German Account Names in hledger
I’m currently switching from
hledger and I am using the
chance to clean up my old accounting data a bit at the same time.
Up to now I have used
the standard English accounting structure that is recommended by these
tools with root accounts named
Expenses and tried to keep the names of
all sub accounts in English.
This has proven to be quite cumbersome, because translating official expressions like Solidaritätszuschlag to English hides their real meaning and for others like Privathaftpflichtversicherung (personal liability insurance) the English expression is just not as well-known to me. Or let’s take the Austrian expression Abfertigung. This is a very specific concept for a funded pensions scheme in Austria. The term Abfertigung is not even used in Germany and unknown to Germans. dict.cc says that it can be translated as severance indemnity, but I doubt that after a year I’d understand what I meant by this.
Thus, I switched to a German accounting structure. In Germany, in
double-entry accounting we have Aktiva and Passiva. Aktiva is
everything you possess that’s of some value. Passiva describe from whom
the money actually origins (own capital or debts). Thus, I have created the
following three main accounts:
eigenkapital (Equity) and
fremdkapital (Liabilities). To my understanding
this should map well to both the double-entry accounting structure as I learnt
it from a German text book as well as the way ledger is organized.
Additionally, we need profit and loss accounts. I called these
Here is a short example with some basic accounts:
aktiva bargeld forderungen ; e.g. Rent Deposit girokonto wertpapiere eigenkapital anfangsbestand fremdkapital verbindlichkeiten ; e.g. Invoices still to be paid kreditkarte ertrag gehalt zinsen aufwand hobby lebensmittel telekommunikation handy internet
One problem with these names is that
hledger cannot automatically deduce
the type of the account, anymore. Account type is a concept unknown to
ledger-cli, but it is very useful, because it allows
hledger to create
a profits and losses report as well as a balance sheet using the following
hledger bs hledger is
To make these commands work again we need to specify the account types
This can be done in the file
A denotes an account
as an assets account,
L as a liability account,
E as an equity
R as a revenue account,
X as an expenses account and
C as a cash account.
account aktiva ; type: A account fremdkapital ; type: L account eigenkapital ; type: E account ertrag ; type: R account aufwand ; type: X account aktiva:bargeld ; type: C account aktiva:girokonto ; type: C