Why does Update include charges not in the paper statement?

I'm a long-time Windows Quicken user. Used to be update/reconciliation of Credit card accounts was a breeze. Always balanced. In the last few months it's sometimes off. What seems to be happening is the last new Charge transaction after Update is NOT IN THE PAPER STATEMENT. The likely cause is Quicken & the CC bank (Citi Bank at least) are not working together on how to handle "last minute charges." Is this a known issue?

Best Answer

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I get this every month and just live with it. There's always a Cleared dividend or 2 in my Morgan Stanley account which is included in my Quicken reconcile, but isn't on the paper statement. This is Morgan Stanley's fault. The problematic transactions occur on the last day of the reconcile period and just don't make it into the statement.
    The simplest solution I've found is to remove those transactions from the reconcile, which marks them as Uncleared. The reconcile then properly goes to a zero difference, and I accept it. After the reconcile is done, I go back and mark the problematic transactions as Cleared again. Now that this has become routine, it takes only a few extra seconds.
    I don't like reconciling against online balances. That mean's I'm reconciling against the FI's computer as of today instead of as of the end of the statement period. The statements are the FI's official documentation; today's online balance is not.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.

Answers

  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Not sure I follow? As long as Quicken has at least the entries that appear on the statement, you would simply not include the "last minute item" in the reconciliation. If a transaction was missing for whatever reason, it would have to be manually added.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 11 Pro version 21H2
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Thanks GeoffG.

    Yes, that fixes the problem, as would changing the date. But After the Update the Reconciliation it is preselected because Quicken thinks it's cleared even though the Paper Statement doesn't! Now that I happened to have noticed it was the last item it's easy to find, but before that I was just mystified as to why there was an imbalance. I'd search the charges and payments lists on the paper statement and the Quicken reconciliation lists looking for clues.

    The real question is why it gets picked up by Quicken as a cleared transaction when according to the good and true Paper Statement does not show it.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    You're confusing "Cleared" and "Reconciled".  Cleared simply means that the transaction has been received by your bank and posted to your account.
    IF you have downloaded the transaction, by definition it has been cleared.
    NOW, the question becomes what's the As-Of date of the paper statement and whether the "Downloaded Posting Date" falls before the As-of.
    In the particular account, click the Gear icon that's on the far right of the Column titles and select "Downloaded Posting date" to add to your account register and then click DONE. 
    You can uncheck this when you've resolved the matter.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Quicken will not download transactions from FIs until they have posted/cleared even though the FI will show the transaction as pending in their website. 

    FIs also usually do not include pending transactions in their statements. So if the transaction date is 3/30 but the posting/cleared date is 4/1 and the statement date is 3/31, this transaction would not show up in the statement.

    When the transaction posts/clears on 4/1, Quicken will import that transaction and enter it into the register with the 3/30 transaction date. Now you have Quicken showing a transaction prior to the 3/31 statement date and the statement will not show it.

    I think using paper statements to do reconciliations is folly.  When doing this you are trying to compare one snapshot in time to another snapshot in time and discrepancies like this can and do occur.  The process is more time consuming for reconciliation, especially when trying to troubleshoot disconnects like this.
    I much prefer to use the reconcile to online balance function.  It works very fast and is highly reliable for me.
    But for those who are not comfortable with that, my suggestion is to forget the paper statement.  Instead, do an OSU, then go into your online account and select the date range to view (or download to Excel or PDF) for the reconciliation.  Then compare that online account information to what is showing in Quicken.  At least then you'll have an apples-to-apples real-time comparison so these types of discrepancies don't exist.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the help, but the fact remains that Quicken included the transaction in the list of charges even though it is not included in the Paper Statement.

    I have now looked at the transactions AFTER the last statement closing date and there it is, showing a date of 4/15. So, that's why it's not in the Paper Statement. The fact that Quicken did not show it in the list with the cleared box checked means that Quicken & Citi are not marching to the same drummer. It can be argued that the bank has the final say because it owns the data, so to speak. IOW, if there was no computer or there was no Quicken, someone balancing the checkbook would have only the data in the Statements to work with.

    NotACPA, I don't think I used the DOS version, but switched over from MYM shortly thereafter.
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Oops. I meant to say "The fact that Quicken DID show it in the list with the cleared box checked..."
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    OK, I need a little help in understanding the specifics of what you are talking about.
    What is the cleared transaction "Date" of the transaction?
    What is the posting date of the transaction?  If you are not seeing this in Quicken, in the register there are two Gear icons toward the top right.  Click on the lower one circled in red here:

    Then check the box for "Downloaded Posting Date".  This will add the "Posting Date" column (highlighted in yellow) to the register just to the right of the "Date" column.
    What is the date of your statement?
    What is your connection method:  Direct Connect, Express Web Connect or Web Connect?
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Thanks for telling me how to display the Posting date, Boat.

    Cleared date & posting date are the same, 4/13/2020. The attachements show the last few transactions from Quicken and from the paper statement. As you can see, Quicken picked up the $10 payment but it's NOT on the statement.


    The closing date of the statement is 4/14/2020. I'm using Express Web Connect.
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Thanks for the additional information. 
    This still appears to me to be a timing issue....and it is a FI issue, not a Quicken issue.  Quicken simply downloads the transactions that are in the online account register....it doesn't pull the transactions data from the FI statements.  Yet, the FI statement did not include it.  That is a FI issue.
    Some FIs don't do real-time database updates.  While their registers will show transaction changes in real-time, their comprehensive account balance updates (that the paper statements are pulled from) occur overnight.  Sometimes a transaction clears too late in the day to be captured in the comprehensive balance update.  So, it shows up in the account register as cleared (both online and in Quicken) but it will not appear in the statement.    By the next day it will all balance out correctly but it is too late for inclusion in the paper statement.
    I see this happen not infrequently with my Elan Financial Fidelity CC and sometimes with my Citi Cosco Visa CC....new transactions download but the online balance that is downloaded sometimes does not include them until the next day.This type of issue is one of the reasons why I long ago stopped using paper statements to do reconciliations.  It was causing me to pull my hair out trying to find out why I couldn't balance my account in Quicken to the paper statement.
    Unless you can get Citi to change their system update process you very likely will see it occur again at sometime in the future. 
    If it bothers you too much, then I suggest you stop trying to balance your account to paper statements and instead let Quicken reconcile your account to the online balance or manually reconcile your account in Quicken to the online account transaction register.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Yes, it occurred to me that it was a timing issue. It has happened several times in the last few months so I assume it will happen again. One work-around I've used is to simply change the date of the transaction in the register, bumping it up one day.

    As for getting Citi to change to make it work with Quicken, IMHO there's no way they're going to do it just because a single account holder wants them to.

    Regarding working off of online balances, I'd not likely be comfortable with that. For example, what if I was in the process of reconciliation and didn't have time to finish? Seems to me the online balance would have changed when I got back to the task. On the other hand, a paper statement, or an online facsimile, is fixed forever. Solid ground so to speak.

    So, until Quicken Community or corporate can get together with Citi and fix the problem I'll try to remember to always look first at the last one or two transactions when it doesn't balance. Or, perhaps follow the lead of my wife and forget about balancing the cards and ban accounts :-)
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Yes, you are right...not a chance in h*ll that we (or Quicken) will ever get Citi to change their process.  And, yes, your wife might be on to something there!  :smile:
    Regarding reconciling to online balance:  This is not a process where it requires, in most cases, anything more than just a few seconds to complete.  There are two ways to do it.
    1) Manual: 
    • After accepting the downloaded transactions into your register, click on the Gear icon at the very top right of the register screen and click on "Reconcile". 
    • That pulls up a popup in which Quicken populates it with all the cleared and uncleared transactions in the register and it will place a green check mark next to those that Quicken was able to reconcile to the FI downloaded online balance.
    • At the bottom of the popup it will show the "Cleared Balance" of what's in your register, the "Statement Balance" (the downloaded online balance) and what the difference is between the two.
    • If it is $0.00 then all you do is click "Done" and Quicken will mark all of the green checked transactions in your register with "R".  That's it....you are done.
    2)  Automatic:
    • You can also set up your account to do this reconciliation process automatically after you download and accept the transactions into the register. 
    • It will bring up that popup for you to review only if it can't automatically reconcile to $0.00 so you can review it to see where the problem is. 
    • If there is no issue because the difference is $0.00, Quicken will automatically mark the transactions in the register with "R".
    Most of the time, this reconciling to the online balance goes off without any hitch.  In almost all cases where it doesn't it is because of the exact same timing issue we have been discussing in this thread.  When that happens, you can cancel the reconciliation process, wait until the next day and run OSU, again, when the online balance at the FI has been updated and downloaded into Quicken and then do Reconcile.  In almost every case, it will reconcile properly. 
    If it can't reconcile you will need to dig into it further to find out why it doesn't...missing a transaction? extra transaction? transaction amount is not correct?  Once you find out what the issue is, make the appropriate correction in your register and run Reconcile again. 
    Or if you can't find what the issue is (or if it's very small and you don't want to mess with it) Quicken will give you the option of simply entering a balancing transaction which it will do automatically if that's what you want.
    And, you don't need to worry about transactions getting entered into your register without your review.  You will still need to review and accept each downloaded transaction before Reconcile is run.
    What I really like about this is that this process is very fast and very easy.  I do Reconcile every time after OSU is done and new transactions have been downloaded.  So there nothing is in my register that is not reconciled that is older than my last reconciliation.  That means no more than just a few transactions to review if indeed a reconciliation issue does come up instead of needing to wait perhaps up to a month to get that paper statement.
    What you might want to do is test this out sometime.  After you've run OSU and new transactions have been downloaded (or if there are already unreconciled transactions in the register), save your file.  Then save a copy of it under a different file name and open that copy file.  Go to the account register where you have transactions that haven't been reconciled (they don't need to be newly downloaded) and run Reconcile.  I think you will be surprised at how fast and easy it is.  And it won't be long before you gain a lot of respect for and comfort with it.  And since you aren't using your original file for this there's absolutely no harm or risk at all in trying it.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I get this every month and just live with it. There's always a Cleared dividend or 2 in my Morgan Stanley account which is included in my Quicken reconcile, but isn't on the paper statement. This is Morgan Stanley's fault. The problematic transactions occur on the last day of the reconcile period and just don't make it into the statement.
    The simplest solution I've found is to remove those transactions from the reconcile, which marks them as Uncleared. The reconcile then properly goes to a zero difference, and I accept it. After the reconcile is done, I go back and mark the problematic transactions as Cleared again. Now that this has become routine, it takes only a few extra seconds.
    I don't like reconciling against online balances. That mean's I'm reconciling against the FI's computer as of today instead of as of the end of the statement period. The statements are the FI's official documentation; today's online balance is not.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    @Rocket J Squirrel - Everyone has their own preferences and comfort levels for the various ways to reconcile.  I understand and can appreciate that. 
    For what it's worth, the online register is what feeds into the total account data which feeds into the statement so if there's a problem in the online register it will also be a problem in the paper statement.  I've been a Quicken user since 2006 and a MS Money user for about 10 yrs before that.  In all that time I don't recall one instance where there were inconsistencies between what's in the PFM program (other than the occasional last minute transaction that did not get included in the downloaded online balance), the online transaction register and the paper statements (other than the occasional last minute transaction that did not get included in the statement) but those occasional issues always self-resolve within a day.  So, I have a lot of confidence in the online balance at the FI and in Quicken (provided Quicken updated properly) and I've never been burned because of that.  Hopefully I don't sometime get burned for that trust.  Still, to satisfy my sense of needing to verify just about everything, I will bounce the ending balance of a paper statement off what I see in Quicken a few times a year just to be sure. That's become a rather boring verification process for me but old habits are hard to break.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Yes, the bottom line is that all the FI's numbers are coming from the same place - the FI's computer - no matter when or how the user looks at them.
    I keep paper investment statements until they are no longer potentially useful for tax purposes. So I simply prefer to reconcile against those statements.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    I keep my bank statements (checking, savings, card) for 7 years ... per IRS retention policy.  Same with bills, and other receipts of expenses or income.
    My Fidelity Investment statements, I keep forever.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I gone paperless on just about everything now.  I download or scan all of the important documents and save them as soft files, back them up once a week on a thumb drive that I keep in a fireproof locked safe and then once a quarter I back that up on a secure cloud storage site that encrypts and password protects everything.  It's absolutely amazing how much storage space I've recovered since I've been doing that!
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    We've found the online balance obtained by Quicken to be unreliable so we reconcile to a statement obtained from the financial institution.  We're completely paperless as well, backed up locally and securely to cloud storage.

    The benefit of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover a discrepancy sooner.  The disadvantage of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover the discrepancy is the online balance.
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    Boat, when I click on Reconcile I get a dialog that asks for date of the Statement, total charges, & total payments. That dialog doesn't appear when you choose to work off the online balance? Seems to me that's not "balancing" in the sense that I'm used to.
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Ed S - Sorry, I see I forgot to mention one very important step...how to set up an account for Reconcile to Online Balance.  At the bottom right of the Online Services tab of Account Details you first need to check the box and then click "OK".  If at a later date you want to go back to balancing to a statement you just uncheck this box.

    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Sherlock said:
    We've found the online balance obtained by Quicken to be unreliable so we reconcile to a statement obtained from the financial institution.  We're completely paperless as well, backed up locally and securely to cloud storage.

    The benefit of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover a discrepancy sooner.  The disadvantage of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover the discrepancy is the online balance.
    Hi, @[email protected] .  I hope all is well with you.
    You've told me before that you've found online balance to be unreliable.  This is contrary to what I see.  Maybe were are both meaning the same thing but are just defining or classifying it differently.  But if we aren't, then I'd like to look into it more.   Can you provide an example or describe what has led you to believe it is unreliable?
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Ed S
    Ed S Member ✭✭
    I want to thank EVERYONE who contributed to this discussion. I got learned something from every post. I accepted Rocket 's answered because it most directly confirms the problem as well as a work-around. I will definitely try Boat's online reconciliation, just to prove to myself that my mind is not totally calcified :-)
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    We've found the online balance obtained by Quicken to be unreliable so we reconcile to a statement obtained from the financial institution.  We're completely paperless as well, backed up locally and securely to cloud storage.

    The benefit of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover a discrepancy sooner.  The disadvantage of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover the discrepancy is the online balance.
    Hi, @[email protected] .  I hope all is well with you.
    You've told me before that you've found online balance to be unreliable.  This is contrary to what I see.  Maybe were are both meaning the same thing but are just defining or classifying it differently.  But if we aren't, then I'd like to look into it more.   Can you provide an example or describe what has led you to believe it is unreliable?
    By unreliable I mean the amount or the date obtained for the online balance is not always correct.  The online balance obtained from some financial institutions is more reliable than others. The timing issue you admit to having experienced is an example of an unreliable online balance: 
    Most of the time, this reconciling to the online balance goes off without any hitch.  In almost all cases where it doesn't it is because of the exact same timing issue we have been discussing in this thread.  
    Here's another recent example of an unreliable online balance:  https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7873884/reconciling-credit-card-account-but-negative-positive-balances-disagree
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Ed S said:
    I want to thank EVERYONE who contributed to this discussion. I got learned something from every post. I accepted Rocket 's answered because it most directly confirms the problem as well as a work-around. I will definitely try Boat's online reconciliation, just to prove to myself that my mind is not totally calcified :-)
    You are welcome, Ed.  I think no matter what experience or skills one has, we all learn something from each other through dialogs like this.
    BTW, I save my main Quicken file (I have 4 files because I manage the finances of 3 different individuals and a Trust) under a different name just about every week.  It gives me something to test different things and experiment with without having to worry about messing up my real main file.  There are many Quicken users who are super cautious or afraid of trying something new to see what happens.  This is a safe way to eliminate that risk and concern.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    Sherlock said:
    We've found the online balance obtained by Quicken to be unreliable so we reconcile to a statement obtained from the financial institution.  We're completely paperless as well, backed up locally and securely to cloud storage.

    The benefit of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover a discrepancy sooner.  The disadvantage of reconciling to an online balance is you may discover the discrepancy is the online balance.
    Hi, @[email protected] .  I hope all is well with you.
    You've told me before that you've found online balance to be unreliable.  This is contrary to what I see.  Maybe were are both meaning the same thing but are just defining or classifying it differently.  But if we aren't, then I'd like to look into it more.   Can you provide an example or describe what has led you to believe it is unreliable?
    By unreliable I mean the amount or the date obtained for the online balance is not always correct.  The online balance obtained from some financial institutions is more reliable than others. The timing issue you admit to having experienced is an example of an unreliable online balance: 
    Most of the time, this reconciling to the online balance goes off without any hitch.  In almost all cases where it doesn't it is because of the exact same timing issue we have been discussing in this thread.  
    Here's another recent example of an unreliable online balance:  https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7873884/reconciling-credit-card-account-but-negative-positive-balances-disagree
    Thanks for the reply.  What you are referring to is indeed an issue but in my mind it is not the issue.  The reliability issue is, from my perspective, whatever caused the online balance to be off, not that the balance itself was off.  Fix that cause of the online balance being off and the online balance issue goes away.  In my experience, in almost all cases, when the online balance is off, it is because the OSU process did not complete properly as it should.  In my posts I keep referring to OSU having reliability issues and that's because OSU not infrequently fails to properly complete for all accounts which affects things like online balance and what shows up in account registers.  For me, it's not so much that the information is wrong, it's that OSU hasn't updated it properly.
    The example of timing issue is one reason why OSU sometimes fails (i.e., the FI downloads information that is out of sync within their own system).  But since we know the cause and reconciling to the online balance will flag it all we need to do is update the next day and the online balance issue self-corrects.  And, in Ed's case, the opposite was true...what was showing in the register was correct but the paper statement was wrong.
    I remember reading the original post of the 2nd example you provide.  As I recall then and is shown in this most recent example, not enough information is provided to know what the cause of his issue was/is.  He did say something was changed by his bank so maybe that was behind it.  He also said that he switched from doing reconcile to online balance back to reconcile to statement.  That change is not as straightforward as it might seem and if not done properly the first time it can cause reconciling issues.  Since both dialogs did not come to final resolution we might never know what was really going on with him.  Until more information is provided I'm considering it to be an outlier balance/reconciliation issue with an unknown cause.
    Thanks, again, for replying back.  Now that I know what you mean by online balance not always being reliable I will be able to lower my internal red flags when I see you say that.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)