how can I reconcile my account errors?

aldensings's Avatar

aldensings

06 May, 2009 01:53 AM

Hello, I'd really appreciate someone's help. A couple of mistakes I've made have confused me...

I've had a recurring monthly payment that somehow I screwed up last year, and one payment (from over a year ago) never got reconciled, and yet my checking account balanced. Not sure why, I looked back and it doesn't make sense. And was too busy to figure it out last year. So last month I after seeing this old $350 transaction sitting there when reconciling with the bank statement, I finally decided to figure out how to get rid of it. I tried to delete it, but then that changed my balance and wouldn't reconcile. I tried to 'reconcile' the transaction as if it finally got paid, but that also messed up the balance. So I thought I just left it in there and would get some help. And tonight while reconciling my 'ending balance' has changed by about $150, and I don't know exactly know how that happened.

So how can I get this straight again? Any ideas?

  1. 1 Posted by John Selden on 07 May, 2009 04:50 PM

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    It sounds like the reconciling got one month ahead of itself. For example (using random dates for purposes of example), you may have had both the June and July recurring payments appearing in the register before you reconciled, and either you or Moneydance erroneously matched up the June charge on your bill to the July payment in the Moneydance register. Thus, everything would have reconciled but the June payment got skipped and stayed skipped, if you kept reconciling to a transaction one month ahead. Check to see if the most recent reconciled monthly payment is indeed for the correct month, or if it is for one month later than it should be.

  2. 2 Posted by Mary on 07 May, 2009 05:15 PM

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    For those things that I cannot find what the error is, I end up making it report correctly by entering an Adjustment entry to get the balance back to what it is supposed to be. I put an explanation for what the fake adjustment is for so that later, if I do find the error, I can also find that adjustment amount and erase it too. I have a misc. category for things that are a mystery.

    Others might have some more ideas.

  3. 3 Posted by Hans N. on 08 May, 2009 03:44 AM

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    The only way you'll really know is by reconciling it against a bank statement or a statement from whoever is paid that monthly payment. When you reconcile Moneydance against your bank, the idea of performing a bank reconciliation is to match each transaction, not simply the balance.

    If it's a monthly payment for the same amount or relatively the same amount paid on approximately the same date each month, then it really shouldn't be hard to find. You can filter transaction amounts in Moneydance through the search box and scan your bank statements. Keep the transactions ordered by date and look for a skipped month?

    As for the $150, keep in mind when you book transactions against Account (not to be confused with income/expense Categories), Moneydance will enter both sides of the transaction. Meaning if I book a payment in my checking account against my savings account, Moneydance will automatically book the deposit in my savings account. If I downloaded the savings account transaction from my bank, then I would now have a duplicate entry in my savings account. One I downloaded from my bank and another Moneydance created when I entered a transaction in my checking account, using the savings account as the Category.

    With all of that said, as an accountant by profession, there is no easy way to bypass checking each transaction. Generally, I always start by looking for dates where the balance in Moneydance deviates from the bank statement. My thought process is, do the balances match on the 15th of the month? No? What about the 1st of the month? Yes? What about the 10th? Just keep narrowing it down and you'll find it.

  4. 4 Posted by aldensings on 08 May, 2009 12:37 PM

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. Yes, I looked back to see if I had skipped or misdated a monthly payment. I just couldn't find anything. And this month's statement the bank sent me just didn't help. Then I went online and looked at my account. And I thought: hey, I can see everything that's come in, and test it against every check and debit that's not come in yet, and my MD balance ought to match the balance online! So I went through 2 months worth of transactions one by one, finding a couple of missed transactions along the way, and when all was said and done it was about $40 different. You're right Hans, going through one by one was the only way to get it right. What happened to the $350 recurring transaction? Well, I archived my MD file to only have this year's transactions, and checked the option to NOT keep unreconciled old transactions. Maybe that's the wrong way to do it, but I seems to have eliminated that old payment, or at least put it out of sight. I still never figured that out. Thanks for the help!

  5. 5 Posted by Mary on 08 May, 2009 01:51 PM

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    Sometimes it is just impossible to find the mistake. You end having to ask yourself if all the time to search for it is worth it or should you just fake it to get it to match up and start fresh. I've had this happen and then months later, I'll accidentally find the error and erase both the fake adjustment and whatever caused the error. We are imperfect.

  6. 6 Posted by Ben Spencer on 11 May, 2009 07:57 PM

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    I really appreciate all of you for contributing your thoughts to help out fellow users. Not simply because it helps lighten the load for us support staff. Rather it is more to do with my feeling positive about the mutual aid community that has developed around this piece of software. Thank you!

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