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  1. 310 votes
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    helix7 supported this idea  · 
  2. 357 votes
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    helix7 supported this idea  · 
  3. 3 votes
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    helix7 commented  · 
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    helix7 commented  · 

    The existing budget tool cannot do zero-sum budgeting at all -- there is no way to ensure that you are not budgeting more than you make and/or have (other than constantly manually summing the values).

    Currently, I am using the work-around suggested by Bob Brush. Basically, I have to consider only two categories of accounts: those which consider debits positive, and those which consider credits positive. Asset, Bank, Cash, A/R, etc. are debit; Liability, Credit Card, and A/P are credit. Fortunately, all of those accounts can be mixed as subaccounts. Income, Expense, and Equity (and others) are very restrictive on their subaccount types, though.

    So, I record my "assets" in a debit account and it turns out that almost everything else uses a credit account type. For example, I am using the Liability type for both "income" and "expense" subaccounts. This orients the totals correctly (black/red) but makes the labels confusing, so I have had to switch to using the formal accounting labels. As far as I can tell, all of the debit types are equivalent and all of the credit types are equivalent other than their labels in the register. Using formal labels makes them exactly equivalent. So, now, I am only using the Asset and Liability account types.

    I tried using Income and Expense accounts since they can be mixed, but they are both credit types, so "assets" all end up with red balances. I don't understand why the account types can't be mixed. Maybe some reports care about the account type? If so, this workaround cripples reporting.

    helix7 shared this idea  · 
  4. 11 votes
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    helix7 supported this idea  · 
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    helix7 commented  · 

    It seems to me that a good first step toward supporting fund accounting would be to add a new account type ("Fund" perhaps) that can have child accounts of any type. A fund needs to be able to have its own set of "top-level" accounts (Assets, Liabilities, Income, Expense, etc.).

    Currently, there are three groups of accounts:
    * {Equity}
    * {Income, Expense}
    * {Asset, Liability, (everything else)}.

    GnuCash forces all sub-accounts to be of a type within the same account type group as their parent.

    Note that there is actually a Root account type that can have any type of sub-account, but only one is created and allowed per file and it is hidden. Perhaps the Root type could be exposed or a new Fund type could be added to the Root group?

    It sounds like a simple improvement, but my guess is that several aspects of the code are written around the "account type group" concept, and would have to be updated.

    As of today, you could theoretically make a separate GnuCash file for each fund, but constantly switching between the files would be cumbersome, keeping them in sync would be error-prone, and there would be no way of sharing data between them.

  5. 8 votes
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  6. 3 votes
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  7. 103 votes
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    helix7 supported this idea  · 
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    helix7 commented  · 

    GnuCash was close to having something like this.
    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=310567

    From the comments, the patch was all but complete.

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