Incorrect "Prior balance" when trying to reconcile - do not download transactions (edit)

I posted this same question in August. A couple people were kind enough to try and help, however neither response address my issue. I've been using Quicken for 20+ years and never had this issue. Now, it happens every month in multiple accounts across two seperate files.

When I go to reconcile, the prior month's ending balance does not match my bank statement. ((note: I do not download transaction)). Today I reconciled an account for September. I typed in the starting and ending balance per my bank statement and manually cleared the transactions. That deposit and debit totals match the bank statement. So, I let Quicken make an adjustment for the difference.

When I go to reconcile October in the same account - the beginning balance for October does not match what I entered as the ending balance in September. If I let Quicken do an adjustment to balance out at the end of September - doesn't that mean it will make an adjustment so that all the cleared (manually) cleared transactions + whatever adjustment, will balance so that when I go to reconcile October the begining balance would match the ending balance I entered from my bank statement? Thank you in advance for any assitance.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    The first thing to understand is that the prior balance you see when start the reconcile is the calculated balance based on the reconciled transactions. If it is wrong, then it is because one or more of your reconciled transactions have been changed and you need to find that problem first.

    The second thing to understand is even though Quicken allows you to change the Prior balance in the text box, you in fact it doesn't matter.

    For example, I took an old account I had and changed one transaction from reconciled to cleared:

    Now I will change that prior balance and see what it affects:

    You can see it changed the "Opening Balance Difference", but really didn't affect the actual reconcile. The "Difference" is zero. If I hit Done, it isn't going to put in a balance adjustment.

    In other words, it is still using a balance .89 - .89 withdraw transaction = 0.

    Things to check for reconciled transactions being changed, opening balance in the register. There are bugs that cause it to be changed. You might want to sort by the Clr column to make sure there isn't any transactions that is unexpectedly not reconcile (be sure to click on the Date column later to sort back by date). You can also work your way back through your statement balances and balance in Quicken to see where it went wrong. You might also see what the balances were at a given time in a backup if you have it.

    This is my website:
  • MarlonF
    MarlonF Member

    Thank you for the detailed response. I will dig deep into my transactions to see if that is the issue. I do appreciate you time and assistance.

  • Figures
    Figures Member

    Chris, when you say a "reconciled transaction that has been changed" does that mean going back to the beginning of this account? y September statement reconciled fine a month ago but now, trying to reconcile October, I have the same problem as MarlonF…

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Figures potentially the problem could be any changed/deleted/added transaction in the register (in the case of reconciled transactions even ones dated on a date past the one used for the ending balance for the reconcile).

    In practice, the hope is that one doesn't have to check all the transactions.

    The very first thing I would check is the very first transaction in the register. There have been bugs where Quicken has changed that transaction. So, make sure that didn't happen first.

    Next let's take a practical example for your situation.

    If your reconciled in September, then what I would expect to see is any transaction after that point is either in the cleared or uncleared state (note that if you have checks that haven't cleared their dates can be before the closing date).

    I reconcile daily to the online balance, so I have to sort fake this, but the statement closes on the 26th.

    I look at my September statement closing balance and it says $363.39:

    Looking at my register this is what I expect to see:

    As in the last reconciled transaction should be that balance. If it isn't then some transaction changed on or before that point. Note if this correct, but you have a reconciled transaction past that point it will mess up the reconcile window's total.

    If this isn't correct, then you will be forced to go backwards working through statements to find the problem.

    But one "shortcut" to this might be to restore a backup from when you knew it was reconciled and just work to bring that copy up to date. Might just restore it to a copy to make sure of that balance.

    One thing I will point out on that. If you have gone back a couple of statements and the balance is still off, you might be better off doing what is called a binary search. Split the register dates about in half and check there (round off to the statement date). If the balance is still wrong split it again (the transactions before that point). If it is correct then the problem is after that point, and you would split it from that point on. This will speed up the search considerably.

    This is my website: