Must we always reconcile transactions in both accounts?

Andy Gimblett A.M.Gimblett at
Sun Oct 29 11:17:51 EST 2006

Hi there!

I'm a newbie gnucash user, running 1.8.12 on FreeBSD 6.1, and I have a
(probably naive) question regarding reconciliation.  In short: is it
always required to reconcile a transaction (separately) in both
affected accounts?

Here's the long version, in case that doesn't make sense...  Suppose I
have two accounts:

    Assets:Current account   (ie a normal "checking" account)
    Assets:Wallet            (ie my cash in hand/pocket)

I withdraw some cash (eg at an ATM), and money flows from the current
account into the wallet account.  Now...  When I come to reconcile, I
look at my current account statement, see the withdrawl, it matches
what I've entered, so I mark it as reconciled.  Specifically, as I see
it, I do the following:

  1. Open the "Assets:Current account" account.
  2. Select the "Actions->Reconcile" menu item.
  3. Confirm the ending balance.
  4. Tick that transaction as reconciled.
  5. Finish.

So far so good?

Now comes the confusion...  The transaction is still not reconciled as
far as the "Assets:Wallet" account is concerned, as far as I can see.
So I have to open _that_ account too, and mark the withdrawl
reconciled there.  Right?

Now, I can see the sense of this in certain situations.  For example,
paying off my credit card with a bank transfer from my current
account, I really do want to reconcile that in both accounts, at
different times (ie when I receive their respective statements).

For many other settings, however, it seems to be less sensible.  It
seems to me that I'd want either:

  a) the ability to say "reconcile this transaction in both accounts,
     not just this one".
  b) some accounts just don't get reconciled.

Am I heading in the right direction here?  Does a facility for a)
exist?  Is b) an appropriate strategy, otherwise?  Or am I missing

To conclude, here's another example: suppose I bought some groceries
using my credit card.  Money flows from "Liabilities:Credit card" to
"Expenses:Groceries".  I clearly need to reconcile the credit card
account when I get the statement, but does it make sense to reconcile
the groceries account too?

I hope I've made myself clear.  I'll finish by saying that I'm really
pleased to be using gnucash, and it clearly a marvellous piece of
software, whose existence I'm very grateful for.



Andy Gimblett
Computer Science Department
University of Wales Swansea

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