Keeping track of cash advances

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Pete Kelly

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Jul 27, 2023, 11:42:31 AM7/27/23
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Hi all, new Ledger user, and I'm handling the estate of a family member. To pay some of the bills I'm advancing the estate money from my own account. I'd like to keep track of each advance, but I'm not sure how to assign these transactions to the correct accounts. I've been using 'Estate' and 'Advance' to keep track.

Here's an example of a transfer from one account to another:

2023-07-27 Transfer
Assets:Estate:Checking:MyBank $100  ; receiving account
Assets:Checking:MyBank

Here's a purchase:

2023-07-27 Eversource
Expenses:Advance:Estate:Utilities:Electricity. $75.00
Assets:Checking:MyBank

Can anybody suggest how to do this correctly? Maybe I should use tags instead?

Thanks for any help,
Pete

o1bigtenor

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Jul 27, 2023, 11:54:31 AM7/27/23
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Dunno about "doing this correctly" - - - - but I use credit accounts.

I buy some fuel for agency Y.
They issue a statement the following month payable that month.
I use a credit account to "pay' for the purchase before I know how much its
going to be.
When I make my payment the payee is the agency and the credit account
is reduced by that amount.

Its all in the matter of having enough listed 'accounts'.

I have been using this idea long before I even had a computer to use - - -
think early 80s.

HTH

Alexandre Rademaker

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Jul 27, 2023, 11:57:57 AM7/27/23
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Would you happen to have a concrete example? I didn’t follow the "before I know how much its..”, how do you add an entry without knowing the value?

Best.
AR

o1bigtenor

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Jul 27, 2023, 5:06:07 PM7/27/23
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On Thu, Jul 27, 2023 at 10:57 AM Alexandre Rademaker
<arade...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > On 27 Jul 2023, at 12:53, o1bigtenor <o1big...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Dunno about "doing this correctly" - - - - but I use credit accounts.
> >
> > I buy some fuel for agency Y.
> > They issue a statement the following month payable that month.
> > I use a credit account to "pay' for the purchase before I know how much its
> > going to be.
> > When I make my payment the payee is the agency and the credit account
> > is reduced by that amount.
> >
> > Its all in the matter of having enough listed 'accounts'.
> >
> > I have been using this idea long before I even had a computer to use - - -
> > think early 80s.
> >
> > HTH
> >
>
> --
> Would you happen to have a concrete example? I didn’t follow the "before I know how much its..”, how do you add an entry without knowing the value?
>
>
One very easy to understand example is using a card lock to get fuel for either
my vehicle or for equipment (or or or or lots of different options).

In filling I can get a ticket which indicates how much product I received.
Pricing is given when I get my invoice.
I can enter that I got fuel (or whatever else I got).
When I get the invoice I can enter the price of the fuel and taxes included.
(This means that I use null values (0.00) as place markers until receive the
invoice - - - - otherwise ledger complains that there are no values on the
lines.)
So I know what I got but not how much.
If I know the value when I get the product then its even easier.

Likely more work this way - - - - but I get to keep track of when I get fuel
even if its multiple times in a time period (usually a month).

HTH

Michael Cordover

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Jul 27, 2023, 6:45:05 PM7/27/23
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I think you want a liability account for the estate, and a corresponding personal asset.

So something like:

2023-07-27 Transfer advance to Estate account
  Assets:Estate:Checking:MyBank    $100
  Liabilities:Estate:Advances     -$100
  Assets:Loans:Advances-to-Estate  $100
  Assets:Checking:MyBank

2023-07-28 Purchase on behalf of Estate
  Expenses:Estate:Utilities:Electricity  $75
  Liabilities:Estate:Advances           -$75
  Assets:Loans:Advances-to-Estate        $75
  Assets:Checking:MyBank

and then your balance looks like:

    $100  Assets
    $-175    Checking:MyBank
     $100    Estate:Checking:MyBank
     $175    Loans:Advances-to-Estate
      $75  Expenses:Estate:Utilities:Electricity
    $-175  Liabilities:Estate:Advances

So you have -$175 in your account (I started with a zero balance); the estate account has $100 in it (again, zero starting balance), but you're entitled to $175 back from the estate (Assets:Loans:Advances-to-Estate) and the estate has an account showing what it owes back to you (Liabilities:Estate:Advances).

You can then pay yourself back with a transaction like:

2023-07-28 Reimburse Pete
  Assets:Estate:Checking:MyBank    -$100
  Liabilities:Estate:Advances       $100
  Assets:Loans:Advances-to-Estate  -$100
  Assets:Checking:MyBank                 ; implicitly +$100

In my experience estates tend to be separate accounting entities from your personal accounts, so I would even consider structuring those accounts as Estate:Assets:Checking:MyBank, Estate:Liabilities:Advances-to-Pete etc, just to make the distinction super obvious.

mjec
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Pete Kelly

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Jul 27, 2023, 8:05:26 PM7/27/23
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Thank you for the help. It's just what I needed.
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