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The Register Splits Window
Often a transaction involves more than two accounts. For instance, when you are recording a cheque, there may be both an Expense account, and another account to record sales tax. (Or, the one cheque might be for something that covers two different Expense accounts.)
Transactions like that cannot be entered entirely on the register window, as it only has room for one other (or "counter") account, in its Account field. (Actually, sales tax can be handled by Sales Tax Codes on the register window itself, but you may occasionally still want to enter the Splits window to see the details.)
Instead, you can click the Splits button in that transaction's row, or press Ctrl+S (i.e. hold down Ctrl and press S), or right-click and pick View/Edit Splits from the popup menu, to open a Register Splits window for that transaction. (If the transaction already has splits, in which case "--- SPLIT ---" is displayed in the Account field, you can also double-click on that to re-open the Splits window.)
Note: You cannot open the Splits window until you have entered the basic information for the transaction - the Date, Payee or other Description, and an amount.
Here is a sample Splits window, for a new transaction in which you have not yet entered the splits:
The basic information from the Transaction is displayed at the top of the window, so you can be sure you are working on the right transaction.
You can then fill in one or more rows of splits with the Account, Amount, and an optional Memo that is relevant to that line. The splits lines Amounts must add up to equal the amount shown in the top section, which was the overall transaction amount. (The splits total is shown below the list of splits.)
You can also select "<Add New>" from the Account drop-down list, to bring up a window to add a new account to use in this transaction.
The Account field normally drops its list down automatically, as soon as you Tab or click into it, though this can be changed with an option on the Maintenance ⇒ Main Options window. (If that option is turned off, you can drop down the list by clicking on it with your mouse, or pressing the keyboard combination Alt+DownArrow.)
The accounts on the list are initially displayed in chart of accounts order, but if you type a letter, it immediately goes to the first account that starts with that letter, and also re-sorts the list in alphabetical order, to make it easier to see and select other accounts that start with that letter. If you press Backspace after that, or Tab out of the field, the list is returned to chart of accounts order.
The Account field uses autocomplete to make selecting existing account names easy.
The optional Memo field can be used for a further description of each split line. The Memo you entered for the overall transaction on the register window (if any) will be stored with each split line that you do not enter a distinct memo for on the splits window, when you save the transaction.
When you are satisfied, click OK to save the changes to the splits, and return to the register window. (Or of course you can click Cancel to abandon those changes.)
After making your changes in the Splits window, and saving them with OK, you still need to save the entire transaction as described in the Help for the register windows, for instance by pressing Enter.
Note: If you only entered one splits row, it's not really a split transaction, and the transaction row in the register window will just show your selected Account. If you enter two or more splits rows, the program will replace the normal drop-down Account field with some text just saying "--- SPLIT ---".
Entering Negative Amounts
In some cases, some splits rows may have positive amounts on them, and some have negative amounts. Depending on your settings in Control Panel's Regional and Language Options tool's settings (which determine the currency format), negative amounts may be displayed in round brackets, like "(1.00)" rather than "-1.00". However, you do not enter negative amounts that way - use the negative sign.
If you enter an Account, and then change the Amount on the first line (or any subsequent line), and then Tab or click out of that Amount field, the remaining part of the overall transaction amount will be filled into the Amount field on the last row with no Account selected, so that you may only have to enter the Account for that row, and you will be done.
Occasionally you will find that the originally entered transaction amount was incorrect, after you have entered the splits, and it is the splits Total that is correct. In that case, just click the Adjust Total button to the right of the Total field, without first tabbing out of the last Amount field you edited, and you will be given an option to change the transaction total to match the splits total. (If the remainder of the transaction total has already been filled in on the last row, you can first delete that Amount field's contents, and then click Adjust Total.)
The only time the Adjust Total button is not enabled is if you come to this window from the Importing Online Banking Downloads work window. That is because to match an imported transaction, the existing total must be unchanged!
Deleting Split Rows
On occasion you may find that you have entered a split row that you don't want to be there, and don't have any other split row you can overwrite it with. To get rid of it, just clear the Account value (by selecting the blank value at the top of the drop-down list of Accounts) and also clear every other value on that row. You can also do this clearing of a line by right-clicking on it and picking Delete Row from the popup menu. When you save the window, that row that is now entirely empty will disappear.
After deleting a row, a last row's Amount field will also be adjusted to make sure the total is still correct.
Non-accountants should not have to know the following, but accountants and trained bookkeepers may want to know it.
If the transaction amount is a debit, then positive or zero Amount values in the splits rows are credits, and negative Amounts in the splits rows are debits. Similarly, if the transaction amount is a credit, then positive or zero Amount values in the splits rows are debits, and negative Amounts in the splits rows are credits.