HELP! Credit card reconciles out to one year, then it gets weird for each month less

My Chase credit card reconciles perfectly when the date goes back to 1/14/2021 and further back. (And that's not even my statement closing date!)

For any period less than that, starting on the 15th of each month, reconciliation is off by $15.99 per month for four months. After that, it is off $27.98 for six months. (It was a very tedious process to figure this out.)

The total amount of the reconciliation difference is currently $215.85 when the time period is set for 30 days, $187.87 when set to 60 days, $159.89 when set to 90 days, and matches exactly when set to 12 months. My calculations above were arrived at by setting custom dates.

I cannot find any transactions for the amounts of $27.98. There are a few charges of $15.99 but those are back in early 2020.

Does anyone know what might be causing this?

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'm confused about your description of the dates. Let's go back in time... You should be moving in one-month increments, using the ending date on the credit card statement and reconciling against that statement.  What's the last monthly statement you successfully reconciled in Quicken against a credit card statement? December? January? Now, move forward one statement. Is this where you're off $15.99? You need to go back through this reconciliation, one item at a time, to find the $15.99 discrepancy between the credit card statement and the transactions you have in Quicken. Then it sounds like the next three months will reconcile correctly, and the next month will be off by $11.99 or $43.97. ($27.98 discrepancy plus or minus $15.99 already fixed = $11.99 or $43.97)  Find that discrepancy to complete the reconciliation of that month, and you should then be all set. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Suzanne108
    Suzanne108 Member ✭✭
    edited November 6
    I'm probably not being clear. They ALL reconcile. Every last one. So long as the time period used (as set in the upper left just above the register) starts on 12/15/2020 or earlier.

    I know this because I reconcile my account every month and put the ending statement balance in the memo section so I can compare it to the reconciled register balance to see if and where things go off-kilter.

    The issue is when I change the time period to display in the register. If I set it to the standard 12 months, it reconciles all the way through to current day. If I set it for 30, 60, 90 days then the monthly ending statement balances don't match with the register and are off by a different and cumulatively increasing amount each time. Specifically, initially in multiples of $15.99 for four months, and then in multiples of an additional $27.98 each month.

    I wanted to see exactly where things go wrong so I started backing up the start dates from 12 months ago until I got to where things went off kilter.

    If the time period begins on 12/15/2020 or earlier, then every month reconciles. If I start the time period anytime after that, then the monthly reconciled amounts are off from the ending statement balances by an amount each month and cumulatively as indicated above.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'm afraid I'm being dense in understanding what you're describing. When I talk about reconciling an account, I'm describing the process of clicking the Reconcile button (or menu selection), entering an ending balance and date, and checking off all the transactions which match the credit card statement. This is normally done on a month-by-month basis, to match the monthly credit card statements from the company. Each month's reconciliation is stored, and is accessible from the Reconciliation History menu item.

    I thought that's what you were describing initially, but now I'm afraid I don't understand. You're saying the months do reconcile, but you're describing reconciliation over a long period of time. You also describe putting the register balance in the memo field of a transaction, and changing the date in the register, so I'm clearly not understanding what you're trying to do, as it doesn't seem to be using the reconciliation process in Quicken. Could you perhaps capture a few screen shots, without revealing any sensitive personal data, to share and illustrate? Or perhaps someone else who grasps what you're describing can jump in.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is she is setting the individual register filter to 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 120 days...and she's seeing balances that don't match the memo field after she actually has reconciled the account.

    Some users here recommended that after you reconcile, you put the balance in the memo line to make sure there aren't any reconciliation errors later on...or deleted transactions from syncing to mobile.  I've never used that method so I can't comment how that works...but I think the users that recommended that method had Quicken Windows in mind, not Quicken Mac. 

    My question for Suzanne108 is:  What happens when your register filter is set to ALL DATES, ANY TYPE and ANY STATUS?  Do the balances match the reconciled memo amount? 

    You said you were playing around with custom dates to get it exactly 30 days or 60 days or 90 days.  If so, are any other filters set that you might be unaware of?  

    Do you use Quicken's Sync to Mobile and the mobile app?  

    And finally, why are you filtering the register to those time frames anyways?  What do you need to see in the graph or in the register that encompasses 30 days, 60 days, 90 days?
  • Suzanne108
    Suzanne108 Member ✭✭
    @jacobs : I'm not surprised you don't understand what I'm saying. This is so crazy! My head is spinning just trying to explain it. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me sort it out.

    << When I talk about reconciling an account, I'm describing the process of clicking the Reconcile button (or menu selection), entering an ending balance and date, and checking off all the transactions which match the credit card statement. This is normally done on a month-by-month basis, to match the monthly credit card statements from the company. Each month's reconciliation is stored, and is accessible from the Reconciliation History menu item.>>

    I use the reconciliation function differently from what you describe: I look at my credit card statement to see if it matches the balance in my register on the statement date. Sometimes I have to move some of the transactions to a later date if they did not post by the statement closing date. Once the register balance matches the statement balance, I enter that amount in the memo section. I then go to: Accounts > Reconcile Account > enter that amount, click "Next" and hope for the best. :-) If it's off, it's usually an issue with the date that Quicken enters automatically during that process.

    @garysmith87 Thank you also for taking the time to help me.

    << Some users here recommended that after you reconcile, you put the balance in the memo line to make sure there aren't any reconciliation errors later on...or deleted transactions from syncing to mobile. I've never used that method so I can't comment how that works...but I think the users that recommended that method had Quicken Windows in mind, not Quicken Mac. >>

    This is what I am doing, on a Mac. It has come in handy on several occasions, though from transactions being downloaded twice, not deleted. (I don't use mobile.) Or after merging two credit card accounts before realizing that you don't have to create a new account after getting a new account number for the same card. In those cases, some transactions were double entered and I had to go back and delete a bunch. Knowing what the reconciled amounts should be told me when I had found all the double transactions.

    Basically, having the correct reconciled amount entered in the memo section makes it very easy to see the last time that the register balance matched with the amount entered in the memo section. This tells me at what reconciliation date the problem started so I know where to start looking for errors.

    << My question for Suzanne108 is: What happens when your register filter is set to ALL DATES, ANY TYPE and ANY STATUS? Do the balances match the reconciled memo amount? >>

    Yes. They match at every monthly statement ending date.

    <<You said you were playing around with custom dates to get it exactly 30 days or 60 days or 90 days. If so, are any other filters set that you might be unaware of? >>

    I was using the Last 30 days/Last 60 days/Last 90 days/Last 12 months options from the dates filter to see how much each time period was off. The register vs. memo amounts were off by an increasing amount as I went from Last 30 to Last 60 to Last 90 days and then matched perfectly at Last 12 months. So I started playing around with "Custom Dates" to find out at what point less than 12 months things go off the rails.

    <<Do you use Quicken's Sync to Mobile and the mobile app? >>

    No.

    << And finally, why are you filtering the register to those time frames anyways? What do you need to see in the graph or in the register that encompasses 30 days, 60 days, 90 days? >>

    I normally keep the date filter at Last 30 days. I don't know why I started doing this; I think because sometimes (always?) I was having to scroll down to get to the most current transactions. Otherwise, I don't have any filters set.

    This is happening only with this one credit card. It is not happening with bank accounts, investment accounts, or other credit cards.

    I'm totally befuddled!
  • Suzanne108
    Suzanne108 Member ✭✭
    Now things go off the rails for time periods from 1/15/2021 and less, whereas it was 12/15/2020 and less.
    Curiouser and curiouser.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    This won't answer your question, but I'm curious why you don't use the Reconcile functionality built into Quicken. Your approach of recording a balance amount in transactions' edit fields relies on no transactions being added later, no date being changed, no transaction ever changed...

    Meanwhile, Quicken's reconcile function lets you mark transactions for each monthly statement reconciliation, and it stores a snapshot of each one, so that a transaction with a changed date, amount, inadvertent deletion months or years later is easy to identify and fix.

    I normally keep the date filter at Last 30 days. I don't know why I started doing this; I think because sometimes (always?) I was having to scroll down to get to the most current transactions.
    You might want to consider switching to having your most recent transactions on the top instead of the bottom. This eliminates a lot of the need for scrolling. And there's no longer a reason to filter your register to the last 30 days; you can leave it unfiltered. It may take a little getting used to, but once it feels normal, I think you may find this a better way of working with Quicken Mac registers. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Suzanne108
    Suzanne108 Member ✭✭
    @jacobs
    << why you don't use the Reconcile functionality built into Quicken. Your approach of recording a balance amount in transactions' edit fields relies on no transactions being added later, no date being changed, no transaction ever changed...>>

    I don't understand what you mean by "recording a balance amount in transactions' edit fields" etc.

    I enter transactions as I make them: I buy something online or I go to a store or the dentist, come home and enter the transaction. Occasionally, I forget one and it shows up as "downloaded" instead of "matched" after I download from my financial institutions.

    At the end of each statement period, I make sure that the Quicken balance on that date is the same as the one on the statement. If not, I make some minor tweaks to make them match. Then: Account > Reconcile Account > Under "Use Statement Balance", I enter the statement amount in "Ending Balance" > Next. If anything is off, it's generally the start date for that process.

    There's no need to ever change anything after that. I've been doing this for a couple of decades. It sounds like Quicken has a new function that works differently. Based on what one of you said above, I did find "Reconciliation History" and will have to check out more functions. It's been a long time since I've nosed around Quicken to find other/newer ways to do things.

    << You might want to consider switching to having your most recent transactions on the top instead of the bottom. This eliminates a lot of the need for scrolling. And there's no longer a reason to filter your register to the last 30 days; you can leave it unfiltered. It may take a little getting used to, but once it feels normal, I think you may find this a better way of working with Quicken Mac registers. >>

    I've been playing around a little and it seems that something may have changed since I first started doing this. (I've been using Quicken probably since 1998 or so, so I surely have some habits that go back to a time when Quicken functioned a bit differently. I also started in Windows and switched to Mac in 2011.) Set at "All dates", it seems to work fine without need to scroll down. But I am also thinking as you suggested, of switching to having the most recent transactions at the top.

    Thank you all so much for your help. Just because I hate it when I can't solve a puzzle, I've been playing around more to see if I can identify why this is happening, but in the meantime, the solution seems to be to just leave it set at "All Dates".
  • Suzanne108
    Suzanne108 Member ✭✭
    Mystery solved.

    I had felt that something was being inadvertently filtered somehow or that there were transactions being included in the "balance" that were somehow hidden. It turns out it was recurring payments that I had terminated, or thought I had, but must not have done so correctly.

    In looking for the answer to another question, I came across a post showing how "Bills" works under "Bills and Income". I had never used this feature before. There were a few listed as past due and when I deleted them, all was working as I remember it should.

    I hope I have described that in a way that makes sense.

    Thank you all for trying to help me. I very much appreciate your time and support.