CNET Editors' review
Although users with a solid grasp of financial management basics will get the most from this freeware program, GnuCash proved to be a capable tool for personal and small business accounting.
This freeware program's interface is bland but functional, and presents itself in a way that will be familiar to users who do their banking online. Various holdings (anything from checking accounts, to CDs, stocks and any other form of investment) are listed in a tree along the left side. Selecting an entry displays further details in a larger pane. At the top of the screen are various commands for actions, reports and tools. We found it a simple process to view spending reports, reconcile checking accounts, and other tasks.
Despite the overall simplicity of using the program, the sheer number of terms and actions may require a dictionary for some people. Fortunately, GnuCash has an excellent tutorial that outlines not only the program, but also financial terminology as well. And novice users will appreciate the wizard that walks you through the setup process.
GnuCash is an ongoing project and this isn't the latest release, but the developers warn that the 2.3 series is not stable and is for testing only, so stick with this earlier version. If you're overwhelmed by the number of personal accounts you're trying to manage, or you're trying to keep your small business on track financially, GnuCash is freeware you should try.
From The GnuCash Project:
GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL. It uses a check-book like register GUI to enter and track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. GnuCash is designed to be simple and easy to use but still based on formal accounting principles.
What's new in this version: Version 2.6.1 includes minor bug fixes.
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All versions:3.1 stars
out of 36 votes
Current version:3.0 stars
out of 1 votes
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"Presumably powerful but too complex & difficult for me"
Version: GnuCash 2.6.1
Good reviews and recommendations as a powerful financial program.
Free of charge.
Documentation is hard to understand.
Concepts and program are counter-intuitive.
I could not get this program to work as a simple checkbook program with about 30 categories of expense. The documentation is available but complex. Although I understand categories are supposed to be set up as accounts, I could not get any categories of expense established. I gave up and uninstalled after hours of trying -- I guess I'm just too much used to Quicken to use this program.