I just started using GnuCash to keep track of my personal expenses and to do the books in my business. I have no accounting experience, but so far it's pretty simple. I've entered the balances on my credit cards using Liabilities, but I need help on entering loans.

I sometimes have to make loans to my LLC. Sometimes I loan the business cash, other times I use one of my credit cards to make a loan to the business by purchasing a needed item or material. Still other times, I contribute capital to the LLC as an account transfer from my Checking to the business's Checking.

How should you keep track of loans made to you and loans you've made to others in double-entry accounting? Loans received seems simple enough: make a transfer from Liabilities:Loans Received to Assets:Checking. How do you keep track of loans you've made to other parties? I've read this post here (How do I track an interest free loan I made in GNUCash? How do I track payments against that loan?), and I get that a loan made to another party is a liability because it isn't cash-in-hand and there is risk of it not being paid back, but how would I enter it in my Liabilities account?

Also, along the same lines, how would you track a contribution of capital? Ie, I gift my LLC with $1000 to help it grow, not a loan. I can see how that might qualify as income to the LLC, but is there a better way to classify it? For my personal finances, how would I transfer the cash to the LLC, since it's not technically an expense?

Sorry for the multilayered question. So far, GnuCash makes a lot of sense, but all my previous budgeting experience is with spreadsheets. Thank you so much for the help.

  • Are you using a single Gnucash file to handle both your personal & LLC or two separate files, one for personal and one for LLC? Jul 21, 2018 at 8:24
  • Two separate files.
    – CMB
    Jul 21, 2018 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


How do you keep track of loans you've made to other parties?

A debt of another party is an asset (the party can pay you back later; you can sell the debt to a collection agency). When you give a loan, you make a transfer from, e.g., Assets:Checking account to Assets:Debt:Another Party. When you get the loan back, you do the reverse transaction.

How would you track a contribution of capital?

An equity in a company is again an asset (you can, e.g., sell the company and get the contributed money back). When you contribute to the capital of your company, you do a transaction from Assets:Checking to Assets:Equity in My LLC.

In the LLC ledger you will make a transaction transferring the same amount from Equity:CMB StackExchange User to Assets:My LLC Bank Account.

  • That seems to work really well. What about a loan made before the start of the budget? I can't transfer from checking to assets because that would throw off the balance of my checking. Could I call it an initial amount in my Equity account, like the starting amounts in my checking and savings?
    – CMB
    Jul 23, 2018 at 3:54
  • I ended up just calling it an initial amount and transferring from Initial Equity:Initial Amounts to Assets:Debt Owed By Other Parties. Thanks for your help
    – CMB
    Jul 23, 2018 at 5:00

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