Although I'm still maintaining my checkbook records with KMyMoney, I decided it would be a good idea to experiment with Skrooge 0.5.5 in my KDE 4 partition. So I installed it and have been trying to familiarize myself with the program for the past few days. Rather than importing a QIF file, I began by manually entering a month's worth of checking data from our most recent bank statement.
Overall, Skrooge seems promising and I think it handles basic tasks well. But it is not very intuitive; in particular, the Editor ("Edition panel") at the bottom of the Operations window is cluttered and "busy" IMHO. You really have to concentrate in order to enter your data correctly and not omit any fields.
Skrooge's User Manual (under Help > Skrooge Handbook
) is fairly well done; I encourage you to skim through it. However, it doesn't cover everything ... and some of the things it omits are rather basic. Two elements which confused me a lot were the function of the Clean
button, and how to enter a Split transaction.
My first session with Skrooge did not go well. I was struggling to understand the mechanics of entering transactions, and managed to lock up / freeze the program several times. I almost swore off Skrooge completely, but decided I wasn't being fair and should give it another try. So I waited until the next evening and tried again. I had better luck then, and succeeded in figuring out some things. I took some notes and organized them for this post.
(I'll also attempt to attach a brief PDF file [4 p., 169 KB] with screenshots for greater clarity).
Here are a few tips that I hope you'll find useful:1. Transaction Amounts
If you are entering a debit in your account, you must precede the dollar amount by a minus (-) sign. For example: -55.00
(If the minus sign is omitted, Skrooge treats the amount as a credit
).2. The Clean button
This button does not
delete an operation (i.e., transaction). Rather, it clears the data previously entered in the bottom panel (e.g., Date, Amount, Payee, Check #
) so that you can input data needed for a new transaction.
When you have finished inputting data for a transaction, click on the Add
button to enter that transaction into the Operations window (i.e., checkbook register). Then click on the Clean
button to clear the panel and enter the data for your next transaction. Click on Add
to enter the second transaction. And so forth ...
(To delete an existing transaction, right-click on it in the checkbook register window and choose Delete
).3. For Split Transactions
Skrooge -- unlike HomeBank -- allows users to enter Split transactions. (For example, you have written a check at your local grocery store for $55.00. Of that total amount, $30.00 was spent on groceries and $25.00 was for cash back, so you'd have some extra cash in your wallet / purse). To create a Split transaction, follow these steps:
- Enter partial transaction information (e.g., Date, Amount, Payee, Mode, Check #).
- Click on the Split button.
- Click inside the open window, beside the number “1“.
- Double-click beneath the Category column. A drop-down menu of Categories will appear. Select your desired category.
- Double-click beneath the Comment column if you wish to add a Memo line.
- Double-click beneath the Amount column and enter the appropriate dollar amount.
- Skrooge will automatically calculate the amount remaining in the Split transaction and add a blank line numbered “2“ in the open window.
- Repeat the steps above to add a Category, Comment and Amount for the remainder(s) of the split transaction.
- When you are finished, click the Add button to enter the transaction into the Operations window (i.e., checkbook register).
- Note that under the Category column in the checkbook register, you will see the mini-symbol for a Split transaction and the first category you assigned to it.
> Removed original PDF attachment and replaced it with one created by LaTeX.
[attachment deleted by admin]