Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
Delete the opening balance transaction to get you back to zero.

Then two options:

1. Create a single invoice with the balance forward and post it as of the original ‘opening balance’ date.

2. If the balance forward is from multiple invoices, import them into GnuCash, either with their real dates, or all dated as of the ‘opening balance’ date.

Apply payment(s) as they come in.

The advantage to #2 using real dates is you preserve the aging data and tracking of individual invoices vs. payments.

This can result in a bit of a mess for affected account balances with old history that you’ll have to make correcting transactions for so that your other ‘opening balances’ work out properly.

If you date them all on the same ‘opening balance’ date, you eliminate that extra work, can still track payments vs. invoices, but lose the aging tracking.

A twist on option 2 is to create separate consolidated invoices for the various aging amounts (one for 30, one for 60, one for 90 days etc.) this will still preserve aging info, and will reduce the amount of correcting transactions needed, but won’t eliminate them entirely.

Regards,
Adrien

> On Oct 14, 2019 w42d287, at 1:49 PM, James Thorpe <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi All
>
> My financial year started on 1st March 2019. My customer at that stage, owed 67,765.23.
>
> I tried to seed this amount in my Equity:Opening Balances account with the corresponding account being Assets:Accounts Receivable. This seemed like a sensible way of opening the accounts.
>
> However, because I don't have the invoice in the system, when the payment comes in, if "assign as payment" and select the customer, then the payment is associated with the customer but the opening balance is not so the customer starts 67,765.23 in credit.
>
> I could, of course, just not associate the payment with the customer, and then my AR account should balance but my customer report will just not include this detail.
>
> Is there any way I can have an opening balance that I can associate with a customer... the same way I would with an invoice? I don't want to create an invoice because that would duplicate a document from another system.
>
> Any ideas?
>
> thanks
>
> --
> --
> James Thorpe

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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Stan Brown
It sounds like you have just one Accounts Receivable account, and you
put all customers' invoices in that one account. I hope I'm
misinterpreting you, because I think that would make it a lot harder
down the road to run reports by customer. I'll assume you have one
account for each customer, all under a placeholder account Accounts
Receivable.

If you do, then you can specify an opening balance when you create each
customer's account. Unfortunately, as far as I can discover, if you
didn't do that at the time you created the account, you can't add it
later because the "opening balance" field in the account dialog is not
editable. (I have GC 2.x, so this lack may have been fixed in GC 3.x).

However, I believe it's possible to accomplish the same thing by
creating a transaction of this form, dated the day before the beginning
of your first GC accounting period:

Debit: AR:Customer 1 - Balance forward x.xx
Debit: AR:Customer 2 - Balance forward y.yy
Debit: AR:Customer 3 - Balance forward z.zz
  (and so forth)
Credit:Equity

That sets up your opening balances for customers that have them. I think
the credit properly goes to Equity, not to Income, because this is a
snapshot of how things are at a moment in time.

The one thing I don't know, because I frankly can't understand how
reconciliation works in GC, is whether that would cause you trouble in
future reconciliations.

On 2019-10-16 09:32, James Thorpe wrote:

> I didn't want to create invoices at all because
> a) I didn't want to duplicate documents that existed in a different
> financial period
> b) I didn't want to create entries in the Income:Sales table because
> these entries show up in the Trial Balance report even if they're not in
> the current financial period.
>
> So what I was after was a way to create opening balance entries in
> Accounts Receivable that also tied to a particular customer so they'd be
> picked up in the various Customer Reports.
>
> It seems this is not possible so I've settled for creating the invoices
> as duplicates but "fixing" b) by also creating journal entries in
> "Opening Balances" that cancel the entries in the Income:Sales
>
> Provided I do that before the begining of my financial period start, all
> reports look correct.
--
Regards,
Stan Brown
Tompkins County, New York, USA
https://BrownMath.com
http://OakRoadSystems.com
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Christopher Lam
On Wed, 16 Oct 2019 at 14:45, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

> However, I believe it's possible to accomplish the same thing by
> creating a transaction of this form, dated the day before the beginning
> of your first GC accounting period:
>
> Debit: AR:Customer 1 - Balance forward x.xx
> Debit: AR:Customer 2 - Balance forward y.yy
> Debit: AR:Customer 3 - Balance forward z.zz
>   (and so forth)
> Credit:Equity
>

I cannot comment on the accounting rigorousness of this entry, but I think
it is still advisable to *not* enter data directly into AP/AR account.

Perhaps best use the following method:
https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Business_Features_Issues#I_have_some_directly_entered_transactions_in_my_AR_I_don.27t_want_to_create_real_customers.2Finvoices.2Fpayments_for_via_the_business_features
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by Stan Brown
That would likely work, but then you can’t use the business features. Everything has to be manual.

The ‘one Accounts Receivable account’ is what the Business Features uses.

And you can certainly easily report by customer using it. There are reports specifically built to work that way.

Creating individual accounts just for individual reporting is making a mess just to achieve what you can already do. (the OP’s case involves importing some but not all history using the Business Features, a fresh book wouldn’t have this problem)

Regards,
Adrien

> On Oct 16, 2019 w42d289, at 9:42 AM, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It sounds like you have just one Accounts Receivable account, and you
> put all customers' invoices in that one account. I hope I'm
> misinterpreting you, because I think that would make it a lot harder
> down the road to run reports by customer. I'll assume you have one
> account for each customer, all under a placeholder account Accounts
> Receivable.
>
> If you do, then you can specify an opening balance when you create each
> customer's account. Unfortunately, as far as I can discover, if you
> didn't do that at the time you created the account, you can't add it
> later because the "opening balance" field in the account dialog is not
> editable. (I have GC 2.x, so this lack may have been fixed in GC 3.x).
>
> However, I believe it's possible to accomplish the same thing by
> creating a transaction of this form, dated the day before the beginning
> of your first GC accounting period:
>
> Debit: AR:Customer 1 - Balance forward x.xx
> Debit: AR:Customer 2 - Balance forward y.yy
> Debit: AR:Customer 3 - Balance forward z.zz
>  (and so forth)
> Credit:Equity
>
> That sets up your opening balances for customers that have them. I think
> the credit properly goes to Equity, not to Income, because this is a
> snapshot of how things are at a moment in time.
>
> The one thing I don't know, because I frankly can't understand how
> reconciliation works in GC, is whether that would cause you trouble in
> future reconciliations.


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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by Christopher Lam
That admonition is true for the special AR/AP accounts used by the Business Features.

Technically you *can* make manual entries there, but the various Business functions won’t be cognizant of them and if you aren’t careful you might forget you made them manually and then wonder later why reports and other info looks off.

You can certainly however create ‘Other AR/AP’ accounts and enter into them manually. These are especially useful where the Business Features don’t properly handle a situation or using them would be more work than a simple direct entry. These other accounts can also be children of the special AR/AP accounts.

The recommendation by Stan however is more work for something already implemented. (sans the ‘balance forward’ part)

Regards,
Adrien.

> On Oct 16, 2019 w42d289, at 10:05 AM, Christopher Lam <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Wed, 16 Oct 2019 at 14:45, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> However, I believe it's possible to accomplish the same thing by
>> creating a transaction of this form, dated the day before the beginning
>> of your first GC accounting period:
>>
>> Debit: AR:Customer 1 - Balance forward x.xx
>> Debit: AR:Customer 2 - Balance forward y.yy
>> Debit: AR:Customer 3 - Balance forward z.zz
>>  (and so forth)
>> Credit:Equity
>>
>
> I cannot comment on the accounting rigorousness of this entry, but I think
> it is still advisable to *not* enter data directly into AP/AR account.
>
> Perhaps best use the following method:
> https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Business_Features_Issues#I_have_some_directly_entered_transactions_in_my_AR_I_don.27t_want_to_create_real_customers.2Finvoices.2Fpayments_for_via_the_business_features
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by Stan Brown
Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.

Regards,
Adrien

> On Oct 16, 2019 w42d289, at 9:42 AM, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It sounds like you have just one Accounts Receivable account, and you
> put all customers' invoices in that one account. I hope I'm
> misinterpreting you, because I think that would make it a lot harder
> down the road to run reports by customer. I'll assume you have one
> account for each customer, all under a placeholder account Accounts
> Receivable.
>
> If you do, then you can specify an opening balance when you create each
> customer's account. Unfortunately, as far as I can discover, if you
> didn't do that at the time you created the account, you can't add it
> later because the "opening balance" field in the account dialog is not
> editable. (I have GC 2.x, so this lack may have been fixed in GC 3.x).
>
> However, I believe it's possible to accomplish the same thing by
> creating a transaction of this form, dated the day before the beginning
> of your first GC accounting period:
>
> Debit: AR:Customer 1 - Balance forward x.xx
> Debit: AR:Customer 2 - Balance forward y.yy
> Debit: AR:Customer 3 - Balance forward z.zz
>  (and so forth)
> Credit:Equity
>
> That sets up your opening balances for customers that have them. I think
> the credit properly goes to Equity, not to Income, because this is a
> snapshot of how things are at a moment in time.
>
> The one thing I don't know, because I frankly can't understand how
> reconciliation works in GC, is whether that would cause you trouble in
> future reconciliations.
>
> On 2019-10-16 09:32, James Thorpe wrote:
>> I didn't want to create invoices at all because
>> a) I didn't want to duplicate documents that existed in a different
>> financial period
>> b) I didn't want to create entries in the Income:Sales table because
>> these entries show up in the Trial Balance report even if they're not in
>> the current financial period.
>>
>> So what I was after was a way to create opening balance entries in
>> Accounts Receivable that also tied to a particular customer so they'd be
>> picked up in the various Customer Reports.
>>
>> It seems this is not possible so I've settled for creating the invoices
>> as duplicates but "fixing" b) by also creating journal entries in
>> "Opening Balances" that cancel the entries in the Income:Sales
>>
>> Provided I do that before the begining of my financial period start, all
>> reports look correct.
> --
> Regards,
> Stan Brown
> Tompkins County, New York, USA
> https://BrownMath.com
> http://OakRoadSystems.com
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
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> To update your subscription preferences or to unsubscribe:
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Stan Brown
On 2019-10-16 12:10, Adrien Monteleone wrote:
> Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.

I believe you, but I must say that that was very far from obvious to
this new user. I couldn't understand why the Account dialog displayed an
opening balance but wouldn't let me correct it. So I ended up making all
my opening balance transactions myself, through General Ledger or one of
the account registers.

--
Regards,
Stan Brown
Tompkins County, New York, USA
https://BrownMath.com
http://OakRoadSystems.com
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
I can see it being offered for ease of use, but I agree, it should be either editable from that dialog or maybe at least a tool-tip offered explaining to edit it in one of the respective registers.

Certainly, this is a usability bug.

Regards,
Adrien


> On Oct 16, 2019 w42d289, at 1:27 PM, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 2019-10-16 12:10, Adrien Monteleone wrote:
>> Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.
>
> I believe you, but I must say that that was very far from obvious to
> this new user. I couldn't understand why the Account dialog displayed an
> opening balance but wouldn't let me correct it. So I ended up making all
> my opening balance transactions myself, through General Ledger or one of
> the account registers.
>
> --
> Regards,
> Stan Brown

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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Stan Brown



On 2019-10-16 14:54, Adrien Monteleone wrote:

> I can see it being offered for ease of use, but I agree, it should be either editable from that dialog or maybe at least a tool-tip offered explaining to edit it in one of the respective registers.
>
> Certainly, this is a usability bug.
>
> Regards,
> Adrien
>
>
>> On Oct 16, 2019 w42d289, at 1:27 PM, Stan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 2019-10-16 12:10, Adrien Monteleone wrote:
>>> Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.
>>
>> I believe you, but I must say that that was very far from obvious to
>> this new user. I couldn't understand why the Account dialog displayed an
>> opening balance but wouldn't let me correct it. So I ended up making all
>> my opening balance transactions myself, through General Ledger or one of
>> the account registers.

Yes, a tool tip would have solved my problem. If it said "You can edit
this by editing the initial transaction in General Ledger", that would
have helped me a lot.
--
Regards,
Stan Brown
Tompkins County, New York, USA
https://BrownMath.com
http://OakRoadSystems.com
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Derek Atkins-3
In reply to this post by Adrien Monteleone-2
James,

James Thorpe <[hidden email]> writes:

> I didn't want to create invoices at all because
> a) I didn't want to duplicate documents that existed in a different
> financial period
> b) I didn't want to create entries in the Income:Sales table because
> these entries show up in the Trial Balance report even if they're not
> in the current financial period.

How are you creating the new data file?  This actually begs the question
of *WHY* you are creating a new data file, because GnuCash certainly
does not require it.  Moreover, as you see, the business features don't
really work well across split files.

However, IMHO, if you are creating a new data file then duplicating
outstanding invoices in the new file would be perfectly appropriate.

> So what I was after was a way to create opening balance entries in
> Accounts Receivable that also tied to a particular customer so they'd
> be picked up in the various Customer Reports.
>
> It seems this is not possible so I've settled for creating the
> invoices as duplicates but "fixing" b) by also creating journal
> entries in "Opening Balances" that cancel the entries in the
> Income:Sales

As you surmised, this is not possible.  You will need to create an
invoice to give your customer an opening balance.

> Provided I do that before the begining of my financial period start,
> all reports look correct.
>
> Thanks
> James

-derek
--
       Derek Atkins                 617-623-3745
       [hidden email]             www.ihtfp.com
       Computer and Internet Security Consultant
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Derek Atkins-3
In reply to this post by Stan Brown
Stan Brown <[hidden email]> writes:

> On 2019-10-16 12:10, Adrien Monteleone wrote:
>> Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve
>> done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.
>
> I believe you, but I must say that that was very far from obvious to
> this new user. I couldn't understand why the Account dialog displayed an
> opening balance but wouldn't let me correct it. So I ended up making all
> my opening balance transactions myself, through General Ledger or one of
> the account registers.

The O-B entry in a New Account window is just a syntactic sugar for
creating a standard transaction between the account and Equity:Opening
Balances.  So after the account exists, you can just edit it.

Creating that O-B txn by hand is effectively the same thing, just in a
second step instead of in one step.  The end result is the same.

In short, there is nothing "special" about the O-B transaction created
by the New Account dialog.

-derek

--
       Derek Atkins                 617-623-3745
       [hidden email]             www.ihtfp.com
       Computer and Internet Security Consultant
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins-3
Derek,

I could be mistaken, but I think the OP was referencing that they were moving *to* GnuCash from another system where they were already tracking the historical invoices.

GnuCash doesn’t have an official way to enter info for existing business transactions like it does simple opening balances for other accounts.

Regards,
Adrien

> On Oct 20, 2019 w43d293, at 6:21 AM, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> James,
>
> James Thorpe <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> I didn't want to create invoices at all because
>> a) I didn't want to duplicate documents that existed in a different
>> financial period
>> b) I didn't want to create entries in the Income:Sales table because
>> these entries show up in the Trial Balance report even if they're not
>> in the current financial period.
>
> How are you creating the new data file?  This actually begs the question
> of *WHY* you are creating a new data file, because GnuCash certainly
> does not require it.  Moreover, as you see, the business features don't
> really work well across split files.
>
> However, IMHO, if you are creating a new data file then duplicating
> outstanding invoices in the new file would be perfectly appropriate.
>
>> So what I was after was a way to create opening balance entries in
>> Accounts Receivable that also tied to a particular customer so they'd
>> be picked up in the various Customer Reports.
>>
>> It seems this is not possible so I've settled for creating the
>> invoices as duplicates but "fixing" b) by also creating journal
>> entries in "Opening Balances" that cancel the entries in the
>> Income:Sales
>
> As you surmised, this is not possible.  You will need to create an
> invoice to give your customer an opening balance.
>
>> Provided I do that before the begining of my financial period start,
>> all reports look correct.
>>
>> Thanks
>> James
>
> -derek
> --
>       Derek Atkins                 617-623-3745
>       [hidden email]             www.ihtfp.com
>       Computer and Internet Security Consultant
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Adrien Monteleone-2
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins-3
How does one enter opening balances, *per customer* or *per vendor*?

So far that we’ve figured out, the only method is to enter a payment assigned to Equity:Opening Balances.

While this does accomplish the intended result, it is neither obvious or easily discoverable when first moving to GnuCash.

Regards,
Adrien

> On Oct 20, 2019 w43d293, at 6:23 AM, Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Stan Brown <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> On 2019-10-16 12:10, Adrien Monteleone wrote:
>>> Also, the Opening Balance entry *is* editable, even in 2.6.x. I’ve
>>> done it myself. It is just a regular transaction.
>>
>> I believe you, but I must say that that was very far from obvious to
>> this new user. I couldn't understand why the Account dialog displayed an
>> opening balance but wouldn't let me correct it. So I ended up making all
>> my opening balance transactions myself, through General Ledger or one of
>> the account registers.
>
> The O-B entry in a New Account window is just a syntactic sugar for
> creating a standard transaction between the account and Equity:Opening
> Balances.  So after the account exists, you can just edit it.
>
> Creating that O-B txn by hand is effectively the same thing, just in a
> second step instead of in one step.  The end result is the same.
>
> In short, there is nothing "special" about the O-B transaction created
> by the New Account dialog.
>
> -derek

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Re: [GNC] How to set a customer "opening balance" for the Customer Report

Derek Atkins-3
Adrien Monteleone <[hidden email]> writes:

> How does one enter opening balances, *per customer* or *per vendor*?

You don't.  You have to enter all outstanding invoices (or bills).

> So far that we’ve figured out, the only method is to enter a payment
> assigned to Equity:Opening Balances.
>
> While this does accomplish the intended result, it is neither obvious
> or easily discoverable when first moving to GnuCash.

And it only works for pre-payment balances.

> Regards,
> Adrien

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