How do I manually track a 403b account

I've started to manually put in my balance from my Mutual of America 403b thrift plan account but my total closing balance is all wrong. It is about three times the actual current balance! All my transactions are either "bought," or "added." Any feedback or brief tutorials would be greatly appreciated!


  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021
    Hi @Mr BlattSplatt .  A couple of things come to mind that might be causing this issue:
    1)  Do you have a Money Market Fund (MMF...sometimes referred to by brokerages as something like Settlement Fund, Core Fund, Core Account, etc.) that is used by your brokerage to hold your account's Cash?  If so, in Quicken you might want to convert all of that MMF's holdings to Cash that is held in the account.  Then in the future disregard any buys & sells of the MMF and instead enter them into the 403b account as Cash transactions.  That's what I and many other SUs in this forum do.  MMFs have a stable $1.00/share value and since brokerages essentially treat them as Cash it makes it easier to manage in Quicken as Cash.
    You do not have to do it this way but it simplifies investment account management in Quicken if you do.  If you choose not to do this, then you need to be very diligent about Selling and Buying MMF shares whenever you do another transaction in the account that involves Cash.  Failing to be diligent on this matter is likely to cause the total account balance to be either understated or overstated...and that could easily be by a lot.
    2)  Select one of your Buy transactions and edit it.  Is From this account's cash balance (in the Use cash for this transaction box) ticked?  If not, tick it and then click on Enter.  This will decrease your Cash balance in Quicken by the value of the security purchase.  Repeat this step for every Buy transaction you have.
    3)  If after going through steps 1 and 2 you still have an account total value discrepancy you might want to reconfirm that your Add Shares transactions are really shares added.  Or should they be Buy transactions?  If they should be Buy transactions, change them to Buy transactions (be sure to enter the Price Paid per share) and make sure that From this account's cash balance is ticked.
    Let me know if this helped to resolve the issue.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R52.33 on Windows 11)

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, the absolutely "best" way to manually track a 403(b) account is to enter each and every transaction from the opening date of the account to present.
    But if you've started your Quicken Account maybe some years after the actual date of opening sometimes you're pretty much forced to start with a series of Adds to establish an opening position - the first of the year maybe - and then add individual transactions after that.  Of course your Adds and your Buys shouldn't overlap, with Buys being entered with posting dates that are before the statement date that you used to enter your Adds.  That will double count the your security positions - once via an Add and then again via the Buy. 
    I take it the creation of the Account in Quicken is fairly recent and if you're not going to reproduce all the transaction history in Quicken then the first thing to do is to select a recent statement, then enter Adds to get your security holdings to match that statement.  You can do this on a lot-by-lot basis for each security or simply one Add per security that gets your share holdings properly stated.  With that done you set the Holdings window's date to the same date as the statement, then enter the quotes for each security per the statement.  Done properly your Quicken Market Value for all the securities should match the statement.
    If there's some cash also in the account per that statement then you can do an XIn action (transfer) to put the cash into the Account.  For the "other side" of the transfer entry you put the name of the 403(b) Account - surrounded by square brackets - to get the cash in the Account without affecting any other Account in your file.
    After that the entries - I assume - should be XIns or Deposits of cash from your paycheck, followed by Buys, and maybe in income entries like DIVs or INTs.  Make sure everything balances with subsequent statements or online balances with the account holder if these are available.