custom expense and asset/liability report question

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custom expense and asset/liability report question

Karl Anderson

I'd like to be able to view a report of expenses that includes money
flowing into certain assets.  I want to be able to view what I'm
spending even though, in some cases, I'm not spending into an expense
"sink" but lowering a liability or increasing an asset.  The expense
reports will only tell me how much I'm putting into expense accounts.

I'm looking for a report that tells me how much cash I'm bleeding, and
to where.  I only want to include certain assets or liabilities.  For
example, I don't want to include investments to my non-401(k) stock
account, but I do want to include my mortgage principal payments.  I
also don't want to include credit card payments (since this is
expressed by the transactions that go from the card account to
various expense accounts).

As you can probably guess, I want to make two reports, "what am I
spending per period", and "what would I be spending per period be if I
lost my job?".  The second report wouldn't include certain expenses or
assets such as income tax and 401(k) contributions.

Is this possible through the UI?

--
Karl Anderson      [hidden email]      http://monkey.org/~kra/
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Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Mark Johnson-2
I use a customized cash flow report for this very purpose.  When you are
viewing the cash flow report, click options on the toolbar.  You can
change the accounts for which you view cash flowing in and out.  For
example, I have my credit cards selected so that my custom report treats
credit card spending as though it were a cash flow item.  (I pay the
bill in full every month.)

If you wish to save the custom report be SURE to CHANGE the name in the
options.  There is a significant bug, which causes gnucash to crash if
you don't.  Once saved, it should appear in the custom reports menu item
the next time you start gnucash.

Mark

Karl Anderson wrote:

>I'd like to be able to view a report of expenses that includes money
>flowing into certain assets.  I want to be able to view what I'm
>spending even though, in some cases, I'm not spending into an expense
>"sink" but lowering a liability or increasing an asset.  The expense
>reports will only tell me how much I'm putting into expense accounts.
>
>I'm looking for a report that tells me how much cash I'm bleeding, and
>to where.  I only want to include certain assets or liabilities.  For
>example, I don't want to include investments to my non-401(k) stock
>account, but I do want to include my mortgage principal payments.  I
>also don't want to include credit card payments (since this is
>expressed by the transactions that go from the card account to
>various expense accounts).
>
>As you can probably guess, I want to make two reports, "what am I
>spending per period", and "what would I be spending per period be if I
>lost my job?".  The second report wouldn't include certain expenses or
>assets such as income tax and 401(k) contributions.
>
>Is this possible through the UI?
>
>  
>
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Re: Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Beth Leonard
On Fri, Dec 02, 2005 at 08:46:33PM -0700, Mark Johnson wrote:
> If you wish to save the custom report be SURE to CHANGE the name in the
> options.  There is a significant bug, which causes gnucash to crash if
> you don't.  Once saved, it should appear in the custom reports menu item
> the next time you start gnucash.

I'd add that you change the name by clicking on the options button
on the report and that you have to do that FIRST before clicking
on the "save report" button.  "Save Report" doesn't have any
dialog associated with it, it just saves your report options
(like the selected accounts and time period) to put in the "custom"
menu for use later.

> Karl Anderson wrote:
> >As you can probably guess, I want to make two reports, "what am I
> >spending per period", and "what would I be spending per period be if I

If you want to view those reports side-by-side, you can save
them as custom reports and then use the "Sample and Custom ->
Custom Multicolumn Report" to view them next to each other.

--Beth
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+                             Beth Leonard                          +
+       O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave              +
+       O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?        +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Karl Anderson
In reply to this post by Mark Johnson-2
Mark Johnson <[hidden email]> writes:

> I use a customized cash flow report for this very purpose.  When you are
> viewing the cash flow report, click options on the toolbar.  You can
> change the accounts for which you view cash flowing in and out.  For
> example, I have my credit cards selected so that my custom report treats
> credit card spending as though it were a cash flow item.  (I pay the
> bill in full every month.)

Okay, I get it - only select accounts from the expenses or liabilities
end and don't worry about where the money comes from.  Thanks.

This is kind of confusing because the report contains only two
sections that are actually pertient - the Selected Accounts list and
the Difference total.  The money in/money out list isn't really
important, because it doesn't matter to me whether I bought something
with cash or a credit card.

The money in/money out list is also confusing because it handles every
part of a split as money moving through an account.  For example, I
deposited two checks at an ATM - a $200 rebate check that went to
lowering an expense account, and a $300 check which came from an
income account.  The bank lists this as a single $500 transaction, so
I recorded it with a split.  Looking at the cash flow report for the
expense account only, it lists the $300 as coming in from income and
then going out to my checking account where it was deposited, as well
as the $200 rebate check going out to the checking account.

This isn't a bug, the Difference number adds up in the end, I'm just
pointing this out because it was what was misdirecting me before.  I
had to play with the dates to figure it out.  Ideally, my bank
wouldn't glob the deposits together, and I wouldn't need to use a
split.

--
Karl Anderson      [hidden email]      http://monkey.org/~kra/
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Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Derek Atkins
Karl Anderson <[hidden email]> writes:

> Mark Johnson <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> I use a customized cash flow report for this very purpose.  When you are
>> viewing the cash flow report, click options on the toolbar.  You can
>> change the accounts for which you view cash flowing in and out.  For
>> example, I have my credit cards selected so that my custom report treats
>> credit card spending as though it were a cash flow item.  (I pay the
>> bill in full every month.)
>
> Okay, I get it - only select accounts from the expenses or liabilities
> end and don't worry about where the money comes from.  Thanks.
>
> This is kind of confusing because the report contains only two
> sections that are actually pertient - the Selected Accounts list and
> the Difference total.  The money in/money out list isn't really
> important, because it doesn't matter to me whether I bought something
> with cash or a credit card.
>
> The money in/money out list is also confusing because it handles every
> part of a split as money moving through an account.  For example, I
> deposited two checks at an ATM - a $200 rebate check that went to
> lowering an expense account, and a $300 check which came from an
> income account.  The bank lists this as a single $500 transaction, so
> I recorded it with a split.  Looking at the cash flow report for the
> expense account only, it lists the $300 as coming in from income and
> then going out to my checking account where it was deposited, as well
> as the $200 rebate check going out to the checking account.
>
> This isn't a bug, the Difference number adds up in the end, I'm just
> pointing this out because it was what was misdirecting me before.  I
> had to play with the dates to figure it out.  Ideally, my bank
> wouldn't glob the deposits together, and I wouldn't need to use a
> split.

This sounds like you want to run a P&L Report, not a Cash Flow
report.  Cash Flow tends to be useful to show the flow around
Assets and Liabilities..  When you want to see the flow of
Income and Expense you /probably/ want a P&L.

-derek
--
       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
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Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Mark Johnson-2
Derek Atkins wrote:

>Karl Anderson <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>  
>
>>Mark Johnson <[hidden email]> writes:
>>
>>    
>>
>>>I use a customized cash flow report for this very purpose.  When you are
>>>viewing the cash flow report, click options on the toolbar.  You can
>>>change the accounts for which you view cash flowing in and out.  For
>>>example, I have my credit cards selected so that my custom report treats
>>>credit card spending as though it were a cash flow item.  (I pay the
>>>bill in full every month.)
>>>      
>>>
>>Okay, I get it - only select accounts from the expenses or liabilities
>>end and don't worry about where the money comes from.  Thanks.
>>
>>This is kind of confusing because the report contains only two
>>sections that are actually pertient - the Selected Accounts list and
>>the Difference total.  The money in/money out list isn't really
>>important, because it doesn't matter to me whether I bought something
>>with cash or a credit card.
>>
>>The money in/money out list is also confusing because it handles every
>>part of a split as money moving through an account.  For example, I
>>deposited two checks at an ATM - a $200 rebate check that went to
>>lowering an expense account, and a $300 check which came from an
>>income account.  The bank lists this as a single $500 transaction, so
>>I recorded it with a split.  Looking at the cash flow report for the
>>expense account only, it lists the $300 as coming in from income and
>>then going out to my checking account where it was deposited, as well
>>as the $200 rebate check going out to the checking account.
>>
>>This isn't a bug, the Difference number adds up in the end, I'm just
>>pointing this out because it was what was misdirecting me before.  I
>>had to play with the dates to figure it out.  Ideally, my bank
>>wouldn't glob the deposits together, and I wouldn't need to use a
>>split.
>>    
>>
>
>This sounds like you want to run a P&L Report, not a Cash Flow
>report.  Cash Flow tends to be useful to show the flow around
>Assets and Liabilities..  When you want to see the flow of
>Income and Expense you /probably/ want a P&L.
>
>-derek
>  
>
I use the cash flow with only certain asset accounts selected rather
than the P&L.  The P&L shows income within tax-sheltered accounts that I
would rather not consider. It also does not consider a flow from my
checking account to my car savings account.  I do want to consider
this.  This account is really a sort of deferred spending, so I would
prefer to see it as an "expense" rather than an asset.  The built-in
cash flow or P&L reports would not note this transfer.  I want it to be
noted as though it were cash flow out.  Similarly for contributions to
retirement savings.  I think this is closer to what the OP wanted as he
did mention 401(k)'s.

Also, he didn't want to include credit card payments.  (I assume he
wanted to have the individual purchases tracked as cash flow out.)  This
can be achieved by selecting the appropriate liability accounts.

I have to admit though: I haven't looked to see if I can do something
similar with the P&L, but I do believe that this kind of custom cash
flow is closer to what he wanted.

Mark
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Re: custom expense and asset/liability report question

Karl Anderson
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
Derek Atkins <[hidden email]> writes:

> This sounds like you want to run a P&L Report, not a Cash Flow
> report.  Cash Flow tends to be useful to show the flow around
> Assets and Liabilities..  When you want to see the flow of
> Income and Expense you /probably/ want a P&L.

No, I want to see the flow whether it increases selected expense
accounts or decreases selected liability accounts.  The profit and
loss report looks like what I want, but I can't select a liability
account for that like I can for a cash flow account.

BTW, I *can* select liability accounts in the options form of the p&l
report, but it doesn't change the report - a bug.

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Karl Anderson      [hidden email]      http://monkey.org/~kra/
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