Imbalance-USD: Forced Split?

Matt Armstrong
Thu, 11 Jul 2002 22:52:19 -0600

Steven Sforza <> writes:

> Been using GnuCash for a couple of months now, so far been pretty
> happy, but every now and then when adding entries it does something
> that I'm just not understanding.  I'll enter something like I
> normally do, say for example a withdrawl of $10 using my ATM card,
> and for some reason out of nowhere, for no reason that I can figure
> out, it tells me this is a split, and that I have to enter it as
> one.  I don't even know what a split *IS*, so I tell it to take care

To learn what a split is, read up on double entry accounting in the
manual.  GnuCash tries hide the issue from you most of the time, but
*every* transaction is "split" between two or more lines/entries.  You
need one line showing where the money is coming from, and one to show
where it is going to.

> of it automatically, and it always ends up being the same entry
> anyway (a debit of $10) but it's forced into being under the
> category of "Imbalance-USD."  What the heck is going on here? How do
> I make it stop?

Say you debit $10 out of checking.  Where does it go?  Usually you'll
transfer the money to an expense account like "Misc".  When GnuCash
does the "Imbalance-USD" thing, it simply doesn't know where the money
is going to.  The transaction is "not balanced" -- again read up on
double entry accounting in the manual for more background.

Maybe it does this "out of nowhere" because you sometimes hit a key
you usually don't.  This happens to me too, but I haven't really
figured out the pattern.