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Finding error in reconciliation

JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
I went back through a lot of posts, but could not find the answer to this question. Pardon me if it has already been answered. I have a balance error in reconciliation in a few accounts. This has been a thorn in my side since migrating to Q19 Mac. My question is this: In order to find out when and where and why the error occurred, is is possible to go back in time and re-reconcile a month until I find that it balances.....then move forward from there month-by-month and sort this out? I used to have no problems with reconciliation, but now more. I guess my basic question is whether if one month reconciles, should all previous months reconcile equally? It that is the case, it looks like going back in time to find the error would work, unless there is something else that I do not understand about this. Thanks all!

Comments

  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @ JayDC,

    In general, when an account is out of balance for a period of time (i.e. doesn't reconcile), and you haven't reconciled it on a regular basis, and you don't want to go back to the last time it reconciled, you could try to split the "out of reconciled" time frame into pieces as a shortcut. 

    So, let's say its been a whole calendar year since the last reconciliation and you know the balance is off.  You could decide to try to reconcile January through June first and if that works out, you know the problems are between July and December, so you might try to reconcile at September 30th.  If that's off, then you can search that time period for missing transactions.

    And the answer to you question "if one month reconciles, should all previous months reconcile equally" - the answer is yes, once you've successfully reconciled through a specific date, you should be able to assume that everything before that is in balance.  Of course, there is always the possibility that two or more "offsetting" entries might be missed within the reconciliation period and you wouldn't know that, but if you are performing the reconciliation correctly the chances of that happening are slim.

    Hope that this helps.  Get back to me if you have any followups.

    Frankx


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  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Frank, actually I went back to the very first of one of the accounts and did the first months reconcillation. There were only two entries. It was out of balance! Bizarre!
  • GeoffGGeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    JayDC said:
    Frank, actually I went back to the very first of one of the accounts and did the first months reconcillation. There were only two entries. It was out of balance! Bizarre!
    For only two entries to be out of balance at the beginning of the register would indicate the opening balance is incorrect. Change the opening balance such that your first month end does reconcile and the remaining months should reconcile if every transaction is accounted for and correctly entered (payment/charge).

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  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    JayDC said:
    Frank, actually I went back to the very first of one of the accounts and did the first months reconcillation. There were only two entries. It was out of balance! Bizarre!
    Hi again @JayDC,

    That is strange, when you say you "did the first months reconciliation" - was the prior month reconciled previously?  If so, it sounds like there is a timing (or cutoff) issue and/or you are missing transactions???

    Obviously not a good start...

    Frankx


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  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    So Frank, I opened the account and put in $202,944.72 on 5/14/2014, then received interest in the amount of $2.78 on 5/27/2014. The balance clearly should be $202,947.50, but Quicken says the balance is $34,345.30. It wants to adjust the balance by $168,602.20, How can this be? First transactions, and wrong out of the gate.
  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Frank, I actually went back to the month "before the account even existed" and entered zero for beginning balance and zero for ending balance. It still wants me to adjust the balance. Basically it feels like I should be starting with $52, 357.88. That would be nice, but it was a new account.
  • lhossuslhossus SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @JayDC
    I am going to assume:
    1) this is a bank account (not investment).
    2) that you have migrated your financial records from another Quicken (either QMac 2007, or QWin).
    3) you are not downloading transactions from a financial institution.

    {Begin fantasy} I have a hunch your problem lies in a hidden value: the balance on the account at the time of migration. This is similar to Quicken getting the current balance from a financial institution during a transaction download. Given this balance, Quicken is going to tally up all prior transactions from account opening to this "current balance" date and compute an amount that this tally differs. Then it is going to try to make it right. It will put a placeholder in the account. {End fantasy}

    My hunch is unrefined but there are several strategies you might use based on this:

    1) Find any placeholder and remove it. Search the memo field of the account register for "placeholder". Also search memo and payee fields for "adjustment".

    2) Rebuild the account so as to separate the visible transactions from any hidden values. a) create a new empty account in Quicken to replace the broken one; b) Select and drag the transactions in the old account to the name of the new account in the sidebar.  Note: you might want to do this select and drag a few transactions at a time so you can see if it is doing what you expect.

    3) And remember: be sure you have good backups before trying any of this. So you can regroup and retry after the unexpected
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  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Thanks, I will give this a shot and let you know if it works.
  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Morning...I created a new account and was able to drag the first transaction from the old account to the new account in the sidebar, however, after that, it will not let me drag any more transactions over. Nor would it originally let me select multiple transactions and drag them over. Is there another way of doing this, cut/paste, etc.?
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @JayDC,

    Just wondering you never indicated exactly what type of account this is - is it an investment account?  If not, there wouldn't be any placeholders created.

    I believe the behaviour that you are describing suggests a corrupted data file, which is also consistent with the recent inability to move transactions.  I would suggest that you contact Quicken Support to get to the bottom of this.

    Here's a link for Quicken Support: LINK

    Good luck!

    Frankx


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  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Sorry about that. I was able to move one of the transactions to the newly created file, but after that, it would not let me move others. I think it has to do with whether the transaction is associated with a "security". A simple deposit or withdrawal can be moved as you mentioned, but not a dividend or stock purchase or sale. Thanks again
  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    I was following up on another post where someone said that you could go to "move transactions" when moving transactions from one investment account to another, but I don't find a 'move transactions" option anywhere. Do you know where this option might be located?
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi again @JayDC,

    Unfortunately, Mac does not allow the ability to move investment transactions.  So, if you want to continue trying to fix this, you'll need to do it in the current account or create new investment transactions in a new account.

    Frankx


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  • JayDCJayDC Member ✭✭
    Okay, thanks again. Etrade will not allow downloads of QXF files prior to July 2018. So, I am going to do some manual entries until I get to the download option. Seems like there is some obstacle everywhere you turn. But in light of what is happening with COVID, this is pretty much....NOTHING!
  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I hear you!  Obviously more work than you'd like to have to do. 

    But I also need to say that I am hoping this issue is not a sign of data corruption because that could mean that all your work to fix this issue may be in vain - certainly not my hope, but a possibility.

    Good luck!

    Frankx


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