[GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

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[GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

GnuCash - User mailing list
We have two types of vendors...1 - Vendors for which we receive & post bills2 - Vendors for which we just write a check and make an entry into the checking account
Normally...In Case 1, we post bills first, assign an expense account, and later pay the bill. The expense account is assigned when we create the bill.
In Case 2 we assign the Expense Account when entering the transaction into the check register.
Now...- We are about to import months of checking transactions.
- Later we will Post Bills for any of those transactions for which we receive bills.
- Then we will Apply the associated checking transactions as payments for the associated vendor Bills.

Here is the question:
When we import the checking transactions I'm guessing we can assign the appropriate Expense Account during that import.

Will assigning the Expense Account during import conflict with later creating a bill and then assigning a checking transaction as payment for that bill? (Since the Expense Account is normally assigned during creation of the bill... so this will be kind of backwards... I think)
I hope I made the issue and question clear. At least I gave it my best shot :-)
Thanks for any help.
PS - I've recently posted a number of questions leading up to this big import and when given answers have chosen not to send out a "Thank You" response. I've done this in order to not needlessly clog up everybody's inbox. But, I do want to say "Thank You" now for your assistance. I hope my choice of not sending out a simple "Thank You" is appropriate protocol but if not let me know as the members here are just terrific and very helpful.






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Re: [GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

Adrien Monteleone-2
It’s okay to not give a final “thanks” message, but it is helpful to inform the list that the particular advice either did or did not answer the question or help solve the problem. (or even help lead you to the solution and what that might have turned out to be) This way, future readers of the archive aren’t left in limbo as to how the thread resolved in case they have a similar question. Sometimes, a simple “thanks, that worked” is sufficient and acceptable. (with the ’that worked’ part being more important than the ’thanks’ part)

As for the mechanics of the import, it should allow you to train the importer for each payee. Thus the vendors you pay outright without raising bills would be assigned to a relevant expense account, but vendors you do raise bills for would get a different assignment, most likely Accounts Payable, then after the import, assign each of those as payment individually as appropriate to the relevant vendor invoices. (normally you don’t make manual entries against AP, noted in another thread) Be certain to use the “Assign as payment” feature from the checking register as a safety measure. (I’m not even sure you can do it from AP)

It is highly recommended when first starting an import workflow to do so with just a few transactions at a time, then move up to perhaps an entire month, then you can move up to a larger batch. Some veterans on this list always recommend to do one month at a time no matter what, check over everything carefully, reconcile, then move to the next month.

As you do each import, you are refining the training of the importer so you have to do less and less work each time making assignments or correcting mismatched imports. (you don’t want to jump head first and then have to review hundreds or thousands of transactions for errors or improper account assignments, and then you miss the benefit of training the importer)

You might want to start with just importing basic expenses and get some of those payees trained and make sure the importer matches subsequent imports correctly. Then move on to the business payments that need to be assigned. All of them should go to AP and each subsequent import should do this correctly.

As you move through the process (working from oldest imports to current day) the importer will improve and the entire process will be faster with less manual input. Future imports will be even smoother.

Finally, be certain to use the latest v3.8 as older versions had their individual bugs and quirks with the importer. (there might still be some outstanding to be fixed or improved, but the best state of the feature is in the current version)

Regards,
Adrien

> On Feb 4, 2020 w6d35, at 10:55 AM, Fran_3 via gnucash-user <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> We have two types of vendors...1 - Vendors for which we receive & post bills2 - Vendors for which we just write a check and make an entry into the checking account
> Normally...In Case 1, we post bills first, assign an expense account, and later pay the bill. The expense account is assigned when we create the bill.
> In Case 2 we assign the Expense Account when entering the transaction into the check register.
> Now...- We are about to import months of checking transactions.
> - Later we will Post Bills for any of those transactions for which we receive bills.
> - Then we will Apply the associated checking transactions as payments for the associated vendor Bills.
>
> Here is the question:
> When we import the checking transactions I'm guessing we can assign the appropriate Expense Account during that import.
>
> Will assigning the Expense Account during import conflict with later creating a bill and then assigning a checking transaction as payment for that bill? (Since the Expense Account is normally assigned during creation of the bill... so this will be kind of backwards... I think)
> I hope I made the issue and question clear. At least I gave it my best shot :-)
> Thanks for any help.
> PS - I've recently posted a number of questions leading up to this big import and when given answers have chosen not to send out a "Thank You" response. I've done this in order to not needlessly clog up everybody's inbox. But, I do want to say "Thank You" now for your assistance. I hope my choice of not sending out a simple "Thank You" is appropriate protocol but if not let me know as the members here are just terrific and very helpful.


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Re: [GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

David Cousens
Just a note re the training of the importer to match transactions to transfer
accounts.  

The ability to do this depends upon there being sufficient consistent
distinguishing information in the description fields of the imported
transaction.

One vendor I have supplies a different unique transaction number number each
time they send a request for payment. I also receive two separate direct
credit requests from them (one from my wife and one for myself). There is
not a part of the number which identifies which transaction was for which
person or a part which uniquely identifies the organization although other
information in the description does do that so the importer cannot assign
the correcct expense account  as there is not sufficient distinguishing
information in the description field (I have separate expense accounts for
this item for my wife and myself).  On a lot of electronic transactions the
description field is limited to 18 chars which can't include blanks which
does not leave a lot of scope for differentiating information. I have to
manualyl assignthe transfer accounts each month fro this pair of transaction
and I have similar difficulties with some other imported transactions so be
aware the importer will never be perfect even after training in some cases.

You will only be able to get the importer to assign the correct expense
accounts and or  A/P if the vendor supplies distinuishing info to his/her
bank and his/her bank passes that to your bank and they in turn include that
in the description field. Unfortunately the importer can't read the vendor's
mind.

David



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Re: [GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

Derek Atkins-3
In reply to this post by GnuCash - User mailing list
Hi,

Fran_3 via gnucash-user <[hidden email]> writes:

> Will assigning the Expense Account during import conflict with later
> creating a bill and then assigning a checking transaction as payment
> for that bill? (Since the Expense Account is normally assigned during
> creation of the bill... so this will be kind of backwards... I think)
> I hope I made the issue and question clear. At least I gave it my best shot :-)

The short answer is "yes".  If you import the check into Bank and
always assign the "correct" Expense account, then you will bypass the
Bill completely.   For Vendors that have a Bill you *MUST* assign the
payment to AP, not the appropriate Expense.

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

-derek

--
       Derek Atkins                 617-623-3745
       [hidden email]             www.ihtfp.com
       Computer and Internet Security Consultant
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Re: [GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by Adrien Monteleone-2
 Thank you Adrien. Your answer was very helpful. I experimented today and hope to do the big import tomorrow. Wish me luck :-)

    On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 12:17:54 PM EST, Adrien Monteleone <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 It’s okay to not give a final “thanks” message, but it is helpful to inform the list that the particular advice either did or did not answer the question or help solve the problem. (or even help lead you to the solution and what that might have turned out to be) This way, future readers of the archive aren’t left in limbo as to how the thread resolved in case they have a similar question. Sometimes, a simple “thanks, that worked” is sufficient and acceptable. (with the ’that worked’ part being more important than the ’thanks’ part)

As for the mechanics of the import, it should allow you to train the importer for each payee. Thus the vendors you pay outright without raising bills would be assigned to a relevant expense account, but vendors you do raise bills for would get a different assignment, most likely Accounts Payable, then after the import, assign each of those as payment individually as appropriate to the relevant vendor invoices. (normally you don’t make manual entries against AP, noted in another thread) Be certain to use the “Assign as payment” feature from the checking register as a safety measure. (I’m not even sure you can do it from AP)

It is highly recommended when first starting an import workflow to do so with just a few transactions at a time, then move up to perhaps an entire month, then you can move up to a larger batch. Some veterans on this list always recommend to do one month at a time no matter what, check over everything carefully, reconcile, then move to the next month.

As you do each import, you are refining the training of the importer so you have to do less and less work each time making assignments or correcting mismatched imports. (you don’t want to jump head first and then have to review hundreds or thousands of transactions for errors or improper account assignments, and then you miss the benefit of training the importer)

You might want to start with just importing basic expenses and get some of those payees trained and make sure the importer matches subsequent imports correctly. Then move on to the business payments that need to be assigned. All of them should go to AP and each subsequent import should do this correctly.

As you move through the process (working from oldest imports to current day) the importer will improve and the entire process will be faster with less manual input. Future imports will be even smoother.

Finally, be certain to use the latest v3.8 as older versions had their individual bugs and quirks with the importer. (there might still be some outstanding to be fixed or improved, but the best state of the feature is in the current version)

Regards,
Adrien

> On Feb 4, 2020 w6d35, at 10:55 AM, Fran_3 via gnucash-user <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> We have two types of vendors...1 - Vendors for which we receive & post bills2 - Vendors for which we just write a check and make an entry into the checking account
> Normally...In Case 1, we post bills first, assign an expense account, and later pay the bill. The expense account is assigned when we create the bill.
> In Case 2 we assign the Expense Account when entering the transaction into the check register.
> Now...- We are about to import months of checking transactions.
> - Later we will Post Bills for any of those transactions for which we receive bills.
> - Then we will Apply the associated checking transactions as payments for the associated vendor Bills.
>
> Here is the question:
> When we import the checking transactions I'm guessing we can assign the appropriate Expense Account during that import.
>
> Will assigning the Expense Account during import conflict with later creating a bill and then assigning a checking transaction as payment for that bill? (Since the Expense Account is normally assigned during creation of the bill... so this will be kind of backwards... I think)
> I hope I made the issue and question clear. At least I gave it my best shot :-)
> Thanks for any help.
> PS - I've recently posted a number of questions leading up to this big import and when given answers have chosen not to send out a "Thank You" response. I've done this in order to not needlessly clog up everybody's inbox. But, I do want to say "Thank You" now for your assistance. I hope my choice of not sending out a simple "Thank You" is appropriate protocol but if not let me know as the members here are just terrific and very helpful.


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Re: [GNC] Importing Checking Transactions: Expense Acct Assignment Question.

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins-3
 Derek, your answer confirmed Adrian's post and both gave me the confident to experiment today. I'll pull the trigger on the big import tomorrow and report back.
    On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 09:18:35 AM EST, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 Hi,

Fran_3 via gnucash-user <[hidden email]> writes:

> Will assigning the Expense Account during import conflict with later
> creating a bill and then assigning a checking transaction as payment
> for that bill? (Since the Expense Account is normally assigned during
> creation of the bill... so this will be kind of backwards... I think)
> I hope I made the issue and question clear. At least I gave it my best shot :-)

The short answer is "yes".  If you import the check into Bank and
always assign the "correct" Expense account, then you will bypass the
Bill completely.  For Vendors that have a Bill you *MUST* assign the
payment to AP, not the appropriate Expense.

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

-derek

--
      Derek Atkins                617-623-3745
      [hidden email]            www.ihtfp.com
      Computer and Internet Security Consultant  
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