Questions tagged [accounting]

for questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of accounting. Please note that questions about accounting that are academic or have no bearing on personal finance are off-topic here.

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45
votes
4answers
12k views

How to teach personal accounting to an 8-year-old

I try to teach my 8 year old daughter the basics of finance. She has some her own money (partly in a wallet, partly in a piggy-bank). Some time ago, she threw a short tantrum about "someone stealing ...
37
votes
2answers
7k views

What does “gold reserves” on a gold mining company's balance sheet mean?

From a Reuters article: On Wednesday, [Newmont Mining Corp] reported gold reserves of 68.5 million ounces for 2017, unchanged from 2016, as it replaced reserves through exploration, projects, ...
29
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3answers
6k views

What are the advantages of doing accounting on your personal finances?

What are the advantages of keeping track of your personal finances? Is it only worthwhile if I earn "enough"? Why should I bother?
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Indie Software Developers - How do I handle taxes?

I apologize if this is the wrong site to post on, perhaps someone could point me to the proper place if it is not. Hello, I am 17 years old and currently develop applications/games for Android and ...
17
votes
3answers
12k views

In double entry accounting, how does income become equity?

Using GNUCash, help, putting it all together, I'm accounting for a lottery income transaction. I was able to get the example shown with 2 transactions. 1. Dr. Savings 750,000 Cr. Income:...
16
votes
2answers
11k views

Starting with GnuCash. How to eliminate automatic entries ending up in the “unbalanced” account?

I just started using GnuCash and there is something I do not quite get how to get rid of (and whether I should try to get rid of). When I start importing transactions, I have expenses, income, etc. ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Why use accounting software like Quickbooks instead of Excel spreadsheets?

Some friends and I are starting a small landscaping cooperative, and are thinking about how we will manage accounting. Places we've worked in the past have used Excel spreadsheets to manage all of ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How to account for months lapse in tracking finances

I have been tracking my finances with GnuCash since the beginning of this year. All was good until summer hit and I spent more than two months traveling, but I'd like to get back to it without the ...
11
votes
3answers
38k views

What is the difference between equity and assets?

I am (going to be) using GNU Cash, which uses the double-entry method; I use it for personal finance. Reading various tutorials for GNU cash, it lists 5 types of accounts: income, expense, assets, ...
11
votes
1answer
567 views

How to record the finding of 10 dollars lying on the street and their subsequent placement into one's wallet (in gnucash)?

Within gnucash: within the Cash in Wallet account: description: found some money in the street transfer: Imbalance-USD or create a new arbitrary one-off account called something like "Penny Lane" or ...
10
votes
2answers
79k views

How to account for Capital Gains (Losses) in double-entry accounting?

After taking an introductory financial accounting class, I decided to use GnuCash to keep track of my personal finances. I have 5 major accounts in my general ledger: Equity Currently only used to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a dollar amount that, when adding Massachusetts Sales Tax, precisely equals $200?

I am confused about calculating Massachusetts Sales Tax (6.25%). Is there such an amount, that when added to its sales tax, equals $200? The reason I ask is because my business has been charging $...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is a coin an asset whereas a note is a liability on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet? [closed]

Can someone explain me why coins are assets and notes are liabilities for the U.S. Federal Reserve? I know coins are made from "precious" metals, but even notes are made from various materials too, ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the costs to establish an LLC and to maintain it?

What's the average (approximately) cost to open a basic LLC in Florida state or in NY state? (FYI in my case is to buy an house in Miami and rent it. I already have a bank account in the U.S.) What's ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I record the changing value of an investment in accounting software?

I have the following (simplistic) structure set up in GnuCash, but this should apply to other software too: Assets Bank account Pension Income Salary Interest Every month, my salary is split ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Presenting negative numbers using parentheses: where does this practice come from? [closed]

The standard accounting way is always to show negative numbers in parentheses. Where does this practice come from? For example, this cash flow statement use parentheses indicate negative values:
8
votes
2answers
670 views

Claiming income/deductions on an illegal apartment

We are currently renting a basement out to some friends of ours. We are asking a fraction of the price of what its worth. I understand the risk of renting without a certificate of occupancy. The ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What does “write-off” mean?

I've heard this term throughout my life but I've never been entirely sure exactly what it means or why you would want to write something off.
7
votes
1answer
454 views

How to double-entry bookkeep money incoming from sold items?

I started doing double-entry bookkeeping with GnuCash to keep track of my personal finances, down to the penny. I have as assets my bank account and "cash in wallet", and many expense accounts for ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

How do I enter a house sale into my accounting package?

We sold our house and purchased a new one. The money from the sale went into our lawyer's trust account, and then was passed onto the vendor that sold us the new house. In my accounting package, I ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

When starting a small business, how does one properly record “seed inventory”?

Let's assume someone wanted to start a small, simple business. They go through all of the paperwork to get an LLC, they set up a business checking account and they are ready to go. Such an individual ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

I need a tax accountant, but don't know how to find one

Is there a trusted listing service for tax accountants? I'm reluctant to call the first listing I see on google or to search craigslist. I also have no idea what is a fair amount for such a person ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How to divide up utilities when one tenant's rent includes utilities, but others' don't?

This is an extension of my question asked here. Four roommates are living together. Two are co-tenants, who hold the lease, and the other two sublet from the co-tenants and pay rent and utilities to ...
6
votes
5answers
191k views

Account that is debited and account that is credited

As a non-English-native person, I somehow find it difficult to understand the following: When an account is said to be debited, what does this mean? How does this differ from an account that is ...
6
votes
2answers
581 views

Consider Paypal fees in accounting

I'm a freelancer. I sent an invoice to my client (using InvoiceBubble.com), which he decided to pay via Paypal. Paypal took a fee. How do I take this fee in consideration for my accounting? I marked ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

In double entry accounting, how do I enter a loan?

I have taken an accounting course several years ago, but I'm a little rusty. I'm using GnuCash, double entry accounting software. I have a loan from a friend, so no interest. I have paid about half ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

U.S. Taxes: Can you deduct or depreciate equipment that was both bought and sold in the same year?

Assume there is equipment used for a for profit endeavor that will be deducted from earnings. That equipment is also sold in the same year, for less than or equal to the purchase price. How does ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Dealing with fractions of a penny

If my car insurance was £1200.01 per year, I could end up being charged £100 + 1/12p per month. I know that's not how it works, the extra penny is kept whole and goes on a specific month instead. ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How to report my revenue from Apple iAds and App Store sales, without an invoice?

For accounting purposes, we need an invoice for accounts receivables, but when you get a payment from Apple for iAd revenue and app sales, how do you issue an invoice ? Are there any specific ...
6
votes
1answer
979 views

Does total US public debt include state debt?

When I see total US public debt, I wonder whether state debt is included. If "total US public debt" used differently for different cases, I will restrict my case to the usage in national accounting/St....
6
votes
2answers
362 views

Nit picky personal accounting question: What is the right way to record borrowing from yourself?

I keep a spreadsheet with my personal financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow) that generally follows the corporate approach. I omit considerations of depreciation, etc. There'...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

I started some small businesses but need help figuring out taxes. Should I hire a CPA?

I've got a couple of small businesses I run. I started them in the last couple of months. I feel lost when it comes to my taxes. I know I should be paying something, but I'm not real sure where to ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Verification of student loan amounts

I consolidated my student loan debt with FedLoan a year or two after graduation. Is there an easy way to verify that my current balances are accurate? Is this something an accountant would handle, or ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find out if a company is legit?

I'm from Sweden and considering opening a "Internet" company on Cyprus with a (valid EU VAT number), because of better tax benefits compared to Sweden and the UK (where I have other companies). I've ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

How do I interpret these income tax numbers for Chinese public company Dangdang Inc. (DANG)?

I'd like some help with understanding the financial statements of E Commerce China Dangdang Inc (ADR). You can see the Income Statement/Balance Sheet/Cash Flow statements on Google Finance. If you ...
6
votes
1answer
637 views

Accounting for payment into wrong currency account

I deal with clients in several countries and have two bank accounts in two currencies. Recently, I sent out an invoice with the wrong bank account number, so a client invoiced in SGD made a payment ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

How to “pay” one self in a single member LLC w/ separate checking account?

I own a side company creating web apps. I formed an LLC, registered an EIN and opened a business checking account. Recently, I sold a copy of my software for let's say $10,000. Now, since everything ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

GnuCash bookkeeping for account contributions to accounts having annual contribution limits?

I'm using GnuCash, and trying to figure out how to structure a couple of accounts to track contributions to accounts like Roth IRAs and HSAs that have an annual contribution limit that I need to track....
6
votes
2answers
510 views

How do I account for 100 percent vendor discounts in GnuCash 2.6.5

Consider this simple scenario, where I am running the accounts for a small business. No need to get into fancy standards (e.g. GAAP). A vendor sends my company a bill for $100. The work is complete ...
5
votes
4answers
384 views

What could be the harm in sharing my American Express statements online?

I would like to store my American Express statements in Google Docs so that my virtual assistant can log the line items into my accounting spreadsheets. It is also handy so that they are in one place ...
5
votes
4answers
700 views

Payroll reimbursments

I am a salaried employee. Occasionally I use my own credit card for company business. When I am reimbursed I receive a separate check from my regular paycheck. My company does not tax the ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

How does one apportion returns to multiple investors when their times and amounts of investment were different?

No accounting experience here. The problem: Man A invests $10 on day 1. Man B invests $5 on day 4. Man C invests $85 on day 5. On day 7, the $100 returns 10%. How do you fairly distribute it?
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Direct Deposit in Shared Account

My boyfriend has asked me to help manage his money. We are looking into opening a new bank account where his checks will be direct deposited into the account and I'll give him a weekly allowance of ...
5
votes
1answer
38k views

Correct method of recording bank transfer in double-entry accounting

What is the correct way to record the transfer of funds between 2 accounts of the same type (ie checking account to savings account)? Since they are both debit accounts, wouldn't crediting one and ...
5
votes
1answer
19k views

Basic bookkeeping account entries for a house purchase and mortgage?

I borrow 200,000 to purchase a house worth 250,000, putting down 50,000 of my own. The borrowing is at 5% over 30 years. What are the basic double-entry bookkeeping entries I must make to record this ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I do double-entry bookkeeping for separately-managed investment accounts?

Double-entry bookkeeping is new to me but is something I'm trying to apply to our personal finances. The area I am struggling with is how to deal with our investments. We have a mix of Canadian RRSP ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I invest C-corp or S-corp profits by purchasing stock, bonds or property to reduce tax liability?

If I own a C-corp or an S-corp in the US ( say for example Delaware ), and I take profits from revenue after expenses for the corporation and purchase stock in the US stock markets, bonds or other ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a company in the UK have to pay taxes on betting winnings?

Betting in the UK is taxed on the company level so the bettor doesn't have to pay taxes on his winnings. I have a company in the UK whose only objective is to trade on sports betting. Will I have to ...
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Where do expense ratios show up on my statement?

This answer describes the lowered expense ratios of Vanguard admiral shares compared to Vanguard investor-class shares. How do I tell from my statements that I am saving money through the lowered ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can dues and subscriptions expenses be deducted 100% to calculate taxable income in an LLC company?

I'm using Quickbooks Online, "Dues & Subscriptions" is one of the expense accounts we have. I would like to know if this expense can be deducted 100% for calculating my taxable income. Our company ...