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Using GnuCash. I download activity from my bank and from my credit card. I've imported my bank activity and that will have entries such as

Date     | Description       | Withdrawal
1/1/2017 | Capital One       | $100

Then when I import my credit card data it will have an entry like (Note the different date):

Date     | Description       | Payment 
1/2/2017 | Payment Thank You | $100

When I specify the transfer account of my bank transaction it will create an entry in my Credit Card account but this will be a brand new entry and not link to the payment received transaction that was imported into my credit card account.

How do I link these two transactions together? Do I have to manually delete one of the transactions? What's the best way to handle this?

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You are missing a step when importing the second set of transactions. After assigning the transfer account, another screen comes up and allows you to de-duplicate transactions (see the QIF import guide in the manual step #6). Since you've already imported both data sets, if you look at the register for your credit card, or your bank, you should see duplicate transactions (if not, check the splits on both transactions and see if either are assigned to 'Imbalance-USD'). If both sides of the transaction are correct, and the debits/credits are correct, then one of the transactions is a duplicate and can be safely removed. Afterwards use the reconciliation feature on both your bank and credit card accounts against the relevant statements, and make sure that the ending balances match.

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You're on the right track (Great!! Seriously, that's awesome).

But, you want to keep transactions together ALWAYS.

Why?: Back in the 1700s-1800s tradesmen did what you did and made journal entries that:

  • 1, were on different dates
  • 2, might have a footnote to signify which entry goes with what.

The issue is, as your ledger grows you will run out of footnotes and it will become difficult to read.


Do I have to manually delete one of the transactions?

NO. NEVER. Because you'll sit there and ask yourself, "Where did all my cash go?!?" as you're working on the balance sheet.


How do I link these two transactions together? / What's the best way to handle this?

So try this:

Study adjusting entries if you have more questions!
Good luck.

  • 2
    This answer works in the context of a spreadsheet ledger, however in most accounting software (the question references gnucash) the duplicate entries would appear in both account registers. Thus it WOULD make sense to delete one of them, otherwise the balance will be thrown off. – Derek_6424246 Mar 13 '17 at 17:48

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