Reconciliation Problem: Reconcile totals don't match previous month


In my Quicken Classic Deluxe (on a Windows 10 system) the Prior Balance in the Reconcile Details window does not match that of the Ending Balance of the previous month although that month was reconciled without issue. What's more, the Cleared Balance box in the Reconcile window shows a balance before I have marked any line item as "Cleared".

I'm sure I have made a mistake somewhere, but I don't know how, and I don't know how to proceed.


  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Probably the first thing to do in the affected Account is to scroll all the way up to the top of the Register and look to see if your Opening Balance is correct. From time to time Quicken has been known to change the dollar amount in the Opening Balance for reasons unknown. If you find that's the source of the error then fix that and I'd suggest entering in the Memo field for that transactions the correct opening balance, just in case it happens again.

    If that's not the issue the, hopefully, you have lots of backups of your Quicken file. Personally I have Quicken set to make a backup each time I run Quicken, and I've set the "Remind me after running Quicken "Manual backup reminder" number such that with typical usage I make a "manual" backup every 2 or 3 days.

    The "Prior Balance" number is a calculated number, not a number that Quicken keeps somewhere in its data file. It's the sum of all the transactions in the Register marked with an "R" in the "Clr" column, so a very common source of this kind of problem is that some transaction or transactions that had an "R" in that field when you did your reconciliation has changed somehow. That might be a change in the the dollar amount, or an "R" transaction was deleted, or a "new" transaction with an "R" in that field has been added after the original reconciliation. Finding that transaction or transactions is where your backups come in.

    Start working backwards through your backups (make sure the backups aren't replacing your current file!) until you find a file where the Prior Balance comes up correctly. Understand that if a 2019 transaction is the source of the problem - hopefully not - you might have to open quite a few files until you come to a "good" one. But having found that file you then compare historical transactions in that file to your current live file and figure out what got changed, make correction in your live file, and you should be good to go.

    Depending on the dollar amount of the error, your own dedication to having correct accounting records, and the value of your time, you may end up having to accept an adjustment to make your current reconciliation work.

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