Budgeting/report of current paid expenses for future periods

Adrien Monteleone adrien.monteleone at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 11:58:58 EDT 2016


I think what you want is doable. How are you entering the transactions? Are you simply entering a debit to the expense account and credit to the asset?

I would instead treat these as pre-paid expenses, then expense them in the actual period used. This will then trigger the budget feature to properly look at only the periods where the expense shows up, not the payment.

Likely the most formal way could seem cumbersome, but I do this for some utilities like internet service and car insurance that I pay in advance and it is really simple. You’ll need the Business Features turned on for this to work with the least effort. You’ll also need to set up Vendors for whomever you buy tickets and pay other expenses in advance to.

When I get a bill in the mail for such an situation, I simply make a vendor bill with the line item(s) set to for example, assets:prepaid expenses:internet services. I then post it using the date on the invoice itself.

The accounting entry is:

	dr. assets:current assets:prepaid expenses:internet services
		cr. liabilities:accounts payable

When I physically pay it, a transaction is created moving funds from say assets:cash to liabilities:accounts payable.

	dr. liabilities:accounts payable
		cr. assets:current assets:cash

Then on the ending date of the service period (thus in the period when I’ve actually incurred the expense), I have an automatic transaction that expenses internet services.

	dr. expenses:internet services
		cr. assets:current assets:prepaid expenses:internet services

Your situation might be something like:

When purchasing plane tickets, make a bill to whomever you bought them from, post it on the spot and pay it. (if all done really at once)

Clicking to Post the bill creates:
	dr. assets:current assets:prepaid expenses:travel
		cr. liabilities: accounts payable

Clicking to Pay the bill creates:
	dr. liabilities:accounts payable
		cr. assets:current assets:cash

When you take the flight, make an entry like so for the date of the flight:
	dr. expenses:travel
		cr. assets:current assets:prepaid expenses:travel

(since you do these often, as you should guess, typing the description line brings up the last similar transaction already entered, you might only need to adjust dates, memos and amounts)

Essentially, you only have two tasks:

Create a bill, post and pay it.
Expense the flight once you use the ticket for the date of the actual flight.

It’s up to you how fine grained you want to get in your sub categories, and in the case of return flights happening in a later period, frequent flier miles, bonus points, etc.

> On Oct 9, 2016, at 11:00 AM, gnucash-user-request at gnucash.org wrote:
> From: Steve <butterandsalt at gmail.com <mailto:butterandsalt at gmail.com>>
> Subject: Budgeting/report of current paid expenses for future periods
> Date: October 8, 2016 at 8:42:52 PM CDT
> To: gnucash-user at gnucash.org <mailto:gnucash-user at gnucash.org>
> Not sure how to explain this so let me give an example...
> I do lots of travel and want to keep track/control of how much I'll be
> spending per week in the future based on my current outlays.  Sounds simple
> enough, but many of my expenses that I incur now, are for a future period in
> time.  Example.  If I have a trip to DC planned in 3 weeks and pay for
> hotel, etc expenses in advance, eg now, I want a report that shows me how
> much I'm spending for that future period, eg per week, not when I actually
> paid the expense.  I'm not talking for tax purposes, but for my own record
> keeping and budgeting.  Other than keeping a separate excel sheet and
> recording the info on that, is there any way I can do that within GnuCash?  

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