[GNC] Large Negative Account Total

DaveC49 davidcousens49 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 8 18:17:21 EDT 2021


GnuCash has by default, top level accounts for Assets, Liabilities, Income,
Expanses and Liabilities. These are also the names of account types.

All accounts of account type Assets should be somewhere under the top level
Asset account and likewise for accounts of each other account type. This is
necessary for the correct summation of the accounts in the generated reports
and perhaps also may be necessary for the accounting rules which are built
into GnuCash's coding to work correctly. It is likely your large negative
balance results from mixing the account sub-types. Most of the accounting
rules are enforced at the transaction level in terms of the sum of debits
and credits being zero, and only being able to select certain account types
in some cases.  

AFAIK the structure of GnuCash does not work in general with a general
placeholder accounts with sub- accounts which are of different types. It may
,but it is unlikely the reporting structure will and balance sheets and
similar reports are likely to be incorrect. A structure which will work
better with the reporting system and in-built accounting rules would be to
have an Investment Misc placeholder under each of the top level accounts.
This has come up in the discussions a number of times usually with regard to
a user operating a number of business activities where they need to have
separate information on each activity for management purposes. It is even
more the case that this will cause problems with the business features in
particular with accounts payable and receivable

Assets:Investments Misc:...subaccounts for each investment or investment
type as appropriate
Liabilities:Investments Misc: ... appropriate sub accounts for your needs
Equity:... Less necessary to have the substructure here but it can help in
defining where your wealth is held.
Income:Investements Misc: 
Income:Investements Misc:Interest
Income:Investements Misc:Dividends
Income:Investements Misc:LT Gains
Income:Investements Misc:ST Gains

Expenses:Investements Misc:Fees A
Expenses:Investements Misc:Fees B

Then if you want to generate a report only about Investments Misc you would
select these placeholders and their sub accounts in each of the top level
categories in the report options.  

The above approach is generally used in standard accounting practice.
Accountants also sort assets and liabilities into categories like current
accounts and non-current accounts, the difference being that entries in the
current accounts would usually expected to be settled within a single
accounting period/financial year whereas non-current accounts deal with
items which are generally held and used and consumed over several accounting

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