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Awesome Open Source

Transity

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The plain text accounting tool of the future. Keep track of your 💵, 🕘, 🐖, 🐄, 🍻 on your command line.

Screenshot Balance

List of Features / TODOs

  • [x] Modeled on transactions instead of debiting / crediting accounts => Support for complex transactions made up of several transfers
  • [x] Dedicated payer (from) and payee (to) fields (ledger only supports payee)
  • [x] No misuse of accounts as categories / tags => direct support for them
  • [ ] No hard-coded asset / liability connotation as it is viewpoint dependent => Choose viewpoint when printing the balance
  • [x] Easily editable & processable file format based on YAML
  • Clear separation between
    • [x] Physical account (e.g. wallet, bank account)
    • [x] Entities (e.g. my mum, a company)
    • [ ] Purpose of transaction (food, travel)
  • [x] Initial balances
  • [x] High precision timestamps
    • [ ] Including nanoseconds
  • [x] BigInt rational numbers to eliminate rounding errors
  • [ ] Support for all states of transaction life cycle
    1. Request - Request to exchange a commodity
    2. Offer - Specification of commodity & expected trade item
    3. Acceptance - Affirmation of interest in offered exchange
    4. Fulfillments
    5. Certification - Acknowledgment that exchange was performed
  • [ ] Support for any type of commodity (e.g. even time and messages)
  • [ ] Differentiation between transfers, transactions & exchanges
    • [ ] Special syntax for exchanges
  • [ ] Meta data for all entities (transactions, accounts, entities, …)
  • [x] Verifies sole use of predefined entities
  • [x] Checks match with verification balances
  • [ ] Duplicate detection
  • [ ] Syntax checking in addition to syntax highlighting
  • [ ] CSV import
  • [ ] Link to receipt file
  • [ ] Dashboard
  • [ ] Budgets (including progress visualization)
  • Export to various formats for post-processing
  • Additional features for crypto currencies
    • TODO: Think about what features exactly
  • [ ] Multi file support
  • [ ] Cache-files to speed up processing of large data sets
  • [ ] Support for time limited commodities (e.g. subscription for a month)
  • Commodities
    • [ ] Treat as scientific units (e.g 1 k€ == 1000 €)
    • [ ] Hard vs Soft vs Fungible vs …
    • [ ] Define which are allowed / prohibited for each account
  • [ ] Generate EPC QR Codes for transfers

Installation

Transity is distributed as a JavaScript bundle and can therefore be installed via npm:

npm install --global transity

License

While Transity is licensed under the AGPL-3.0-or-later and can therefore be used free of charge, I hope you will acknowledge the work and effort it takes to maintain and improve this software and make a donation via my GitHub Support page.

If you find Transity valuable and/or use it regularly this should be a small nuisance for you, but it would mean the world for me! It would mean that I can spend more time on this project and bring it to the next level!

Thanks a lot for your support!

For including Transity in proprietary closed source products, please contact me!

Usage

$ transity balance examples/journal.yaml
          anna       1        evil-machine
                -49978.02     €
           ben     -50        $
                    -1.432592 BTC
                  -100        €
     evil-corp      -1        evil-machine
                 50015        €
      good-inc    -100        €
  grocery-shop      11.97     €
  john             371.04     €
                    50        $
                     1.432592 BTC
      :default     219.99     €
          giro      50        $
                     1.432592 BTC
                    85        €
        wallet      66.05     €

If linked modules aren't exposed in your path you can also run

cli/main.js balance examples/journal.yaml

List complete usage manual by simply calling transity without any arguments.

$ transity

Usage: transity <command> <path/to/journal.yaml>

Command             Description
------------------  ------------------------------------------------------------
balance             Simple balance of all accounts
transactions        All transactions and their transfers
transfers           All transfers with one transfer per line
entries             All individual deposits & withdrawals
entries-by-account  All individual deposits & withdrawals grouped by account
gplot               Code and data for gnuplot impulse diagram
                    to visualize transfers of all accounts
gplot-cumul         Code and data for cumuluative gnuplot step chart
                    to visualize balance of all accounts

Screenshot Transfers

Check Order of Entries

Check if all entries are in a chronological order

ag --nonumbers "^    utc:" journals/main.yaml | tr -d "\'" | sort -c

Retrieving Data from Banks

Transity includes a few scripts located at ./scripts to automate a Chrome browser to download data. It supports downloading CSV files of all transactions and converting them to journal files and retrieving the current account balance:

Currently supported accounts for transactions:

Currently supported accounts for balances:

Contributions are very welcome!

Script Usage

node scripts/transactions/hypovereinsbank.js > transactions.yaml

This will prompt you for your credentials and afterwards automate a headless Chrome instance to download and convert the data.

Journal File Format

A minimal journal file is a YAML file with following format:

owner: anna
commodities:
  - id: €
    name: Euro
    alias:
      - EUR
    note: Currency used in the European Union
    utc: '2017-04-02 19:33:53'

entities:
  - id: anna
    name: Anna Smith
    utc: '2017-04-02 19:33:28'
    tags:
      - person
    accounts:
      - id: wallet
        name: Wallet
        note: Anna's black wallet
        utc: '2017-04-02 19:33:28'
        tags:
          - wallet

  - id: evil-corp
    name: Evil Corporation
    utc: '2017-04-02 19:33:28'
    note: The Evil Corporation in the United States of Evil
    tags:
      - company

transactions:
  - title: Purchase of evil machine
    transfers:
      - utc: '2017-02-17'
        from: anna
        to: evil-corp
        amount: 50000 €
      - utc: '2017-02-17'
        from: evil-corp
        to: anna
        amount: 1 evil-machine

Plotting

By default all accounts are plotted. To limit it to only a subsection use awk to filter the output.

For example all transactions of Euro accounts:

transity gplot examples/journal.yaml \
| awk '/^$/ || /(EOD|^set terminal)/ || /€/' \
| gnuplot \
| imgcat

Or all account balances of Euro accounts over time:

transity gplot-cumul examples/journal.yaml \
| awk '/^$/ || /(EOD|^set terminal)/ || /€/' \
| gnuplot \
| imgcat

Screenshot of cumulative account balance plot

Import from Ledger CLI

Execute the included ledger2transity script:

./ledger2transity.sh examples/hledger.journal > transactions.csv

Convert transactions.csv to YAML with e.g. browserling.com/tools/csv-to-yaml

Attention:

  • Merge adjacent entries as each entry only debits / credits an account. A transaction always involves 2 accounts (from and to). (For expenses basically copy the ledger-account from the second entry into the from field of the first entry)
  • from and to might be reversed for income (depending on how the payee field was used)
  • Account names of Ledger-CLI are interpreted as tags Transity understands accounts as physical accounts
  • The note is duplicated in the tags field. There is no way to get only the tags in Ledger-CLI 😔

FAQ

Why another plain text accounting tool?

Existing accounting tools are historically based on the notion of an account. You add money (debit) and you remove money (credit). (If this sounds backwards to you, read this explanation)

For example you get 50 € from your mum and buy some food for 20 €.

Account | Debit   | Credit
--------|---------|--------
Wallet  | 50.00 € |
Wallet  |         | 20.00 €
---------------------------

Simple, but also incomplete. Where did the money come from, where did it go? This led to double entry bookkeeping. Whenever you add some money to an account, you have to remove the same amount from another.

Account | Debit   | Credit
--------|---------|--------
Wallet  | 50.00 € |
Mum     |         | 50.00 €
Wallet  |         | 20.00 €
Food    | 20.00 € |
---------------------------

But you must never forget a posting, because otherwise your account won't balance.

Account | Debit   | Credit
--------|---------|--------
Wallet  | 50.00 € |
Mum     |         | 50.00 €
Wallet  |         | 20.00 €
---------------------------

Oops, where did the money go? 🤷‍

If this looks (and sounds) confusing or too complicated, you're not alone! It made sense in former times as this layout makes it easier to add up the amounts by hand, but not in times of computers.

So how can we simplify it? It's actually quite easy: We just have to model it in terms of transactions, and not accounts.

Amount | From   | To
-------|--------|--------
50 €   | Mum    | Wallet
20 €   | Wallet | Food
-------------------------
  • Simple - No more confusing debit / credit / asset / liability mumbo jumbo
  • Intuitive - Just like you would talk about it
  • Safe - It's obvious if you forget to fill out a field

Together with some further changes it yields an easier to understand, more robust and more complete representation of accounting!

Why is it written in PureScript?

PureScript leverages strong static typing and can therefore give more guarantees about the functionality of the code than weakly typed or untyped languages (like JavaScript).

You wouldn't want your money to get lost in rounding errors or be turned to undefined, would you? 😉

Why is it not written in Haskell?

PureScript can also easily be used in the browser or get deployed as a cloud function as it simply compiles to JavaScript. With Haskell you'd have to use another language for a web frontend or quarrel with experimental stuff like GHCJS.

Comparison with Hledger

(H)ledger's transactions are a (balanced) group of account postings. Transity's transactions are a group of transfers between two accounts.

Syntax

Checkout the files hledger.journal and journal.yaml for similar transactions modeled in Hledger and in Transity.

There is a lot of ambiguity in the ledger journal format. Are you able to tell the difference between the 2 options?

2019-01-17 Bought food
  expenses:food  $10
  assets:cash

; vs

2019-01-17 Bought food
  assets:cash
  expenses:food  $10

Also, it lacks some fields for more precise recording of which parties where involved.

  • What food?
  • Where did you buy it?
  • Which supermarket?
2019-01-17 Bought food
  expenses:food  $10
  assets:cash

Reporting

hledger --file examples/hledger.journal balance
# vs
transity balance examples/journal.yaml
hledger --file examples/hledger.journal register
# vs
transity transactions examples/journal.yaml
hledger --file examples/hledger.journal register --output-format=csv
# vs
transity entries examples/journal.yaml

Missing features

Performance

Measured with hyperfine including 3 warmups on an early 2015 MacBook Pro.

For a journal file with around 2000 entries:

Transity:

Benchmark #1: transity balance journals/main.yaml
  Time (mean ± σ):      1.287 s ±  0.021 s    [User: 1.790 s, System: 0.140 s]
  Range (min … max):    1.250 s …  1.324 s    10 runs

Hledger:

Benchmark #1: hledger -f test.ledger balance
  Time (mean ± σ):     409.6 ms ±   6.1 ms    [User: 366.6 ms, System: 28.5 ms]
  Range (min … max):   398.8 ms … 417.6 ms    10 runs

Ledger:

Benchmark #1: ledger -f test.ledger balance
  Time (mean ± σ):      76.3 ms ±   9.1 ms    [User: 62.7 ms, System: 9.4 ms]
  Range (min … max):    65.1 ms … 101.8 ms    28 runs

Ideas

Entry / Value Date

There are no separate fields for entry or value dates necessary. Simply use ISO 8601 time intervals to specify the duration of a transfer.

transactions:
  - id: '123456789'
    note: Deposit of savings
    transfers:
      - utc: 2018-01-04T12:00--05T22:10
        from: john
        to: bank
        amount: 100 €

Syntax

This is a first concept for an alternative syntax for the YAML journal file:

2016-04-16 18:50:28
#20135604
1 year registration of domain "example.org"
john      -> paypal    :  9.95 €
paypal    -> namecheap : 10.69 $
paypal    -> icann     :  0.18 $
namecheap -> john      :  1    Domain

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