I have some income from Amazon Associates that is paid to me automatically every few months. I don't raise an invoice and Amazon doesn't create one for me. Amazon does specify a date when the payment amount is calculated and then a week or so later, the payment arrives in my current account.

It looks like Gnucash expects me to raise an invoice and assign it to a customer before it can be entered in to Accounts Receivable. The Gnucash documentation says that users should never create entries directly in to Accounts Receivable. Even if I try this, there's no option to select a customer (eg, from a drop-down list), but only to type a customer name, which makes me wonder if the transaction actually gets tied to a customer in the Gnucash system.

So how can I debit non-invoiceable amounts due to Accounts Receivable? Is this possible, or should I be handling this transaction another way?

1 Answer 1


You should be handling it in another way. You cannot, strictly speaking, have AR entry if you didn't issue an invoice.

You should record it as a current income. Unless you're on accrual basis (in which case you could either create a "dummy" invoice or not accrue this income), AR has no real meaning to you.

AR means that you billed someone and you have the right to the money. With Amazon affiliate program you do not have the right to the money until they decide you do, and once they do decide that - they just pay you.

  • I see. So as I'm intending on working on an accrual basis, it sounds like I should just not accrue the income - I wasn't aware that was an option in accrual accounting (although it would make sense, if cash and invoice sale businesses use it). Thank you.
    – James
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:05
  • @James why on earth would you be working on an accrual basis? In accrual accounting you accrue income you're entitled to, i.e.: you billed for. In case of affiliate payments - you don't bill, Amazon decide when you're entitled for it, and when you're - you're paid. So no point in adding it to AR.
    – littleadv
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:06
  • I'm required to work on accrual basis. HMRC doesn't allow cash accounting (at least, not for the tax year I'm working on). The two other affiliate networks I use, one generates an invoice for me, the other requires that I invoice them.
    – James
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:17
  • 1
    So you can create a dummy invoice based on the email you get from Amazon when they announce distributions. Treat that email as a confirmation of your "invoice".
    – littleadv
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:30
  • Okay, I'll go with that method.
    – James
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:43

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