2011-03-23 GnuCash IRC logs

00:01:54 <Mer|in> http://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.4/C/gnucash-guide/accts-oa5.html#accts-oa10
00:03:18 <Mer|in> the problem as i understand it with using the reversing in expense account is that it can result in strange-looking reports - expneses with negative amounts and such
00:04:27 <Mer|in> for example if i have a monthly chart, i buy a product on 2/27 and return it 3/2, it wil show a positive amount on the expnse report for february, but a negative amount for march
00:09:18 <fell> and what is wrong with that?
00:10:02 <fell> OK, your wash account should b of type asset, if I understand the chapter right.
00:11:16 <Joc> this chapter talks about reversing a purchase: http://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.4/C/gnucash-guide/cc-enterpay1.html
00:12:37 <fell> To learn the background of the debate before this chapter was written, which was before I joined in the project, you should search the mailing list archive.
00:21:09 <fell> Mer|in: As private user you should touch equity only for the opening balance and closing the books.
00:25:46 <Mer|in> fell: i don't know that i'd say there was anything _wrong_ with that - except that it seems a little counter-intuitive
00:26:40 <Mer|in> although I'd say that those two sections of the tutorial seem rather conflicting
00:27:30 <Joc> conflicting in what way?
00:29:20 <Mer|in> well 16.3.5 describes pretty much the same use case (returning an item to the store) as 6.4, but 6.4 says reverse the transaction while 16.3.5 seems to recommend using a wash account
00:29:49 <Mer|in> although it does describe reversing the transaction as "one way to do it"
00:30:03 <fell> If you find some clearer formulations, add them to bugzilla as enhancement request. I am sure, the doc guys will apply them.
00:31:49 <Mer|in> will have to think on it - still not sure how that can be resolved without actually picking a best practice
00:33:18 <Mer|in> so then if i get a tax return, is that an income?
00:34:03 <fell> There is seldom only one way. There right way depends on the number of questions, your file should answer later.
00:34:18 <Mer|in> fell: also would mortgage escrow be equity?
00:35:02 <Mer|in> forgive the interrogation, just trying to understand, i'm still trying to understand a lot about accounting
00:36:13 <fell> As private user you should touch equity only for the opening balance and closing the books.
00:36:53 <Mer|in> so what would escrow be considered?
00:37:40 <Joc> according to the manual, the "wash acount" is "to provide a temporary location", there is nothing tempory with the purchase and then the return. The return is not an income, it was originally an expense, and the return reverse what was done to the expense account.
00:38:54 <Mer|in> Joc: then maybe it should illustrate with a different use case?
00:39:08 <Joc> ?
00:39:32 <Mer|in> Joc: the use case in the manual for a wash account is clearly a purchase followed by a return.
00:39:53 <Mer|in> specifically a partial return
00:42:01 <fell> expense means something, you buy to consume it *now*, everything else is an asset.
00:42:54 <fell> So if you plan to return or resell something, you put it in an asset account.
00:43:58 <fell> Also your car or PC is an asset, it will be consumed over 3 or five years by deprecation.
00:44:39 <Joc> to me, that wash account is about "temporary" transaction, as they say, "When the transactions reflected in these accounts have been fully completed, Wash/Suspense accounts will normally carry a zero balance". When you purchase a pair of jean, you don't normally expect to return it, it's normally a permanent transaction.
00:46:48 <Mer|in> I think the conversation has officially gotten more technical with this than I initially planned )
00:46:51 <Mer|in> :)
00:47:02 <fell> But at home it dosn't fit in size or colour and then you rethink the purchase.
00:48:16 <Joc> right
00:48:39 <Mer|in> Joc: so how is that different from what is illustrated in 6.4?
00:48:40 <fell> And I need some sleep. CU later.
00:48:47 <Mer|in> fell: thanks - night
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00:51:44 <Joc> IMHO, the main difference is the word "temporary", again from 16.3.5, there is that sentence "record charges and credits that are not to be included permanently in your books of record". To me, that mean, right from the beginning you knew it was not a permanent things.
00:54:29 <Joc> Maybe a better example would be to make refundable payment upon the return of the item.
00:55:10 <Mer|in> Joc: the way the use case reads is "When you come home and are putting things in the cupboard you discover you already had 12 cans. You decide to return the 6 you just bought."
00:55:36 <Mer|in> so perhaps it should describe something like a deposit on a rental?
00:55:48 <Mer|in> a refundable deposit that is
00:55:54 <Mer|in> like a hole
00:55:55 <Mer|in> hold
00:57:19 <Joc> maybe a better example that actually happened to me, when I wanted to purchase a squash raquet I had to make a $5 deposit while I was trying the raquet, which would be deducted when I actually bought the raquet.
00:58:19 <Mer|in> yeah - a more relatable one to me might be the same type of deposit when processing an RMA with a credit cross-ship
00:59:19 <Joc> in that case, I could have put $5 in the wash account, and at the moment of purchase, reverse the $5 from the wash account, and charge the expense account for the total.
00:59:57 <Mer|in> i allow them to put a "hold" on $100 on my credit card, they ship me the replacement product before receiving the damaged one, then when they receive the damaged one they release the hold
01:00:14 <Joc> obviously, if I returned the raquet later, I would then reverse the expense account.
01:00:23 <Joc> I don't know what is a RMA
01:00:35 <Mer|in> Return Merchandise Authorization
01:00:45 <Mer|in> like when a hard drive dies under warranty
01:01:02 <Joc> k
01:01:04 <Mer|in> that's the process of getting it replaced under warranty
01:02:51 <Joc> took me a long time to setup all my accounts so that they all made sense.
01:03:20 <Mer|in> yeah i'm pretty sure i've got some that are setup inappropriately :)
01:05:15 <Joc> One that gave me a hard time, as a business, all taxes that I pay for a purchase is refunded by the government (only the end user pay the tax). I was wondering if it was an expenses or a liability.
01:07:16 <Joc> Finally, I made that tax an expense, that get a negative transaction when I get the refund.
01:09:12 <Joc> The other way is also possible, I may collect the tax from a customer, in that case it's an asset, that get also get a negative transaction when I sent all the collected money to the governement at the end of the month.
01:12:06 <Mer|in> yeah my brain hurts now
01:12:07 <Mer|in> bedtime
01:12:32 <Mer|in> thanks for the advice
01:12:38 <Joc> I know the feeling. good night.
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08:55:54 <Antisoche> Mer|in: Assuming you're recording your net income, a tax refund would go into your Income:Salary account, imho. It is salary you earned, you just happened to pay too much to the government so they held on to it for a while. It won't show up in the proper accounting period in that case ("technically") but the real world is sloppy like that.
08:58:43 <Antisoche> Mer|in: I think the wash accounting is a bit more technical than you might need. It you think of your cupboard as inventory, the example is that your inventory is full. Because you leave the cans in your car (or on the sideboard) you can't show them being in inventory, so you create a wash ("holding") account until the delivery guy comes by next week to pick them back up. Kinda like that.
09:03:10 <Antisoche> Mer|in: For deposits, I think those would be an asset. Not in the case of the credit card hold (which I don't think you need to account for - I don't think GnuCash tracks spending limits, but I haven't played with the budgeting features...) but, say, a deposit with your landlord or utility department. In many states they are required to pay you interest, so it's essentially treated like a bank account. Banks will also take your
09:03:10 <Antisoche> deposits.
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11:14:52 <zuhao> hi, anyone familiar with the gsoc11? regarding the "Python reporting and scripting engine", is the task to rewrite the scheme scripts in src/report/ into python scripts?
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11:37:42 <warlord> zuhao: You might want to try asking on the gnucash-devel mailing list.
11:38:48 <zuhao> warlord: okay...thanks. :) should i mail to the entire list or just the mentors?
11:39:00 <warlord> Might as well mail the entire list.
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11:41:25 <zuhao> all right then. thanks.
11:51:44 <warlord> You're welcome.
11:51:55 <warlord> Unfortunately not all the devs hang out here anymore. At least not consistently.
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12:04:57 <zuhao> i see...i'm curious what's the average volume of mails daily?
12:06:46 <warlord> Varies from 0-20
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13:21:18 <Mer|in> Antisoche: that makes sense about the taxes - the government sure makes it easy for me to forget that it's my money :)
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14:27:29 <helix7> Mer|in: I actually track my gross income. I record the tax withholdings for each paycheck and at the end of the year I get a literal "refund" from the expense account.
14:27:52 <helix7> Might be overkill, but since my paychecks are usually the same, it's really not much more work.
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14:29:31 <Mer|in> yea - basically it's the worst savings account ever
14:36:36 <helix7> Yep. Someday, I plan to minimize the withholdings and pay the rest at the end of the year, so I can at least make some interest on it before the government takes it. :)
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16:10:42 <kimmo> helix, why not just postpone paying taxes indefinitely?
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17:04:02 <helix7> kimmo: That only works for politicians. And even they get caught eventually. :D The rest of us (in the US) are generally expected to file every year.
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20:40:28 <Joc> Is there a version of GnuCash that can run under Win2k? The current version requires WinXP and up.
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20:59:29 <warlord> Nope. Win2k was EOLed by microsoft years ago. We do not support it.
21:00:33 <Joc> I was hoping that an older version could be downloaded.
21:01:01 <Joc> and used with Win2k.
21:02:37 <warlord> I dont think we have anything for windows prior to 2.2, and I'm pretty sure it only supported XP, because even 3 years ago Win2k had long since been EOLed
21:02:44 <warlord> Technically even XP is EOLed nowadays.
21:03:20 <Joc> maybe so, but I believe that WinXP is still the number one OS used.
21:04:52 <warlord> Agreed, which is why we still target XP.
21:05:05 <warlord> But a couple years ago we polled our users about Win2k and heard silence.
21:05:10 <warlord> So we stopped caring about it.
21:05:27 <warlord> (and at this point, re-adding it would be a major PITA because lots of deps don't work on Win2k anymore)
21:05:59 <Joc> I think I will just try the older version available and see. For my purpose, I don't care if it's the latest and greatest.
21:06:21 <warlord> What is your purpose? And on what ancient system are you running win2k?
21:07:36 <Joc> let's just say I've been running it for about 10 years non-stop, it has some much on it that whenever I actually need to migrate, it's going to be a royal pain.
21:07:58 <Joc> some=so
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21:08:10 <warlord> I'm surprised the hardware hasn't failed, yet!
21:08:23 <Joc> yeah, me too, especially the hard drive!
21:08:42 <Joc> doing somewhat regular backups...
21:09:10 <Joc> running several servers on it, 24h/day.
21:11:14 <Joc> my purpose is do some basic accounting, mainly to learn. I've access to WinXP, but it's complicated at the moment.
21:12:38 <warlord> ok
21:19:15 <Joc> I was able to get a Gerber file viewer (gerbv) to work under Win2k by adding the two files WS2_32.DLL and gdiplus.dll, that did also solved the initial errors I was getting from GnuCash, but I got others errors instead. Too bad.
21:33:01 <jsled> Joc: you're fighting a losing battle. start planning your upgrade now.
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21:33:52 <Joc> have been doing that for years now... :)
21:35:07 <warlord> time to bite the bullet
21:36:26 <Joc> you should see my desktop, it's completely full, must have hundreds of programs, so biting the bullet is something I dread.
21:37:23 <Joc> Having said that, I'm actually chewing on it, slowly but surely.
21:38:52 <Joc> Thanks for the good advice though.
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21:42:36 <Joc> For what it's worth, I'm writting an article about GnuCash for the newsletter of my local users' group, while learning it and entering my 2010 data.
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