Ken, Adrien
Just a quick note re "separate account trees for each business".

I have experimnted to try to do this within the one set of books (i.e. file)
in Gnucash and have never found a way of doing it.

My problem has always been creating an entity level top account as there is
no top level account of type entity in the Gnucash structure which can have
the other major account types (i.e. Asset, Liability, Equity, Income,
Expense) as the type of its sub accounts. 

The account type of a top level account is restricted to be one of {Bank,
Cash, Asset, Credit Card, Liabilty, Stock, Mutual Fund, Income, Expense,
Equity, A/Receivable, A/Payable,or Trading}. Having made a choice of the top
level account (e.g. Asset),the choice of account type for a subaccount is
restricted to types in the Asset and Liability classes , i.e.{Bank, Cash,
Asset, Credit Card, Liability, Stock, Mutual Fund, A/Receivable, A/Payable}.
If the top level account is of type Liability, the choices are restricted to
the same list. If the top level account is an Equity account type, its sub
accounts can only be of type Equity. Expense and Income class top level
accounts can only have a type for the subaccounts of {Income, Expense}. This
precludes setting up multiple entity structures with the entities as
separate top level accounts with their own sub trees.

I think this is by design and that the expected strategy is to use separate
files for separate entity. 

I have adopted the second strategy you mentioned of having "entity"
subaccounts under each of the major top level classes {Asset,Libility,
Equity, Income, Expenses} to separate my wife's, mine and a few minor
business ventures we operate jointly or separately. It works OK, but
increases the likelihood of putting a transaction in the wrong account and
the balance sheets and income statements are not ideal but easily rearranged
once generated. The main distinction for me is that none of these ventures
files a separate tax return and they are basically at the hobby level since
we retired.


David Cousens
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