Re: [GNC] Gnucash

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Re: [GNC] Gnucash

David Cousens
Hi Kevin,

If it is the post I think that was about a problem importing data in OFX format and it was debugging of the file format
of the data being imported. Gnucash like all programs always has some bugs. These are sometimes introduced through its
dependency on standard library functions to perform a lot of its functionality and sometimeswhen changes are introduced
in one part of the code, it produces unexpected changes in other parts. The core accounting engine in GnuCash which
enforces the basic accounting relationships ( sum of debits and credits in a transaction =0 and the accounting equation
relationships and debit/credit relationships has been around for a long time now and is fairly stable.

GnuCash has a development cycle where the first release in a major version series e.g. 2.0, 3.0 generally incorporates
any newly developed features and are often associated with chnanges in version of the major libraries and the subsequent
minor release 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 ( most recently released) etc are often bug fixes to that major release. Most users
with little or no programming experience often hang off to the 3rd or 4th bug fix. There is extensive testing before a
major release and bugs which are show stoppers (i.e. dramatically affect the usability of GnuCash) are eliminated before
the major release. Most bugs are more inconvenience rather than causing any accounting errors.

As a user you generally don't have to do any debugging. There are many users who have some development
experience/capability as well as a group of core developers who are mainly involved in this and some people act as early
adopters of new releases. Some of us sometimes run a couple of versions in parallel (usually with the newer version
running on a copy of any actual accounting files rather than the original) until we are sure there are no major
problems.

As a new user, v3.4 now has nearly all of the bugs introduced in the change to V3.x (a major version change in the main
library used for the user interface as well as updates of some of the code base of GnuCash) eliminated so it is probably
a good version to start using GnuCash from scratch.

Limitations: While it does have some business support features GnuCash has no payroll or inventory management systems.
The user base includes some accountants or ex accountants, a lot of people using it for personal finance and investment
management, small startup businesses, not for profit organisations etc. It is setup to embed GAAP and the core
accounting principles embodied in the IFRS standards. It does not have the level of adaption for operating in a
particular jurisdiction that one expects from MYOB, Quicken etc. It has some tax treatment features, largely setup for
the US and to a lesser extent the German/European systems and can treat GST/Vat type taxes.

The best bet is to run it in parallel with any existing accounting system you are running until you are comfortable with
it and are sure it will meet your needs. The Tutorial and Concepts Guide
https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v3/C/gnucash-guide/index.html is a good starting point for getting familiar with the
operation. The user forum mailing list is also useful where the information in the guide is not clear. Some info on
using it is available here https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Mailing_Lists. The User mailing list will be most useful for a
new user. There is also a wiki which can sometimes have more up to date information
https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/GnuCash.

It is a good idea to use the reply to list features in your email system when replying to posts so that your reply is
copied to the list. (I.e. CC to or include in To: <[hidden email]> This helps disseminate information
throughout the user community so we all learn from each other.

Good Luck

David Cousens
On Wed, 2019-01-16 at 18:43 -0800, Kevin Kelly wrote:

> I just read your post that referenced debugging. Sounded terrific. Unfortunately, I’m an accountant that isn’t too
> savvy about those kinds of things.
>
> I'm considering this application because it is a double entry system and because I dislike QB. But if I’m going to
> have to learn “debugging” then maybe I should look elsewhere?
>
> I’d appreciate your thoughts.
>
> Kevin
>
> Sent from my iPhone

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