1.2. Features

1.2.1. Easy to Use

Within a matter of minutes you will be able to enter your personal finance information and generate color graphs that represent your financial status. If you can use the register in the back of your checkbook - you can use GnuCash! Type directly into the register, tab between fields, and use quick-fill to automatically complete transactions. The interface is customizable from within the application itself.

  • Easy to Use Menus: GnuCash menus conform to the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. This means that they are simple and similar in appearance to many other GNOME applications.

  • Documentation: GnuCash has built-in Help and extensive User’s Guide documentation.

  • Import Methods: GnuCash supports many ways to input transactions besides manual entry. If you can access your bank accounts on-line, this is especially useful, as most banks and credit card companies support one of the following import methods. You will spend less time entering data and more time analyzing results.

    • Quicken Import File (QIF): Import Quicken QIF style files, a popular file format with many commercial personal finance software packages.

    • Open Financial Exchange (OFX): GnuCash is the first free software application to support the Open Financial Exchange protocol. Many financial institutions are moving towards this format.

    • Home Banking Computer Interface (HBCI): GnuCash is the first free software application to support the German Home Banking Computer Interface protocol. This protocol includes statement download, initiates bank transfers, and makes direct debits possible.

  • Reports: GnuCash comes with over 30 prebuilt reports, including Account Summary, Income, Expenses, Transaction Report, Balance Sheet, Profit&Loss, Portfolio Valuation, and many others. Reports support graphical views of the data, including pie charts, bar charts, and scatter plots. The reports can be exported to HTML files, and are easily customized.

  • Scheduled Transactions: GnuCash now has the ability to automatically create and enter transactions, or remind you when these transactions are due, giving you the choice of entering, postponing or removing the automated transaction.

  • Mortgage and Loan Repayment Assistant: Used to set up a variable payment loan scheduled transaction.

  • Easy Account Reconciliation: Integrated reconciliation makes reconciling your GnuCash accounts with statements simple and effective.

  • Multi-platform Compatibility: GnuCash is supported on a variety of platforms and operating systems. The list of fully supported operating systems (and platforms) for GnuCash 2.6.18 is: GNU/Linux (x86, x86_64, Sparc, PPC), FreeBSD (x86, x86_64), OpenBSD (x86, x86_64), Solaris (Sparc), and MacOS X (Intel, PPC). Previous versions of GnuCash have been known to work with, SGI IRIX (MIPS), IBM AIX 4.1.5 (RS/6000), Unixware 7 (Intel), and SCO OpenServer 5.0.4 (Intel), but their current status is unknown.

1.2.2. Tracks Your Investments

GnuCash includes a number of investment features that allow you to track all your investments. With GnuCash you can track stocks individually (one per account) or in a portfolio of accounts (a group of accounts that can be displayed together).

GnuCash supports online stock and mutual fund quotes. This means you no longer need to look up stock prices one at a time. The process can be automated, and you can see the latest value of your stocks.

1.2.3. International Support

GnuCash is truly an application that works with and understands users from all around the world. There are many built-in features to facilitate interaction with the international world we live in today.

  • Native Languages: GnuCash has been fully translated into 12 languages: Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish. More than 25 other languages are partially supported.

  • International Format Handling: GnuCash understands that different countries display the date and numbers differently. You are able to work with the date and number formats you are accustomed to.

  • Multiple Currencies and Currency Trading: Multiple currencies are supported and can be bought and sold (traded). Currency movements between accounts remain fully balanced if "Trading Accounts" is enabled.

  • On-line exchange rates: With GnuCash, you no longer need look up your exchange rates one at a time. The process can be automated, to always present you with the account values converted to your preferred currency using the latest exchange rates.

1.2.4. Business Support

GnuCash has many features to support the needs of the business accounting community.

  • Accounts Receivable/Payable: GnuCash has an integrated Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable system. You can track Customers, Vendors, Invoicing and Bill Payment, and use different Tax and Billing Terms in a small business.

  • Depreciation: GnuCash can track depreciation of capital assets.

  • Reports: GnuCash offers a wide variety of ready-to-use business reports.

1.2.5. Accounting Features

For those knowledgeable in accounting, here is a list of GnuCash’s accounting features.

  • Double Entry: Every transaction must debit one account and credit others by an equal amount. This ensures the books balance - that the difference between income and expense exactly equals the sum of all bank, cash, stock and other assets.

  • Split Transactions: A single transaction can be split into several pieces to record taxes, fees, and other compound entries.

  • Chart of Accounts: A master account can have a hierarchy of detail accounts underneath it. This allows similar account types such as Cash, Bank, or Stock to be grouped into a master account such as Assets.

  • General Ledger: One register window can display multiple accounts at the same time. This eases the trouble of tracking down typing/entry errors. It also provides a convenient way of viewing a portfolio of many stocks, by showing all transactions in that portfolio.

  • Income/Expense Account Types (Categories): These categorize your cash flow and, when used properly with the double-entry feature, will provide an accurate Profit&Loss statement.