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Feirefiz

Doable Solution?

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Feirefiz

I'm working on creating what I hope is a rudimentary bookkeeping solution for a colleague. I suggested to her that she either A) buy an existing bookkeeping program, or B) hire one of you guys to make one for her since you know what you're doing. Despite my lack of experience in the financial realm and my weakness in following logic, she insisted that she only needs something basic and that I can do it. It really is fun playing around with FileMaker and figuring things out, so I've been working on it, but now I'm having doubts about whether it's as simple as it at first looked. So I'm hoping for advice about whether this is doable:

 

In the end there needs to be a layout where for a particular account you can get a running total of each expenditure, something like this:

 

Konto: 441 Repairs

Datum     | Text                | Gegenkonto | Soll    | Haben    | Saldo
==========================================================================
8.2.2013  | Repair Leaking Roof | 111        | 960.00  |          | 960.00[font=courier new]
9.2.2013  | Insurance Refund    | 111        |         | 530.00   | 430.00
10.2.2013 | Repair Mousepad     | 111        |   5.00  |          | 435.00
[/font]

 

Conceptually, I'm stuck about whether the Soll (expenditure) and Haben (received) accounts are actually different accounts on the tables, or whether they're essentially the same thing, since the same account functions as Soll in one instance and Haben in another. Is this something really nasty? In that case, I'm going to refer her back to options A and B.

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eos

All these are just transactions for the same account, some of which are positive, some negative – which you could flag with a transaction type, or simply distinguish by the sign of the amount.

 

How do you plan to arrive at running totals if you separate the transactions?

 

By the same token, don't create different tables for different accounts …

 

Personally, I hate bookkeeping solution, since some years ago I took it upon me to customize a commercial (accessible) solution as a personal favour for the father of a friend; took me the better part of the Easter holidays …

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Feirefiz

I've arrived at the same conclusion about transaction type. Which means that if it's necessary to show Soll and Haben in two columns, I could just have a calculation field showing the one amount in Soll and the other in Haben based on transaction type and then have the running total based on the non-showing actual field with the amount. In my mind's eye, I can see how to do it with two separate columns in Excel, but my experience is only with one column (+/-), as you suggest.

 

No, for me, it wasn't a question of different tables for different accounts, but different fields for the two uses.

 

I understand; next time you'll save your bookkeeping solutions for Lent. :D

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Josh Ormond

In a database era, there is little reason to have 2 separate fields. Either categorize the transaction as a credit/debit, or just go with +/-.

 

The whole credit/debit columns were always best for quick math. It's a visual processing thing, about efficiency. Databases don't care about the visual aspect. If your users do, then categorize, and show reports in a virtual list. Then you can easily place the value in the correct column.

 

From a UI perspective, there is little reason to process transaction in a list view. People are used to it, because of General Ledgers and Excel...but it's not usually the most efficient or easiest ( as far as mental processing ). Data entry in 95% of cases is best done with the user focused only on one transaction with enough info to fully process the data.

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Feirefiz

The layout described above wouldn't be a data entry layout but a sort of report. I'll add a snippet of the data entry layout for each transaction (Journal):

 

The numbers for Soll and Haben here are the account number.

 

I won't add the relationship graph because that's all messed up.

Journal.jpg

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eos
The layout described above wouldn't be a data entry layout but a sort of report.

 

Well, just like an account statement (ein Kontoauszug, in case any non-German speaker's interested) is a list/report.

 

Ist das Schweizer Dezimalnotation? Dezimalpunkt, und Tausender-Hochkommata …?

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Feirefiz

Yes, though I'd call them apostrophes and not commas, hm, or just Tausendertrennzeichen. Some places, like tax forms, have upside-down triangles between the boxes for the digits. Everything official I can think of with money (like bills and Einzahlungsscheine) has a decimal point, but decimal commas exist, too. Originally, according to the wishes of my colleague, I had the decimal divider within FM set to comma, which meant that without modifying the Swiss system settings, you had to enter a point to get a comma, and that was confusing. But I think she has her region set to Germany, so she might have to enter a comma to get a point. We'll see.

 

I'm surprised you've never seen any decimal notation from your Neighboring Country. :D

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eos
I'm surprised you've never seen any decimal notation from your Neighboring Country. :D

 

Never lived near the Swiss border (Dutch and Austrian ones only); we spent many a vacation near Interlaken and in Zürich (Nova hotel, if that rings a bell), but I was only a child then.

 

So no, I've never seen a Swiss invoice, or if I did, I cannot remember …

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Canonfan5D

Sometime you just need to trust others. Like previously I used VFront now Filemaker. I have my own bookkeeper for bookkeeping purpose. I am good at excel, VBA and Access. But how many things you can personally handle actually when you run a business. You have to trust other professionals.

Edited by Canonfan5D

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