I use GnuCash for the sole purpose of keeping track of my personal finance. When I do my monthly reconciliation on my checking account, savings account, and credit card account and everything is all fine and nice, I do realize that the income & expense accounts do not reconcile themselves.

I personally think it's quite silly since we don't get any kind of statements for those imaginary accounts. Those accounts are only there for me to keep track of where my money is coming from, and going to. Or perhaps there is a better reason that I do not yet understand.

Does anyone else happen to come across the same problem? How should I go about solving it? Should I just close my eyes and pretend it's not there? I'm kind of a perfectionist and I hate unreconciled stuff it just bugs me to no end. Lol.


The answer is just close your eyes and ignore it (in your words).

I'm right there with you, the amount of detail that I track in my personal finances would be called obscene by some people. But as you look at these features in any accounting application, you need to ask the question "What does this information represent?"

In the case of your bank and credit card accounts, the reconciliation marker represents that you have received documentation from the issuing institution which you have verified against your accounts. Marking them off confirms that you have reviewed the information, and that you checked for errors.

These markers exist on all transactions, whichever end of the splits you are looking at. When reviewing the Expense side of the transaction, it might make less sense to see these reconciliation markers, because as you stated, nobody receives documentation related to their expenses. However, if you itemized your expenses and kept a separate log of certain transactions (like a notebook where you track gasoline and/or mileage on your car), it might be useful to 'reconcile' your records once a month. Checking off individual transactions, and verifying a new 'balance' in terms of gas consumed or miles driven, would allow you to identify any inconsistencies in your records.

Not everyone would find such an activity useful, thus the reconciliation markers are present everywhere but required nowhere.

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    "nobody receives documentation related to their expenses" --> In the countries I live(d) in, Germany and Japan, you receive a paper receipt for almost all expenses you will ever do. I never understood why these wouldn't be documentation usable for reconciliation. – user24385 Jul 9 '15 at 9:59
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    @gojira I agree that receipts are documentation. However, on the banking side you have both check stubs and bank statements. While receipts might be analogous to check stubs (records of a individual transactions), there is no analogous summary document, like a bank statement, which shows all expenses over a certain time period (unless you create one). – Derek_6424246 Jul 13 '15 at 15:27

It isn't typical in accounting to reconcile income and expense accounts as they show up on the bank, i.e., asset account, reconciliations anyway.

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