question about features

JHC jhc at
Tue Jun 18 14:11:23 EDT 2013

I have been happily using GnuCash for several years (at least six), and 
it serves every need I ever expect to have. Although it runs as a 
double-entry system, I don't have to make *any* particular 
accommodations for that. I have no unusual requirements for my data, 
such as business accounts, but if I did (I played with it a bit) 
anything I might need to do is exactly in place and working (simple 
invoicing and such).

When I first installed GC, I just ran the standard process and followed 
the instructions. I named my main account to my bank (credit union, 
actually) name, and used the simplest, non-specialized Chart of Accounts 
as my baseline. That was about all I had to do, and it ran immediately. 
I might have added a half-dozen new accounts/categories of expense, and 
one income account (purely for convenience). I import my transactions 
monthly as an .ofx file (I used .qif for a long time, until my rather 
small CU got .ofx working right).

Using .ofx for my transactions, I download a file to a specific 
directory/folder and import that file in GC. Poof, done. Most of them 
are correctly assigned on import (using Bayesian matching), but it does 
take a minute (literally) to look at the list and correct the occasional 
one that GC can't figure out. I could do an online banking connection, 
but I'm leery of having to mess with it if something changes, and as 
things are I get the data now in a file I can archive; the minute or so 
it takes isn't an issue.

I have, on a few occasions, entered transactions manually, into the 
register of the main account. Since my income is always assigned to an 
income account I only have to take a few seconds to assign an expense 
account to a transaction.

I do few splits, but they're simple enough. That's the one 'trick' of it 
all, to use 'tab' to move around while entering data, then 'Enter' 
posts.Simple budgeting is just a matter of following instruction (there 
are generally accurate tutorials for everything).

There are only two things I have to care about to keep everything in 
perfect balance: that each transaction/split is correct for amount and 
charged account (and the date matters, too). As far as I can see, this 
is about as simple as accounting could be.

My better half is a lawyer. She runs GC about as easily as I do. She 
began with the correct chart of accounts, has made a few basic 
alterations/additions, and has multiple bank accounts to deal with, but 
it works just as well for her. This year she did her taxes in about two 
hours total.

Finally, I run on a Windows platform. I've used XP and Vista and W7, no 

My GC experience has  been, since the first day, exemplary. I'd say your 
needs seem much like mine, and your experience should be much the same.

Howard C.


On 6/18/2013 9:37 AM, John Ralls wrote:
>>>> I am a perspective customer. I have the following questions.
>>>> 1. Can we use the software WITHOUT using the double-entry accounting feature? I don't understand it. I just want to be able to enter transactions in the register and download transactions.
>>>> 2. Is there a weekly budget feature?
>>>> 3. Can users split transactions?
> Gnucash is Free software. We don't have customers, we have users.
> No. Gnucash is built entirely around double-entry bookkeeping. We provide
> a Concepts Guide (
> to help you get started.
> There is a budget feature which you can configure to any period you like.
> Yes, any transaction may have any number of splits as long as it balances -- that is,
> as long as the amounts added to accounts are equal to the amounts deducted
> from others.
> Please subscribe to the list and copy it on any replies. You'll find links below.
> Regards,
> John Ralls
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