[GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

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[GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

DaveW
I have the habit of duplicating previous transactions rather than entering
the whole thing afresh.

It occurs to me that in a simple Debit and Credit entry that it may be
possible to have the contra entry mimic the first amount, either entered or
edited.

Not a big problem but a niggle that I have.

Dave W
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

John Ralls


> On Dec 3, 2018, at 6:33 AM, David wasserman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have the habit of duplicating previous transactions rather than entering
> the whole thing afresh.
>
> It occurs to me that in a simple Debit and Credit entry that it may be
> possible to have the contra entry mimic the first amount, either entered or
> edited.
>
> Not a big problem but a niggle that I have.

Could you explain that in a bit more detail?

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

DaveW
Okay John, I will try to be clearer.

I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my bank
account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes: Account to Debit;
Account to credit and their respective $ amounts.  However, if this is an
entry I make frequently I will scroll up to the last time I made a similar
transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts allocated
and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I edit the
Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit side.

I would like it to mirror my edit on the Credit contra account - assuming
the whole transaction consists of a single Debit line and Credit line,
respectively.

As I say, this is not a major issue in any sense.  I was just wondering,
hoping, that there is a switch somewhere to accomplish that rule.

Regards
Dave W

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 11:05 AM John Ralls <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
>
> > On Dec 3, 2018, at 6:33 AM, David wasserman <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > I have the habit of duplicating previous transactions rather than
> entering
> > the whole thing afresh.
> >
> > It occurs to me that in a simple Debit and Credit entry that it may be
> > possible to have the contra entry mimic the first amount, either entered
> or
> > edited.
> >
> > Not a big problem but a niggle that I have.
>
> Could you explain that in a bit more detail?
>
> Regards,
> John Ralls
>
>
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

David Carlson-4
Interesting idea...

I would like to see it implemented as a pop-up dialog asking the user if
(s)he would like to update the 'other side' to the same value if it is a
simple two line transaction.  If the user closes the transaction without
responding yes the imbalance amount is entered.

David C

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 6:07 AM David wasserman <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Okay John, I will try to be clearer.
>
> I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my bank
> account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes: Account to Debit;
> Account to credit and their respective $ amounts.  However, if this is an
> entry I make frequently I will scroll up to the last time I made a similar
> transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
> date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts allocated
> and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I edit the
> Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit side.
>
> I would like it to mirror my edit on the Credit contra account - assuming
> the whole transaction consists of a single Debit line and Credit line,
> respectively.
>
> As I say, this is not a major issue in any sense.  I was just wondering,
> hoping, that there is a switch somewhere to accomplish that rule.
>
> Regards
> Dave W
>
> On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 11:05 AM John Ralls <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > > On Dec 3, 2018, at 6:33 AM, David wasserman <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > I have the habit of duplicating previous transactions rather than
> > entering
> > > the whole thing afresh.
> > >
> > > It occurs to me that in a simple Debit and Credit entry that it may be
> > > possible to have the contra entry mimic the first amount, either
> entered
> > or
> > > edited.
> > >
> > > Not a big problem but a niggle that I have.
> >
> > Could you explain that in a bit more detail?
> >
> > Regards,
> > John Ralls
> >
> >
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Fred Bone
In reply to this post by DaveW
On Monday, December 3, 2018 at 23:02, David wasserman said:

> Okay John, I will try to be clearer.
>
> I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my bank
> account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes: Account to Debit;
> Account to credit and their respective $ amounts.  However, if this is an
> entry I make frequently I will scroll up to the last time I made a similar
> transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
> date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts allocated
> and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I edit
> the Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit side.

Not if you are in Basic Ledger view, it doesn't (unless there are
multiple Credit splits, when obviously it won't know how to adjust them
without being told).

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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Stephen M. Butler
In reply to this post by David Carlson-4
On 12/3/18 9:16 AM, David Carlson wrote:
> Interesting idea...
>
> I would like to see it implemented as a pop-up dialog asking the user if
> (s)he would like to update the 'other side' to the same value if it is a
> simple two line transaction.  If the user closes the transaction without
> responding yes the imbalance amount is entered.
>
> David C


I too have thought it would be nice.  Not only when you deliberately
duplicate a transaction but also when GNC pops in the last entered
transaction of the same "name" as the template.  I would like the option
to turn off the pop-up for a simple two line transaction.  Just do it!

Now, a multi-line transaction will be harder.  Even there I'm wondering
if you could flag certain lines to be "static" and reduce it own to just
two "dynamic" lines.  For example, the monthly mortgage payment which
consists of:

A.  Principal amount -- dynamic

B.  Interest amount -- dynamic

C.  Escrow amount -- static (changes annually)

D.  Bank deduction -- static (changes if escrow changed).

If you changed the amount applied to principal then the interest amount
would change to keep the transaction in balance.

Definitely easier to do with the two line transaction.

> On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 6:07 AM David wasserman <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Okay John, I will try to be clearer.
>>
>> I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my bank
>> account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes: Account to Debit;
>> Account to credit and their respective $ amounts.  However, if this is an
>> entry I make frequently I will scroll up to the last time I made a similar
>> transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
>> date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts allocated
>> and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I edit the
>> Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit side.
>>
>> I would like it to mirror my edit on the Credit contra account - assuming
>> the whole transaction consists of a single Debit line and Credit line,
>> respectively.
>>
>> As I say, this is not a major issue in any sense.  I was just wondering,
>> hoping, that there is a switch somewhere to accomplish that rule.
>>
>> Regards
>> Dave W
>>
>> On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 11:05 AM John Ralls <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>> On Dec 3, 2018, at 6:33 AM, David wasserman <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I have the habit of duplicating previous transactions rather than
>>> entering
>>>> the whole thing afresh.
>>>>
>>>> It occurs to me that in a simple Debit and Credit entry that it may be
>>>> possible to have the contra entry mimic the first amount, either
>> entered
>>> or
>>>> edited.
>>>>
>>>> Not a big problem but a niggle that I have.
>>> Could you explain that in a bit more detail?
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> John Ralls

--
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-------------------------------------------
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

David Cousens
In reply to this post by DaveW
Dave,

The problem for GnuCash is that when you have duplicated a previous
transaction and then edit it, GnuCash has no way of knowing what your
intentions are. The engine is currently setup to maintain a transaction in
balance as it is edited. When you change the value of one split of the
transaction, the engine is designed to calculate the difference between the
new sum of the splits and zero and allocate that to the Imbalance account
which simplifies creating transactions with 2 or more splits.
 
It would be feasible in principle to detect whether the editeded transaction
only has two splits and to adjust the value of the second split rather than
the imbalance account in that case. How easy that is to do will require a
close look at how the engine manages the balancing.

This introduces a further complication however. If your intention was to
change this to a transaction with 3 or more splits. You could not do what
you would do at present which is edit the existing two splits into an
imbalanced state and have GnuCash create the 3rd split automatically and
allocate it to the Imbalance account which you then reassign to the account
you desire that split to go to.

You would have to create the split to the third account and assign it a
value first to break the two split calculation as above out of the two split
mode rather than just edit the existing splits.

It will be a judgement call as to how many users would be inconvenienced by
the current approach relative to those who would then be inconvenienced if
it was changed as described  above.

Perhaps raise a feature enhancement request at bug.gnucash.org.

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Derek Atkins
In reply to this post by DaveW
Hi,

David wasserman <[hidden email]> writes:

> Okay John, I will try to be clearer.
>
> I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my bank
> account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes: Account to Debit;
> Account to credit and their respective $ amounts.  However, if this is an
> entry I make frequently I will scroll up to the last time I made a similar
> transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
> date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts allocated
> and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I edit the
> Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit side.
>
> I would like it to mirror my edit on the Credit contra account - assuming
> the whole transaction consists of a single Debit line and Credit line,
> respectively.
>
> As I say, this is not a major issue in any sense.  I was just wondering,
> hoping, that there is a switch somewhere to accomplish that rule.

You do realize that you could just use Autofill, right?

GnuCash will assume that if you enter in the same Description then it
will auto-fill the rest of transaction.  I.e., you can go to an account,
enter in the "current" date, type in a description you've used before,
then hit "tab" and GnuCash will fill in the rest of the transaction as
before, including transfer account(s), and amounts.  Then will will jump
to and let you edit the amount.

This works in the contra-account as well, although we really recommend
you enter transactions only from Asset and Liability accounts and not
Income or Expense accounts.

If the transaction is a basic, 2-split transaction then if you edit the
amount it will properly edit the other-account amount, too.

I think this will work better than your "duplicate" method.  Try it.

> Regards
> Dave W

> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.

-derek

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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Jeff Abrahamson
In reply to this post by David Cousens
Beyond inconvenience questions, I think error questions are more
weighty.  If the engine creates a balancing split, you see it and
react.  And if, for some reason, you don't see it, you'll catch it later
by noticing that the imbalance account has non-zero balance.

On the other hand, if gnucash changes the other split and that's not
what you meant, but for some reason you accept the transaction anyway
(say because hitting return is a highly ingrained behaviour), it would
be very difficult to catch later.  (It also introduces weird behaviours
where the engine has to keep track of how many times you've edited
splits and in what order in order to know when to create an error split
or adjust some other split.  That quickly becomes non-intuitive for users.)

Jeff


On 03/12/18 23:11, David Cousens wrote:

> Dave,
>
> The problem for GnuCash is that when you have duplicated a previous
> transaction and then edit it, GnuCash has no way of knowing what your
> intentions are. The engine is currently setup to maintain a transaction in
> balance as it is edited. When you change the value of one split of the
> transaction, the engine is designed to calculate the difference between the
> new sum of the splits and zero and allocate that to the Imbalance account
> which simplifies creating transactions with 2 or more splits.
>  
> It would be feasible in principle to detect whether the editeded transaction
> only has two splits and to adjust the value of the second split rather than
> the imbalance account in that case. How easy that is to do will require a
> close look at how the engine manages the balancing.
>
> This introduces a further complication however. If your intention was to
> change this to a transaction with 3 or more splits. You could not do what
> you would do at present which is edit the existing two splits into an
> imbalanced state and have GnuCash create the 3rd split automatically and
> allocate it to the Imbalance account which you then reassign to the account
> you desire that split to go to.
>
> You would have to create the split to the third account and assign it a
> value first to break the two split calculation as above out of the two split
> mode rather than just edit the existing splits.
>
> It will be a judgement call as to how many users would be inconvenienced by
> the current approach relative to those who would then be inconvenienced if
> it was changed as described  above.
>
> Perhaps raise a feature enhancement request at bug.gnucash.org.
>
> David Cousens
>
>
>
> -----
> David Cousens
> --
> Sent from: http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/GnuCash-User-f1415819.html
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

David Cousens
In reply to this post by DaveW
Davids, John

This is just an aside for terminology clarification and being a trifle
pedantic.

Although the meaning is clear where you have used contra in this context,
the term contra account is generally used in accounting with a very specific
meaning which is unrelated to the usage here to describe the account which
is debited or credited in the second split.

The general use is to describe a situation where one has an account whereone
needs to preserve the original value and simulataneously record changes in
that value. For example the purchase price of an asset, where that asset is
subject to deprectiation. One normally sets up a structure similar to the
following

Asset:Plant
Asset:Plant:Initial Cost
Asset:Plant:Depreciation

where Asset:Plant is a Placeholder into which the two sub accounts sum.
Asset:Plant:Depreciation is what is usually referred to in accounting as a
contra account because in most cases, but not always, the balance in this
Depreciation account is increased by credits to the account, i.e. it has a
credit balance wheras the Asset:Plant placeholder and Asset:Plant:Initial
Cost accounts have a debit balance and the balance is increased in them by
debits to the account. The overall balance of the Asset:Plant account is
determined by the Initial Cost - Depreciation.  

There are lots of other situations where a contra account is used in this
way in accounting, mainly to preserve information which will be required in
the future for assessing things like capital gains tax or profit or loss on
a particular item.

I have often tried unsucessfully to think of a more appropriate terminology
for the other accounts referred to in balancing a transaction. Elsewhere in
the GnuCash documentation it is sometimes referred to as a transfer account
which is as appropriate a description as I have been able to find in any
accounting text books.

David Cousens



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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

DaveW
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
On Mon, 03 Dec 2018 19:20:08 -0500
Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> David wasserman <[hidden email]> writes:
>
> > Okay John, I will try to be clearer.
> >
> > I am talking about  inputting a new entry into an account.  Say, my
> > bank account.  So, in the register I could enter Date; Notes:
> > Account to Debit; Account to credit and their respective $
> > amounts.  However, if this is an entry I make frequently I will
> > scroll up to the last time I made a similar  
> > transaction> right click>select  "Duplicate Transaction">enter the
> > date>press OK and I am provided with a new transaction, accounts
> > date>allocated  
> > and all.  But, the $ amount may be different to what I want.  So I
> > edit the Debit and that forces an "Imbalance" entry on the Credit
> > side.
> >
> > I would like it to mirror my edit on the Credit contra account -
> > assuming the whole transaction consists of a single Debit line and
> > Credit line, respectively.
> >
> > As I say, this is not a major issue in any sense.  I was just
> > wondering, hoping, that there is a switch somewhere to accomplish
> > that rule.  
>
> You do realize that you could just use Autofill, right?
>
> GnuCash will assume that if you enter in the same Description then it
> will auto-fill the rest of transaction.  I.e., you can go to an
> account, enter in the "current" date, type in a description you've
> used before, then hit "tab" and GnuCash will fill in the rest of the
> transaction as before, including transfer account(s), and amounts.
> Then will will jump to and let you edit the amount.
>
> This works in the contra-account as well, although we really recommend
> you enter transactions only from Asset and Liability accounts and not
> Income or Expense accounts.
>
> If the transaction is a basic, 2-split transaction then if you edit
> the amount it will properly edit the other-account amount, too.
>
> I think this will work better than your "duplicate" method.  Try it.
>
> > Regards
> > Dave W  
>
> > Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> > You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.  
>
> -derek
>

Hi Derek,

I tried the Autofill method you describe.  

It was indeed a revelation.
Thank you. For years I have been using the Duplicate Transaction
method.  Though it didn't jump to to edit the amount nor did it edit
the contra account - if I understood you correctly?

That said, using autofill, tab, is a much better method, just as you
say.

I see that I have started an interesting discussion on the subject :-)

Regards
Dave W

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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Derek Atkins
DIW <[hidden email]> writes:

> Hi Derek,
>
> I tried the Autofill method you describe.  
>
> It was indeed a revelation.
> Thank you. For years I have been using the Duplicate Transaction
> method.  Though it didn't jump to to edit the amount nor did it edit
> the contra account - if I understood you correctly?

I'm not sure what you mean here.  When you tab out of the description
and it autofills the transaction, the next cell you get to should be the
amount, so you can change the amount for the current transaction.  It
skips over the transfer account.

IFF the transaction is a basic, 2-split transaction (and you're in basic
ledger mode) then if you adjust the amount it will also also adjust the
contra-account amount.  HOWEVER, if it's a split transaction, or if
you're in an expanded-view ledger mode then no, it will not adjust the
contra amount -- you will have to edit it manually.

> That said, using autofill, tab, is a much better method, just as you
> say.
>
> I see that I have started an interesting discussion on the subject :-)

Indeed, you have.

> Regards
> Dave W

> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.

-derek

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       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

foxylady337
> On 6 Dec 2018, at 15:41, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> DIW <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> Hi Derek,
>>
>> I tried the Autofill method you describe.  
>>
>> It was indeed a revelation.
>> Thank you. For years I have been using the Duplicate Transaction
>> method.  Though it didn't jump to to edit the amount nor did it edit
>> the contra account - if I understood you correctly?
>
> I'm not sure what you mean here.  When you tab out of the description
> and it autofills the transaction, the next cell you get to should be the
> amount, so you can change the amount for the current transaction.  It
> skips over the transfer account.
>
> IFF the transaction is a basic, 2-split transaction (and you're in basic
> ledger mode) then if you adjust the amount it will also also adjust the
> contra-account amount.  HOWEVER, if it's a split transaction, or if
> you're in an expanded-view ledger mode then no, it will not adjust the
> contra amount -- you will have to edit it manually.
>
>> That said, using autofill, tab, is a much better method, just as you
>> say.
>>
>> I see that I have started an interesting discussion on the subject :-)
>
> Indeed, you have.
>
>> Regards
>> Dave W
>
>> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
>> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
>
> -derek

Hi, Dave.

It’s also quite simple to revise a simple autofill transaction to split it several ways and leave GC to do the arithmetic.

For example, I usually only fill up with petrol at the Tesco Service Station, but the kiosk sells milk, snacks, newspapers, coal, logs etc.


When I start to enter a new transaction, I get an autofilled transaction between my credit card account and Expenses:Motoring, like this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlbwp8biyul3051/Screenshot%202018-12-06%2017.03.38.png?dl=0

I can see the whole transaction by right-clicking and selecting Split Transaction

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4fhlaan14dlf1o/Screenshot%202018-12-06%2017.04.05.png?dl=0

Let’s say I bought £20 worth of petrol that day, but also bought some groceries for £15, and some coal for £25.80.

First I edit the Motoring figure - making it £20. The unallocated balance appears below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wuugwok77sv5ha6/Screenshot%202018-12-06%2017.04.37.png?dl=0

Then I put Expenses:Household into the “Account” space against the unallocated balance, and edit that so that it reads £15:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sudqipi3peidyfo/Screenshot%202018-12-06%2017.05.18.png?dl=0

Finally, I allocate the cost of the coal to Expenses:Heat Light & Power

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4tzf3pxdk9m5ts/Screenshot%202018-12-06%2017.05.48.png?dl=0

If I made a typing error, the remainder will appear as an Imbalance-GBP entry.

Regards,

Michael




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Re: [GNC] How to automate $ value on the contra account when editing a transaction

Stephen M. Butler
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
On 12/6/18 7:41 AM, Derek Atkins wrote:

> DIW <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> Hi Derek,
>>
>> I tried the Autofill method you describe.
>>
>> It was indeed a revelation.
>> Thank you. For years I have been using the Duplicate Transaction
>> method.  Though it didn't jump to to edit the amount nor did it edit
>> the contra account - if I understood you correctly?
> I'm not sure what you mean here.  When you tab out of the description
> and it autofills the transaction, the next cell you get to should be the
> amount, so you can change the amount for the current transaction.  It
> skips over the transfer account.
>
> IFF the transaction is a basic, 2-split transaction (and you're in basic
> ledger mode) then if you adjust the amount it will also also adjust the
> contra-account amount.  HOWEVER, if it's a split transaction, or if
> you're in an expanded-view ledger mode then no, it will not adjust the
> contra amount -- you will have to edit it manually.


That explains why I'm not seeing this behavior.  I always show the
expanded splits (ledger mode?).

>
>> That said, using autofill, tab, is a much better method, just as you
>> say.
>>
>> I see that I have started an interesting discussion on the subject :-)
> Indeed, you have.
>
>> Regards
>> Dave W
>> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
>> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
> -derek
>

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