is how a non-profit ordinarily presents its financial
>> statements (two "Statement of Revenue"s aka "Income
>> Statement and two "Balance Sheets"). When I first began
>> using GnuCash for  one of the organizations I asked the
>> accountant type who would help me put the reports into GAAP
>> format (treasurer of the state lawyer's association
>> non-profit) if I should write custom coding for Gnucash to
>> do that he said DON'T BOTHER. 
>I appreciate your point of view on this. However, since I am neither an 
>accountant nor a nonprofit organization trying to comply with legal 
>requirements, this is somewhat immaterial.
>I personally would like a report that will allow me to see (without data 
>munging) account amounts for different periods for quick comparison. I would 
>find it useful to be able to see quickly whether I am ahead or behind in various 
>> Just give him the two income
>> statements and two balance sheets and he would use his
>> favorite editing software to prepare the final version. WHY?
>> Because still need to insert annotation explaining any
>> items/amounts  that would appear unusual. In other words,
>> STILL going to need the capabilities of a full fledged
>> editor to insert text, etc.
>> This isn't ever going to be a "one size fits all"
>> situation. Consider for how many jurisdictions we would need
>> report versions if GnuCash were expected to be able to
>> furnish a finished product of the financial reports as
>> required by the laws of that jurisdiction. Better to produce
>> just the simple standard reports and then let the user edit
>> this data into the required format. And yes, GnuCash could
>> be expanded to provide its own editor but there's lots of
>> good editing apps out there so why reinvent the wheel.
>Again, your point is taken, but again, I disagree. I think one reason that 
>Quicken is so popular is that it is dead simple to create reports that quickly 
>answer basic questions about your financial situation. I continue to  hope for 
>the same thing for Gnucash. I note that many changes have already happened to 
>begin this process, but more will be needed.
>Frankly, if it weren't so damned hard to create reports in the first place, then 
>the whole "jurisdictions vary" argument would fall away, since it would be easy 
>for users to modify and create reports to meet their particular jurisdictional 
>requirements. If it were simple to create the report your accountant needed, I 
>am sure she/he'd be happier to have the complete data ready to go, just needing 
>his/her extra notes, rather than having you send rough data that s/he then has 
>to compile before adding his/her notes to it.
>I will try to look at some existing report and see whether I can force it into 
>the form I seek.
>> Michael D Novack, FLMI
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