2011-11-28 GnuCash IRC logs

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12:53:23 <jonathan> How do I set an initial balance for an online account? I imported the transactions for two accounts (I'm a brand new user), the initial balances show up as an imbalance, and just adding a deposit equivalent to the initial amount does not solve the problem.
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12:57:05 <jonathan> i.e. can i *change* the opening balance for an existing account?
13:19:08 <warlord> jonathan: an opening balance transaction is just a normal transaction from Equity. So yes, just add a correct O.B. txn
13:20:16 <jonathan> warlord, thanks
13:21:40 <arbortender> warlord, can you shed any light on my confusion around properly posting 1) IRA dividends credited & 2)premature distribution of an IRA
13:22:54 <warlord> arbortender: Nope. I would just debit Cash and credit IRA... but I'm not an accountant.
13:24:14 <arbortender> alright. Any accountants in here this morning?
13:25:30 <warlord> I dunno... You might want to ask on the gnucash-user mailing list.
13:26:30 <arbortender> point me at that?
13:27:55 <warlord> www.gnucash.org -> Mailing lists
13:28:08 <arbortender> thank you!
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13:35:34 <jonathan> does gnucash save state anywhere except in ~/.gnucash?
13:35:34 <jonathan> \
13:35:49 <warlord> Yes, gconf
13:36:00 <warlord> (and your data file)
13:36:22 <jonathan> thanks, warlord - i'm starting from scratch now that i know a few basics. this isn't a poke and hope kind of program!
13:37:00 <warlord> No, it is not.
13:37:15 <jonathan> what's the best tutorial to start with?
13:37:22 <warlord> It's a poke, learn, reset, and start over.
13:37:33 <warlord> Have you read the GnuCash Tutorial & Concepts Guide?
13:37:33 <jonathan> hmmm, that's not too bad
13:37:38 <jonathan> no
13:37:43 <warlord> I would start there.
13:37:47 <jonathan> thanks!
13:38:34 <jonathan> how much time shoudl i budget to get to the "i can use this like quicken" level?
13:39:37 <warlord> I have no idea.. I don't know how familiar you are with quicken, or how long it took you to get that familiar.
13:40:01 <jonathan> reasonably, and quickly ;->
13:41:32 <warlord> Well then... :)
13:49:58 <jonathan> i don't have the Five Basic Accounts, i guess i did something wrong with the Wizard. is there any easy way to fix that now?
13:53:18 <warlord> File -> New Hierarchy?
13:53:26 * jonathan looks
13:53:46 <warlord> Sorry, Actions -> New Account Hierarchy
13:54:17 <jonathan> cool!
14:27:56 <arbortender> warlord, I thought I'd search the existing lists first, but...any clue why https://lists.gnucash.org/search/ makes firefox think it's untrusted?
14:28:18 <warlord> arbortender: it uses a self-signed certificate
14:28:36 <arbortender> ok
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14:39:34 <arbortender> hmm. I've no clue what to make of the page that comes up at that address.
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14:43:46 <warlord> Ah, the search page is broken currently.
14:43:53 <warlord> (sorry, wasn't paying attention to the URL)
14:44:07 <warlord> use google: site:lists.gnucash.org <search>
14:54:17 <jonathan> warlord: i'm confused by the basic accounting model (sorry, i'm no accountant) ... if i am reconciling my bank account, and it has some income, it looks like i have to balance it out with an "income" entry somewhere. can i get that to happen automatically, or is it always manual?
14:54:58 <jonathan> i need to wrap my head around double entry accounting ;->
14:56:21 <warlord> jonathan: if you have income into your bank account (e.g. Salary), then yes, it comes from an Income account, Income:Salary. So you would credit I:Salary and debit Assets:Bank
14:56:42 <warlord> Every txn must have debits and credits, and the sum of all debits == sum of all credits
14:57:29 <warlord> As for assigning the income entry... How are you entering these transactions?
14:58:03 <jonathan> i just download them from the bank, i look at my check register to double check some amounts
14:58:16 <warlord> in general you need to assign them when they get entered..
14:58:24 <warlord> So yes, you need to assign them during import.
14:58:54 <jonathan> ok - now if i didn't do that, and i have an Imbalance-USD account, what do i do now?
14:59:39 <warlord> modify each transaction and change the Imbalance account to the correct income/expense account
15:00:10 <jonathan> gotcha - thanks!
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15:06:49 <jonathan> why isn't Expenses:Charity 'tax related'?
15:07:24 <warlord> You have to assign your tax related accounts.
15:07:45 <jonathan> where do i do that?
15:09:33 <warlord> Um...
15:10:26 <warlord> Maybe Edit -> Tax Report Options?
15:10:57 * warlord has never used that feature and knows nothing about it
15:11:08 <jonathan> ok, thanks!
15:23:53 <jonathan> what does it mean to reconcile a credit card, if i haven't paid this month's charges yet?
15:25:55 <warlord> reconcile == match your transactions to theirs. So it's matching the monthly statement to what you have entered.
15:26:10 <warlord> On a CC, it would be the statement they sent prior to you receiving payment.
15:26:50 <jonathan> ok, so i want a liability for each charge
15:27:32 <jonathan> and i want each payment to correspond to a payment from my checkign account
15:29:56 <jonathan> actually, i want each charge to correspond to an expense
15:32:15 <warlord> CC->Ex; As->CC
15:32:25 <warlord> When you buy something ; when you pay the card
15:32:47 <jonathan> thanks, warlord!
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17:55:48 <arbortender> Does File>Export Accounts work? I don't seem to be generating any file at all when I use that function.
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18:38:08 <arbortender> How can I import certain accounts & their transactions from one gnucash data file to another?
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21:41:49 <warlord> arbortender: there is no easy way to do that.. you could use gnucash2qif to convert all of one data file to QIF and them import that, but there's not a good way to import only a selected set of txns.
21:42:22 <warlord> and yes, Export Accounts works -- it creates a data file with the same set of accounts but without any transactional (or business) data
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