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Beancount Integration

Instructions for downloading and installing Beancount:

Where to Get It

This is the official location for the source code:

Download it like this, by using Git to make a clone on your machine:

git clone

How to Install

Installing Python

Beancount uses Python 3.51 or above, which is a pretty recent version of Python (as of this writing), and a few common library dependencies.

First, you should have a working Python install. Install the latest stable version >=3.5 using the download from

Installing Beancount using pip

This is the easiest way to install Beancount. You just install Beancount using

sudo -H python3 -m pip install beancount

This should automatically download and install all the dependencies.

Tutorial & example

First we need to modify the hashed-vaults.journal file to be in the Beancount format -> hashed-vaults-python.journal.

You need to take in consideration the following changes:

  • Date should be in the format YYYY-MM-DD
  • Currency should be in the format `USD'
  • After the date, you need to add the * symbol
  • Every transaction description should be in the format "description"
  • You need to initialize the account with the open keyword
  • Account names should be in the format Assets:BitcoinVaults:Hot, without spaces
  • Beancount will ignore the ; comments, so you don't need to remove them
  • Accounts needs to be balanced:
    Assets:BitcoinVaults:Cold           1.5 BTC
Income:Consulting -1.5 BTC

Generate an Example File

If we don't have any doc file, we can begin by generating an example file:

bean-example > example.beancount

But we already have a hashed-vaults-python.journal file, so we can use that one.

Next, before we begin generating reports, verify that the file loads without any errors (checks that the syntax is correct):

bean-check docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal

It should return quietly, without outputting anything (bean-check only writes errors when there are some, otherwise on success it writes nothing).


Generating Reports

Let’s generate a report of the final balances of all accounts:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balances


As you can see, the bean-report script has subcommands for the various reports it generates. To list the available reports, use --help-reports:

bean-report --help-reports

To list the options available for a particular report, use --help on it:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balances --help


Generating Balances

Good, so we know how to generate a report of balances for all accounts. This is a pretty detailed list of accounts though. Let’s just restrict the output to the accounts that we’re interested in:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balances -e BitcoinVaults


Formatting Tools

Sometimes it’s nice to render a hierarchical list of accounts as a tree. You can use the “treeify” tool provided by Beancount to do this:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balances | treeify


This tool will work on any column of data that looks like a column of account names (you can also configure it work with filenames as well, or other patterns).

Generating a Balance Sheet and Income Statement

Let us generate a balance sheet:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balsheet


Unfortunately, the only output format supported for it at this point is HTML. Also, filtering balance sheet entries from the command-line is not supported. Generate this to a file and open a browser to it:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal balsheet > balsheet.html


You can to the same for income statements:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal income > income.html



You can also generate journals (in Ledger parlance, these are “registers”). Let’s look at a checking account postings, for instance:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal journal -a Assets:BitcoinVaults:Cold


To render a column of running balances, add the --balance option:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal journal -a Assets:BitcoinVaults:Cold --balance



There are a variety of ways to obtain aggregations for the total list of holdings. List the detailed holdings:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal holdings


Other Reports

There are many other miscellaneous reports available. Try a few of those.

Listing all accounts:

bean-report docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal accounts


Viewing Reports through the Web Interface

The original way to access reports in Beancount is via its web interface that serves to a local web server on your machine. Serve the example file like this:

bean-web docs/journals/hashed-vaults-python.journal

Then navigate with a web browser to http://localhost:8080. From there, you can click on any number of filtered views and access some of the reports previously demonstrated. For example, click on a year view; that will provide balance sheets and income statements and various other reports for this subset of transactions.