Projected Balances graph incorrectly showing negative balance!

zukikat
zukikat Member
At some point after either a version upgrade or transition to the new subscription system within the past 2-3 years, it seems like it was around the time the Online Bills linking feature came into existence or at least maybe at some point after I started trying out that feature, my Projected Balance graph in Bill and Income Reminders suddenly went negative, stayed that way, and kept getting worse when my actual checking account balance almost always remains low 4-digits positive for most, if not all of each year.

After a few hours of hunting for the problem without success when it first showed up I gave up out of frustration and lack of time for it, and no helpful answers from Quicken Support at the time, and simply forced myself to ignore it for a very long time.

Today I decided to try to tackle this problem again because seeing that negative balance thing did bother me even though I knew it wasn't true and I had a bit of time to poke at it again.

Turns out that in my case it was an Online Payees problem, specifically a linked Online Billers account in my case for a utility company who upgraded to a new system with new account numbers while the old one was still linked which broke my Quicken Projected Balance graph as the new account got *added* to Online Billers (as a separate monthly bill with the last known balance as the estimated future amount due!) instead of *replacing* the old entry.

Discovering the potential cause, as I've since sold that house and closed that account and deleted the reminder and yet that Online Biller which wasn't showing in the reminders list anymore *was* appearing in the Bills->Bills list in the latest Quicken version (and impacting my balance with its' last known amount due) and Deleting Online Billers who are on that list is not an obvious process but I suppose it does make sense and prevents unintentional accidental deletions. The "Delete this Instance" option isn't there because it's a linked Online Biller, not just a reminder.
It was basically applying some type of average estimated monthly bill amount against the Projected Balance graph every month based on past charges along with the last known amount due when the utility company changed to their new system with new and very different account numbers which it thought were going unpaid and compounding month after month for quite a long time.

The Manage Online Billers screen, accessed from the cog/gear (settings) in the Bills->Bills screen, finally provided the ability to delete/remove that Online Biller (the only one still appearing in my case as I haven't linked services for my new house yet) and instantly my Projected Balances that had gone Negative several years ago instantly jumped back to proper tracking all the way back to the erroneous negative date.

Note that there were no erroneous entries ever in my register or in the Bill & Income Reminders list at all before, on, or after that date and my actual register balances were always correct which is why this was so confusing and frustrating!

So keep an eye on Online Billers, amounts due, and linked reminders for those Online Billers if your Projected Balance graph isn't tracking with your actual register balance and you don't see any incorrect entries or erroneous future reminders.

I've been using Quicken since the days of Windows 3.1 on my 80486DX2-66 when my bank offered "Electronic Banking" as a service, provided the "Quicken for Windows" software (on floppy discs) to customers who wanted it, and it used your dial-up modem (which the bank would provide for an extra fee if you didn't have one already) for your PC to call a specific local bank branch phone number for direct access to your bank account data and bill scheduling was mostly via the bank mailing paper checks (free postage for me!) for things you scheduled although some credit card companies participated in ACH at that point but not all.

Several moves and 2 banks later I still use Quicken on my local PC today.
I don't use the Quicken cloud sync/backup or mobile features at all.

I"m not a Quicken expert or a CPA or a tax professional and I don't use every feature but cross-linked accounts and loan amortization and escrow and such along with portfolio stuff are really nice and helpful functions that I rely on heavily for managing my small financial world as it has slowly grown and evolved and I love how easy Quicken has always made that task for me over the last 25-30 years but sometimes a quirk or a bug appears that seems to linger for a very long time.

It seems like the new owners are at least trying to carry forward and improve upon this product as Intuit has basically left it stale with ongoing bug reports getting ignored even after the 3 year cycle required another new purchase to retain online transactions.
At least some of the old bugs that I learned to ignore for years have finally been fixed under the new owners and other than the occasional nag to enter my quicken credentials upon launch and not being able to get into it if I forgot my password I'm far less grumpy about the new folks' efforts to carry on this great software than how stale and bug filled Intuit had let it get.

There's still some work to be done but at least it appears they're trying and I have to say thanks for their efforts to continue trying to make this product worth the now annual subscription cost of using it.

Comments

  • Paul Smith2
    Paul Smith2 Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for sharing this.  I have the same problem of some "unpaid bill" dragging the projected balance of my checking account ever lower every month.  It would be nice to be able to see what unpaid bills were being included in the calculations.  I've been using Quicken as long as you have  -- only I have tried (and given up) on their online bill pay and web service.  It seems that if you have multiple computers (which I have for redundancy purposes) the QDF files get messed up.   
This discussion has been closed.