Can differing dates link between accounts?

jimrh's Avatar


20 Mar, 2023 09:35 AM

I already know I am going to gety a bunch of replies claiming that Moneydance uses strict double-entry accounting. Please don't flame me for this.

When attempting to reconcile transactions between differing accounts within Moneydance, the transaction dates can differ between accounts and BOTH dates can, and often are, authoritative.

1. When the transaction posts to the bank's records and to my account.
2. When the transaction posts to the credit-card account.

Why both dates are authoritative:
1. The posting date to my bank account is date "X".
2. The posting date to my credit card account is date "Y", where "Y" is different than "X" by a few days.

At least in the United States, the banks that issue credit cards can, and do, enforce the provision that payments are not considered received until posted to the account, regardless of what the issuing bank may say. Note that the question of it being "correct" or "reasonable" is not material to this discussion.

The result is that when importing data into Moneydance, there are two sets of duplicate transactions:
1. The bank's transaction copied to the credit card account.
2. The credit card account's transaction copied to the bank account.
3. Sometimes the transactions end up in a "limbo" phantom account created as a place to put these transactions simply because the dates differ by some small amount.

This results in a lot of unnecessary clean-up which is easily resolvable if the transactions can link, even though on slightly different dates.

Suggested resolution:
1. A selectable feature that allows for either strict dates or slightly varying dates between the transactions occurring between differing accounts, (i.e. bank and credit-card accounts, etc.)
2. If selected as "strict" (default) - the current behavior would be unchanged. If selected as "relaxed", Moneydance allow for slightly differing dates between cross-account transaction posting dates.

This way, those who desire and expect strict double-entry accounting can have what they want and expect, and those who want double-entry accounting with a more relaxed date tolerance can have that too.


  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 20 Mar, 2023 09:58 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    Doesn’t the auto merge date in conjunction with x days setting? You will still get one date (last one wins) but the merge will prevent duplicate txns??

  2. 2 Posted by dwg on 20 Mar, 2023 10:41 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    Software can either follow double entry rules or it doesn't follow those rules there is no middle ground, there is no provision for differing dates as that means money has gone missing for a period of time.

    That being said in accounting there is the concept of money in transit, especially in days gone by as it could take time for remittances to go through.

    The methodology of dealing with this in accounting is to pass the funds through a transits account, you could also pass the funds through a transits category. The point is the funds are accounted for at any point in time. Relaxed date handling means that funds are not accounted for during the intervening period and as a result the accounting model would be broken.

  3. 3 Posted by dtd on 20 Mar, 2023 10:32 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user

    I go with both Stuart and dwg - if you really need multi-date transactions, then Moneydance can do this - (re Stuart), just the dates get combined into one. If that's not adequate (I.E. you MUST know that the money was missing for 1-3 days (i.e. in transit), then dwg's comment would be appropriate.

    Can you explain why you NEED for the dates to be different once you merge them? I can understand this for a business that might have hourly counting of money, but for personal software where the merge usually occurs after the fact? Not so sure, so that's why I ask.

  4. 4 Posted by jimrh on 26 Mar, 2023 03:29 PM

    jimrh's Avatar

    Why I NEED the dates to be different?

    IMHO, it's a matter of accurate record keeping. . .

    As I mentioned in the initial post, both dates, (my bank's date and the credit-card bank's date), carry legal significance. Simply saying "the last one wins" doesn't solve the problem.

    Banks contain two different types of people:
    1. Accountants. (What's mine is mine and what's yours is yours.)
    2. Lawyers. (What's mine is mine and what's yours is also mine, and if you don't like it, sue me!)

    Even though the money may have electronically transferred immediately, the receiving bank may not "post" (credit), the payment until "the next business day".

    Because of this, having records of both dates can be incredibly important.

  5. 5 Posted by dtd on 26 Mar, 2023 08:52 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user - then I'll go with dwg's comments on transit accounts/category handling.

  6. System closed this discussion on 25 Jun, 2023 09:00 PM.

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