GnuCash Reviews

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I have wanted to use this program for years but I have always found it lacking. I decided to try the newer versions for over a year now, current version is 2.6.19.

Pros: The user interface is rather clean and the developers seem to like playing with complex tools to try to further the application.

Cons: Being an open-source application it suffers from having developers not wanting to improve the more basic features. Nothing ever seems to get polished and leaves the user always wanting better. So I thought I would list my top 20 gripes:

  1. No concept of Payees, everything is a description which isn't so bad since the application supports auto-complete (sort of). There is no way to even get a list of the descriptions using the built-in interfaces.
  2. For auto-complete fields, you do not get a small list box (like you do with your web browser for instance). It just auto completes the field for you using whatever best fits what you typed at the time.
  3. No bulk changes. No clicking on multiple lines or using a dialog. Categories, Descriptions, Memos, everything has to be done one-by-one.
  4. No simple undo system, you can't just CTRL+Z your way back to safety. Even an option to press ESC to clear current transaction would be welcome.
  5. When entering a category, sub-account names are not used. So if you have defined Entertainment:Movies, typing "mo" would yield nothing.
  6. Can't specify accounts upon import. Hard to believe but it is true.
  7. No easy tool to control imports from bank files. Something simple like "WALGREENS 4516" could be so easy to fix if on the Payee record a match string like "WALGREENS*" was given. But that's right, no Payees only descriptions in this application.
  8. No option to show memo field in one line view causing you to constantly switch between views.
  9. Find yourself using a feature often (like toggling double-line/single line view), forget about adding a toolbar icon. Only static toolbar with what the development team believes are best for you.
  10. Just general user interface quirks due to it's Linux origins. Wouldn't be a big deal if the application would at least allow to re-define keyboard shortcuts.
  11. No method to hide business features, for many users these "features" just clutter the interface and make everything that much harder to find.
  12. No way to lock fiscal time periods. The only warning feature is for changing a reconciled transaction.
  13. Vendor address fields are required upon creation and user is left to go find correct address or enter some incorrect text. Leaving these fields NULL would be much more elegant.
  14. Recent file list keeps repeating file names and show no path information so you have no idea what file you are really looking at.
  15. Places backup files in the same place as your files (not even a sub-directory). Unlike many more seasoned applications that support off-site cloud storage or local file server.
  16. On split transactions it defaults categories to the first category and takes you to the amount field forcing you to go backwards in the interface.
  17. No 64-bit option so if you have a 64-bit OS and all of your ODBC drivers and other utilities are 64-bit forget about any integration with your existing apps.
  18. Dates are actually stored as times, if you try to use external tools this will cause you a good bit of grief, is it really that hard to truncate times?
  19. No IOS support, you can't take a photo of receipt or enter a quick transaction and then auto-import when you get back to your computer.
  20. Impossible to get any real support, users try and provide help but often leave out so much information on their posts and blogs that simple things can take a day to research.

I agree with most of these.
Quick Question:
On topic #1, What is the necessity for a Payee? For example, if I made a purchase a Walmart; I would probably have an account such as Expenses: Retail. If I wanted to track at the retailer level, then I would create an account for Walmart and one for Target, two major retailers. Expenses:Retail:Walmart and Expenses:Retail:Target.

Would the Payee function to keep the account only at Retail and then let Walmart and Target be Payees?

I myself and trying to figure out the benefits or having or not having 'Payees' like KMyMoney(Categories/Payees) vs Gnucash(Accounts based).

Use It A Lot / Uso Muito

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I've been using GnuCash on Fedora, Ubuntu and the portable version on Windows 7 and Xp and i've nothing bad to say. Importing from banks work great once you learn how to use it better. Works with Banco do Brasil OFX export feature.

Eu uso o GnuCash no Fedora, Ubuntu e uso a versão portátil no Windows 7 e XP e não tenho o que reclamar. Importar de Bancos funciona muito bem uma vez que você aprende como se faz. Dá para usar os arquivos OFX exportados no banco do Brasil.

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I tried a lot of other similar apps. But only this one is at least enough for controlling my bank operations. But still, it's not perfect. And it's pretty hard to learn this program to the max level.

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This app is very user friendly with some great features. I'm starting my own business and I love this app.


Do you use the business capabilities? Do you use this for your personal finances as well?

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It is nice, full of features, pretty easy.

Only bad things is that its hard to get a month view (its hard to know what money will be left at the end of the month as sometimes we get salary before the begining of the month etc)

In fact what other people say here is pretty right. It can be long to add all the records (to choose the "from" and the "to" accounts).

[Edited by philipili, April 24]


If you want to spend all day clicking the same things over and over again...

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  • Interface is pretty clunky, especially on Windows.
  • Lots of tedious clicking and mousing required.
  • Claims that it's going to detect duplicates, but then doesn't.
  • Can't import more than one QIF file at a time. You have to manually type the account name and click 6 places for every single file, and the file order in the file chooser reverts each time so they're not in order.
  • Categories are called "accounts"?
  • 5 clicks to assign a category to a transaction. Every. Single. Transaction.
  • And if you try to type the category: "The account Dining does not exist. Would you like to create it?" NO I WANT YOU TO USE "Expenses:Dining", STUPID. I have to type in the whole thing each time? I should be able to type "din" and press enter because you understand what I mean and have highlighted "Expenses:Dining".
  • I can't assign a category to every transaction with a specific company? I have to manually edit every single one? I should be able to assign categories by search keyword or just by selecting a bunch of transactions and editing them all at once.