• GnuCash 2.6.12
  • Ubuntu 16
  • $10,000 loan from external party (Brandon)

In the official GnuCash documentation, it states that:

GnuCash treats account types Credit Card and Liability the same.

Which is exactly how it should be.

However, the issue I am running into is that my loan is not being treated as a credit, it is being treated as a debit even though I've checked it is a liability. This of course throws the balance sheet off by the $10,000.

I am digging in the archives of my brain here back to high school accounting but I am fairly certain the loan charge of $10,000 offsets the $10,000 deposit into the checking account. No?

Here is a screenshot of the balance sheet: Balance Sheet

Here is the setup of the loan account. Loan setup

Wrap up

Please point me in the right direction, I am sure I am missing something minor or I just do not understand how loans (or liabilities in general) work in the balance sheet.

One final thing I should mention is that if I put the loan against the "Credit Card", it behaves as expected. I have compared the Credit Card and the Loan and cannot see a difference that would cause this.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what the question is. The balance sheet looks fine and it totals up to zero, as it should. What is the issue here?
    – Rad80
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 9:19
  • How does it total to zero? It says 10k, whereas if I change the loan to be a credit card it properly brings it to 0. That really is the question, "what am I missing here?"
    – gwnp
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 11:19
  • The screenshot you posted for the balance sheet has the amount listed under credit card and looks fine. If the version with the debit account looks different it might be helpful to see it.
    – Rad80
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 11:23
  • @Rad80 oh sorry, yes that is the wrong screenshot. I will put the correct one when I get home. Sorry about that
    – gwnp
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 12:41
  • @Rad80 I have uploaded the "correct" one now.
    – gwnp
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


A balance sheet is structured in a very specific way with Assets at the top and Liabilities + Equity at the bottom. In order for a Balance Sheet to balance, the two sections must be equal, and yours is indeed balanced.

You are probably thinking that a balance sheet should contain Equity (or Net Worth) on the bottom line, and that's a logical conclusion, but that's just not how a balance sheet works. Your Equity is correct - $0 - and your Net Worth is $0 as it should be.

Perhaps a more informative report would be the Net Worth report - this will show that your assets and liabilities are equal and cancel each other out for a net worth of $0.

  • Thank you for the explanation, as soon as I read it I realized how dumb it was to think it should equal 0. It also brought back a bunch of other accounting stuff locked in the archives of my brain hah.
    – gwnp
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 21:05

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