wish: category split for transaction

Bug #140504 reported by Trouilliez vincent on 2007-09-17
This bug affects 23 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Maxime DOYEN
homebank (Ubuntu)
Maxime DOYEN

Bug Description

Binary package hint: homebank


I have just started using Homebank yesterday (before that I was using "Grisbi").
Overall I love Homebank, and I am very glad that it exists, since Grisbi is... well, dead. Not officially so... but certianly so in practice, after yeaaars that saw zero development.

But, I notice that there is one mega, super important yet basic/essential functionality that homebank doesn't have (but Grisbi does) : "ventilating" (not sure if that's the right English term... sorry).

That is, say I go to the supermarket, I spend 100 Euros:

- 50 Euros for food
- 10 Euros for an oil filter for the car
- 20 Euros for some piece of clothe
- 20 Euros for blan DVD's for the computer

Currently, ghomebank does not allow to break things down... it forces me to put the entirety of the 100 Euros into one single category... despite all items obviously should go in very different categories (clothes, computing, and car). So, this makes reports/graphs meaningless/useless, because you en up putting things in categories that are not the correct one !

I had a look at the "ToDo" list on Homebank's web site, and I saw many ideas of features, but surprinsgly I didn't see this one !
considering that you have not a lot of time to work on homebank, and given that this feature is so vital/important/basic, I took the time to fill this bug report to raise this issue, hoping that it would get your attention, so that hopefully it become a priority... ;-)

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

This is a request already done 1 or 2 times and it is in my todolist for years, I should thinks about that... One day.

HomeBank purpose is to be simple, and easy to use whith just basic features. Grisbi, Gnucash, and other have that feature but this is not a sufficient reason
for me to implement it in HomeBank. In my thought for HomeBank, I try not to see what others have done, but think about logical and simple process for doing things.

There is more other important things to do before that. I will try to update my website with future plans asap.


Changed in homebank:
assignee: nobody → mdoyen
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) on 2008-10-24
Changed in homebank:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
polc1410 (linux-wittongilbert) wrote :

Thought I should describe my work around. Its not perfect - in fact far from it! But I needed to split transactions attached to my salary - I wanted to record my gross salary and then deductions like tax and NI. In addition I want to be able to track expenses... so if I say book a train ticket for work rather than simply putting it against travel as a category I have a category work expenses: travel. When work pays me back I should then be able to include that in the income line so the two should have a balance out of zero.

So what I did was created a new account called Income Streams. When i get paid I enter in my basic pay, overtime, expenses etc all as income - and with the appropriate category (eg expenses:travel). Then I enter in my deductions - eg Income Tax etc as normal expense items from the account. When I've finished I get a value which should match the net pay on my pay slip. So then all I to is an internal transfer of that amount to my bank account - so it appears there correctly - but I can also see my gross salary, my tax payments etc...

Probably not practical to manually do that for every purchase someone makes from the supermarket so I still do encourage the development of what I'd call 'split' transactions... But for once a month biggies I think its worth the extra effort to use the work around rather than miss the data...

Mark Butler (markb) wrote :

Looks like this feature is a long time coming. I find the ability to be able to split a transaction invaluable. Please move this item up the wish list queue.

Fabio Puddu (fabius) wrote :

It would be useful also if one receives a reimbursement (e.g. for work expenses) and want to split its value across the different categories of the relevant expenses.

Noel Bush (noelbush) wrote :

"Ventilate" is confusing -- I think the term you want is "itemize".

bananenkasper (bananenkasper) wrote :

I don't see the point of this.
Concerning the example in #1, why not create for different transactions within the desired category instead of only one transaction?

In fact, in this example you rather have four distinct transactions and not only one transaction.
Only because you have different transactions at the same place and time does not mean they are actually only one transaction.

Well if you don't see the point of this then why did you bother posting your comment ? How constructive is it ? How is it gonna help implement this feature ? Do you provide a technical solution? A helpful hand ? I don't think so !

Should I comment on all your bug reports (if any) just to leave a comment similar to yours here ? Looks like yuo have too much time in your hands !

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2010-07-08
Changed in homebank (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen)
status: New → Confirmed
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2010-07-08
summary: - Feature Request: add support to "ventilate" transactions
+ Wish: category split for transaction
summary: - Wish: category split for transaction
+ wish: category split for transaction
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

@vincent: People are free to not be agree with this feature request and to not understand its purpose. It's your post that I do not understand. And I don't understand eitheir you bug fill related with ubuntu.

I personally think (like bananenkasper) this feature is not essential to most homebank users, compared to print or multiple currency or other more useful feature. And this is mainly why I have not implemented it yet.

But also because it introduce more complexity in the program for a quite low gain (as I as already said) and to most user that truly don't care about this extreme detail on accounting.

I can't imagine people (but it seems that I am wrong) to take their supermarket receipt, a calculator and parse and summarize all the item bough line by line to split it into this or that category.

So to be clear about that feature, it still low in my todolist.

Honnestly please close this bug, you ha vre clearly stated that you wil never implemented this feature, so there is no point in discussing this on and on. Just delete this bug report and be done with it, let's move on...

But yes, I do take a calculator to split my supermarket transactions, it takes 5 seconds, not a big deal ;-)

THe main thing is that I don't want to count as "food" things that ahve nothing to do with food, like sauce pans, household products, razor blades etc etc...

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2010-07-31
Changed in homebank (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2010-08-15
summary: - wish: category split for transaction
+ wish: (low) category split for transaction
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2010-08-16
Changed in homebank:
status: Confirmed → Triaged

I just want to add my support for this feature. I too use my calculator to split my grocery receipt into atoms. I want to track where my money goes, and currently HomeBank does not really help me do this because I too buy both food and toilet paper in one transaction (and toilet paper is not food where I live).
It would not be a problem if I always paid in cash, because then I could just have multiple transactions, but since I always pay using my VISA, the multiple transactions would make reconciling painful as the transactions list from the bank tells different amounts.

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

I clearly understand that some of you need this feature to split a transaction into 'ass care' and 'food' (thanks to Robert for his accuracy on the toilet paper...) or more conventional categories like drinks, vegetable, meat or household products.
But again: a very large majority of people would just use a 'supermarket' category or a single because they just don't need more detail. And HomeBank purpose is to be useful to most people, and not to satisfy individual or marginal needs.

I am free to lead HomeBank the way it should be, so as you have the freedom not to use it.
So, at last, this feature has a low priority, or due to the time needed to implement it, it maybe never come at all.
No more to discuss about this anymore.

Kasimir Gabert (kasimir-g) wrote :

I have recently switched to HomeBank due to its quality, simplicity, and existence on Ubuntu.

However, this issue is a major problem for me. I believe that your assumption that the majority of people would not use this feature is entirely incorrect. For me, this is a serious issue---much more serious than "toilet paper vs carrots." I pay a home health aid and, for legal reasons, I need to keep track of her wages. However, most of the time I include grocery money in the check that I give her, since she buys my groceries. Without splitting the check, I cannot keep track of her wages versus my grocery spending and reconcile my account without a large hassle.

Why are you so against this feature? This *is* hurting your user base, whether you think so or not. Otherwise, I have been more than happy with HomeBank.

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

I am not against this functionality, although I find it completely useless (this is just my opinion), as I already said I understand that it may be useful for some people.

However, as in many areas, when developing a software, we must make choices and manage priorities, even if it can be misunderstood by some users (with some weird reaction sometimes) who would not understand that their wish is not satisfied or at least not before the other one's wishes.

Users rarely have the idea of the complexity to code a feature when they ask, and this one is complex and will take a lot of time. And this is time I prefer to spend on some other features/changes that I believe a higher priority.

And in this latter category I have already much to do.
So I will think and study this feature later.

Dan Bee (danny-j-bee) wrote :

I would like to add my support to getting this feature. While you may minimize people's opinions about the usefulness of this feature, it would be a wonderful feature to have. Having recently migrated to HomeBank form MS Money (thank you MS for discontinuing the product), we used this split capability extensively to track taxes, payroll deductions, and purchases as described above. If you wish to make a very useful feature available, I would encourage you to add this to the code. While we obviously don't understand the complexity to make this available, which you have so eloquently berated the users of your software about, you have bantered about this for over 3 years now and the code could well have been developed and implemented in that time.

Please consider adding it for those of the many who could benefit from it. Thank you.

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

I will study this more closely soon. Right now I finalize the v4.4.

WHat would you consider the needed split for each transaction, can it be fixed to let's say 4 or 5, more, less ?

Changed in homebank:
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Kasimir Gabert (kasimir-g) wrote :

Hi Maxime Doyen,

Thank you for the kind response! I believe this feature will be greatly appreciated. For my purposes, splitting into 4 or 5 would be perfect.

Thank you,

mikedoth (mikedoth) wrote :

Personally I think once you have used split transactions you never want to go back once you realize it's usefulness. GNUcash and MoneyManagerEX have them but not multiple entry modification which I think HomeBank has. I'd like to start using it again once the feature is implemented.

Hi Maxime

Thanks for looking at this.

I've just started using Homebank but will have to stop if it doesn't get split transactions fairly soon. It's not that I would normally go through a huge (mainly food) shopping receipt and split things up, but it might well be that I buy two large items from the same place and want to allocate them to different categories. I don't think I would ever need more than about 5 categories, but it seems strange to add this limitation.

Thanks for the great software.


Pedro (pedronile-esminjo) wrote :

Thank you for your nice program !

I hope you will be able to implement the new split category feature very soon !
I find it very important...

Good luck !


Kenny3794 (kenny3794) wrote :

Hello - I haven't seen much update in the way of adding split transactions. I would like to express that HomeBank is the closest application to meet all of the basic financial tracking that I perform. The only problem I have found is the absence of splitting transactions, as I track to a very strict budget.

I might be able to provide some assistance in the implementation, as I've had a few ideas on how the XML underlying database could be updated to support splits. I haven't thought much on the GUI aspects yet. I hope to see something soon.


izzyu (izzyu) wrote :

I also would like express my support for this idea. I used GnuCash but it is really big and way to complex for my simple financial tracking. But I loved the split feature.

Can you give us an update of the current situation?

gromk13 (gromk) wrote :


I recently chose Homebank after cautiously testing many account management softwares (some of which are profesional).

I need such a software in order to have a clear statistical view of my regular expenses : food, leisure, car... etc. Homebank is an excellent software, because (according to your will) it is simple and user-friendly. I particularly appreciate your effort to make a filter on every available transaction field (it is actually a very powerful and quite rare feature) and the graphical reports are really flexible, pretty exhaustive and good-looking.

Sadly, I can only confirm that the absence of "category splitting" is a very serious flaw, even in a "basic" application. As said Kasimir Gabert and whether you admit it or not, many users give up HomeBank only because they cannot tell it that toilet paper is not eatable (yes, sometimes non-food articles can represent up to 50% of my supermarket bill, and I don't want to divide it in 2 or 3 transactions since this is a "dirty" workaround). I decided to adopt Homebank all the same, hoping that this feature would appear soon. Actually, I am ready to pay for it. But I will be forced to leave HB definitively if this feature is not implemented in the course of 2012.

Bon courage à toi et merci de m'avoir lu.

frank price (knarf636) wrote :

cant express enough how important splitting transactions is to the usability/accuracy of reporting of this otherwise excellent program, far more important than the few who would use multiple currencies, printing features etc etc etc

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2012-03-02
summary: - wish: (low) category split for transaction
+ wish: category split for transaction
Changed in homebank:
milestone: none → 4.5
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2012-03-03
Changed in homebank:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) wrote :

Good progress on this. I have spent most of this w.e working on this.
You will get this with v4.5 as a beta in a few weeks !

I'm looking forward to it. Should really make it easier to match up my accounts :)

Nelson A. de Oliveira (naoliv) wrote :

Maxime Doyen, will we be able to schedule a payment for split transactions?
Example: I buy something with my credit card and it will be paid (split) for the next 10 months.
For the next 10 months then we will have a total payment with this 1/10 of the bought thing already included on it.
Will we be able to schedule this payment for the next 10 months? (a payment scheduled for a split transaction)

Thanks Maxime,
looking forward for the next release.

Kenny3794 (kenny3794) wrote :


At long last, I might be able to move over to using homebank, which I have wished to do for some time. Is there any opportunity to review code, help in debug before the beta? If not, when will the beta be available?


Kinnin Vo-Shay (vo-shay) wrote :

I have been using Homebank for about a year and a half, and was getting to a point in my personal accounting where split transactions were becoming a necessity. I am very glad to see this on the road map for 4.5!

Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2012-05-01
Changed in homebank:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Maxime DOYEN (mdoyen) on 2012-09-01
Changed in homebank:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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