1.4. Top Ten Reasons to Use GnuCash

We’ve already discussed some of the general advantages of using GnuCash. Here are some specific features offered by GnuCash that may not exist in other programs.

  1. Simple user interface

    GnuCash is as easy to use as a checkbook register. It’s simpler than a paper register, because auto-completion and other entry shortcuts not only do work for you, but reduce data entry errors.

  2. Easy import

    GnuCash allows you to import data from on-line bank statements and software packages using QIF (Quicken® Interchange Format), OFX and HBCI files. An easy-to-use assistant walks you through reviewing resulting changes and actually importing them into GnuCash.

  3. Statement reconciliation

    Reconcile monthly statements quickly by entering the statement ending balance and checking off transactions. GnuCash helps you catch any discrepancies between your data and statements you receive.

  4. Investment tracking

    GnuCash offers a host of ways to track your investment portfolio. Special investment accounts simplify data entry, and on-line tools allow you to update prices of your holdings as the markets change. Reports complete the picture, allowing you to analyze your investment decisions.

  5. Multiple currency support

    GnuCash allows you to track multiple currencies. If you have bank accounts, investments or other financial data in different currencies, use GnuCash to monitor them.

  6. Customized reports and graphs

    Reports and graphs give you valuable information for filing taxes, budgeting, or simply figuring out where your money goes. GnuCash offers a variety of easy-to-use reports and graphs to help analyze your financial position. It gives you the freedom to customize your own reports to suit your unique needs.

  7. Double entry

    To provide complete records, GnuCash uses the double entry method of bookkeeping. Double entry simply means that money doesn’t just appear or disappear - an equal amount must come from one location and go to another location. By tracking the transaction in both locations, GnuCash will give you detailed reports from the perspective of either account.

  8. Sources of help

    A Tip of the Day screen gives helpful tips to new users about GnuCash features. Within the program, a searchable Help menu guides you to information or connects to the GnuCash web page for further assistance. GnuCash also has strong, helpful developer and user communities who provide help through mailing lists as well as through the IRC channel.

  9. Shortcuts

    GnuCash offers many shortcuts to help you enter data. Type the first few characters of a common entry and GnuCash will automatically fill in the rest! You can also use copy, paste and duplicate functions to save typing time. Keyboard shortcuts let you quickly choose a menu option or to enter numerical data. Many numeric entry fields can act as a calculator: enter "92.18+33.26" and watch GnuCash input the corresponding sum for you!

  10. Open source

    GnuCash doesn’t hide its methods. If you wonder how GnuCash computed a number, you can find it out. In addition, you can set preferences that tell GnuCash how much information to display to you. There is no secret code used in GnuCash - it continues to be an open-source program.

These are only a few of the advantages you’ll discover when you start using GnuCash to track your financial information. Now get ready to enjoy the benefits of GnuCash for yourself!