A ledger-compatible balance command.
ledger's balance command is easy to use but not easy to describe
precisely. In the examples below we'll use sample.journal, which has the
following account tree:
The balance command shows accounts with their aggregate balances.
Subaccounts are displayed indented below their parent. Each balance is the
sum of any transactions in that account plus any balances from
$ hledger -f sample.journal balance
Usually, the non-interesting accounts are elided or omitted. Above,
checking is omitted because it has no subaccounts and a zero balance.
bank is elided because it has only a single displayed subaccount
(saving) and it would be showing the same balance as that ($1). Ditto
for liabilities. We will return to this in a moment.
The --depth argument can be used to limit the depth of the balance report.
So, to see just the top level accounts:
$ hledger -f sample.journal balance --depth 1
This time liabilities has no displayed subaccounts (due to --depth) and
is not elided.
With one or more account pattern arguments, the balance command shows
accounts whose name matches one of the patterns, plus their parents
(elided) and subaccounts. So with the pattern o we get:
$ hledger -f sample.journal balance o
The o pattern matched food and income, so they are shown. Unmatched
parents of matched accounts are also shown (elided) for context (expenses).
Also, the balance report shows the total of all displayed accounts, when
that is non-zero. Here, it is displayed because the accounts shown add up
Here is a more precise definition of "interesting" accounts in ledger's
- an account which has just one interesting subaccount branch, and which
is not at the report's maximum depth, is interesting if the balance is
different from the subaccount's, and otherwise boring.
- any other account is interesting if it has a non-zero balance, or the -E
flag is used.