arctostaphylos mjbrady at acm.org
Fri Jun 4 12:28:09 EDT 2021

I'm going to repeat, probably, what's already been discussed. I understand
why GnuCash creates the Imbalance account (among a few others, like Orphan
and Equity:Opening Balance). I have no problem with that, and in practice
those accounts have been useful - especially in catching errors. 

I use GC for personal books (and now that my bookkeeper aka significant
other has tried GC to review my records it is generally approved), and also
for a small nonprofit I was drafted as treasurer of (because I admitted that
my IT education included a basic bookkeeping class). For personal books, I
ran GC, for a year or more, in parallel with an ancient system of
spreadsheets that I developed over the decades, and finally converted at the
beginning of this year. That's one thing the family bookkeeper very much
likes: the spreadsheet were always having link problems and imbalance
issues, and GC fixes all that.

The argument seems to be one of appearances: the accounts are useful, but
where they appear in the CoA should be more flexible than it is. I'll never
argue against flexibility (Semper Gumby!), but it works both ways. The
default should be the default, so people and the software know where to
expect things to be. Variations on that should be possible, because various
people and organizations don't do things the same way. That should be the
end of the argument. 

GC is designed (it seems) to be relatively rigid because it didn't start out
as full-fledged accounting software, competing with the Quickbooks and *
Accounting of the world, though it has evolved in that direction. It was
supposed to be simpler, more like Quicken. Either way, it works if you're
not trying to do things that are too complicated for it. Keeping extra
details for some records on the side can be helpful if it's too complicated,
initially, to understand how to make it work right) in GC - stocks & mutual
funds are a good example, for me - and spreadsheets are good for that. But
anyway, my 2c worth, for what it's worth.

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