4.6. Scheduled Transactions

Scheduled transactions are made to help entering repetitive money operations, like subscriptions, insurances or taxes. By using scheduled transactions, you only have to enter the concerned transaction once, set a few parameters like start date, frequency and a little description, and then GnuCash will tell you whenever a scheduled transaction is ready to be created, and create it for you.

In this howto, we’ll take a monthly Internet subscription of 20 USD as example, which is taken on the 28th of each month.

In GnuCash, there are two ways of creating scheduled transactions, from the ledger or from the Scheduled Transactions Editor.

4.6.1. Creating from the Ledger

Enter the first occurrence of your to-schedule transaction in the ledger. In the Transfer field for this transaction, type Expenses:Internet as shown in the next screenshot.

Step one creating scheduled transaction from the ledger

Step one creating scheduled transaction from the ledger


Since we did not create the Expenses:Internet account, GnuCash will prompt us to create it.

Then you right click on your transaction and select Schedule...

Step two creating scheduled transaction from the ledger

Step two creating scheduled transaction from the ledger

A window like this will appear:

Step three creating scheduled transaction from the ledger

Step three creating scheduled transaction from the ledger

Let’s fill the values, we know that the subscription is taken on the 28th each month, and the next one is for next month (since we entered the one for this month manually) :

Filling in data to a scheduled transaction

Filling in data to a scheduled transaction

Click the OK button, and the transaction will be scheduled. GnuCash now has memorized this scheduled transaction and on the 28th of next month, it will pop up a window asking if it should create it (see far below for a screenshot of this window).

4.6.2. Creating from the Editor

Another way of entering a scheduled transaction is from the Scheduled Transaction Editor, it may be faster if we have several scheduled transactions to create at once.

From the main accounts windows, select ActionsScheduled TransactionsScheduled Transaction Editor from the Menubar. A new Scheduled Transactions tab will be opened in the current GnuCash window as shown above:

Empty Scheduled Transactions tab

Empty Scheduled Transactions tab

This tab contains a list, now empty, of all the scheduled transactions. Let’s create a new one by clicking on the New button in the Toolbar. A window like the one below will pop up:

Edit Scheduled Transaction — Overview tab

Edit Scheduled TransactionOverview tab

First, let’s enter a name for this new scheduled transaction in the top of the window.


This name will only identify the transaction in the Edit Scheduled Transaction window, it will never appear in the ledger.

In the Options pane of the Overview tab you have four options:


Sets the status of the scheduled transaction.

Create automatically

If enabled, will insert this transaction in the ledger without asking you before (see below). If needed, you can be advised when the transaction is entered by checking the Notify me when created option.

Create in advance

Sets how many days in advance the transaction will be created.

Remind in advance

Sets how many days in advance a reminder is presented. This can be used, for example, when you have to pay something by check, and a reminder one week before allows you to send your check before the deadline.

The Occurences pane allows you to tell GnuCash that this scheduled transaction won’t last for ever. For example if you are repaying a loan, you can enter the loan end date or the number of occurences left.

Select now the Frequency tab in the Edit Scheduled Transaction window. Here you can set the time-related options of the transaction.

Edit Scheduled Transaction — Frequency tab

Edit Scheduled TransactionFrequency tab


Sets the basic frequency of the transaction, with options for once, daily, weekly, semi-monthly and monthly. In this example, this is set to monthly.


It is possible to set a transaction to occur at intervals other than those listed in the Frequency list, by changing the setting in the Every control (see below).

Start Date

Sets when the transaction will begin. In the example, this would be set to the start of the next month.


This option allows you to schedule transactions by multiplies of the value in Frequency. For example, to create a transaction that runs every 3 weeks, set Frequency to Weeks and Every to 3.

On the and Except on weekends

Sets the day of the month that the transaction is scheduled, and controls what GnuCash will do when the day occurs on a weekend day.


We know that the subscription is taken on the 28th each month, so the Start date will be November 1, 2003 (assuming November is the next month), the Frequency will be Monthly, it will be taken every month on the 28th. Since in our example the internet subscription is automatically taken from the account, we have no need to create it in advance, nor give an end date.

When the elements on this tab are filled in, GnuCash will highlights the calendar below to indicate when future transactions will be run.

Finally select the Template Transaction tab and enter your transaction in the lower part as you would do in the ledger, with the only difference of having no date.

Now, you should have a window like this:

Edit Scheduled Transaction — Template Transaction tab

Edit Scheduled TransactionTemplate Transaction tab

Remember to click on the Enter icon, to validate and enter the transaction.

Now click OK, it takes you to the Scheduled Transactions tab, now showing one item in the Transactions list:

Entered scehduled transaction

Entered scehduled transaction


If you click in the calendar part on the first day of one month, a small window, following your mouse, will show you what is planned for this day. To make the small window dissapear again, just click in it one more time.

You can now close the Scheduled Transaction tab, and save your work.


What comes below is just an illustration, and is not meant to be entered into the GnuCash database at this stage. As per this example, the below dialogs will appear when the scheduled transaction is supposed to run.

From now on, when GnuCash is launched and a scheduled transaction is scheduled or need to be entered, you may see a Since Last Run... window summarizing the scheduled transactions operations (Reminder, To-Create etc... a better description of each option can be found in the GnuCash manual):

Scheduled transaction popup reminder

Scheduled transaction popup reminder

You can click on the Status column to change the scheduled transaction status if needed. Then just click on Ok to close the Since Last Run... window and to apply the pending operations. Select Cancel to skip entering in the ledger the pending operations.

If the Status field was set to To-Create, then if you take a look in your bank account register, you’ll see the transaction has been created:


If you enable the Review created transactions option in the lower right of the Since Last Run... window, GnuCash will open, after pressing Ok, the register tab of each account where the scheduled transactions were entered automatically.


If you entered the transaction for 28 of April at this stage, then please revert back to the last saved GnuCash file by selecting FileOpen and choosing the previously saved gcashdata_3 GnuCash file.