Can the balance shown in Quicken ever be wrong?

I make entries into my Quicken register manually rather than download them from my financial institution. Clearly my new balance should be old balance plus additions less expenditures. I am working with a very large file representing financial transactions for the past 3 years. I have had to enter a balance adjustment in order to make Quicken match my credit account balance. I have worked diligently forward from the beginning of my Quicken register & backwards from the latest entries, but have not been able to find an error in my entries. Has this occurred to anyone else?

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I have never found a case for when all the transactions are manually entered that Quicken got the totaling wrong.  It might be possible, but it far more likely to be an input error, which is easy to miss for things like transposed numbers.  Note it is possible that there is some kind of strange Quicken problem, just not likely.

    Do you have a backup for when it did reconcile correctly?

    I would work from a copy of that to see what the last transaction/balance is (and note any uncleared transactions if there are any).

    If that transaction/balance is correct then you will at least know where you have to start from, which hopefully isn't that far back.

    From there you are basically down to trying to see where the math goes wrong.
    One method would be to add up all the deposits and withdraws separately and see if they agree with what Quicken has in the reconcile window.

    Another to check for Quicken math problems would be to turn on the balance column so that you can just see the amounts in positive and negative numbers, and start entering them into a calculator and see if they are different than what Quicken says the balance is on that transaction.
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  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    I can't add much to Chris_QPW's advice except to clarify that when you do the restore, do NOT overwrite the current data file, have the restore make a copy (different file name) so that you can bounce back and forth between them to find the issue(s).
    As far as a large data file, my data file goes back to 1996 and I have never entered an adjustment transaction and my balances have always tracked correctly with the financial statements.
    33 accounts, 29702 transactions and a file size of 95,488KB (no attachments, all transactions)
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  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    What I have experienced about once a year is that after some Quicken update a few "Opening Balances" get altered.  Unknown why.  So I created a "system" where I have manually written all of my opening balances into the "memo" field of the opening balance transaction (as well as my quarterly balances on the corresponding dates) so that I can easily detect a mismatch, when and where, and make the correction.  Or use a backup file.  This [altered opening balance] actually happened again a few weeks ago immediately after an update with three accounts, where the prior day backup was correct.
    Second, I have experienced missing transactions couple of times in the past (2015-2017) where I had to look into an older backup to see what it was and correct it.  Perhaps my own doing.  But nothing lately. 

    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
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  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    BK said:
    What I have experienced about once a year is that after some Quicken update a few "Opening Balances" get altered.  Unknown why.  So I created a "system" where I have manually written all of my opening balances into the "memo" field of the opening balance transaction (as well as my quarterly balances on the corresponding dates) so that I can easily detect a mismatch, when and where, and make the correction.  Or use a backup file.  This [altered opening balance] actually happened again a few weeks ago immediately after an update with three accounts, where the prior day backup was correct.
    Second, I have experienced missing transactions couple of times in the past (2015-2017) where I had to look into an older backup to see what it was and correct it.  Perhaps my own doing.  But nothing lately. 

    One way to beat the issue of "Opening Balances" changing is to make the opening balance = $0 and entering a transaction right after it to adjust the balance to the correct amount.  That way if Quicken does change the opening balance from the $0, you know exactly what to change it back to without thinking about it.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    Great idea @splasher and thank you.  Same concept to my current approach but I like it better since I just look for a zero rather than comparing values - will do that.  I'll call it "@Splasher's System" with two thumbs up.  Cheers.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2021
    On the Opening Balance change problem.  As far as I know this is a problem that will occur when downloading transactions, resetting online accounts, maybe syncing to Mobile/Web, and usually only for Express Web Connect accounts.

    The reason I didn't suggest this in this case is because of the statement by @oliverjm1 that everything is being done manually.

    The changing of Opening Balance bug is "based on" the fact that the Opening Balance is suppose to be adjusted when you do your first download, but not after that.  The bug is that sometimes Quicken for some reason goes down that "first download path" and changes the Opening Balance, but this only would be true for a "online connected" account.
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  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    On the Opening Balance change problem.  As far as I know this is a problem that will occur when downloading transactions, resetting online accounts, maybe syncing to Mobile/Web, and usually only for Express Web Connect accounts.
    On my recent experience of three altered accounts, two were on Direct Connect and one was Express Web Connect.  In the past it has also been a combination, including the opening cash balance of an investment accounts (DC).
    I keep a log of strange issues dating back to long time ago.  Common denominator (for me) is that all were after performing a version update.  I am sure there are other variations as well as you pointed out.
    I simply shared what the OP asked for: "Has this occurred to anyone else?".
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Good to know that is happening to direct connect too.  I don't keep notes on this stuff just keep it in my head.  :)
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  • TTSguy
    TTSguy Member ✭✭✭✭
    One of the hardest errors to find is one where you've transposed numbers. One way to help find out if that is the problem is to see if the difference between debits and credits is divisible by 9. You can look up on the internet for help in understanding this. The reason that transposing is hard to find is because our brain has seen the wrong number, so it remembers the wrong number when you are checking for it. More than half the time that is what causes me to not balance

    The other thing I have done in my register is annotate the amount of the banks statements closing amount for the month and put that number in the Notes column. That makes it easier to use to compare your closing statement vs your register statement amount every month to make it quick to to go back to find where it is by year and month. You probably will use that same number again to find your error next time.
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