To see what I'm referring to:
- create a contribution record
- edit the record and alter the amount
- create a new accounting batch
- observe the record in the contribution search
Instead of displaying the contribution record, it displays the financial line items, which in this case is two records. For example, if you initially created the contribution with an amount of $50 and later changed to $25, you would see:
contact $50 contact -$25
What is the reasoning behind this? It seems overly complicated and is confusing for users. Simply modifying the total amount for a contribution is not necessarily a formal bookkeeping action where there is money in/money out -- it may simply be fixing a data entry mistake.
My inclination was to treat this as an error, but I'd like to understand the reasoning behind it.
I had a situation shortly after posting this that helped explain the possible value; but I think it also highlights some shortcomings.
The scenario was a contribution that had been created and batch processed, but was later found to be recorded in error. The user could edit the contribution to adjust the amount, and then when creating another accounting batch, the difference (adjustment) was available for processing.
That is a useful and accounting-significant workflow. However, I still think the scenario where a person simply creates a contribution and then modifies it should not be reflected in this way. There is no accounting impact by that action, and listing the change history only confuses things.
So (IMHO) a preferred behavior would be to only create new line item adjustments if the contribution has been batch processed; otherwise it's sufficient to simply edit the record.
One more issue related to this that I really don't think should be how things function --
If you return at any point to edit a contribution -- for example to add a check number or alter some other value other than the amount -- it results in a positive and negative line item adjustment for the full amount. So if the contribution was $100 and you edit to add the check number and save, when you create an accounting batch you will see:
contact $100 contact -$100
That is totally unnecessary and very confusing (also creates a lot of extra records).