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10. Manage Your Finances > 10.2. The Account

The Account

Fundamental to GnuCash is the account. An account is just what you think it is: a place where money comes in and money goes out. When most people think of accounts, they think of their bank accounts and credit card accounts. GnuCash treats these as accounts, but it treats everything else as an account too. You get a paycheck from work; where does the money come from? It comes from your Income account. You spend $30 at the grocery store; where does the money go? It goes to your Food account.

GnuCash uses the double-entry accounting method to keep track of your money. This is the same method that professional accountants and CPAs use to keep track of billions of dollars in corporate and government assets, and now you’re going to use it too. (Don’t you feel important?) In double-entry accounting, money always comes from one account and goes to another account. Always. The value of any account at a given time is either how much money is actually in that account or how much money has passed through it.


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