phaebz at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 14:52:41 EDT 2013
sorry I am late catching up.
On 6/19/13 7:22 PM, Tommy Trussell wrote:
> You wrote two things that make me suspect you don't have complete
> double-entry accounting going on.
Indeed, although I had some courses on double-entry accounting in
university, I do not use it all the way.
> 1) You mentioned an amount in the "imbalance" account. You should
> never see anything there. That means your transactions didn't balance.
> Every expense should be offset by an equal amount of money from one or
> more current assets. (For example, you might have given $10 at the
> orphanage fund-raiser and entered the $10 under Expenses:Charity, but
> the money came from your wallet, so that same transaction would have
> drawn $10 from Assets:Current Assets:Cash in Wallet.)
I will use Cash in Wallet, good point.
> 2) You said you were doubling the "Rebate" amount in the "Expense"
> column, requiring mental arithmetic. First of all, you can have
> GnuCash do whatever arithmetic you need just by typing it... if you
> need to divide a number by half you can just type the number and
> append "*.5" (asterisk decimal five) to the end of the number and when
> you leave the cell GnuCash will replace the number with the calculated
> value. You can do pretty much all basic arithmetic, including
> parentheses. Unlike a spreadsheet, no "equals" sign is required.
Well, good to know. I just figured: If I have to do repetitive work, I
might as well do some mental exercise while doing it...
> HOWEVER If the numbers are not right I suspect the problem is not
> arithmetic but that you're not drawing the money from the right place.
> You said "rebates," so I suspect you are trying to enter all the
> expenses into the Expense accounts, rather than the Assets accounts.
> (The column headings in the Expense accounts are by default named
> Expense and Rebate, though you can choose to have them named Debit and
> Credit as an accountant would prefer.)
> Believe me you will find it MUCH easier to think of all of this from
> the "other side" of the transaction. Think about the way you SPENT the
Will try that. My online banking account allows me to export stuff as
.ofx and I read that gnucash can handle that. I could work from that
Checking Account as you describe.
> Pick up your checkbook and see that you wrote three checks. One for
> rent, one for electricity, one for groceries. Open up the account
> Assets:Current Assets:BlueMoneyBank Checking (for example)
> Enter the information for each check you wrote, with the date, the
> check number, to whom the check was payable, and in the TRANSFER
> column, enter the expense account (Expenses:Rent or
> Expenses:Utilities or Expenses:Groceries) and in the Withdrawal
> column, enter the amount of the check. When you are through you will
> see three transactions, one for each check, showing that you used that
> particular asset (checking account) for three different transactions.
> If you open each of those expense accounts, you will see the "other
> side" of the transaction. (OR if you choose to you can see both sides
> of each transaction in the check register using the View menu in GnuCash.)
> After entering your checks, you can do the same thing for all your
> cash transactions -- look at your wallet and remember you gave $10 to
> the nun for the orphanage, spent $5 on a cup of coffee and a pastry,
> and fed $1.75 into a parking meter at the post office. That's three
> entries reducing the amount in your Cash in Wallet account but the
> transfers might come from three different expense accounts.
> NOTE that you do the same thing for your credit card transactions
> EXCEPT credit cards are liabilities, so those transactions go under
> Liabilities:Credit Card:GreenMoneyBank Credit (for example). You might
> have a restaurant transaction, a car repair transaction, and the $2
> per month the card company charges you and you don't remember what
> it's for.
> NOTE When you PAY your credit card bill, it will probably be a single
> transfer from an Asset account, such as the checking account
> Assets:Current Assets:BlueMoneyBank Checking and transferring to
> Liabilities:Credit Card:GreenMoneyBank Credit (for example).
> If you haven't done so, have a look at the Tutorial and Concepts
> Guide. If it wasn't copied to your computer when you installed
> GnuCash, you can find links to it from http://www.gnucash.org/docs.phtml
Thanks for the pointer and your general advice - I will come back to
check the examples when I dig more into gnucash. For now it is really
"just" to get a rough overview of my expenses vs. income...
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