Can we please use the online balance on the Accounts sidebar (left side of software)?

OAML_ Member

For Quicken Windows (don't know about Mac), the account balance that appears next to each account in the Accounts sidebar (left side of software) is always Quicken-calculated numbers. This gets SUPER frustrating since often the balances are not reconciled or its taking a long time to pull in new transactions so they're always off. And frankly, I don't really care about Quicken-calculated numbers more than the actual online balance. I want to look at the sidebar and at a quick glance see all my real account balances next to them.


  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2023

    Given the number of complaints in this forum about inaccurate online balances, I would not want to use Quicken’s online balance as the measure for accurate and current balances.

    You could submit an idea post for it, though, and see if it garners much enthusiasm.

    Edit to add link for QWin product suggestion categories:

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is another post where the person wanted to use online balance in the Account Bar. It was suggested that they post an idea for that, but they apparently did not do so.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    Whenever I see requests like this, I have to think that these people don't understand the limitations of the data that Quicken gets or Quicken for that matter. If you need know the accurate up to date balances of your accounts, you should get that direct from the financial institution(s). Say with their mobile app or website.

    First off @OAML_ you state that:

    or its taking a long time to pull in new transactions so they're always off.

    Well guess what? The online balance comes down with the transactions. They aren't "separatable". When done right, the online balance reflects exactly what the balance should be for the transactions that were downloaded. That is the only way that reconciling to the online balance can possibly work. When done wrong, which happens from time to time, with some financial institutions you get either an online balance that is missing some transactions that have been downloaded, or more often it shows pending transactions that have yet to be downloaded.

    At no time should it be considered a real time reflection of what your current balance is at the financial institution.

    On top of all of this it is also important to note that there are many "balances" and not one of them is 100% correct at all times depending on what you are looking for.

    At the financial institution:

    • Online Balance excluding pending transactions.
    • Online Balance including pending transactions.
    • Available balance.

    In Quicken:

    • Current balance, what the balance is in the register on the given date.
    • Last balance, the balance of the last transaction in the register. (Note in that comment that @mshiggins posted it seems that the person should have been using the current balance, not the last balance in Account list).
    • Online balance, the last balance download with the transactions. Note that some accounts, like manual entry accounts don't even have an Online balance and if they allowed "Online Balance" for the account bar there would have to be yet another setting to decide what to pick for these accounts. But it is also important to note that there is a date with this balance, and that date might not be today. There are financial institutions that will not update transactions for Quicken's download on weekends and holidays. That is why when you do a reconcile to the online balance it doesn't reconcile to today's date, it reconciles to the date of the online balance.
    • Another consideration is the very fact that Quicken's balance can be accurate when it is impossible for the one(s) at the financial institution's to be accurate. For any transaction that takes time to get to the financial institution, for instance, a check, a person can have entered that into Quicken and know that they shouldn't spend that money because it will eventually come in. The financial institution can't possibly have the right amount in this case because the transaction hasn't yet got to them.

    This is my website:
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