merge transactions?

Scott Minster scott at
Fri Nov 14 18:16:18 CST 2003

Hash: SHA1

Sergio Dominguez wrote:
> hi everyone,
> I have a general question which I am not sure about, I have no clue
about accounting
> just trying to put some order in my sad finances!
> OK, let's say that I do the shopping with my card,
> that is one transaction from Exp: Grc to L: Card (well, or the other
way around)
> Then, some days later, Safeway charges it into my account, that is
> L:credit card to Ass:My Account.
> Is there one simple way of once this last step is given and I check that
> everything is OK I do something so that the intermediate step through my
> card (which I cannot reconcile anyway) disappears and the
> transaction is shown directly as Ex:Groceries -> Ass:My account?
> This would be good for several reasons. amonst them I by looking at
> my card account I would be able to see only the transactions
> which are pending of being charged into my bank account, and not the whole
> historic.
> Obviously without editting myself one transaction and deleting the other.
> Would not this be nice or am I not seeing something really obvious?

I think you're a little confused as to how GnuCash transactions work.

Here's a simple example.  If you walk into Safeway and buy something for
$5 with cash, you would mark the transaction in GnuCash as transferring
$5 from the Assets:Cash to Expenses:Groceries.  You took some of your
assets (your cash) and spent it on an expense (groceries).  The same
applies if you write a check -- Assets:Checking -> Expenses:Groceries.

Your more complicated case uses a credit card in between (I assume it's
a credit card -- if you're using a debit card then it's essentially the
same as a check).  In the credit card case, you're using Visa's money
(or whoever, they just have the shortest name) to buy your groceries.
But now you owe Visa that amount of money, which is a liability.  So,
the day you buy the groceries, you transfer from Liabilities:Visa to
Expenses:Groceries.  When you pay your Visa bill, you transfer from
Assets:Checking to Liabilities:Visa.  Your current balance in the
Liabilities:Visa account is your outstanding dept to Visa.  But the
previous transactions will still be visible since they did take place.
And you really don't want them to go away because accounting is (from my
not-a-real-accountant-in-any-way point of view) all about recording what
happened to your money.  L:V -> Ex:G and A:C -> L:V was what happened.
At no time was there an A:C -> Ex:G transaction, so it shouldn't be in

Does this help?

btw, you can reconcile credit card accounts.  I do it every month when
my bill comes.  And the best part is that it pops up a new transaction
window for my credit card payment when I'm done.

- --
Scott Minster
email: scott at
jid:   scott at

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