Suggestion: Budget features

Discussions about iCompta on macOS
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drfrogsplat
Posts: 11
Joined: 03 October 2014, 04:40

Suggestion: Budget features

Post by drfrogsplat » 25 October 2016, 06:50

I've recently started using the Budget feature in iCompta, and thought I'd give a bit of feedback:

1. If I enter a category into a budget and set the amount to $0, it won't show up in the budget. I'm not sure how intentional this is, but for me it would make sense to be able to track something I don't plan on spending money on, but may have to. Equally if I expect to break even on a particular category. The main use-case for me is tracking those unexpected expenses in my standard monthly budget, and allowing me to see their effect on my total monthly expenses goal. The idea is to have all the info in one place, instead of switching back and forth between Budget & Reports.

The percentage value might need to be hidden/replaced with something else, but it'd be a bit nicer than just entering $1 to see it included in the total.

2. This might be specific to how I use the budgets, but I think it'd be useful to have an extra column in the Navigator pane at the bottom of the budget for the "Net". This would be slightly different to the Total, in that the Net would include the budgeted amount (not just the deviation from budget). Right now I can see how much I under/overspent (Expense), how much I over/under-earned (Income), and the sum of those two (Total), and the proposed Net would effectively be Total - budgeted Expenses + budgeted Income (or the sum of all matching splits).

For my own personal use, my budget would then directly show me how much I actually put into savings (rather than just how much I deviated from expectations). I've been using Reports for this until recently, but it's quite a bit more fiddly (scrolling a lot and/or collapsing all the categories down to see each month's Total), and I'd much prefer the budget interface for quick month-to-month tracking/comparison.

I realise I can technically make the Total column calculate this "Net" value by setting my budgeted Income to match budgeted Expenses but then I lose the budget tracking aspects for my income (and while this is pretty easy for a static monthly budget, it gets harder with mixed periods or changing amounts)

3. There's a bug where a particular category sometimes won't update in the budget. If I add a category to a new budget, and delete it from an older one (order doesn't seem to matter?), I have to quit and re-open iCompta before the amounts will show up in the new budget. I'm assuming this is to do with how iCompta detects and avoids matching transactions to two budgets—it just seems like there's a step missing to allow re-matching when you remove a category from a budget?

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Angeman
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Re: Suggestion: Budget features

Post by Angeman » 25 October 2016, 09:20

drfrogsplat wrote:1. If I enter a category into a budget and set the amount to $0, it won't show up in the budget. I'm not sure how intentional this is, but for me it would make sense to be able to track something I don't plan on spending money on, but may have to. Equally if I expect to break even on a particular category. The main use-case for me is tracking those unexpected expenses in my standard monthly budget, and allowing me to see their effect on my total monthly expenses goal. The idea is to have all the info in one place, instead of switching back and forth between Budget & Reports.

The percentage value might need to be hidden/replaced with something else, but it'd be a bit nicer than just entering $1 to see it included in the total.
This was intentional but I changed my mind on this point so it will be possible in version 6.
drfrogsplat wrote:2. This might be specific to how I use the budgets, but I think it'd be useful to have an extra column in the Navigator pane at the bottom of the budget for the "Net". This would be slightly different to the Total, in that the Net would include the budgeted amount (not just the deviation from budget). Right now I can see how much I under/overspent (Expense), how much I over/under-earned (Income), and the sum of those two (Total), and the proposed Net would effectively be Total - budgeted Expenses + budgeted Income (or the sum of all matching splits).

For my own personal use, my budget would then directly show me how much I actually put into savings (rather than just how much I deviated from expectations). I've been using Reports for this until recently, but it's quite a bit more fiddly (scrolling a lot and/or collapsing all the categories down to see each month's Total), and I'd much prefer the budget interface for quick month-to-month tracking/comparison.
That's a good idea, I'll add it in version 6.
drfrogsplat wrote:3. There's a bug where a particular category sometimes won't update in the budget. If I add a category to a new budget, and delete it from an older one (order doesn't seem to matter?), I have to quit and re-open iCompta before the amounts will show up in the new budget. I'm assuming this is to do with how iCompta detects and avoids matching transactions to two budgets—it just seems like there's a step missing to allow re-matching when you remove a category from a budget?
It should be also fixed in version 6.

drfrogsplat
Posts: 11
Joined: 03 October 2014, 04:40

Re: Suggestion: Budget features

Post by drfrogsplat » 26 October 2016, 03:18

Looking forward to v6! :)

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