[GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

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[GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

kstingel
This is a Fix of my previous thread ... Re: gnucash-user Digest, Vol
182, Issue 8,
apologies for not clarifying the subject line last time.

How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a $0.00
Credit Limit
Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?

Are there any plans to include this as a new Asset Account type in
future editions of gnc?

Are Python Bindings enabled in the Windows binaries, and could this
Account type be added via writing a Python script?

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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

David Cousens
From an accounting perspective, this is just a current asset account like any
other bank account. There is not really any need for any new sort of account
type specifically for it. Perhaps just indicating in the account name that a
debit card is attached, if you specifically need to know that. The VISA
debit card is simply a more convenient method for making a withdrawal
against the balance of the account, as it does not confer any credit and
thus raise a liability. There is not really any difference to an EFT funds
transfer particularly where interbank clearances are now almost occurring in
real time.

With my wife's debit card,  the bank records the debits against the account
as they are made (except perhaps the time taken for digital transmission of
the information to them from the vendor) when the card is used but the
transaction appears to be recorded at the time the vendor records the
transaction not necessarily when the bank receives it.



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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

RLCopple
In reply to this post by kstingel
On 05/07/2018 01:39 AM, Karen Stingel wrote:
> How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
> Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a
> $0.00 Credit Limit
> Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?

How I normally handle mine is any transaction I make from my debit card,
I enter as a transaction in my bank account, usually using the word
"Debit" for the ref. number field. Of course, you could use any code
word there you wanted (ex. "Visa", "MC", "CCard", etc.) as long as you
are consistent in using the same term. But there is no reason to
complicate things by creating this as a separate bank account from the
one your funds come out of. As to the rest, I'll let the developers
answer those, though I don't see the point in not using the create a new
account function in GNUCash itself to create any new accounts you need,
or to create a specialized function for handling debit cards.

--
Rick Copple
Window Cleaning Specialist
<http://www.copplecleaningservice.com>

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prl
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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

prl
In reply to this post by kstingel
On 7/05/2018 16:39, Karen Stingel wrote:

> This is a Fix of my previous thread ... Re: gnucash-user Digest, Vol
> 182, Issue 8,
> apologies for not clarifying the subject line last time.
>
> How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
> Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a
> $0.00 Credit Limit
> Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?
>
> Are there any plans to include this as a new Asset Account type in
> future editions of gnc?
I'm not sure why you'd want anything other that a Bank Account account type.

I have a bank savings account on which I can use a VISA debit card and
draw cheques, and it's all on one statement, so it wouldn't make sense
to me to have a separate register for it, except, perhaps as a
sub-account, but I think that unnecessarily complicates things.

What is arguably missing is a "Debit card" Action on the transaction,
but I just make a note of Visa transactions in the description.

Peter
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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by RLCopple
In my experience (admittedly limited), a debit card is a means to extract funds from an account—not an account on its own. Considered this way, it is simply a variant of a check, or of writing a withdrawal slip and handing it over to a teller (for those who remember those days). There is no need for a separate account type; “Bank” or “Asset” suffice.

Rick’s method will certainly work, although I have never bothered with that level of detail.

David T.

> On May 7, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Rick Copple <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 05/07/2018 01:39 AM, Karen Stingel wrote:
>> How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
>> Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a $0.00 Credit Limit
>> Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?
>
> How I normally handle mine is any transaction I make from my debit card, I enter as a transaction in my bank account, usually using the word "Debit" for the ref. number field. Of course, you could use any code word there you wanted (ex. "Visa", "MC", "CCard", etc.) as long as you are consistent in using the same term. But there is no reason to complicate things by creating this as a separate bank account from the one your funds come out of. As to the rest, I'll let the developers answer those, though I don't see the point in not using the create a new account function in GNUCash itself to create any new accounts you need, or to create a specialized function for handling debit cards.
>
> --
> Rick Copple
> Window Cleaning Specialist
> <http://www.copplecleaningservice.com>
>
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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

Mike or Penny Novack-3
In reply to this post by kstingel
On 5/7/2018 2:39 AM, Karen Stingel wrote:

> This is a Fix of my previous thread ... Re: gnucash-user Digest, Vol
> 182, Issue 8,
> apologies for not clarifying the subject line last time.
>
> How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
> Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a
> $0.00 Credit Limit
> Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?
>
> Are there any plans to include this as a new Asset Account type in
> future editions of gnc?

As others have already answered, if this is just a payment card
associated with an existing bank account (just another way of making
withdrawals from THAT account) no account to be added. But if it is a
separate account (with some institution) then yes. Thus you might have
an asset account category for "gift cards", "prepaid debit cards", etc.

HOWEVER -- you have raised a more general question, perhaps
misunderstanding something. The "built in default" accounts that come
with gnucash CoA skeletons are just for convenience satisfying the needs
of many new users. There is nothing magic about the types of accounts
included, either that they would be necessary or sufficient. If you find
you need another category of asset accounts (another sub tree under
assets) simply add that. Same with liabilities and equity (and thus for
income and expense).

Your CoA is YOUR CoA specific to YOUR needs.

Michael D Novack
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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

John Ralls


> On May 7, 2018, at 6:37 AM, Mike or Penny Novack <[hidden email]> wrote:
> HOWEVER -- you have raised a more general question, perhaps misunderstanding something. The "built in default" accounts that come with gnucash CoA skeletons are just for convenience satisfying the needs of many new users. There is nothing magic about the types of accounts included, either that they would be necessary or sufficient. If you find you need another category of asset accounts (another sub tree under assets) simply add that. Same with liabilities and equity (and thus for income and expense).

That’s not quite right. The account *types* are hard coded and control program behavior: For example, types STOCK and FUND have a different register display from the rest. There is neither UI nor API for adding types.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

Mike or Penny Novack-3
On 5/7/2018 10:36 AM, John Ralls wrote:
>
>> On May 7, 2018, at 6:37 AM, Mike or Penny Novack <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> HOWEVER -- you have raised a more general question, perhaps misunderstanding something. The "built in default" accounts that come with gnucash CoA skeletons are just for convenience satisfying the needs of many new users. There is nothing magic about the types of accounts included, either that they would be necessary or sufficient. If you find you need another category of asset accounts (another sub tree under assets) simply add that. Same with liabilities and equity (and thus for income and expense).
> That’s not quite right. The account *types* are hard coded and control program behavior: For example, types STOCK and FUND have a different register display from the rest. There is neither UI nor API for adding types.
>
> Regards,
> John Ralls
>
>
Misunderstanding. The term "type" being used to mean different things.

The original question was using "type" in the sense I was answering the
question. Things like "gift cards", "pre-paid debit cards, bank account
associated debit cards, etc. are not "types" in the sense you mean
(STOCK, FUND, etc.)

Assets of type (sense 1) stock, fund, etc. not the same thing as
accounts of type (sense2) STOCK, FUND. << one could keep books under
gnucash involving assets of type (sense1) stocks ad funds without using
the built in (sense2) types. though it might help doing that to have
learned bookkeeping in the old pen and ink on paper days >>

Michael D Novack

--
There is no possibility of social justice on a dead planet except the equality of the grave.

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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

randix
Did VISA debit cards do somethin' to you as a child, why are you pickin' on
them (that reply is to no one in particular, only the thread, so pleeze, no
one get defensive)?

A debit card [to me] is a non-existent entity, it has no business having its
own "account".

My schwab checking account has a VISA debit card (yippee, so
impressive...)... if i use it to buy a hamburger at Steve's Burgers, I enter
it in the schwab checking account as "Steve's Burgers", I think that
deserves a "duh"...

If I use the debit card for ATM withdrawals, I call it ATM-23, ATM-42.50,
ATM-43, ATM-203, etc., regardless what ATM machine I decide to hug.  My
gnucash entry automatically enters the atm charge into an expense account
for atm charges, and pushes the remaining bucks into my cash account (which
IS deserving of it's own account).  After years of doing this, I have every
combination covered.  So ATM-23 means $3 bank charge and $20 debited from my
checking and pushed into my "cash" account.

Course Schwab reimburses me for all ATM charges at the end of each month, so
that acts as a credit to my expense account for bank atm charges...

Works great.  As much as I luv my debit card, sorry, debit card, you don't
deserve your own place... :) Now if you had brunette hair, about 5' 7"
and.... we'd talk.



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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

Mike or Penny Novack-3
On 5/7/2018 8:45 PM, randix wrote:
> Did VISA debit cards do somethin' to you as a child, why are you pickin' on
> them (that reply is to no one in particular, only the thread, so pleeze, no
> one get defensive)?
>
> A debit card [to me] is a non-existent entity, it has no business having its
> own "account".
>
> My schwab checking account has a VISA debit card

THAT is what the question was about. YOUR debit card is associated with
a checking account. That is one common type. But there are OTHER sorts
of debit cards. There are ones associated with what are more like
savings accounts (no checks, the debit card is used for all
withdrawals). There are "free standing" debit cards (pre-paid debit
cards) that are stand alone, associated with no bank account and which
should be handled like "gift cards", just not tied to a particular
vendor. And then there are "debit cards" associated to virtual accounts
<< some agency might be adding so much per month to the debit card
balance >>

YOUR type of debit card would/should have no existence in the CoA. Some
of these other sorts (I will avoid the word "type") would.

Michael D Novack

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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by kstingel
Karen,

VISA is just a payment network. They are not a credit card company. They don’t issue cards, or extend credit to anyone. Banks do that part and VISA allows them to use the VISA brand on the bank’s cards. (which means payments will go through the VISA network) Those cards can come in many forms. You’re probably most familiar with the credit type associated with the brand, but branded debit cards have been around since at least the early 90s. (I had one in ’92) Branded gift/pre-paid cards are also now ubiquitous and are available at nearly any retailer, grocery store and convenience store. MasterCard and AMEX also have branded cards. I’m not aware of Discover having any cards other than the credit type. (also VISA/MasterCard is pretty much the same company now)

On that note, here’s how you handle each type:

Credit - create a Credit Card type account. (you can just use a plain liability account if you like, but GnuCash has a Credit Card type for you)

Debit - nothing special. It is merely a means to access your checking/savings/money-market/other account, so just create one GnuCash account for each real-world account. The fact that the account has an associated card doesn’t affect this.

Gift/Pre-paid - Create a Current Asset account, potentially one for each card.

I have mine set up as Assets:Current Assets:Prepaid Expenses:Gift Cards & Pre-paid Cards, and then under that various purposes like ‘restaurants’, ‘groceries’, ‘shops’, ‘movies’, et cetera, with an account under each of those for each individual card. (so I can track the remaining balance easily) Some people lump all their pre-paid cards together since they are usually not reloaded (though you can) and discarded when empty. I don’t mind having them separate, not just because I don’t usually spend them all in one shot and like to see the balance at a glance, but also because I have several that are received as recurring gifts so the GnuCash account tends to hang around for many years.

Regards,
Adrien
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Re: [GNC] Handling VISA Debit Accounts

Jeffrey Black
In reply to this post by kstingel
On 05/07/2018 01:39 AM, Karen Stingel wrote:

> This is a Fix of my previous thread ... Re: gnucash-user Digest, Vol
> 182, Issue 8,
> apologies for not clarifying the subject line last time.
>
> How does gnc handle the Case of a VISA Debit card?
> Technically, this is a BANK account with a VISA enabled card and a
> $0.00 Credit Limit
> Should it just be created as a normal BANK account type?
>
> Are there any plans to include this as a new Asset Account type in
> future editions of gnc?
>
> Are Python Bindings enabled in the Windows binaries, and could this
> Account type be added via writing a Python script?
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
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> To update your subscription preferences or to unsubscribe:
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> .
>
Karen:

Unless for some specific reason you need to monitor the use of your
debit card(s), don't.  Your transactions related to the debit card
should show up on your bank statement.  The only reasonable case I can
think of where a separate account is warranted is using re-loadable pay
as you go cards.

Instead, I recommend utilizing the "Num" field to identify how each
transaction was handled.  You can easily design your own schema.  In my
case I use:

#### for checks (the actual check number)

dbt for debit transactions (things like buying gasoline)

eft for electronic fund transfers (transfer electronically to a merchant
and ach transactions that are not paid by check)

txfr to transfer money between accounts within the same financial
institution

dep for deposits.

atm for well atm transactions.

Just my 2 cents worth.


--JEffrey Black M.B.A.




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