It turns this is a bitch to get right in GNUCash and it didn’t work for me until I used real dollars. I had 300 shares of WMB at a cost basis $22.216 They did a 1 for 3 spin off. For every 3 shares of WMB you get 1 share of WPX. Oddly enough for my 300 shares I got 99 of WPX shares instead of the 100 shares that might 1 for 3 means. I didn’t get any fractional share or cash. Class Action Land Sharks will be circling if many shareholders wake up. I’m missing $4.00
GNUCash doesn’t have a spin-off transaction. After a few attempts of too much thinking I realized that my $6664.80 purchase cost should be split 75% (WMB) and 25% (WPX). Then you divide those dollar amounts by the shares of each, 300 and 99 for me. There are many ways to do this wrong in GNU cash. I chose to set up an new equity account, “WPX spinoff”. Then in the WMB account I sold 300 shares of WMB at my 22.216 basis to the spinoff account. Then I bought (transferred) 300 of them with the new basis of $16.662/shr from the Spinoff account and in the new WPX asset account I bought 99 shares from that transfer account at $16.7899 leaving me with a 4.00 error and cost basis that make sense to me. Perhaps $4.00 got lost in the rounding and floating point fun. I suspect not. Integer number errors is a cause for worry.
So the spinoff equity account is out of balance by $4.00. I chose to move the $4 into the WMB expenses account. If you don’t track expenses and income by account and investment, then you’ll need a “slop” expense account. At the end of the day, accounts balance, there are no weird transactions in the investment account and I can find my cost basis for the IRS when I sell either of these brilliant investments (soon). $4.00 is a fair price to lose if I never their see their 10-k’s again. It’ll cost me $14.xy to sell both so the lost $4 just blends into the background. Some people might pursue the $4. Probably won’t be me and that’s kind of sad. I don’t want dig into something suspicious because my return will be low.