Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

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Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

dave anderson-9
Here's a good one for you guys.  My wife and I are divorcing (friendly
divorce on very good terms).  We had shared credit cards.  There are
some cards that I'm taking the debt on and some that she's taking the
debt on.  I had all of these entered into GNUCash and would enter in the
finance charges and what not each month.  For the cards she's taking
over, how should I 'get them out of' GnuCash?  I initially thought it
would make sense to just delete the account out.  I did that for one
(very small balance - $200) and all of the old payment from my checking
account just show nothing under the Transfer column now.  

Is that the best way to do it?  If I keep the accounts in there, I'd
want to $0 out the balance somehow, since I'm no longer responsible for
them and will no longer be maintaining the records.

Thanks.

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Re: Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

Maf. King
On Tuesday 16 Aug 2005 11:38, Dave Anderson wrote:

> Here's a good one for you guys.  My wife and I are divorcing (friendly
> divorce on very good terms).  We had shared credit cards.  There are
> some cards that I'm taking the debt on and some that she's taking the
> debt on.  I had all of these entered into GNUCash and would enter in the
> finance charges and what not each month.  For the cards she's taking
> over, how should I 'get them out of' GnuCash?  I initially thought it
> would make sense to just delete the account out.  I did that for one
> (very small balance - $200) and all of the old payment from my checking
> account just show nothing under the Transfer column now.
>
> Is that the best way to do it?  If I keep the accounts in there, I'd
> want to $0 out the balance somehow, since I'm no longer responsible for
> them and will no longer be maintaining the records.
>

Hi,

My first thought for this is to add a new account (probably equity - ask an
accountant!) and just zero the card balances to that account - very similar
process to equity:opening balances at the start of your gnucash time.

I'll be interested to learn [if there is a / what is the] proper way to deal
with "vanishing liabilities"....

Cheers,
Maf.


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Re: Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

Derek Atkins
In reply to this post by dave anderson-9
I would suggest you just zero-off the balance on the card by shifting
it to an Equity account.  Perhaps Equity:Ex Wife Debt, if you want
to keep track of how much she took.

Deleting an account is something you rarely want to do.  It does NOT
delete all the transactions in the account, it only deletes HALF of
them..  And if it DID delete all of them then you'd lose the balances
in other accounts, too.

So, your best bet is really to zeroize the account..  Or start a new
set of books.

-derek

Dave Anderson <[hidden email]> writes:

> Here's a good one for you guys.  My wife and I are divorcing (friendly
> divorce on very good terms).  We had shared credit cards.  There are
> some cards that I'm taking the debt on and some that she's taking the
> debt on.  I had all of these entered into GNUCash and would enter in the
> finance charges and what not each month.  For the cards she's taking
> over, how should I 'get them out of' GnuCash?  I initially thought it
> would make sense to just delete the account out.  I did that for one
> (very small balance - $200) and all of the old payment from my checking
> account just show nothing under the Transfer column now.  
>
> Is that the best way to do it?  If I keep the accounts in there, I'd
> want to $0 out the balance somehow, since I'm no longer responsible for
> them and will no longer be maintaining the records.
>
> Thanks.
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
>
>

--
       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
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Re: Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

Anne Wilson
On Tuesday 16 Aug 2005 13:29, Derek Atkins wrote:

> I would suggest you just zero-off the balance on the card by shifting
> it to an Equity account.  Perhaps Equity:Ex Wife Debt, if you want
> to keep track of how much she took.
>
> Deleting an account is something you rarely want to do.  It does NOT
> delete all the transactions in the account, it only deletes HALF of
> them..  And if it DID delete all of them then you'd lose the balances
> in other accounts, too.
>
> So, your best bet is really to zeroize the account..  Or start a new
> set of books.
>
From my experience of accounting in a business (IANAA) the usual way would
be to make a credit payment against the credit card account (quoting
transfer to wife), balancing it against whichever expense account you
originally used.  If the amounts were against several expense accounts
then an Expenses:Misc entry is probably the best place to balance it.

Anne

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Re: Deleting accounts and resolving existing balances

Bill Wohler
In reply to this post by dave anderson-9
Dave Anderson <[hidden email]> writes:

> Here's a good one for you guys.  My wife and I are divorcing (friendly
> divorce on very good terms).  We had shared credit cards.  There are
> some cards that I'm taking the debt on and some that she's taking the
> debt on.  I had all of these entered into GNUCash and would enter in the
> finance charges and what not each month.  For the cards she's taking
> over, how should I 'get them out of' GnuCash?

Dave,

When I divorced, I initially left the shared accounts alone. The next
year, I exported the account tree (see File > Export > Export
Accounts), deleted the shared accounts in the new file, and started
working in the new file. I initialized all the balances from Equity >
Opening Balances as you normally do with new files; I also copied the
unreconciled transactions by hand (sigh). This did an excellent job of
cleaning out the shared accounts (in the new file) while preserving
the old transactions (in the old file).

While I just let the sleeping dogs lie, you could zero the balance via
a transfer to an equity account as it has been suggested by others.

Alternatively, you could *move* the credit card account under the
Equity tree. This is what I do for obsolete accounts. You'll likely
need to change the account type to Equity when you reparent it in the
Edit Account dialog. I'm not sure if this is a good accounting
practice, but it works for me.

OT: One thing I learned from all of this is that a) I'm never getting
married again ;-) and b) I'll never co-mingle assets again either.

--
Bill Wohler <[hidden email]>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/  GnuPG ID:610BD9AD
Maintainer of comp.mail.mh FAQ and MH-E. Vote Libertarian!
If you're passed on the right, you're in the wrong lane.

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