Archive - Getting Started - Register and Transaction basics

This is an archived document. Please refer to the more recent knowledge base articles on this page

What is a transaction?

A "transaction" is any change in the balance of your accounts, plus all the information about how much was spent or received and where the money went or came from. Moneydance uses the double entry method of accounting, which means that every transaction is a link between accounts (or categories). The value of one account or category will increase and another will decrease when a transaction is made. Transactions can be between a financial account and an expense or income category, or between two financial accounts (such as a transfer from a checking to a savings account).

How can I view, sort and filter the Account Register?

The account register displays all transactions in the account and is used to enter, edit, and delete transactions. It is visually similar to a paper checkbook register. To open an account register click on an account name in the Side Bar or Summary, or select the account name from the drop-down box in top left of the Moneydance program window.


The filter buttons running along the top of the register allow you to to restrict the transactions displayed in your register. Click “All” to see every transaction in the register, or one of the time frames to see a sub-set of transactions. Click the “Unconfirmed” button to show downloaded transactions which have not yet been confirmed or the “Uncleared” button to only display transactions which you have not yet marked as cleared. You can read more about downloading and confirming transactions in this article, and clearing transactions in this article.

The Split Register button at the top right of the window toggles between showing Confirmed and Unconfirmed transactions in a single pane, or showing Confirmed transactions in the top panel and Unconfirmed in the bottom.

You can change the order of transactions in the register by clicking on any column heading. Click twice to reverse the sort order. To sort the register by more than one variable, such as by date and then by Check #, Ctrl+Click (or right click) in the transaction register and select Sort By→


What are the different Transaction Fields?

You can create a transaction in any register except in a Loan Account (User Guide Chapter 11).

Investment Accounts have a slightly different set of fields, which are explained in detail within the User Guide, Chapter 7.


With the exception of Investment accounts, all account registers have the same format, and contain the following fields:

  1. Date - The date on which the transaction occurs.
  2. Tax Date - The date of the transaction for tax purposes, if different from the normal transaction date. This is only displayed if you checked the “Use Tax Date” box in Moneydance→ Preferences→ General (or File→ Preferences→ General on Windows and Linux).
  3. Check# - Selecting the {Print} option will include that transaction when printing checks. Selecting the option will insert the next sequential check number for that account. To edit the options for this field, go to the Summary and open the Account→Edit Account menu item.
  4. Description - The person or entity who receives or gives the funds. To enter an address book entry in this field use the down arrow key. Downloaded/imported transactions which are unconfirmed are marked with a small blue dot, confirmed transactions are marked with a small blue circle, split transactions are marked with a small “s”, and transactions with an attachment are marked with a small paperclip. Address book entries are prefaced by a green @ symbol.
  5. Memo - Any additional information. The exact dividing line between Description and Memo is mainly one of personal taste or financial institution download format.
  6. Category - The "other side" of this transaction. To make a transfer between accounts (from a savings to a checking account, for example) the account that the transfer is with should be selected in the Category field.
  7. Tags - Any tags you wish to assign to this transaction.
  8. C - A blank space here indicates the transaction is uncleared; an orange diamond indicates it is reconciling; a green circle means the transaction is cleared.
  9. Payment - Amount removed from this account and added to the account specified in the Category field described above.
  10. Deposit - Amount added to this account and removed from the account specified in the Category field.
  11. Rate - Specifies the exchange rate for inter-currency transactions. Automatically entered if you have installed the Quotes and Exchange Rates Updater extension. For information on manually entering an exchange rate, please see Chapter 14 of the User Guide.
  12. Foreign Amount - Permits entry of the exact amount of the other currency in a multi-currency transaction. See link above for User Guide, Chapter 14, 'Multi-Currency Support'
  13. Balance - The current balance of the account; this field is not editable

How can I enter a transaction?

To create a new transaction click the New Transaction button at the top right of the Account Register screen. The New Transaction dialog box is located at the very bottom of your screen. You can also create a new transaction by typing ⌘N. Double-click on an existing transaction to edit it.

How can I create a transaction containing more than one category?

Sometimes you may want to create a transaction containing more than one category. For example, you may make a purchase at a grocery store with is partially groceries and partially a reimbursable business expense. You can read how to create a 'Split Transaction' in this article.

Can Moneydance auto-complete my transaction entry?

Moneydance has an auto completion feature for transactions. Transactions can be auto completed by typing in the payee field. With each keystroke, past transactions are searched for payees with names that begin with the text already entered.

If a matching transaction is found, the rest of the current payee field is filled in with the matched payee value. At this point you can either continue to type, or use the TAB key to continue to the next field. Using the down arrow while auto-completion is active will display all address book entries and recent payees that begin with the letters that have already been entered and allow you to select one of them. You can opt to have auto-complete be case sensitive or non-case sensitive. You can edit this preference in the File→Preferences→General menu item.

Can I add Attachments to transactions?

To more easily track and reference receipts you can attach image files (PDF, JPG, and other image files) to transactions. You can attach multiple image files to a transaction.

You can attach a file to a transaction by dragging the image file onto a transaction in the Moneydance program window, or by right clicking on the transaction (or Ctrl+Click on a Mac) and selecting “Add attachment” from the menu which appears. Once you’ve attached a file to a Moneydance transaction a copy of the image will be stored in your Moneydance data file, and the original file can be deleted (if desired).

Transactions which have attachments will have a paperclip icon in the description field.

To see an attachment click once on the transaction. In the window which appear click “Details” to see a thumbnail of the attached file; click once on the file to view, or click the X to delete the attachment.

Can I add Tags to transactions?

Transaction tags provide another level of expense or income tracking. While you may track your vacation in several categories, such as Lodging, Food, Gas, etc, a tag will permit you to easily track and run reports to determine the total cost of the trip.

To enter a tag, begin typing in the Tags field. To assign multiple tags to a transaction enter a comma after each tag.

You can read more about working with tags in this article.

What are the keyboard shortcuts?

You can read about Moneydance keyboard shortcuts in this article.

Didn't find the information you were looking for? You can find more information on the Moneydance register and transaction features in this article.