Quicken has the wrong opening statement balance every month

Quicken 20017 version R 15.  I reconciled my account to my paper statement in November.  Now I am ready to reconcile the December statement.  However, the opening balance in Quicken for December does not match the opening balance on the statement for December.  This happens month after month.  I don't understand why Quicken won't hold the ending balance for one month as the opening balance for the next. 

Comments

  • chasfm11 .
    chasfm11 . Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I've had this same problem on and off for several years and different releases of Quicken. I keep electronic copies of all of my bank statements and expect the reconciled balance in Quicken to be the same as the balance in any of them.   There is a warning about transactions being entered that are over a year old so I'm not sure how anything can happen that is so old (and therefore affects the ongoing balance) without the transaction being fairly easy to find.  A couple of times, I never did figure out what went wrong and simply entered a transaction to bring things back into sync again.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2018
    Yeah, I know,  I do the same thing.  However, it's unfortunate to think you have more money in the account via Quicken than you actually do.  Kind of defeats the purpose of running the software.  Why do you need it if it can't keep an accurate balance?   I'm confident there won't be a solution other than what you and I have done in the past.  Thanks for the reply.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I've used Quicken for something like 30 years now and I think I've had that problem maybe once or twice in all that time, and it's always been because I somehow deleted a prior period transaction or erroneously entered a prior period transaction.

    In the absence of data corruption - you have validated the file right? - Quicken is simply a computer program and everything else being equal it's going to calculate 1 + 1 = 2 every single time.  Since Quicken doesn't "hold" the prior period balance but instead calculates it each time it's needed that does suggest you are routinely affecting prior transactions, even though you think you're not.  That warning about posting a transaction that's over a year away from the current date certainly isn't sufficient to keep you from making such an entry and, in any case, an entry that's only a month or so behind the current date isn't going to trigger that warning but can affect a prior period closing balance.

    One thing that you can do that might help here is that after you're confident that a month is "closed" you tick "File" > "Set password to modify transactions ..." and "close" the month that way.  That doesn't prohibit you from entering a transaction in a "closed" month - you can always supply the password - but it does slow you down enough that you can consider "should I really be making this entry?"
  • chasfm11 .
    chasfm11 . Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I've only recently gotten into the routine of periodically validating the file.  I started doing this after I experienced a number of bizzare situations.  I appreciate the suggestion to password protect the transactions.  

    What I don't get is why the file needs constant validation and correction.  Based on what seems to be happening to many users, I believe corrupted data is the cause of at least some of those problems. But how can that be?  The Quicken code should be the only thing that is changing the data.  I do understand crashes or other interruptions to code flow could leave a transaction or an index in an altered state.  But I cannot remember the last time that my desktop crashed or Quicken abnormally closed and I've had quite a few problems which seemed to be fixed, without a single error listed in the output report, by Supervalidate.   I don't know of another computer application that requires that level of data maintenance.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2018
    I've been using Quicken for over 10 years and did not have this issue until like the last 12 months.  Always balanced to the penny.  I just validated the file and it was fine.  Not entering transactions that are after the period is closed.  If I were it would make sense that Quicken would have a warning message to this effect.  Somethings wrong and it's not me.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    @Jim. I recognize you believe you have not changed anything. The opening balance for a reconciliation is the summation of transactions in that account with 'R' Clr status throughout all time, past and future. I have never seen Quicken not get to that summation or present any other value.



    If you are getting a different value than you had at the end of the last reconciliation that means some R transaction change occurred. A change of value to an existing R transaction. An R changed to something else. Something else changed to an R. An R transaction deleted. An R transaction added, possibly as a memorized transaction.



    A setup I use regularly is to sort my checking account using that Clr status column. That sorts to the R transactions at the top. The last of those transactions in the list is the reconciled amount. It will be the opening balance for the next time I reconcile. Following the R's are the c's. The last of the c's represents the balance the bank currently shows as cleared. That would normally agree with what you would see on the bank's website. Finally are the uncleared transactions, checks written but not cleared, future transactions, etc.



    That setup might help you catch a change earlier..
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    From C. D. Bales:



    "I don't understand why Quicken won't hold the ending balance for one month as the opening balance for the next".



    Quicken does not even attempt to do that.



    The opening balance of a Quicken reconcile is computed at the time the reconcile is initiated: the opening reconcile balance is the net amount of ALL reconciled transactions in the account at the moment the reconcile begins.



    Anything that changed the net amount of reconciled transactions in the account, after the previous reconcile, will change the opening balance of the current reconcile.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • chasfm11 .
    chasfm11 . Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I've had this problem.  I DO NOT make changes to any "R" transaction - ever.  As I said in an earlier post,  I've given up several times in trying to figure out what went wrong and simply allowed a balance correction.  I assumed that a transaction was somehow given a much earlier date and that tracing back through the register (some of mine go back to 2002)  was not going to be productive. When I've had the problem, all of my recent statement balances, not just the last one were suddenly wrong, even though I reconciled each of them in turn and they matched the bank's paper statement at the time of the reconciliation.
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