On 2/22/2018 4:21 PM, Dan Carpenter wrote:
Adrien, general accounting principles close the books at the end of the fiscal 
year.  This process in most accounting software updates the Equity with the 
profit or loss balances and then zeros the income and expense accounts to begin 
fresh for the new year.  I am just starting with testing this software, but 
most software retains “last year data” in a separate file or field within the 
data record for comparative reporting of this month/last month ; this year/last 
year etc.
Gnucash (without doing  a"close the books")
a) Have last year's data in a separate file << just make a copy of the file at an appropriate time >> b) Can still produce the reports for any prior time period << you can (if you lost them) recreate the previous period's reports from the CURRENT data file >> c) And you can close the books in the old pen and ink on paper way too if that is what you want to do. Either using the function or totally manually.

This is a matter of understanding the HISTORY of bookkeeping. It was the PROCESS of closing the books that created the report we call "profit and loss" << the report WAS another temporary account used in the process of closing* >> And of course they needed a method of keeping the physical books small enough to handle << a 10,000 page book would be real awkward >>


* The individual income and expense accounts were not closed directly to equity. They were closed to this special "profit and loss" account and then THAT was closed to equity by the net profit or loss. BTW, this wasn't just back in the "dark ages". I am old enough to have learned doing it this way.
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