Not a trick. Virtual accounts and for that matter books for virtual
entities not some kind of "trick". They can be quite useful.
P/s: I saw that some people who always use some tricks when using GnuCash ,
like create some "Virtual" Account to manager their money, I DON'T LIKE
Envelopes, reserve accounts, etc. are virtual. OK, if a reserve account
has an actual bank account of its own, not virtual. But when you
partition a single bank account as if it were more than one, that is
virtual. Nothing real would prevent you say from writing a check for
more than the balance of the "remainder" partition. It wouldn't bounce
as long as the total in the real bank account went below zero. The
partitioning would just be a reminder to you not to do that, a virtual
Virtual entities might also be useful. To use the example I have given
before, I want to know how our solar system performs AS IF it were an
investment with existence separate from ourselves. What is the return on
this investment taking into account things like the time value of money,
how it affects/changes other expenses of ours like taxes and insurance,
etc. In other words, a CORRECT financial analysis instead of the
incorrect (oversimplified) ones those who get solar systems are shown.
REAL transactions affect our personal set of books. Those would not show
things like electric bills we did not have to pay, etc.
So ...... I created a virtual entity, "Our Solar System" and a set of
books for it. As if it were an (actual) entity to which we had made a
loan for its capital (shown on our books as such) and which pays
interest (tax free) and makes loan principle payments. It has income,
tax credits, electric bill amounts we did not have to pay, and sale of
SRECs. It has expenses, depreciation, loan interest, share of property
insurance, and implied taxes on the SREC sales. From profits, it makes
principle payments against the loan. Once the loan has been paid off
will become an equity investment (an asset) producing "dividend" income.
SOME of these transactions are "real" (appear on both sets of books) and
others are not. But this does not make the virtual entity a "trick".
Rather, it is a useful way of obtaining information that would be very
difficult to extract form our "real" books.
Michael D Novack
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