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I created a "Stock" account in GnuCash for tracking my purchase and sales of "XYZ Widget Company" stock. When I open the ledger for the account, I see that there is an "Action" column. What is the significance of the "Action" column?

GnuCash "Action" column

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In a checking or savings account you would have only a handful of actions (deposit, withdraw, interest).

A loan account will have a different list of actions because the payment can have a principal payment, and an interest payment, and some loans like a line of credit can have multiple withdraws.

When tracking investments the line in the ledger will be tracking not just the amount you buy or sell, but also dividends, interest, and capital gains. Sometimes the number of shares changes due to a split.

Identifying the type of action on each line of the ledger allows you to identify the lines that play a role when calculating your profits and losses, or when calculating your income taxes.

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  • Does this mean that the Action column is mostly useful in the reports generated by GnuCash?
    – Flux
    Aug 20, 2022 at 15:35

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