To create a new account go to Toolbar icon in the Account Tree Window. The New Account dialog will be opened.→ or click the
The New Account properties dialog consists of two tabs, the General tab and the Opening Balance tab.
Creating a New Account involves planning in advance several details that are used in the New Account dialog.
What type of account is needed.
Where it fits in the structure of the Chart of Accounts.
If there is an Opening Balance.
If there is a Commodity (security/currency) needed for the account.
If on-line updating of the commodity price is needed.
These details are described below.
The General tab is used to access the basic information about the account. It provides a way of connecting the account to stock information if it is one of the currency, mutual fund or stock account types. It can also be flagged as a Placeholder account. It displays if it is flagged as a Tax Related account (which is set through the → dialog).
There are seven fields in the Identification section of this tab.
Account Name: The name for the account such as First Bank Checking.
Account Code: The optional number code as described in Accounts codes.
Description: Optional description for the account.
The Type field in the Select Security is determined by the selection of Account Type panel in the New Account screen.
For accounts other than Stock or Mutual Fund this should be the default currency, USD (US Dollar) or your local currency symbol. If this account is for a foreign currency then use the button to choose a different currency from the currencies pull-down list.
For Accounts containing a Stock and Mutual Fund; first select stock or mutual fund in the Account Type panel, then the Parent Account, then use the button, to choose the Type (usually the exchange the security is traded on) and security from the Select Security window.
If the required security/fund is not on the list, and you have the correct Type you will need to create the security/fund. To create a commodity for mutual fund and stock accounts select the button in the Select Security screen, to bring up the New Security: screen. The options are described in detail in the Security Editor Section 7.7, “Security Editor” section. Fill in a name, symbol and type and to create the security. After the security is created select the Type: (usually the exchange the security is traded on) and the name in the Currency/security: drop down list and the screen.
Smallest Fraction: The smallest fraction that will be tracked.
Account Color: The color to assign to the account’s register tab. Click on the color button to open the Pick a Color screen. To reset the account color click the button.
Notes: Free form text box. This is used for any additional notes about the account.
Below the panes are check-boxes: one to show if the account is Tax Related (which is set through the → dialog), and two to mark the account as a Placeholder, and/or a Hidden account.
The Tax Related check-box means that this account has been flagged to be included in the Tax Schedule Report. This flag is only displayed on the Edit Account dialog and is set in the Income Tax Information dialog ( → ). See the Tax Schedule Report and TXF Export section in Reports Chapter (Section 8.1, “General Reports”).
The check-box Placeholder marks this account as solely a placeholder in the hierarchy, it is used to enable a hierarchy or chart of accounts to be setup.
A Placeholder means this account is not used for transaction data. Transactions may not be posted to this account, only to sub-accounts of this account not marked themselves as Placeholder.
The check box Hidden marks this account (and any sub-accounts) to be hidden in the account tree and not appear in the pop-up account list in the register. To reset this option, you will first need to open the → dialog for the account tree and check the show hidden accounts option. Doing so will allow you to select the account and reopen this dialog.
The next pane contains a list of Account Types. Select a type from the
descriptions in Section 5.1, “Types of
The next pane contains an account tree to choose a Parent Account. To create a new account tree select New top level account.
The available choices in the Account Type pane depends on the selected account in the Parent Account pane. For example if the Parent Account is Assets you will see only Equity in the Account Type pane. This is to help maintain a proper account structure for the Chart of Accounts.
GnuCash relies on an external tool to retrieve online quotes. This
tool is a Perl module named “Finance::Quote” and has to be installed
on your computer independently from
GnuCash. The first step in enabling online price
updating should thus be to ensure
Finance::Quote is properly installed.
To determine if the Perl module
Finance::Quote is already installed on
your system, type “perldoc Finance::Quote” in a terminal window
and check to see if there is any documentation available. If you see the
documentation, then the module is installed, if you do not see the
documentation, then it has not been installed.
Finance::Quote differs from one operating system to another. For
the various supported systems, you can follow these guidelines:
Linux: Most linux distributions (like
Fedora, openSuse, Mandriva, Ubuntu, and so on) have a package in their software
repositories for the
Finance::Quote perl module. So in most cases, you can
simply use your preferred package manager (yum, apt, rpm, synaptics, yast,...)
to install the module. The name of the package may vary from one distribution to
another. It’s called often something like “perl-Finance-Quote”.
Finance::Quote on Windows requires perl
to be installed already. If you haven’t done so, you should first install ActivePerl.
The Windows installer from the
GnuCash home page comes with a small helper program to
Finance::Quote for you. You can find it in the Start Menu under the
group and is called “Install Online Price Retrieval”.
Mac OS X: If you have installed
from the installer found on the
GnuCash home page,
Finance::Quote is already
installed for you.
If none of the above applies to your setup, you can try these alternative, more generic instructions:
GnuCash applications you have running.
Locate the folder where
GnuCash is installed by searching for “gnc-fq-update”
(without the quotes).
Change to that directory, open a root shell and run the command “gnc-fq-update”
(without the quotation marks). This will launch a Perl CPAN update session that will go out onto the
Internet and install the
Finance::Quote module on your system. The gnc-fq-update program is interactive,
however, with most systems you should be able to answer “no” to the first question:
“Are you ready for manual configuration? [yes]” and the update will continue automatically
from that point.
After installation is complete, you should run the “gnc-fq-dump” test program, in the
same directory, distributed with
GnuCash to test if
Finance::Quote is installed and working properly.
If you feel uncomfortable about performing any of these steps, please either email the
Create the Account for the mutual fund or stock with it listed in the Security/Currency field, as described above.
When creating these accounts it is a good time to create income accounts to track dividends, capital gains (long and short) and expense account(s) for tracking commissions and losses (if you track losses as expenses).
Create the mutual fund or stock with either the Security Editor for existing stock/funds or the New Security/Currency dialog for a new stock/fund.
Select Get On-line Quotes:, Type of Quote Source and Timezone.
Online currency quotes require that the check-box for Online quotes and the timezone be selected in the Security screen and the Security Editor check-box for "get quote" box is checked for those currencies that are to be downloaded.
Get On-line Quotes: This check-box is to enable this security/fund to have quotes downloaded from an on-line source.
Type of Quote Source use the radio buttons to select the type of source for the Online quotes. Multiple: quote sources like “Europe” should be used if fail-over to multiple sites are desirable. Single: selections will only return information from the specified source.
After selecting the type of source for price quotes, select a quote source from the pull-down menu. Currently among the supported quote sources are; Yahoo, Yahoo Europe, Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price, the Vanguard Group, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and TIAA-CREF.
Note that Yahoo will provide price quotes for many mutual funds including Fidelity, T.Rowe Price and Vanguard, and that the quoted prices at Yahoo should be identical to those that may be found at the source sites.
If you choose Yahoo Europe or Europe, you should append the market code for the security, such as PA for Paris, BE for Berlin, etc. Example: 12150.PA (a Peugeot security in the Paris market). Table A.4, “Yahoo Codes for Exchanges and Markets” below lists codes for various European markets.
Pseudo-symbols for TIAA-CREF funds are listed in table Table A.5, “Pseudo-symbols that can be used for TIAA-CREF quotes”.
Timezone for these quotes: Select the timezone for the source of the on-line quotes you are receiving. For example, Yahoo normally quotes Eastern timezone, so choose America/New York if you use that quote source.
Select a commodity to the Price Editor.
Selectin the Price Editor.
Check the latest price for the selected security.
If you wish to update price quotes from the command line, you can do so by the following command;
gnucash --add-price-quotes <gnucash-file-name>
gnucash --add-price-quotes <gnucash-file-name>
can be used to fetch the current prices of your stocks. The file specified
“<gnucash-file-name>” will depend on the name and location of your
data file. This can be determined by the name displayed in the top frame of the
before the “-”. The file name can also be found under
in the list of recently opened file; the first item, numbered 1, is the name of the currently
This can be automated by creating a crontab entry. For example, to update your file every Friday evening (18:00) after markets close (modify the time accordingly for your time zone), you could add the following to your personal crontab:
0 18 * * 5 gnucash --add-price-quotes $HOME/gnucash-filename > /dev/null 2>&1
Remember that Mutual Fund “prices” are really “Net Asset Value” and require several hours after the exchange closes before being available. If NAVs are downloaded before the current days NAVs are determined, yesterday’s NAVs are retrieved.
The Opening Balance tab is visible only when creating a new account. It is
used to record the beginning balance for an account. This allows it to be used for
two different scenarios. If using
GnuCash for the first time to record transactions,
it can be used as a beginning balance. If the accounts in use are closed at the end
of a period and new accounts are created, it is used to close and carry balances
There are three panes in this tab. The top pane contains the Balance Information.
Balance: The balance to start the account with.
Date: The date the opening balance should be recorded.
The next pane is the Transfer Type pane.
Use Opening Balances Equity account: This transfers the opening balance for the account from a standard Equity account called Opening Balances.
Select Transfer Account: This enables the pane below so a different account can be used to transfer the opening balance.
The last pane is the Transfer Account pane. Select the account to use for opening balances from the list of accounts in this pane.