GnuCash Business Accounts Setup Quick Start Guide 2021

This GnuCash business accounts setup quick start guide shows one of the default paths you can use to initially configure GnuCah for business accounting purposes. To be upfront, GnuCash is a rich program with a number of features and different ways to do essentially the same thing - business accounts setup being no exception. This guide only covers one of those paths. Accounting in general and the correct accounts to create for your business specifically are also outside the scope of this guide. That out of the way, Let’s get started.

Step 1

Click File ➞ New File. You’ll see the following modal where you’ll initially be on the “New Account Hierarchy Setup” side nav step. Click “Next” to move to the “New Book Options” side nav step.

Step 1. New file modal.

Step 2

On the “New Book Options” step, there are certain options you can configure like company details under the “Business” header tab. Go ahead and fill out this information. You can also set your tax number under the “Tax” header tab. After doing this, click “Next” to move to the “Choose Currency” side nav step. Once there, choose your currency and click “Next” again to move on to the “Choose accounts to create” side nav step.

Step 2. Business details in GnuCash accounts setup.

Step 3

On the “Choose accounts to create” side nav step, you’ll see several options around the default accounts to create. Uncheck “Common Accounts” and check “Business Accounts”. Then click the “Next” button if you want to be provided with some additional options for accounts setup or “Finish” button if finished. For the purposes of this tutorial, the “Finish” button will be clicked, which will move you to the “Finish Account Setup” side nav step.

Step 3. Default accounts GnuCash modal.

Step 4

Click the “Apply” button, which will bring up a modal that allows you to choose the data format. We’ll use xml. Select a location and save. After saving, you'll see your list of accounts.

Step 4. Created accounts view.

Formal Accounting Labels - Optional

Since you’re creating business accounts, it's a good bet that you’ll want formal accounting labels. To enable this, do the following: Edit ➞ Preferences ➞ Accounts ➞ Labels ➞ Use formal accounting labels.

Optional step. Use formal accounting labels.


And that’s it. You now have your chart of accounts using the default business accounts template GnuCash provides. You can of course add, modify, or delete these accounts at any time and you’ll likely end up needing to do so at some point as each business usually has at least some unique accounts they need to keep track of.

To modify the accounts, right click an account ➞ Edit Account. Or, you can use the “New” button in the header to create an account and the “Delete” button to delete one.