Use of lots for gains/losses when using multiple currencies

Stefan Söffing soeffing at
Mon Oct 3 10:23:45 EDT 2016

Dear all,

I'm trying to use separate accounts to track cash in foreign currencies
(mostly the cash I spend during vacations). Now I'd need to get my
balance right and I was playing with the "lots" feature to do so.

First of all: I haven't found much documentation about it. What is its
status, is it considered a stable feature - should I use it at all?

Second I'm having some trouble in using it, here's the situation:
Usually I'll have transactions from my credit card (base currency - EUR)
to the foreign currency cash account (rate is determined by credit card
company). Then I'll spend some of the money, say on food - which is an
expense account also in base currency. I'll use up-to-date exchange rate
at the time when I spend the money, which is probably different than
when I pulled the cash out of the ATM.

I understand that I'll need to account for gains/losses explicitly and
that the "lots" feature is supposed to assist. However, in my case, it
seems not to be able to assign lots, since the "value" attributed to the
splits is sometimes given in base currency (EUR), sometimes in foreign
currency (PLN in this example). See the screen-shot attached.

It seems that it depends on from which account the transactions are
created, since this determines whether the exchange rate is saved as EUR
-> PLN or PLN -> EUR. The value used for lot tracking is determined by
the first currency used in the exchange rate dialog.

My impression is that I can work around that by entering the transaction
always in the base currency account. But that's quite inconvenient when
I want to enter the amount of foreign currency cash spent and use
GnuCash's built-in conversion tool.

I'd by very happy if someone could enlighten me. Thanks a lot.

- Stefan

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