Why does Quicken show a $215.14 unreconciled amount for my credit card statement?

I have been reconciling credit card statements in Quicken for years. I have reconciled my current statement *three times now* and the result is the same. My 88 purchases are identical to the 88 purchases on the CC statement; my seven payments and credits are identical to the seven payments and credits on the CC statement, yet Quicken keeps showing a $215.14 discrepancy. Here is the message I get when I try to click Done on the reconcile screen: "The total of the items you have marked is $215.14 more than the total of the items shown on your bank statement." This is NOT TRUE! I don't want to insert an adjustment that will throw my Quicken account totally out of whack. What to do???

Best Answer

  • Bill West
    Bill West Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Mitz51,

    I've been using Quicken for 20+ years and recently encountered similar reconcilitiation issues - they are related to accounts set up for online services. It's a new bug in Quicken that surfaces when one resets the account for online services. To reconcile to the online balance, Quicken changes the opening balance (which might go back years) of the account before looking at any new transactions that haven't been entered. I never encountered that in the past but I've learned to note the opening balance of an account before resetting for online services and changing it back. There is no indication during the reset process that Quicken is doing this. Hopefully, this might explain your problem.

    Bill

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    When you reconcile you reconcile from one balance to the other balance, it's not actually a reconciliation of "transactions."  That is you could delete those 88 transactions and enter one transaction of the correct dollar amount and do the same with the 7 "payment" transactions and, everything else being equal, you could reconcile just fine.
    So given that, what you are almost certainly facing is that the Quicken balance you're reconciling to is incorrect because some transaction(s) prior to the period covered by the current statement has changed, throwing off the "current balance" in the Account.
    To fix this situation without accepting an adjustment you need to work backwards in time and try to figure out what got changed.  If you're thinking that it's some sort of "Quicken" problem (programming error) you should be able to determine that by sitting down and doing a manual reconciliation from the statement to the Quicken balance.
  • Mitz51
    Mitz51 Member ✭✭
    Thank you, Tom. I have actually *done* the manual reconciliation you suggest in your last paragraph. I.e., I have printed out the purchases and credits lists from my bank statement, and then, using the (differently ordered) list of purchases and credits provided by the Quicken reconciliation process, I have gone down the list one line at a time, clicking on each purchase or credit in Quicken and putting a handwritten check mark next to the same purchase or credit on my CC statement printout.

    I've even gone to the extent of creating an Excel database of all 88 of my purchases and credits and adding each list up to see if they match the figure reached by the bank, and they do.

    Every other reconciliation I've performed on this CC for all the years I've had the account has come out balanced. The only glitches I've ever had were repeat or missing transactions or credits, easily identified and fixed. Is there something I'm not understanding?
  • Bill West
    Bill West Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Mitz51,

    I've been using Quicken for 20+ years and recently encountered similar reconcilitiation issues - they are related to accounts set up for online services. It's a new bug in Quicken that surfaces when one resets the account for online services. To reconcile to the online balance, Quicken changes the opening balance (which might go back years) of the account before looking at any new transactions that haven't been entered. I never encountered that in the past but I've learned to note the opening balance of an account before resetting for online services and changing it back. There is no indication during the reset process that Quicken is doing this. Hopefully, this might explain your problem.

    Bill
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, perhaps I wasn't clear enough here.  The process you've outlined is looking entirely at "this month's" transactions, not reconciling "balance per statement" to "balance per books." 
    The balance per your books is:
    Beginning Balance
    + Net Transactions
    -----------------
    Ending Balance
    =============
    You've checked the Net Transactions number six ways to Sunday so you know the problem isn't in "this month's" transactions.  Absent any Quicken "reconciliation" programming problems, if you can't reconcile the Ending Balance per books to Ending Balance per statement that would suggest that maybe the Beginning Balance is wrong. 
    So my suggestion was to see if you can reconcile "balance to balance" by identifying some specific transactions that comprise the difference between the statement's balance as of XX/XX/XXXX to your Quicken balance as of XX/XX/XXXX.   (If you're old enough to have ever balanced a checkbook manually by identifying "outstanding checks", "deposits in transit", "fee charged by bank not in register", etc.  you should get the drift.)
    If you can reconcile balance to balance properly then you have a Quicken reconciliation programming problem but if you can't reconcile balance to balance properly that suggests that your beginning balance is wrong. 
    The implicit assumption in focusing entirely on "this month's" transactions is that your Beginning Balance is correct, but that assumption could be incorrect.  Can you go back to last month's statement and (manually) perform that balance to balance reconciliation?  If you can't then you have confirmation that some prior period transaction(s) have changed.
  • Mitz51
    Mitz51 Member ✭✭
    Thanks so much, Bill and Tom. Between the two of you, I have reached a solution that at least allows me to click Done and exit the reconciliation process with a discrepancy of o.oo. What I did was add a dummy transaction in the amount of my discrepancy ($215.14) to the register of the affected CC account. Since the CC company is not asking me to make a payment that is $215.14 higher than the sum of the 88 transactions in the statement I'm reconciling, this maneuver is not going to have a negative effect on me financially.

    Coincidentally, I'm going to be closing this account as of today (the closing date of the statement I've been struggling with was Dec. 4) because there is one charge to Amazon.com on the account that I did not make (and that does not show up on my purchases/orders list on Amazon). So someone somehow used my CC number to order something from Amazon, which means that they could do the same thing again.

    I tried to give you both a "Yes" for answering the question, but a weird screen popped up saying "Something has gone wrong." I'll try again.

    All good wishes,
    Mitz
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