Checking for errors

hledger can check your data in various ways.

Built in checks

In hledger 1.21+, see strict mode and the check command.

Old way to check accounts

Here's another way to check for undeclared accounts, that works with older hledger versions, showing some diff tricks:

$ diff -U0 --label "Unused Accounts" --label "Undeclared Accounts" <(hledger accounts --declared) <(hledger accounts --used)

Compare report output

Save the output of a report, and later use diff to compare the output of the same report, revealing any changes.

$ hledger COMMAND > report.txt
$ hledger COMMAND > report2.txt
$ diff report.txt report2.txt

Or, periodically commit a report's output into your version control system, then use the VCS to detect any changes since the last commit.

$ hledger COMMAND > report.txt; git add report.txt; git commit -m 'report' report.txt
$ hledger COMMAND > report.txt; git diff -- report.txt

A pre-commit hook

Version control systems often support a "pre-commit hook", a script which is required to succeed before each commit. Eg:

set -e
hledger check -s

Flycheck mode

If you use Emacs, you can configure flycheck to run your preferred checks when you edit a journal file. This integration is currently quite basic, but it still gives very useful real-time feedback. Setup tips:

  • in Emacs, install the flycheck-hledger package and customise the flycheck-checkers variable, adding hledger to the list
  • customise the flycheck-hledger-strict and flycheck-hledger-checks variables

Todo / maybe

Here are some checks we don't support, but could:

  • accountsactive - for each account used, if there is posting with an open: tag, it must have a corresponding posting with a close: tag, and all other postings must be chronologically between (and if on the same date, textually between) open and close postings. ("Accounts are posted to only within their declared active period.")
  • explicitamounts - all transaction amounts have been recorded explicitly