report writer needed: cash available

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report writer needed: cash available

Tom Yates
I'm a church treasurer, and I use GnuCash for keeping the church's books.
I need a particular kind of report.  Specifically, I need one that can run
through an expense or income category (eg, Church Hall Hire) and summarise
income and expenditure, almost all of which are split transactions, by
following the split to the memo in the transaction in the bank account
category.

I am no programmer, and I have no idea how to do this.  Is anyone willing
to write this report for me, in exchange for a reasonable amount of money?

I'd expect the report itself to be released under the GPL.  In order to be
sure it worked I would expect to have to send you the live church accounts
for development and testing, which means (a) you'd have to sign a
confidentiality agreement and (b) you'd have to be inside the EU (data
protection).

If anyone interested in taking this task on could drop me a line, I'd very
much appreciate it.


--

   Tom Yates
   Cambridge, UK.
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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Derek Atkins
Hi,

Quoting Tom Yates <[hidden email]>:

> I'm a church treasurer, and I use GnuCash for keeping the church's books.
> I need a particular kind of report.  Specifically, I need one that can run
> through an expense or income category (eg, Church Hall Hire) and summarise
> income and expenditure, almost all of which are split transactions, by
> following the split to the memo in the transaction in the bank account
> category.

Just so I understand what you're asking -- you want to take a look
at a particular expense account and you want to get totals of that
particular expense based on the Transaction Description?  The transaction
report can ALMOST do this -- there's an option to "sort"
by a secondary key (e.g. the Description), and there appears to be
an option to make subtotals Secondary Subtotals (subtotals based on
the secondary key), but that option seems to be greyed out.  If it
weren't greyed out, it might do what you want.

> I am no programmer, and I have no idea how to do this.  Is anyone willing
> to write this report for me, in exchange for a reasonable amount of money?
>
> I'd expect the report itself to be released under the GPL.  In order to be
> sure it worked I would expect to have to send you the live church accounts
> for development and testing, which means (a) you'd have to sign a
> confidentiality agreement and (b) you'd have to be inside the EU (data
> protection).
>
> If anyone interested in taking this task on could drop me a line, I'd very
> much appreciate it.

-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
       [hidden email]                        PGP key available

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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Tom Yates
On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, Derek Atkins wrote:

> Just so I understand what you're asking -- you want to take a look
> at a particular expense account and you want to get totals of that
> particular expense based on the Transaction Description?

derek:

thanks for the response!

the church's weekly banking run, in the current account, appears as a
giant split transaction - usually 30-40 small credits, each of which
balances with another account (usually an income account, but not
always).

what i want is a report i can run against an income account, which will
summarise the income by the memo field appearing in the split transaction
in the current account.

let me see if a short example helps:

suppose i have a weekly banking run transaction, made on 13/1/06, for a
total credit of 300.00 (description field: weekly banking).  this is a
split transaction, breaking down:

AMOUNT BALANCING ACCOUNT MEMO FIELD
150.00 childrens home collecting box
85.00 new building fund liz brown
65.00 new building fund steve bloggs

i see that my new building fund account is now showing a total income of
150.00, but in the account view, all i see is

85.00 weekly banking
65.00 weekly banking

what i want is a report i can run on the building fund account which will
print out:

13/1/06 85.00 liz brown
13/1/06 65.00 steve bloggs

if, in addition, it could either sort by that MEMO field (the donor's
name), that would be even better.

is that any clearer?

> The transaction report can ALMOST do this -- there's an option to "sort"
> by a secondary key (e.g. the Description), and there appears to be an
> option to make subtotals Secondary Subtotals (subtotals based on the
> secondary key), but that option seems to be greyed out.  If it weren't
> greyed out, it might do what you want.

i've had a cursory look and can't find it.  is that in 1.8.12, or is it a
gnucash-2 feature?


--

   Tom Yates
   Cambridge, UK.
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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Derek Atkins
Hi,

Quoting Tom Yates <[hidden email]>:

> On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, Derek Atkins wrote:
>
>> Just so I understand what you're asking -- you want to take a look
>> at a particular expense account and you want to get totals of that
>> particular expense based on the Transaction Description?
>
> derek:
>
> thanks for the response!
>
> the church's weekly banking run, in the current account, appears as a
> giant split transaction - usually 30-40 small credits, each of which
> balances with another account (usually an income account, but not
> always).
>
> what i want is a report i can run against an income account, which
> will summarise the income by the memo field appearing in the split
> transaction in the current account.
>
> let me see if a short example helps:
>
> suppose i have a weekly banking run transaction, made on 13/1/06, for
> a total credit of 300.00 (description field: weekly banking).  this
> is a split transaction, breaking down:
>
> AMOUNT BALANCING ACCOUNT MEMO FIELD
> 150.00 childrens home collecting box
> 85.00 new building fund liz brown
> 65.00 new building fund steve bloggs
>
> i see that my new building fund account is now showing a total income
> of 150.00, but in the account view, all i see is
>
> 85.00 weekly banking
> 65.00 weekly banking

There's an open RFE that asks for an option to display the Split Memo
instead of the Transaction Description in this spot of a Split Transaction.

> what i want is a report i can run on the building fund account which
> will print out:
>
> 13/1/06 85.00 liz brown
> 13/1/06 65.00 steve bloggs
>
> if, in addition, it could either sort by that MEMO field (the donor's
> name), that would be even better.
>
> is that any clearer?

So you just want to see the Split Memos with the itemized listings?
Or do you want subtotals based on that too?

>> The transaction report can ALMOST do this -- there's an option to
>> "sort" by a secondary key (e.g. the Description), and there appears
>> to be an option to make subtotals Secondary Subtotals (subtotals
>> based on the secondary key), but that option seems to be greyed out.
>>  If it weren't greyed out, it might do what you want.
>
> i've had a cursory look and can't find it.  is that in 1.8.12, or is
> it a gnucash-2 feature?

I don't know.  I don't have 1.8 handy, I only looked at 2.0.  Did
you look in the Sorting page of the Report Options of the Transaction
Report?

-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
       [hidden email]                        PGP key available

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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Derek Atkins
In reply to this post by Tom Yates
Okay, the Transaction Report CAN display the memo fields, but it
cannot create subtotals based on the memo fields.  So do this from
the Chart of Accounts page:

  [main menu] -> Reports -> Transaction Report

- Then click [Options]
- Then click on the [Accounts] tab and then select the accounts you want
  to display.  In this case you might want to just limit it to the
  particular income or expense account.
- Then click on the [Display] tab and make sure [Memo] is checked (it should
  be on by default).
- Then click on the [Sorting] tab and select how you want it sorted.
- Then click on the [General] tab and select the reporting dates.

Then click [Ok] and the report should load for you.   Hopefully this
is what you wanted.

-derek

Quoting Tom Yates <[hidden email]>:

> On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, Derek Atkins wrote:
>
>> Just so I understand what you're asking -- you want to take a look
>> at a particular expense account and you want to get totals of that
>> particular expense based on the Transaction Description?
>
> derek:
>
> thanks for the response!
>
> the church's weekly banking run, in the current account, appears as a
> giant split transaction - usually 30-40 small credits, each of which
> balances with another account (usually an income account, but not
> always).
>
> what i want is a report i can run against an income account, which
> will summarise the income by the memo field appearing in the split
> transaction in the current account.
>
> let me see if a short example helps:
>
> suppose i have a weekly banking run transaction, made on 13/1/06, for
> a total credit of 300.00 (description field: weekly banking).  this
> is a split transaction, breaking down:
>
> AMOUNT BALANCING ACCOUNT MEMO FIELD
> 150.00 childrens home collecting box
> 85.00 new building fund liz brown
> 65.00 new building fund steve bloggs
>
> i see that my new building fund account is now showing a total income
> of 150.00, but in the account view, all i see is
>
> 85.00 weekly banking
> 65.00 weekly banking
>
> what i want is a report i can run on the building fund account which
> will print out:
>
> 13/1/06 85.00 liz brown
> 13/1/06 65.00 steve bloggs
>
> if, in addition, it could either sort by that MEMO field (the donor's
> name), that would be even better.
>
> is that any clearer?
>
>> The transaction report can ALMOST do this -- there's an option to
>> "sort" by a secondary key (e.g. the Description), and there appears
>> to be an option to make subtotals Secondary Subtotals (subtotals
>> based on the secondary key), but that option seems to be greyed out.
>>  If it weren't greyed out, it might do what you want.
>
> i've had a cursory look and can't find it.  is that in 1.8.12, or is
> it a gnucash-2 feature?
>
>
> --
>
>   Tom Yates
>   Cambridge, UK.
>



--
       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
       [hidden email]                        PGP key available

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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Tom Yates
In reply to this post by Derek Atkins
On Sun, 24 Sep 2006, Derek Atkins wrote:

> There's an open RFE that asks for an option to display the Split Memo
> instead of the Transaction Description in this spot of a Split
> Transaction.

ah - provided i can sort by that field when it's displayed, i reckon
that's exactly what i'd need.

> So you just want to see the Split Memos with the itemized listings?
> Or do you want subtotals based on that too?

just seeing split memos would be enough, if i understand correctly,
provided that i can sort by them (ie, get all the liz browns grouped
together, then all the steve bloggses).  subtotals would be an elegant
refinement, but just the display/sort of split memos would save me a lot
of tedious work.

it's still subject to error, as memo's a freeform field - i don't see how
gnucash can save me from my own stupidity if i enter someone as "brown,
liz" one week, "brown, l" the next, and "liz brown" a third (although
autocompletion of the memo field helps me a *lot* in staying uniform from
week to week - thanks, guys).

>>> The transaction report can ALMOST do this -- there's an option to
>>> "sort" by a secondary key (e.g. the Description), and there appears to
>>> be an option to make subtotals Secondary Subtotals (subtotals based on
>>> the secondary key), but that option seems to be greyed out.  If it
>>> weren't greyed out, it might do what you want.
>>
>> i've had a cursory look and can't find it.  is that in 1.8.12, or is it
>> a gnucash-2 feature?
>
> I don't know.  I don't have 1.8 handy, I only looked at 2.0.  Did you
> look in the Sorting page of the Report Options of the Transaction
> Report?

ah, i was looking at transaction report under the register window, not
transaction report under the main window (d'oh!).  this looks *really,
really* promising, at least as a halfway house - thank you very much
indeed!


--

   Tom Yates
   Cambridge, UK.
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Re: report writer needed: cash available

Dawning Sky
In reply to this post by Tom Yates
On 9/24/06, Tom Yates <[hidden email]> wrote:

> thanks for the response!
>
> the church's weekly banking run, in the current account, appears as a
> giant split transaction - usually 30-40 small credits, each of which
> balances with another account (usually an income account, but not
> always).
>
> what i want is a report i can run against an income account, which will
> summarise the income by the memo field appearing in the split transaction
> in the current account.
>
> let me see if a short example helps:
>
> suppose i have a weekly banking run transaction, made on 13/1/06, for a
> total credit of 300.00 (description field: weekly banking).  this is a
> split transaction, breaking down:
>
> AMOUNT  BALANCING ACCOUNT               MEMO FIELD
> 150.00  childrens home                  collecting box
> 85.00   new building fund               liz brown
> 65.00   new building fund               steve bloggs
>
> i see that my new building fund account is now showing a total income of
> 150.00, but in the account view, all i see is
>
> 85.00   weekly banking
> 65.00   weekly banking
>
> what i want is a report i can run on the building fund account which will
> print out:
>
> 13/1/06 85.00   liz brown
> 13/1/06 65.00   steve bloggs
>
> if, in addition, it could either sort by that MEMO field (the donor's
> name), that would be even better.
>
> is that any clearer?

I'm no expert of accounting.  But I think this sort of problems can be
more easily dealt with if you create more accounts to keep track of
the transactions.  For example, as soon as you receive a contribution
record it with donor's name and the target account, e.g., new
building, and balance it with a receivable account.  Then once you do
your banking run, transfer the amount from the receivable account to
the bank account.  It's more logical this way, in my opinion.

> --
>
>    Tom Yates
>    Cambridge, UK.

DS
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