Cashing in on Open Source

I’ve recently switched to using GnuCash to manage my accounts, and have been quite impressed with it. A friend recently asked about software for simple bookkeeping, and I wondered whether GnuCash might be appropriate, but I didn’t find an introduction that took someone unfamiliar with accounting software through the absolute basics. So here’s my attempt to do so. It’s 26 minutes long.

Direct link.

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Nice one Q. I like it. As a followup video, YouTube suggests we watch the (G)ource software development visualisation for GnuCash: These are a bit amazing.

I’ve also used and like BambooInvoice – good for doing occasional invoices and more useful and fun than doing the same in a spreadsheet.

Thanks, Aideen –

I’ve also used and liked Harvest, and Xero looks really quite nice. But you’re starting to pay real money if you go for those…


This was a wonderful introduction to GnuCash. It would have saved me hours of study had I seen it sooner. Would you consider doing another on some of the more advanced features? I’m thinking particularly of its investment components. It took me a long time to get everything set up to track my mutual funds and a video would have helpd tremendously. Now I have reached the dreaded Selll point with one of my funds, and can’t for the life of me, figure out how to sell everything in that fund and put it into another fund. Failing to do this correct will corrupt the data. It’s not a good idea to just nuke an account and start over because it effects the account(s) used to purchase and make ongoing contributions to the mutual fund / stock / ETF. Selling stock *requires* the use of “split transactions”. It makes beads of sweat pop out on my forehead just thinking about it. Come on Q! Give it another go. Save me from having to break down and buy Quicken. — Don

Don –

Thanks for your kind comments. Several people have asked if i could do further episodes, and I’d love to, but I’m afraid time is something I’m very short of at present! Perhaps I should try to find a way to do this for a living 🙂 But until then, I’m afraid I’m unlikely to manage any further installments for a few months at least…

I used to subscribe to the GnuCash mailing lists, and people there are quite helpful. More info at:

if wanted!


Hi Q, An excellent introduction and echo the other comments. I will not ask for a further video as you’re busy busy. I will checkout the mailing lists to seek assistance with ‘Split Transactions’.

For some reasons, the video does not appear any more in the article, but I believe it is this one:

GnuCash: A REALLY basic introduction for absolute beginners
Quentin Stafford-Fraser
Nov 2011

I arrived here through


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