Setup for Multiple Companies

I have more than one business. How do I set that up in Goldenseal?

There are two basic ways to handle multiple companies in Goldenseal-- you can create a separate file for each company, or you can combine them into one file and then use Company Divisions to separate them.

Choose whichever method gives you the amount of separation that you require.

License Details

Your Goldenseal license allows you to use Goldenseal to keep books for more than one company, as long as they are owned by the same person, the same partnership or the same corporation.

If the companies are owned by different people or different legal entities, you'll need to get a separate copy of Goldenseal for each company.

Using Multiple Files

If you need to keep each business entirely separate, set up a separate company file for each business. That will probably be the case if each business is a separate corporation with separate tax returns.

If the businesses share many common suppliers, you can save time by doing the following:

  1. Set up one company, and enter all the suppliers and subcontractors that work for more than one of your companies.
  2. Exit/Quit from Goldenseal.
  3. Duplicate the file, and name the copy for your second company.

Inter-company Transfers

If you transfer money between companies, you'll need to treat your additional businesses just as if they belonged to someone else. Enter your second company as an account in the first company file, and enter your first company as an account in the second company file. You'll then enter invoices and payments exactly the same as you would to a regular vendor or customer.

Managing Multiple Files

Goldenseal only lets you open one file at a time-- so if you are working on more than one company on a single computer, you'll need to exit/quit from one file before opening another one.

On the Macintosh, you can duplicate the Goldenseal application (tree icon) and then open multiple company files at the same time. To do that, drag the icon for the company file onto the appropriate application icon.

If you are using the multi-user version of Goldenseal, you can install each company file on a different server computer. That way you can open whichever company file that you want, from one of the client machines.

Shared Employees

If an employee works for more than one company during a single pay period, the way you will handle their wages depends on whether you write them a separate paycheck from each company or not.

If you write them a separate paycheck from each company, follow these steps:

  1. Enter Labor Hours into the company file for each place they work.
  2. Use the Write Payroll command to generate payroll as you normally would.
  3. Adjust payroll withholding if necessary to account for the time worked elsewhere. You may also need to adjust taxes with a cutoff amount such as SUTA (if the tax agency allows you to combine wage totals from the multiple companies).

If you write a combined paycheck from one company, follow these steps:

  1. Enter all of the employee's time into Labor Hours records in the company file that is paying wages to the employee.
  2. Use the Write Payroll command to generate payroll as you normally would.
  3. Enter a Cost Transfer to subtract job costing for any time that was actually spent in a different company.
  4. Open the second company file, and enter a Cost Transfer to add job costing for time spent there.

Using One File

If the businesses do not need to be kept entirely separate, you can save time by running them all from one company file. In that case you can use Company Divisions to separate the companies for planning and tax purposes.


When you set up a company file that covers more than one business, enter a Company Division for each business entity that you'd like to keep separate.

For each Asset account and Liability account, enter the Company Division to which it belongs. Goldenseal will use that information to create a separate balance sheet for each division.

For each Job Type, enter the Company Division to which that type of work will apply. Goldenseal will use that division to allocate expenses and income to each division.

For each Sales Branch, also enter the Company Division to use for sales from that branch.

Data Entry

When you enter data, you'll need to be careful that every transaction is marked for a specific Company Division.

For Sales, that means that you'll need to enter a Sales Branch for each sale.

For Expenses, Goldenseal will use the Job account to determine the Company Division (based on the Job Type for each Project or Overhead account).


A few of the reports are designed to give details for just one Company Division. In the future we plan to add more reports that will show info for just one Company Division.

To see a report for one Division, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a report from the Reports menu.
  2. Turn on the More Details checkbox at the top of the Report window.
  3. Enter Company Division into the Match Field popup.
  4. Enter a specific Division into the clairvoyant field to its right.
  5. Click the Update button to fill in the report.

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