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From "Jeff Hinrichs - DM&T" <>
Subject Re: using CouchDB for a finance manager?
Date Wed, 15 Apr 2009 03:29:45 GMT
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 8:52 PM, Li Zhengji <> wrote:
> Thanks for your information that makes me confident to use CouchDB for
> this task.
> Before getting start, I think to calculate the balance seems
> difficult, no matter it is schema-less or not.
> For example, if I delete a older transaction, then all balance in
> following transactions must be updated one after another. For CouchDB,
> maybe some views need to be rebuilt, too. It seems to be time
> consuming. (Suppose there is a balance field in each transation ---
> CouchDB doc.)
> Any idears for this?
Yes -- Accountants do not use erasers.  google "accountants don't use erasers"
No financial system should allow deleting entries -- posted entries.
The application should allow for user errors, etc and create a way to
correct wrong things but only by appending additional information on
how that entry was corrected.  i.e. If I incorrectly transfer 10000
from accountA -> accountB but only wanted to transfer 100, you should
not delete the original transaction but instead either transfer the
entire amount back with a notation for the reason and then initiate
the correct transfer amount or transfer back 9900 from accountB ->
accountA with a proper notation. (I prefer the former as it more
accurately represents the problem and solution instead of mixing them
together into a single correcting transaction.)  Your balances in
previous transactions would not need to be "updated" and should not be
and really a balance is a report of status at a point in time.  Which
means, you should calculate balances on demand.  Once you close a
period, you can create a summary balance for the period end to avoid
calculating over years and years of transactions.  Closing a period
means that it can not be modified by transactions posted after it is

> 2009/4/14 Nicholas Orr <>:
>> I've looked into doing my own accounting app as well. Sitting with an
>> accountant the main thing she had an issue with, in regard to all the
>> products currently available, is tracking what the amount is for on each
>> side of the transaction.
>> Example, say I as an individual transfer $10K into a company I'm a director
>> of. On the individual side (withdraw) of the transaction info needs to be
>> recorded as one thing, then on the other side (deposit) different
>> information needs to be recorded. This whole transaction needs to exist in
>> both places so come tax time the account doing the work for tax can follow
>> everything simply.
>> The concept of schema-less documents now starts to shine as ideal. I have a
>> few other projects on the go right now and will not be getting to this one
>> anytime soon. Interested in what you guys come up with :)
>> Nick
> --
> Li Zhengji
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
> -------------------------------------------------------------


Jeff Hinrichs

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