I use GnuCash for my personal accounting and for tracking investments in shares through my self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Recently I wound up the SMSF and transferred the shares into my personal name via an off-market transfer.

To reflect this change in GnuCash I want to transfer both the number of shares and their market value at the date of transfer from the SMSF account to my personal investment account.

There does not appear to be an easy (or any) way to do this other than via a sell and buy but this raises the problem of how to deal with the fact that no money changed hands.

Does anyone with experience with GnuCash have any thoughts on how to accomplish the transfer?

  • "This raises the problem of how to deal with the fact that no money changed hands." Why is that a problem?
    – glibdud
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


...how to deal with the fact that no money changed hands.

This doesn't factor into the question- instead what you're missing here is some fundamental understanding of accounts and transactions. The shares in question are moving between accounts, and the capsule for moving anything between two accounts is a transaction. Just because you're creating a transaction, doesn't mean a sale has taken place. For example. if I move money between my checking and my investment account, I create a transaction with both accounts as splits, then label the transaction as a "Transfer" in the description. If later I sell stock, the fundamental elements of a transaction are still there, but I make it a sale by setting the type on the split to "Sale", adding additional splits for Income:CapitalGains, giving it an appropriate description, etc.

When you move shares between accounts in gnucash, the price is intrinsically included in the split (because the relationship "shares * price = total" must balance out). So as long as you make sure to enter the same price and share count for the split into the new account, you will be fine (no imbalance left over to be accounted for).

  • Thank you very much Derek and glibdud for your input. I can see I was looking at the problem from the wrong end.
    – Mikie
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 7:53

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