Prevent accidental changes by locking a fiscal period
One problem with Gnucash is that a user may accidentally change a transaction in a previous month or year. For example, it is possible to delete a transaction that should not be deleted. Also, if a user enters the wrong date in a new transaction (e.g. when typing the date, the year is wrongly entered) the transaction will enter the register in a previous period, but the user may not know where it went. Thus the accounts could be in error due to an accidentally deleted transaction or incorrectly entered transaction.
In my experience training people to use Gnucash in the non-profit sector this has frequently happened.
Add a feature where the entries in a month may be locked and password protected. Thus, after the data-entry clerk enters all the transactions for a month into Gnucash, the finance manager locks all the transactions with a password unknown to the data-entry clerk.
The lock would not prevent reports from being generated or data from being viewed, it would only prevent data from being changed in the locked period.
If subsequently, transactions in a previous month need to changed, the finance manager's password will be needed to unlock that month.
Such a lock could prevent both accidental changes to the accounts in a previous period and intentional attempts to manipulate the accounts to the data entry clerk's personal advantage.
Alexey Pakseykin commented
Mistakenly modifying entry in the past is the most common source of problem for me (if not the single one). As previously said, years of data to review drains a lot of time due to a mistake which is very easy to make.
I don't find password protection necessary. The feature is primarily needed as protection from mistakes rather than protection from unauthorized modification. Consider the simplest implementation without password first - it will immediately save time for many users.
Adding password should be a separate feature (because it goes far beyond - simple password will only add false sense of protection from unauthorized modifications as users have direct access to data files).
I would suggest just specifying the red line with a hard date, rather than by a number of days. If I close out a year in January, I want all transactions after Dec 31 in the prior year to become read-only. It doesn't really matter how many days ago. It matters when my last hard-close was (typically at the end of a year, a quarter, or a month)
Bryan Bohn commented
I concur, this feature is essential.
Dean Gibson commented
This feature is partially available in 2.6.5 with the "Red Line" option in "Properties" ("File" pull-down menu), but that only specifies a number of days (which of course can be set to 30 or 365 to detect "wrong month/year" issues). It's not a big issue with me, but given the code for the "red line" feature, this shouldn't be that difficult to implement.
This feature is essential. It is very easy to make a change to an entry from years back or enter the transaction in a wrong date and you have to go through years of data to find out if you can.
Will Palmer commented
After a single typo last-night, I now need to go through all my accounts for the year, line-by-line, and compare with printed records. This feature is absolutely essential.
Couldn't agree more! This would be a very useful feature.
James Pang commented
Accidents do happen: '7th August 2001' as 7/8/01 and '8th July 2010' as 8/7/10... Hahaha... that came to my mind after reading it... Yup, this definitely could make a difference. Good job
I would really like to have this feature, if it's not already available.
Kevin & Siji commented
Thanks, a very badly required feature indeed.