GnuCash

Editors' Rating:
4
Excellent
Average User Rating:
3.1
out of 37 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
2.6.3
File Size:
71.49MB
Date Added:
July 10, 2014
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7
Total Downloads:
48,662
Downloads Last Week:
90
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

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.

Publisher's Description

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More Products to Consider

All User Reviews

    Results 1-10 of 35

  • 4 stars

    "Best alternative to Quicken yet"

    April 19, 2014   |   By techgal27

    Version: GnuCash 2.6.1

    Pros

    Easy to make corrections
    Well-written manual with illustrations
    Straight-forward easy setup
    Flexibility in account setup
    Starts you out with a Chart of Accounts that you can easily modify

    Cons

    Printing reports takes patience in setting styles and is more time consuming that I'd like. Would like it to remember my last choice.
    Would like more choices in reports, such as comparative statements.
    Have not used the download features so cannot comment.
    Requires accounting knowledge (unlike Quicken)

    Summary

    Coming from an accounting background, I reluctantly switched to Quicken years ago when my original programs were no longer supported by new computers and finally was forced to upgrade to Quicken 2013 from Quicken 2005 over a year ago. Quicken's downloading and dating checks when cleared rather than when written is a disaster. It's also been a total disaster in downloading with personal accounts changing due to security. I "googled" alternatives to Quicken and came up with a website that recommended Gnucash along with a couple of others. After comparing the three, I chose Gnucash to download and couldn't be happier. I am done with Quicken. I don't need all the online downloading from different accounts. It takes me less time to put the entries in manually than it took me to reconcile the automatic downloads in Quicken and still be puzzled at why Quicken was doing what it was. Now I know where everything is going. Gnucash is a breath of fresh air. I can't believe it's been around so long and I hadn't heard of it. I may be lucky that my first try with it is with version 2.6.3 from reports of earlier versions. In one day, I got my complete chart of accounts set up and three months of data entered and reconciled.

    The only frustration I have is with the printing. Since I don't understand the programming code to write my own style sheets, I have to figure out how to get what I want. The default style sheet fonts take too much room and saving them to pdf isn't a solution. I would have liked to have been able to export to Excel or Word. But by choosing the "Easy" Style Sheet, changing the font to Arial or similar and smaller size, and undoing many of the checkmarks that appear as defaults, I ended up with something I could copy and "past special" over to Excel using unicode resulting in everything placed neatly in columns that I could adjust and print in a format I chose.

    I haven't used it long enough to see how well it will find items I search for. I did like Quicken's ability to print by payee if I was looking for something over a number of years, but don't see an option for that. I also liked Quicken's ability for comparative statements and hope that this will be an option in this program. Comparative statements would require one column, whereas currently only indented and multiple columns are used for statements.

    If anything to criticize, it may be the lack of options available without having to write code.

    The bottom line is this program is definitely worth 4 stars on the sound accounting principles upon which is was written. It is straight forward and clean. You can quickly fix any errors you make. I personally am thrilled after my years of experience with Quicken. My review does not cover any downloading of data or stock price updating since I have not done any.

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  • 4 stars

    "Using GnuCash 2.6.3 for Windows"

    April 11, 2014   |   By tahleki

    Version: GnuCash 2.6.1

    Pros

    Fast and easy setup. I was able to set up the chart of accounts for personal accounts, one business account and rental property in no time. Imported transactions from all of the banks (except for one investment account) easily, updated the transactions with the correct expense accounts quickly and easily. Total setup and transaction import time - under 4 hours. Coming from the nightmare of Quickbooks, I appreciate how quickly this came together. Best part, I will be able to transport this easily when we switch to Linux in the near future. And did I mention, it's free!

    Cons

    1. Does not provide password support for the data files, which is a big issue. For this, I subtracted one star.
    2. It wasn't easy to import one investment account, but since I don't track the underlying investments to the penny, it wasn't that much of a big deal.
    3. It doesn't support multi-user access, but we've been living with that with Quickbooks due to the high cost of a multi-user license that Intuit charges.

    Summary

    All in all, I'll put up with the cons (although they really need to provide password protection for the data files) for all of the functionality GnuCash does provide, plus the fact that it's free!

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  • 3 stars

    "Presumably powerful but too complex & difficult for me"

    February 13, 2014   |   By ememkai

    Version: GnuCash 2.6.1

    Pros

    Good reviews and recommendations as a powerful financial program.
    Free of charge.
    Extensive documentation.

    Cons

    Documentation is hard to understand.
    Concepts and program are counter-intuitive.

    Summary

    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.

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  • 4 stars

    "A good deal as it is free but see cons below."

    April 27, 2013   |   By johntheservant

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.13

    Pros

    Is powerful and provides ample scope to develop accounts as required to suit an individual or small business. However, it takes some time to get to understnad how it all works. But with perseverance a workable outcome ensues.

    Cons

    The script should be written in a programme that interfaces with say Excel or similar spreadsheets. Users should be able to export copy into the spreadsheet programme.
    You should be able to print any page at will. Such as Screen shots. Only selected pages can be printed currently. The printing of journals with cheque details etc would be especially useful.

    Summary

    Altogether it must be recognised that this is a work in progress involving a diverse group of people and this must be very demanding on their time. So as it is free one cannot complain and we should be very grateful for the commitment by the originators to aongoing devlopment and for the supply of this programme at no cost. Thank you.

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  • 5 stars

    "Excellent finance software"

    April 23, 2012   |   By MarDel53

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.10-1

    Pros

    Easy to use (once learned)/It is free!

    Cons

    Haven't discovered how to put company's name into each report generated. So I think you can't.

    Summary

    I needed a finance software and preferably free to take on bookwork for a development that I live in. Previous treasurer did everything by hand on paper. I looked into this and decided to give it a try. I must admit that since I was a bookkeeper and not an accountant, it took a little but then all of a sudden it made sense to me and now I like the way it is set up. The checking account puts everything in their respective places if you set up the chart of accounts correctly. The generated reports are simply great. I have not discovered how to insert the company's name into each report as yet so that is the only con I can think of at this time.

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  • 1 stars

    "I Wanted to Use this App"

    February 20, 2012   |   By gwtx2

    Version: GnuCash 2.2.6

    Pros

    Free based app which has been around for a while. Regular updates.

    Cons

    Not very intuitive

    Summary

    After Quicken 2009 stopped working with my bank, I looked other other alternatives. GnuCash has been around for a while, so I thought I'd give it a spin. First, I tried over a dozen times to import my existing bank files into GnuCash (tried QFX and QIF). Sometimes it would import, sometimes it would not. When it did, it sometimes wanted to make duplicates of entries and record them as both an income and an expense. I'm sure there is a way, but it is not simple.

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  • 3 stars

    "A great alternative to commercial accounting programs!"

    December 28, 2011   |   By schildress1

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.8

    Pros

    The software can be easily learned, having more than one avenue of user support including an online Owner's Manual (though this manual could use some work), a wiki site, and tech support that uses an IRC Chat environment. Journal Entries are easy to record. It has a nice Budget Reporting Module. Standard Financial Reports; Reports can also be customized (though it would be nice if reports could be exported into spreadsheets. Currently, they can only be exported into html files). These are all the functions that I have been exposed to so far. AND IT'S FREE!!! So, it's competitive with commercial accounting software packages (in my opinion).

    Cons

    It takes TIME to learn when a user has something specific they are trying to accomplish.

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  • 5 stars

    "Excellent, Fast & Easy to Use"

    December 18, 2011   |   By ursus262

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.8

    Pros

    A clear, intuitive layout means that it is easy to navigate and use. Import from other programmes via QIF is simple and worry free.

    Cons

    Believe it or not, the ability to export reports in some kind of spreadsheet format would be ideal for setting household budgets

    Summary

    I read, with amusement, some of the comments written about GnuCash on here about being confused by some of the accounting conventions, when really most of it is just common-sense. Whereas my previous money-management software used categories of spending, e.g. electricity, car maintenance, etc., GnuCash simply creates accounts for them. Put simply, they are little pots of money: a pot of money in your bank account; a pot of money that you pay the electricity company; a pot of money that you pay a garage to service your car; and so on. As long as you have set everything up in the first place, a payment to the electricity company, for example, when suitably marked as "electricity", when you pay the bill, you can record it in your bank account, and the amount that you have paid will be debited from you bank account ledger, and copied across to the electricity account ledger, so you have a record of all you have paid the electricity company. Put simply, you move money between your various pots, with each pot representing your bank account, or one of the various accounts that you pay money to for goods or services.

    It's not actually complicated at all, and once the penny drops, it is a very intuitive and very powerful programme that I have learned to trust. Even account reconciliation is fast and easy.

    But the most important thing to me is integrity, and this software is accurate and gives me control over my spending and makes budgeting much easier.

    Finally, two words of advice to make the transition much easier:

    Firstly, take some time and trouble to read the manual, which is very interesting, as it explains the basics in clear English.

    Secondly, write down the categories that you need to create accounts for. You can always add accounts later if you need to.

    Overall, and excellent programme and is highly recommended.

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  • 1 stars

    "And how is this not a SCAM to grab financial info...."

    October 15, 2011   |   By Stronghill2

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.7

    Pros

    None apparent, as the program trips anti-virus alarms and code errors upon RUN.
    Want to communicate with the opaque humans in the background? Firefox fires off an alert that communications are not secure.
    (If this is OpenSource, no wonder people must settle for Intuit.)

    Cons

    No benefits apparent.

    Summary

    If you wish to risk your financial information being whisked away to Russia or Iran or China, GO FOR IT!

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  • 4 stars

    "Excellent bookkeeping package, home and small business."

    September 17, 2011   |   By The Phantom

    Version: GnuCash 2.4.7

    Pros

    Easy entry of data, intuitive
    excellent tutorials
    very flexible

    Cons

    If not an accountant, there may be a steep learning curve.
    Hard to get specific help although there appear to be plenty of options.

    Summary

    This version has corrected most of the faults of previous ones. Amazing value considering that it is a free package.

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  • Results 1-10 of 35

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