Being brand new to the list, I don't know whether it's customary to
introduce oneself. But how I got here is perhaps a little unusual, and
might be of interest to some of you.

I started double-entry bookkeeping for my personal accounts on paper in
the 1970s, using the accrual method not cash basis. Accrual just seemed
to make more sense to me, given my increasing use of credit cards. And
it rankled to record property taxes as a huge expense in one month not
no others, or to record my entire mortgage payment as an expense when
much of it was a debt repayment. And of course we've all got receivables
as we wait for reimbursement for employer business expenses or for
medical expenses covered by insurance.

Since 1984, I've been using a dBase III/IV program that I wrote myself.
It isn't very flexible, of course, and in particular getting a decent
cash flow statement continues to elude me. But I've got it set up to
warn of incomplete transactions when I try to commit them, and it does a
nice job of closing the books and reconciling cash at the end of every
month.

The big motivation for a change was getting my affairs in order as I
near retirement. My executor, or my attorney-in-fact if I have the
misfortune to become incapacitated, is not going to be able to get dBase
IV easily, or to run it on a Mac in any case. (It won't even run in
64-bit Windows command line; I had to install DosBox to run it.)

I started writing a VBA system in Excel. Excel still can import dBase
data files, which helps quite a lot. And it's faster for data entry,
given auto-complete. But keeping all transactions balanced proved harder
than I expected, and writing all custom reports just looked like too
much effort. And I'm not sure how long VBA will continue to be supported
-- Web-based Excel already excludes it. The annual subscription fee for
Quickbooks and Quicken makes them non-starters, in my opinion.

GnuCache is not well known, but it's easy to find, well reviewed, and
followed by an enthusiastic user base. And the promised flexibility was
very attractive, though I'm not yet to the point of taking advantage of
it. I'm also hoping to take advantage of the automatic update of
mutual-fund values, though it will be a while till I can look into that.

-- 
Regards,
Stan Brown
Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://BrownMath.com
http://OakRoadSystems.com

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