Banking Statement Balances (Q Mac)

My checking account in Quicken goes back a decade, matching every transaction, penny for penny. My process: At the end of a banking period, I go line-by-line through the PDF version of my banking statement (opening balance, every transaction, pictures of checks, closing balance) to ensure everything matches my download data. I even attached snapshots of the checks to their respective transactions in Quicken. It works wonderfully well!

My Fear Though . . . is, that someday, I'll accidentally delete or alter a transaction somewhere in my history. Such an unfortunate mistake could undoubtedly take a considerable amount of time to find and rectify, given the volume of financial history within just this one account (and I have many accounts that go back this far).

Question: Is there a way, within an account, to set a specific balance on a certain date? Ideally, I would like to mark / flag the end of each banking statement. For example, hypothetically, my next banking statement ends 2/20/21 with a closing balance of $21,345.67. After I go line-by-line, through my matching-transaction ritual, I also successfully balance Quicken to have a $21,345.67 balance at 2/20/21. Is there a way to ensure Quicken keeps the balance at $21,345.67 for this day? Almost like a $0 reconcile transaction. This way, if I were to accidentally delete a transaction dated 2/18/21 for -$50.00, the reconcile transaction dated 2/20/21 would automatically recalculate to +$50.00, thus ensuring the closing balance for that period stays locked.

Objective: I would enter one of this markers / transactions at the end of every banking statement. This way, if I were to accidentally delete or adjust a transaction somewhere in the past, it wouldn't throw off my entire balance for, potentially, multiple years after.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Best Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    The reconciling in itself, though, doesn't address my concern of potentially altering/deleting a past transaction. 
    Actually, the new reconciliation history features does address your fear of accidentally deleting a transaction in the past.

    In my test file, I did a reconciliation consisting of three transactions. Then, I deleted one of the reconciled transactions (ignoring Quicken's warning that deleting a reconciled transaction could mess up your account balance). When I subsequently go to Reconciliation History for this account, one reconciliation shows it has an error. Opening that Re-reconciliation window...



    ... clearly shows the deleted transaction which is no longer in my register. Better, it offers a button to restore the transaction from history.

    So going forward in time, Quicken will actually show you if a transaction was deleted, and let you fix it if appropriate.

    The only problem is that Quicken doesn't currently have all this history from the past. But you could lock in the memory of all your transactions if you wish: unreconcile everything in an account (Select All, Control-click, Set status of selected transactions to Uncleared), then do one massive reconciliation of every transaction up to your most recent statement. That way, if you ever delete a transaction, Quicken will have a record of it which can be restored. (I just tried this in a test file, un-reconciling and re-reconciling about 10,000 transactions, so now if I ever delete or change any of those transactions, doing a re-reconcile will show them to me and let me restore them.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Austin@
    [email protected] Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    I even did this for my closed accounts that I no longer have statements for. I essentially just reconciled the entire closed account history in one fell swoop using an ending balance of $0.00 on the date of the last transaction for the account. Now the entire account history is recorded in the Reconciliation History feature, and any inadvertent or accidental modifications will be conveniently highlighted and trackable, and very easy to correct.
    @jacobs I guess that's what I was trying to say here, but maybe it wasn't clear. I'm not necessarily suggesting going back through years of statements and reconciling to each paper statement. Rather, just setting any previously reconciled transactions to uncleared, then reconciling the entire account in one go, simply to make Quicken capture all the transactions exactly as they are in the Reconciliation History, which will then make it so any changes to those transactions would be tracked and could easily be restored.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @[email protected]  Originally, you said…
    Then I started reconciling the account from the beginning, using each monthly statement, until I had the account fully reconciled up to the most recent statement.
    … and I was noting that users could treat their entire account history to-date as one giant reconciliation, rather than going month by month, to lock those transactions into the new reconciliation history. Now it sounds like we're on the same page. :)  
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Question: Is there a way, within an account, to set a specific balance on a certain date? Ideally, I would like to mark / flag the end of each banking statement. 
    There's no automatic way to do this. I have two comments…

    (1) The new feature in Quicken Mac version 6.1 to track past account reconciliations will essentially help you with this. But the history only goes back a couple months.

    (2) To do what you want manually, what I 'd suggest is that you drop some markers as $0 transactions. Create a "Payee" called "Balance" or "Marker" or whatever would be meaningful for you. Enter a transaction to this Payee on any dates you wish, for $0, and use the Memo/Notes field to record the balance as of this date. for example, enter a transaction on 12/31/20 for $0 with a Memo of "Balance as of 12/31/20: $1,234.56". Mark the transactions as reconciled (option-click twice on the CLR checkbox). you could record such a transaction after each reconciliation, or do periodically if you don't find it necessary to do every month.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Here's what I did to address this same problem (wanting to be able to have a full reconcile history that would make it easy to spot exactly where problems are throughout years of history). This is just what I did (not saying this is a great solution for everyone, and I'd definitely have a backup before doing anything):

    For accounts that I had access to all of my monthly statements, I went into the Reconciliation History and deleted any reconciliation history entries there, then selected all the transactions in the account register and set them to "Cleared" rather than "Reconciled." Then I started reconciling the account from the beginning, using each monthly statement, until I had the account fully reconciled up to the most recent statement. Now when I go into the reconciliation history, I see the full statement history for the account, and if there are ever inadvertent deletions or modifications to reconciled transactions, I can see exactly which statement the issue happened on, what changed, and easily correct the problem using the new features in Reconciliation History.

    For accounts I don't have the statements for anymore I did the same thing (clearing reconciliation history and setting transactions to cleared rather than reconciled), then reconciled everything up to the current date using the online balance or the most recent statement that I do have. This saves this reconciliation in the Reconciliation History so even though it's not broken down by statement, all of the information is recorded there so if there are any changes made to those reconciled transactions, they will be easily tracked and highlighted in the reconciliation history. They can also be easily corrected since once it's tracked in the new Reconciliation History, Quicken will tell you exactly what's changed and have buttons to easily revert the change.

    I even did this for my closed accounts that I no longer have statements for. I essentially just reconciled the entire closed account history in one fell swoop using an ending balance of $0.00 on the date of the last transaction for the account. Now the entire account history is recorded in the Reconciliation History feature, and any inadvertent or accidental modifications will be conveniently highlighted and trackable, and very easy to correct.

    I'm not suggesting that you necessarily do all of this, but it's worked well for me and now all accounts I have are backed by the new reconciliation history features that were released in version 6.1
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @[email protected]  Yes, the process you describe is the full detail method -- and is guaranteed to work because you're re-doing every possible reconciliation, statement by statement. And as you say, many people won't want to spend the time to do what you did. ;)

    I'm a big keeper of paper records, but even I -- and many Quicken users who have 20+ years of data -- likely do not have our bank statements and credit card statements from the 1980s and 1990s anymore! ;) If I did, I estimate I'd have more than 1,500 reconciliations to re-do for just my bank and credit card accounts. The idea to pick a spot in time -- the oldest statement you have, or perhaps the end of 2019 or 2018 -- to re-reconcile up to current time is a more practical compromise.

    Or, as Jim was originally asking, just use Quicken's reconciliation history going forward, and leave behind some "markers" of what account balances were at some points in time in the past. For instance, recording a $0 memo transaction as I suggested above for every December 31 isn't too time consuming a job even for the multi-decade users. It won't tel you what transaction changed the way Quicken's new process will, but it will allow you to pinpoint a period in time where something in your transaction history changed. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Jim38@
    [email protected] Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the feedback. In addition to going line by line, yes, everything is checked off as reconciled. Major OCD on this end over here; but then again, I think most of us Quicken devotees are alike in this regard. The reconciling in itself, though, doesn't address my concern of potentially altering/deleting a past transaction. The "$0 memo transaction" is an idea I'm considering.

    Could be a cool feature, IMO, for Quicken to incorporate: an option to insert a specific memo line or balance marker at a specific date. A "transaction-like" row, but maybe with a different color background. It could be used for all kinds of features: (1) Marking balances at the end of banking statements, like I want to do; (2) record key notes for record keeping [ex: 2/3/2018 - Left on road trip to Vail], a tool to help tell the story of your transactions; (3) Leave notes for yourself to explain changes in the way you use Quicken [ex: began categorizing xxx as yyy on this date]. Sometimes you want to comment on a date in an account, and not force it to be associated with a specific transaction, that's all.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    The reconciling in itself, though, doesn't address my concern of potentially altering/deleting a past transaction. 
    Actually, the new reconciliation history features does address your fear of accidentally deleting a transaction in the past.

    In my test file, I did a reconciliation consisting of three transactions. Then, I deleted one of the reconciled transactions (ignoring Quicken's warning that deleting a reconciled transaction could mess up your account balance). When I subsequently go to Reconciliation History for this account, one reconciliation shows it has an error. Opening that Re-reconciliation window...



    ... clearly shows the deleted transaction which is no longer in my register. Better, it offers a button to restore the transaction from history.

    So going forward in time, Quicken will actually show you if a transaction was deleted, and let you fix it if appropriate.

    The only problem is that Quicken doesn't currently have all this history from the past. But you could lock in the memory of all your transactions if you wish: unreconcile everything in an account (Select All, Control-click, Set status of selected transactions to Uncleared), then do one massive reconciliation of every transaction up to your most recent statement. That way, if you ever delete a transaction, Quicken will have a record of it which can be restored. (I just tried this in a test file, un-reconciling and re-reconciling about 10,000 transactions, so now if I ever delete or change any of those transactions, doing a re-reconcile will show them to me and let me restore them.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Austin@
    [email protected] Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    I even did this for my closed accounts that I no longer have statements for. I essentially just reconciled the entire closed account history in one fell swoop using an ending balance of $0.00 on the date of the last transaction for the account. Now the entire account history is recorded in the Reconciliation History feature, and any inadvertent or accidental modifications will be conveniently highlighted and trackable, and very easy to correct.
    @jacobs I guess that's what I was trying to say here, but maybe it wasn't clear. I'm not necessarily suggesting going back through years of statements and reconciling to each paper statement. Rather, just setting any previously reconciled transactions to uncleared, then reconciling the entire account in one go, simply to make Quicken capture all the transactions exactly as they are in the Reconciliation History, which will then make it so any changes to those transactions would be tracked and could easily be restored.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @[email protected]  Originally, you said…
    Then I started reconciling the account from the beginning, using each monthly statement, until I had the account fully reconciled up to the most recent statement.
    … and I was noting that users could treat their entire account history to-date as one giant reconciliation, rather than going month by month, to lock those transactions into the new reconciliation history. Now it sounds like we're on the same page. :)  
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Jim38@
    [email protected] Member ✭✭✭
    jacobs said:
    The reconciling in itself, though, doesn't address my concern of potentially altering/deleting a past transaction. 
    Actually, the new reconciliation history features does address your fear of accidentally deleting a transaction in the past.

    In my test file, I did a reconciliation consisting of three transactions. Then, I deleted one of the reconciled transactions (ignoring Quicken's warning that deleting a reconciled transaction could mess up your account balance). When I subsequently go to Reconciliation History for this account, one reconciliation shows it has an error. Opening that Re-reconciliation window...



    ... clearly shows the deleted transaction which is no longer in my register. Better, it offers a button to restore the transaction from history.

    So going forward in time, Quicken will actually show you if a transaction was deleted, and let you fix it if appropriate.

    The only problem is that Quicken doesn't currently have all this history from the past. But you could lock in the memory of all your transactions if you wish: unreconcile everything in an account (Select All, Control-click, Set status of selected transactions to Uncleared), then do one massive reconciliation of every transaction up to your most recent statement. That way, if you ever delete a transaction, Quicken will have a record of it which can be restored. (I just tried this in a test file, un-reconciling and re-reconciling about 10,000 transactions, so now if I ever delete or change any of those transactions, doing a re-reconcile will show them to me and let me restore them.)
    This is AWESOME!!!
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