I commonly group purchases or invoices into transactions and then show the individual components as splits in
gnucash. I don't know if this is the right approach, but suppose I go shopping, I might do something like this:
- Split: Apples (Account: Fruit)
- Split: Nutella (Account: Confectionary)
Then when I go to the Confectionary account, it would be great to see how much I spent on Nutella, but instead all I see is a bunch of "Shopping" transactions (because I only see the description of the transaction in the ledger).
I see two workarounds, neither of which are very satisfying:
- View -> Transaction Journal. This isn't great because now when I look at the ledger I see all shopping splits. I just want the split relevant to the account I'm looking at.
- Split out into separate transactions. I can do this but it's a pain and I also like to attach invoices to my transactions. If I do this I'd have to attach the invoice to every split, which duplicates work and seems messy, not to mention incorrect from an accounting perspective (they weren't really separate transactions, where they?).
I'm after a technical solution here but also some guidance on how this kind of problem should be solved in
gnucash as well as accounting more generally.
Note that a similar feature request was made 9 years ago. Given that this hasn't been resolved I assume there's some good workaround out there. I'd love to hear it!