Hello everyone, I had another go at budgeting a small project. I posted two issues, which are simply bugs: one and two. Here, I would like to discuss the logic of the prototype. I have a request, a suggestion and a question.
###Request: separate clearly the budgeting functions from the bookkeeping ones
Right now, the Magic Budget does two things (or it will, when it’s finished). One is actual budgeting. Before the project happens, the project manager tries to predict future cash flows: how much money will go out/come in, and (critically) when. This is by far the most important function of the MB: that’s why it’s called Magic Budget, and not Magic something else. The other is helping monitoring: as money gets spent and earned, the project manager can put her past cash flow into the sheet, and check how well she is doing with respect to her predictions.
I don’t think I want to use the monitoring functions at all. The main reason is that FreeAgent does this already. If people want to use them, great. But I would like these two functions to be clearly separated (different sheets) so that I (and people who want to do like me) can just focus on the budgeting part, and never look at the rest.
Notice that past cash flow data are not used to predict future cash flow. This is important, and it would be a mistake to do otherwise. All those transactions are summarized in the bank account balance. The Magic Spreadheet (aggregating all the magic budgets) starts from the actual bank account balance, adds future revenues and subtracts future costs. So, my refusal to do cost-tracking in the MB does not break the the MS.
Suggestion: adopt FreeAgent’s item reference logic
I would like for different rows in the “Budget” sheet to accept the same item reference (column B). Furthermore, I suggest that the item references are the same as FreeAgent uses. This reduces the cognitive load of bookkeeping, because our different tools use similar logics. Look at this: why cannot I have “staff” in B5, B6, B7 e B10?
Question: how do we tell the Magic Spreadsheet to accept the data from any given Magic Budget?