GnuCash is a complex piece of software with many features and possibilities. It requires some learning and experience to work fluently and effectively with it.
To get you started, it comes with a good concepts guide, that will introduce you to some basic accounting concepts and explains how GnuCash works with those principles.
A second helpful source of information is the GnuCash manual, which is sort of a reference to all the menu options and dialogs in GnuCash. At the time of this writing, it is in need of an update as some new features in GnuCash aren't documented yet.
These two documents cover only a part of what GnuCash can do. This is to be expected as there are as many use cases as there are users of the tool. It would be impossible to contain all of these use cases in a manageable static document.
Instead, this page and the ones linked to below will show ways to deal with specific problems. The examples and solutions are provided by users of GnuCash, most of them use (or have used) these solutions in real world scenarios.
If you know a solution to a particular problem while using GnuCash, you are welcome to add it to these pages as well.
Alternatively you can send it to the GnuCash user mailing list (Note: you need to be subscribed before you can post to this list). Use a subject in the lines of "GnuCash tip" or something similar, so it is easily recognized.
To keep some overview, the examples and solutions are grouped per context in GnuCash.
A single report that shows summary amounts for multiple months for multiple accounts
To create a single report that shows summary amounts for multiple months for multiple accounts (for example, monthly totals for expense accounts over the course of a year), you can accomplish this with a little creative thinking. The trick is to use Gnucash's Budgeting features.
- First, create a Budget that includes the accounts upon which you ultimately want to base your report and a date range that is useful to you. Save this budget.
- Next, create a budget report, and in the options for this report, deselect the "Show Budget Amounts" check box. The resulting report will list monthly transaction totals for each account in the budget.
This solution is not perfect (you must, for example, edit the budget to cover the date range you want, and then open the report), but it does give a spreadsheet-like summary of a subset of accounts by month.
--Provided by David T.
Quicken-like "Overview" of your accounts
Quicken provides an "overview" of your accounts -- a list of today's balances for checking, savings, credit cards, major assets and liabilities.
For something similar in GnuCash, run the Balance Sheet report, then go to Options to pick the accounts that you want to see in the overview. Then just leave that tab open, and every time you start GnuCash you'll have the overview. Click "reload" if you put in transactions and want to see how things have changed.
--Provided by Anthony Dardis
Alternatively just keep the "Accounts" tab open. It shows the current balances of all the accounts too, without having to run a report. However, I don't use the business functions, or scheduled transactions, so that might perhaps make a difference.
--Provided by Mike Leone