Whenever I use GNUCash I'm able to save a the account, but when I do the year end I'm able to save the reports as .csv files, but the GNUCash becomes a mess of files. How do I close the accounts for one year, and continue to the next year?

1 Answer 1


The straightforward answer to this question is: Use the "Close Book..." tool found on the GnuCash Tools menu.

The GnuCash Manual says

The Close Book dialog box is used for “closing the books,”--an accounting process that resets the balances of the income and expense accounts. ... GnuCash closes books by creating one transaction per currency for income accounts, and one transaction per currency for expense accounts. The transactions all use the date selected by the user, and each transaction may contain any number of splits. Each split moves the balance out of one income or expense account. The last split in each closing transaction moves the total offsetting debit/credit balance into the specified equity account.

However, a more useful answer might be: Most GnuCash users DON'T NEED to close the books. GnuCash will run just fine (and, arguably, even better) if the books are never closed off.

The same GnuCash Manual article goes on to say


Note that closing the books in GnuCash is unnecessary. You do not need to zero out your income and expense accounts at the end of each financial period. GnuCash’s built-in reports automatically handle concepts like retained earnings between two different financial periods. In fact, closing the books reduces the usefulness of the standard reports because the reports don’t currently understand closing transactions. So from their point of view it simply looks like the net income or expense in each account for a given period was simply zero.


If you close your books, be prepared to see inaccuracies in the standard reports. On the other hand, you will see current-period income and expense figures in the chart of accounts.

So the upshot is, that GnuCash provides a tool for closing the books in cases where that is necessary (for example, if strict accounting processes require that the books are closed off at the end of every financial year).

Most users, however, don't need to close their books, and GnuCash reports allow you to report on any desired period of time anyway.

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