The penny-bin package

[Tags: bsd3, deprecated]

Deprecated in favor of penny

Penny is a double-entry accounting system. It is inspired by, but incompatible with, John Wiegley's Ledger, which is available at <>. Installing this package with cabal install will install the executable program and the necessary libraries.

* Penny is a double-entry accounting system. It uses traditional accounting terminology, such as the terms \"Debit\" and \"Credit\". If you need a refresher on the basics of double-entry accounting, pick up a used accounting textbook from your favorite bookseller (they can be had cheaply, for less than ten U.S. dollars including shipping) or check out <>, a great free online text.

* Penny is based around "Penny.Lincoln", a core library to represent transactions and postings and their components, such as their amounts and whether they are debits and credits. You can use Lincoln all by itself even if you don't use the other components of Penny, which you may find handy if you are a Haskell programmer. I wrote Penny because I wanted a precise library to represent my accounting data so I could analyze it programatically and verify its consistency.

* Penny's command line interface and its reports give you great flexibility to filter and sort postings. Each posting within a transaction may have its own flags assigned (e.g. to indicate whether the posting is cleared) and each posting may have infinite \"tags\" assigned to it, giving you another way to categorize your postings. For instance, you might have vacation related postings in several different accounts, but you can give them all a \"vacation\" tag.

* You can easily build a program to process downloads of Open Financial Exchange data from your financial institution. Your program will merge new transactions into your ledger automatically.

* Full Unicode support.

* Penny's reports have color baked in from the beginning. You do not have to use color, which is handy if you are sending output to a file or if, well, you just don't like color.

* Penny's reports automatically adjust themselves to the width of your screen. You can easily specify how much or how little data to see with command line options.

* Penny handles multiple commodities (for example, multiple currencies, stocks and bonds, tracking other assets, etc.) in an easy and transparent way that is consistent with double-entry accounting principles. It embraces the philosophy outlined in this tutorial on multiple commodity accounting: <>.

* Penny stores amounts using only integers. This ensures the accuracy of your data, as using floating point values to represent money is a bad idea. Here is one explanation: <>. The use of integer arithmetic also makes Penny simpler internally, as there is no need for arbitrary rounding to compensate for the bizarre and inaccurate results that sometimes arise from the use of floating-point values to represent currencies.

* Freely licensed under the MIT license. If you take this code, improve it, lock it up and make it proprietary, and sell it, AWESOME! I haven't lost anything because I still have my code and, what's more, then maybe I can buy your product and not have to maintain this one any more!

* Tested using QuickCheck. The tests are available in the Git repository that also contains the main library. Not everything is tested, but the tests that exist so far have already rooted out some strange corner-case bugs.

Non-features / disadvantages:

* Written in Haskell. Yes, I think Haskell is the best tool ever, but its compiler is not as commonly installed as compilers for C or C++, and non-Haskellers will probably find Penny to be more difficult to install than Ledger, as the latter is written in C++.

* Handling commodities requires that you set up multiple accounts; some might find this cumbersome.

* Young and not well tested yet.

* Runs only on Unix-like operating systems.

* Full Penny functionality is available without a Haskell compiler; you could even use a pre-compiled binary. However, Penny does not read configuration files at runtime; instead, to change the default settings, you will need to have GHC installed so that you can compile a custom binary.

* Can be slow and memory hungry with large data sets. I have a ledger file with about 28,000 lines. On my least capable machine (which has an Intel Core 2 Duo at 1.6 GHz) this takes about 1.4 seconds to parse. Not horrible but not instantaneous either. Generating a report about all these transactions can take about seven seconds and a little less than 300 MB of memory. I have eliminated all the obvious slowness from the code and attempted a rewrite of the parser, which made no difference; other ideas to speed up Penny with large data sets would involve substantial changes and this is not at the top of my list because the program is currently usable with relatively recent hardware.

You can install this binary simply by typing "cabal install penny-bin", which will install this binary along with all the necessary dependencies. The penny-bin package also has all documentation. Unfortunately running "cabal install" will not install the documentation, so you will need to find the downloaded archive (usually in "$HOME/.cabal/packages/") and unpack it to see the documentation. You will want to start by reading the README file, which will point you to additional documentation and how to install it if you wish.


Dependenciesbase (==4.*), containers (==0.5.*), explicit-exception (==0.1.*), multiarg (==0.16.*), parsec (==3.1.*), penny-lib (==0.16.*), pretty-show (==1.5.*), semigroups (==0.9.*), text (==0.11.*), transformers (==0.3.*)
Copyright2012-2013 Omari Norman
AuthorOmari Norman
CategoryConsole, Finance
Home page
Source repositoryhead: git clone git://
Executablespenny-reconcile, penny-reprint, penny-diff, penny-selloff, penny
UploadedTue Jul 16 21:41:56 UTC 2013 by OmariNorman
Downloads1276 total (136 in last 30 days)
StatusDocs not available [build log]
Successful builds reported [all 1 reports]


debugTurns on debugging optionsDisabled
build-pennyBuild the penny executableEnabled
build-selloffBuild the penny-selloff executableEnabled
build-diffBuild the penny-diff executableEnabled
build-reprintBuild the penny-reprint executableEnabled
build-reconcileBuild the penny-reconcile executableEnabled

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