[GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

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[GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

ChrisInAccounting
I work in accounting and think it may help newbies if a few changes were
made.

1.  In the chart of accounts, call the page "chart of accounts" rather than
accounts (as default).  This will help them communicate with other business
owner's who use other accounting platforms.  "Chart of Accounts" is
universal in accounting and will only hinder the GnuCash user if they are
learning different uncommon lingo.

2.  The page displaying Chart of Accounts has three columns that I would
suggest be modified.  As it stands in version 3.5, the columns are "Account
Name", "Description", and "Total".  This default setup is redundant, as the
description is the same as the account name.  Again, for the benefit of new
users, I highly suggest replacing the 'Description' column with "account
type".  This way the user's eye can scan left to right to see the account
name along with the type of account it is.  

     I can see that the chart of accounts are listed as a hierarchy by
account type, which is helpful, but the redundancy of having 'description'
next to is, to me, is wasteful. Also consider that once the account list
gets so long (under the parent of 'expenses', per se), the new user will
have to scroll up to verify which account type they are working under rather
than being able to quickly just eyeball to the right.  So please consider
this modification.

3.  Last, it would be helpful if the user could right click any account name
and be able to run a report on it.  The "reports' tool as I currently see it
is clunkly.  Being in the chart of accounts allows the user to go straight
to the source to run a report on it.  Having to go to reports and scan
through all the report options seems a little bit too long of a route, and
less intuitive.  If this can be added, awesome.

Thank you to the developers and contributors for bringing an opensource
accounting platform this far.  Greatly greatly appreciated.  

Any questions on the accounting side of things just drop me a line.
Cheers,
Chris



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Re: [GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

Jeff Abrahamson
Thanks for the very good suggestions, Chris.  I wholeheartedly agree
with you on all points.

The best way to get the developers not to lose sight of these
suggestions is to file bugs (tagged as enhancements) here:

    https://bugs.gnucash.org/

Suggestion: file three bugs, one per suggestion below.  You can mostly
copy/paste, you've described them pretty well.

Of course, as a mostly volunteer project, one's influence over other
volunteers is minimal.  But having the bug / feature enhancement to
point to improves chances.

Jeff Abrahamson
http://p27.eu/jeff/
http://transport-nantes.com/


On 11/04/2019 05:57, ChrisInAccounting wrote:

> I work in accounting and think it may help newbies if a few changes were
> made.
>
> 1.  In the chart of accounts, call the page "chart of accounts" rather than
> accounts (as default).  This will help them communicate with other business
> owner's who use other accounting platforms.  "Chart of Accounts" is
> universal in accounting and will only hinder the GnuCash user if they are
> learning different uncommon lingo.
>
> 2.  The page displaying Chart of Accounts has three columns that I would
> suggest be modified.  As it stands in version 3.5, the columns are "Account
> Name", "Description", and "Total".  This default setup is redundant, as the
> description is the same as the account name.  Again, for the benefit of new
> users, I highly suggest replacing the 'Description' column with "account
> type".  This way the user's eye can scan left to right to see the account
> name along with the type of account it is.  
>
>      I can see that the chart of accounts are listed as a hierarchy by
> account type, which is helpful, but the redundancy of having 'description'
> next to is, to me, is wasteful. Also consider that once the account list
> gets so long (under the parent of 'expenses', per se), the new user will
> have to scroll up to verify which account type they are working under rather
> than being able to quickly just eyeball to the right.  So please consider
> this modification.
>
> 3.  Last, it would be helpful if the user could right click any account name
> and be able to run a report on it.  The "reports' tool as I currently see it
> is clunkly.  Being in the chart of accounts allows the user to go straight
> to the source to run a report on it.  Having to go to reports and scan
> through all the report options seems a little bit too long of a route, and
> less intuitive.  If this can be added, awesome.
>
> Thank you to the developers and contributors for bringing an opensource
> accounting platform this far.  Greatly greatly appreciated.  
>
> Any questions on the accounting side of things just drop me a line.
> Cheers,
> Chris
>
>
>
> --
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Jeff Abrahamson
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http://p27.eu/jeff/
http://transport-nantes.com/

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Re: [GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by ChrisInAccounting

> On Apr 10, 2019, at 10:57 PM, ChrisInAccounting <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I work in accounting and think it may help newbies if a few changes were
> made.
>
> 1.  In the chart of accounts, call the page "chart of accounts" rather than
> accounts (as default).  This will help them communicate with other business
> owner's who use other accounting platforms.  "Chart of Accounts" is
> universal in accounting and will only hinder the GnuCash user if they are
> learning different uncommon lingo.

An easy enough change. That’s just a matter of if the dev team likes the idea. An alternative might be a tool tip.

But on that note, formal accounting packages use debit/credit labels. By default, GnuCash does not. (but you can tell it to) Should this preference also be altered by default?
>
> 2.  The page displaying Chart of Accounts has three columns that I would
> suggest be modified.  As it stands in version 3.5, the columns are "Account
> Name", "Description", and "Total".  This default setup is redundant, as the
> description is the same as the account name.  Again, for the benefit of new
> users, I highly suggest replacing the 'Description' column with "account
> type".  This way the user's eye can scan left to right to see the account
> name along with the type of account it is.

The description is what you make of it. Certainly, by default, it seems silly to repeat the account name. Perhaps better default descriptions are in order for a few accounts so people can see different ways to use that field.

There are other available columns. Click the drop down arrow to the far right of the header bar to see them and toggle them on/off.

Account Type is not one of them because the accounts are already in a ’tree’ for each type. (technically, there is a higher root account you can’t see) An account type column would be redundant here. But you could certainly use the Description column as a substitute if you like.

>
>     I can see that the chart of accounts are listed as a hierarchy by
> account type, which is helpful, but the redundancy of having 'description'
> next to is, to me, is wasteful. Also consider that once the account list
> gets so long (under the parent of 'expenses', per se), the new user will
> have to scroll up to verify which account type they are working under rather
> than being able to quickly just eyeball to the right.  So please consider
> this modification.

The account types (as well as any nested accounts) are collapsable. I rarely have my expense list expanded because I rarely work with those accounts. I pretty much stick to assets, revenue (income) and liabilities. Expenses are almost always entered from one of those accounts. (Equity stays collapsed as well, though it is shallow)

I don’t even have all my asset accounts expanded as I don’t always need to use or see them.

>
> 3.  Last, it would be helpful if the user could right click any account name
> and be able to run a report on it.  The "reports' tool as I currently see it
> is clunkly.  Being in the chart of accounts allows the user to go straight
> to the source to run a report on it.  Having to go to reports and scan
> through all the report options seems a little bit too long of a route, and
> less intuitive.  If this can be added, awesome.

That would be a nice feature, which I suppose would be the same as opening the account register and running an account report.

Regards,
Adrien
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Re: [GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

John Ralls-2
In reply to this post by ChrisInAccounting


> On Apr 10, 2019, at 8:57 PM, ChrisInAccounting <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I work in accounting and think it may help newbies if a few changes were
> made.
>
> 1.  In the chart of accounts, call the page "chart of accounts" rather than
> accounts (as default).  This will help them communicate with other business
> owner's who use other accounting platforms.  "Chart of Accounts" is
> universal in accounting and will only hinder the GnuCash user if they are
> learning different uncommon lingo.
>
> 2.  The page displaying Chart of Accounts has three columns that I would
> suggest be modified.  As it stands in version 3.5, the columns are "Account
> Name", "Description", and "Total".  This default setup is redundant, as the
> description is the same as the account name.  Again, for the benefit of new
> users, I highly suggest replacing the 'Description' column with "account
> type".  This way the user's eye can scan left to right to see the account
> name along with the type of account it is.  
>
>     I can see that the chart of accounts are listed as a hierarchy by
> account type, which is helpful, but the redundancy of having 'description'
> next to is, to me, is wasteful. Also consider that once the account list
> gets so long (under the parent of 'expenses', per se), the new user will
> have to scroll up to verify which account type they are working under rather
> than being able to quickly just eyeball to the right.  So please consider
> this modification.
>
> 3.  Last, it would be helpful if the user could right click any account name
> and be able to run a report on it.  The "reports' tool as I currently see it
> is clunkly.  Being in the chart of accounts allows the user to go straight
> to the source to run a report on it.  Having to go to reports and scan
> through all the report options seems a little bit too long of a route, and
> less intuitive.  If this can be added, awesome.
>
> Thank you to the developers and contributors for bringing an opensource
> accounting platform this far.  Greatly greatly appreciated.  
>
> Any questions on the accounting side of things just drop me a line.

It's the Accounts page because that makes for a smaller tab than "Chart of Accounts" would. It seems unlikely that anyone familiar with accounting would be at all confused... but if you'd rather have yours called "Chart of Accounts", right-click in the page and select "Rename Page" from the context menu.

The account name and description are duplicated only if you want them to be, but we're all about user choice: Click the down-arrow on the right side of the accounts page title bar and uncheck Description and check Type.

What report would you run on a single account?

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC] Suggesting simple interface changes

ChrisInAccounting
In reply to this post by Adrien Monteleone-2
Adrien, I really appreciate your feedback on my suggestions.  It sounds like
GnuCash has enough flexibility for the user to modify as they see fit, which
is fantastic.  

You have a great day, sir.

Chris



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