2022-12-27 GnuCash IRC logs

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17:35:43 <andersas> Hi. I'm new to gnucash and accounting in general, but picking it up. I'm trying to make a budget, but have some trouble understanding liability accounts.
17:37:07 <andersas> In the budget, I plan to repay a loan (liability account). If I enter a negative amount, and then proceed to pay off the loan, the budget report shows matching budgeted vs actuals
17:37:30 <andersas> but on the other hand, the budgeted balance sheet shows an /increase/ in the liability.
17:37:43 <andersas> can anyone explain why that is?
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18:02:10 <andersas> some googling led me to this mail thread from 2017 which describes the problem
18:02:13 <andersas> https://lists.gnucash.org/pipermail/gnucash-user/2017-March/069460.html
18:02:50 <andersas> apparently the budget report is sensitive to the "Reverse Balanced Accounts" preference setting
18:07:33 <andersas> that then leaves the "Remaining to Budget" number off
18:11:18 <andersas> since setting the "Reverse Balanced Accounts" preference to none, I have to put in a positive number in the liability account to have the balance sheet budget and the budget report agree that I am decreasing the liability
18:15:03 <andersas> but that seems to break the accounting equation
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18:54:47 <jralls> andersas, Equity (except Expense) and Liability accounts increase with credits while Asset and Expense accounts increase with Debits. GnuCash represents Credits internally as negative numbers. The Reverse Balanced Accounts preference allows you to hide that detail so that the Credit-balance accounts are displayed with positive balances.
18:56:03 <andersas> Given that, what would you enter in the budget on a liability account to signify repayment of debt. A positive or negative number?
18:56:48 <andersas> e.g. loans payable
18:57:54 <andersas> is the budget expecting all credits to be negative?
18:58:02 <jralls> When you pay a loan you debit the liability (loan) account and credit the asset account, reducing the balance of both.
18:58:23 <andersas> yes
18:59:28 <andersas> so if I use the budget tool, am I required to use GnuCash internal representation (i.e. all credits negative regardless of account type) ?
19:04:13 <jralls> I think so, but I'm not sure. The budget code used to depend on the Reverse Balanced Accounts pref being set on Credit accounts. Chris Lam fixed that but I think he wasn't able to completely hide that internal detail.
19:08:18 <andersas> I'll check if my signs are correct elsewhere in the budget
19:09:56 <andersas> I guess all expenses must be negative, although that would seem to be counter to the internal representation
19:11:20 <andersas> the actual figure does not depend on the preference, but the budgeted one does
19:11:22 <jralls> No, expenses are generally debit expense, credit asset.
19:13:31 <andersas> the sign and total liabilities on the budgeted balance sheet does not depend on the preference setting, but the budgeted values in the budget report does
19:13:53 <andersas> while the actuals on the same sheet does not
19:14:17 <andersas> s/sheet/report/
19:16:16 <andersas> so I think the budget makes sense, I just need to be sure to disable the reverse balanced accounts preference when checking if my expenses are in line with the budget
19:17:05 <jralls> OK. Sorry I can't help much, I don't know that code well nor do I use it. chris is the expert but he's away for a couple of weeks.
19:17:34 <andersas> Ok. Thanks a lot for the discussion :-)
19:18:20 <andersas> and just for the record, I mixed up my statement. It's the actuals that depend on the setting, not the budgeted values
19:21:42 <jralls> What version of GnuCash are you using?
19:23:09 <andersas> 4.8 (build ID 4.8a+(2021-09-28) - seems to be the latest available in the Ubuntu LTS repositories
19:25:36 <andersas> gnucash calculates a difference of 0 or twice the amount depending on the setting btw.
19:26:56 <andersas> and btw. I must say I really have enjoyed using gnucash. It's a lot more efficient than my homemade spreadsheet solution once you get the hang of it
19:27:10 <jralls> That may be from before chris's fixes. You might try a flatpak install of 4.13 to see if it behaves better.
19:27:20 <andersas> thanks for the tip, will do
19:48:21 <andersas> it seems to be the same problem in 4.13 from the flatpak
19:51:04 <andersas> the differences depend on the setting - which makes me think the sign on the values you enter into the budget must depend on the setting as well. In which case it would be convenient for gnucash to update the signs in the budget when you change the setting (?)
19:51:32 <andersas> except the budgeted balance sheet is invariant
19:56:59 <andersas> the signs on the values I enter into the budget are consistent with those generated by the estimation tool
19:57:40 <andersas> and also consistent with my expectations
19:58:29 <andersas> except I would probably have expected a liability account to decrease in numerical value when you pay back the corresponding loan
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