I'm building a personal budget in GnuCash and after entering my starting equity, I've added my new paycheck in the Income section of my budget. I've entered it as transferred to my Checking Account in Assets. Now I see that the money I entered in Income is in my Checking Account and contributes to the total for Assets, but it ALSO still shows in the total for Income.

Does the total for Income ever reset or go down? For example, if I enter two additions totaling $4000 in July, will that $4000 still be included in the Income total when I enter a new paycheck in August, or will the total reset so it only shows more recent additions? If not, will all income additions add together for the remainder of the GnuCash budget's lifetime, so that in a few years the Income total will be hundreds of thousands?

Thank you for your help. Just started using GnuCash and all previous budgeting experience is using spreadsheets.


As long as there are transactions which have an "Income" account as one side of the double-entry splits, there will be a rolling balance shown on the top level of the Income account hierarchy. So what does this mean? Will this value affect other balances or throw off your own "net worth" or "net increase" calculations? - The answer is no.

In the big picture of it, this top level "roll up balance" will be one of the few places you ever see this "total income" amount shown. Many businesses and individuals like to close their books once a year, and create a new, empty ledger for the new business year. To do this, they roll over their net balances on December 31st to the new "Equity" account on January 1st, and treat all values as "Initial Balances". Thus, the total on Income will be reset to 0, and any income retained from the previous year will be reflected in the new ledger's total value for Equity.

In contrast, if you're like me and you like to keep one set of records across multiple years, the application can easily handle that too. Everything that can be run for the current year can also run with a specified time range that you choose. For example, if I want to view my income numbers from 2016, I can run one of the Income Reports, specify the time range of 1/1/16 - 12/31/16, and get that data out. The same principle works for a business whose fiscal year starts on April 1st, or for someone who only cares about quarterly totals, for example. As you familiarize yourself with the "Reports" menu and their options, you'll begin to realize the true power of this tool.

  • @Derek-6424246 That makes sense. So it just keeps adding to total income, but since that income is linked to the checking account, I can still transfer it from Checking to some other account normally. If I want to see just a certain period, I can run a report. I think I get it. Thanks.
    – CMB
    Jul 19 '18 at 21:04

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