Can't Reconcile to Bank Balance

For the month of March, I could not get my Quicken register balance to match the bank balance - was always @$586.00 off (to my good) and I balance each month to the penny. Restored my file from my January reconciliation and manually entered all February transactions to see if I had somehow made an error in that month. I balanced. My March statement came in and I balanced to the penny.
I have just re-entered all April transaction (printed off from the bank) and I am now $1,123.00 off (to the bank's good)! I am so very frustrated. Is anyone else having these issues?

Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Home1998 I understand your frustration. Reconciliation is not an area that I'm aware has any outstanding bugs or problems, but certainly users run into reconciliation problem from time to time. Quicken's reconciliation amount is simply the sum of every transaction in the account, from inception to today -- so when the amount is off, if generally means one of a few things:
    1. A past transaction was edited or deleted.
    2. A past unreconciled transaction was manually marked as reconciled, or a past reconciled transaction was manually changed to unreconciled.
    3. A new transaction was inadvertently added with a date far in the past.
    4. The financial institution provides an online balance which is ahead of the transactions it has provided to download (e.g. the balance is as of right now, but some transactions from the past 24 hours haven't downloaded yet).
    5. Or the opposite: the financial institution downloads pending transactions which have not yet cleared and are not yet included in the online balance. 
    The recently added "Reconciliation History" option on the Accounts Menu is designed to quickly spotlight the first two issues, but it only covers the past few months of reconciliations since the feature was added.

    The third issue shouldn't generally pose a problem because the transaction would show up in the reconciliation window and be easy to spot.

    The fourth and fifth issues only apply to someone who is downloading transactions from their bank, which isn't the case here.

    So the first thing I'd do is check Reconciliation History for the past couple of months, so see if it shows any reconciliations with a discrepancy. If so, it should help lead you right to the problem.

    Next, does the value of $1,123.00 have any meaning to you? Is that the amount of any transaction in your register? Or is half that amount ($561.50) an item in your register? (An entry of $561.50 as a deposit instead of withdrawal, or visa versa, would create a discrepancy of $1,123.00)

    If your March bank statement reconciled exactly to Quicken, but your April statement doesn't, then there has to be something missing or duplicated in April, or otherwise changed in the past. Without seeing your screen, it's impossible to say what that is, but you should be able to find it. If Quicken's starting balance matches your bank statement's starting balance, and there must be a discrepancy between the items you have checked in Quicken's April reconciliation window an all the transactions on your April bank statement. I'd start by doing Uncheck All in the reconciliation window, and then going down the items on the bank statement one at a time and checking them off in Quicken. Be especially careful that a negative value isn't positive or visa versa. (I prefer to use the two columns for Payment and Deposit in my registers rather than the single Amount column, because I feel it makes it much easier to spot such data entry errors.)

    Post back it any of this helps or offers any clues.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • Home1998
    Home1998 Member ✭✭
    Forgot to say - I do not have my Quicken account linked to the bank - I manually reconcile each month.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Home1998 I understand your frustration. Reconciliation is not an area that I'm aware has any outstanding bugs or problems, but certainly users run into reconciliation problem from time to time. Quicken's reconciliation amount is simply the sum of every transaction in the account, from inception to today -- so when the amount is off, if generally means one of a few things:
    1. A past transaction was edited or deleted.
    2. A past unreconciled transaction was manually marked as reconciled, or a past reconciled transaction was manually changed to unreconciled.
    3. A new transaction was inadvertently added with a date far in the past.
    4. The financial institution provides an online balance which is ahead of the transactions it has provided to download (e.g. the balance is as of right now, but some transactions from the past 24 hours haven't downloaded yet).
    5. Or the opposite: the financial institution downloads pending transactions which have not yet cleared and are not yet included in the online balance. 
    The recently added "Reconciliation History" option on the Accounts Menu is designed to quickly spotlight the first two issues, but it only covers the past few months of reconciliations since the feature was added.

    The third issue shouldn't generally pose a problem because the transaction would show up in the reconciliation window and be easy to spot.

    The fourth and fifth issues only apply to someone who is downloading transactions from their bank, which isn't the case here.

    So the first thing I'd do is check Reconciliation History for the past couple of months, so see if it shows any reconciliations with a discrepancy. If so, it should help lead you right to the problem.

    Next, does the value of $1,123.00 have any meaning to you? Is that the amount of any transaction in your register? Or is half that amount ($561.50) an item in your register? (An entry of $561.50 as a deposit instead of withdrawal, or visa versa, would create a discrepancy of $1,123.00)

    If your March bank statement reconciled exactly to Quicken, but your April statement doesn't, then there has to be something missing or duplicated in April, or otherwise changed in the past. Without seeing your screen, it's impossible to say what that is, but you should be able to find it. If Quicken's starting balance matches your bank statement's starting balance, and there must be a discrepancy between the items you have checked in Quicken's April reconciliation window an all the transactions on your April bank statement. I'd start by doing Uncheck All in the reconciliation window, and then going down the items on the bank statement one at a time and checking them off in Quicken. Be especially careful that a negative value isn't positive or visa versa. (I prefer to use the two columns for Payment and Deposit in my registers rather than the single Amount column, because I feel it makes it much easier to spot such data entry errors.)

    Post back it any of this helps or offers any clues.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Home1998
    Home1998 Member ✭✭
    Thank you for your response. I have printed this off and I will be going through it item by item. Will let you know if it worked.
This discussion has been closed.