Goldenseal Pro Progress Report- Banking (Apr 3)

Goldenseal accounting software includes action commands to help run your business: Pay Bills, Write Payroll, Deposit Funds, Project/Sales Billing, Job Costing and Reconcile. They present a window with a list of items in a table. Click buttons to do stuff.  If you double-click, most show another window with more details for that item.

The PowerPlant framework that we used to build Goldenseal did not have a table class, so we had to manage and draw the action command tables with our own code. For various reasons, those tables were particularly hard to set up, and hard to maintain. Replacing them has been on the to-do list for a long time.  The action commands (and their tables) are the largest remaining task for Goldenseal Pro, so we started on them last week.

Fortunately, Apple’s Cocoa framework does have a table class. It also has an Interface Builder tool to create windows. It only took a few hours to use it, and set up the Reconcile window and its table. The same approach will work for all the action commands, and it ought to be much easier to maintain.

To test the Reconcile window, we need working bank transactions. That means finishing a design change that we started last year.

Goldenseal accounting software currently has seven types of bank accounts: Cash, Checking, Savings, Investments, Credit Cards, Loans and Escrows. They each have their own menu commands and windows. However, in the years since we first designed Goldenseal, deregulation happened. The former, strictly defined differences between commercial banks, savings banks, savings & loans and credit unions are long gone. These days, you might write checks or use a debit/credit card from almost any type of bank account, or even use bank-ish entities such as PayPal or Apple Pay. The distinctions have blurred.

It still makes sense to treat Investments separately (because they can be non-monetary, and may have job costs). Ditto for Escrows (because it’s not your money).  The others really aren’t that different any more, so we are merging cash, checking, savings, credit cards and loans into just plain Bank Accounts. They’ll have a popup field so you can still group them by type, but otherwise they’ll all look the same. It will make cash-basis accounting much simpler.

For bank transactions, Goldenseal currently has 5 different screen layouts (checks, payments, deposits, transfers out and transfers in). Switching between them is very complicated code, so we also plan to merge those into a single layout.

For new users, setting up the new bank account system was easy. For existing users, we need to handle many years of data that was entered from the old system. To preserve it, the update process automatically moves bank accounts and transactions from old format to new. It also goes through purchases and other transactions, and converts their links to the new payment and deposit accounts. The code for that was written last summer, but it needs real data before it can be tested. That’s one reason why we are so eager to start using Goldenseal Pro to run TurtleSoft.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director


Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.