Reconcile Confusion and Solution

Jeff's Avatar

Jeff

30 Jan, 2010 01:13 PM

The Reconcile process in MD 2010 is confusing and, in my opinion, difficult for the consumer and not explained correctly in you FAQ's.
Example for Downloaded Checking Account transactions:

Downloaded checking account transactions have a blue dot. These transactions obviously have "cleared" the bank, so anything with a blue dot should signify a "Cleared but not Accepted" transaction.

Once I "Accept" a transaction with a blue dot, MD should show the transaction with the orange diamond, meaning the transaction has cleared the bank, and I have accepted it as a proper charge to my account. This should be done automatically when I Accept a transaction. (However, in my opinion the color orange draws too much attention to a transaction that I am almost finished with. You should either change the color to something softer, or maybe change the mark to a simple, black "X."

When my statement comes in, I will reconcile my account by either using your reconcile tool (which I believe should be under the "Tools" menu rather than the "Edit" menu), or by reconciling manually. If I use the tool, the mark in the "C" column should switch from the orange diamond (or black "X"), to the green check mark, meaning the transaction is cleared, accepted, and reconciled.

So the process should be: Blue dot upon downloading; Black "X" (or orange diamond) replaceing blue dot after Accepting; Green check mark after reconciling.

Separately, your FAQ titled "What is that orange Diamond?" says that the diamond signifies that the downloaded transaction has cleared. However, when I put an orange diamond in the "C" column, it says the transaction is "Reconciling," not "Cleared." The green check says "Cleared." This discrepancy makes the FAQ confusing.

  1. 1 Posted by Randy on 30 Jan, 2010 02:21 PM

    Randy's Avatar

    I don't work for Moneydance, but I can offer some additional thoughts why the status progression you mention doesn't always work for me.

    My goal when reconciling is to get the ledger balance sent by the bank (you can see this balance by pressing the balance button in the lower right of the register screen) equal to the sum of the cleared transactions. Only then will I know that my records and the banks records are the same.

    Some of my financial institutions (Chase Mastercard for instance), sends transactions ahead of the ledger balance, that is, they send transactions for today, but the ledger balance is as of close of business yesterday. So, if I just mark them all cleared, the sum of the cleared transactions will not be equal to the ledger balance the bank sends.

    If you download often, you can just choose the reconcile step, and accept the defaults it offers on the first screen, and it will usually propose clearing the transactions that will make the difference between the sum of the cleared transactions and ledger balance equal to zero. You can just accept that, and it will mark the correct transactions cleared.

    This isn't a fault with Moneydance, it just downloads what the bank is willing to send. Unfortunately, banks aren't consistent with the information they send, but Moneydance is pretty flexible in adapting to different styles. It isn't perfect, but since being abandoned by MS Money, it is the best I have found.

    Beginning in build 738, If you have to abandon the reconciling step before you finish, it will leave the transactions in a "reconciling" status. Also, you can mass select them by clicking one, then doing a ctrl click on the others, then right click and mass change them to reconciling or cleared.

    The documentation is severely behind, and is a source of many criticisms on this forum. The last comment I saw from MD was that about mid February it would be revised.

  2. 2 Posted by Jeff on 30 Jan, 2010 04:21 PM

    Jeff's Avatar

    Randy, thanks for your post, but I don't understand your 4th paragraph where you say "...you can just choose the reconcile step...." Where do I choose this step? Is it where I click "Accept" at the bottom of the screen, which makes the blue dot disappear? Also, how does MD "propose clearing the transactions?" After I accept a transaction, nothing in the program indicates that it has cleared, other than the blue dot going away. I manually have to add the orange diamond (mislabeled as "Reconciling") or green check ("Cleared").

    I also come from MS Money and am new to Moneydance. When I do a daily download in MD, I would like the program to act like Money did. In other words, I would like a chance to accept the transaction, have the transaction clearly marked as cleared and accepted, then leave the transaction alone until the monthly statement comes in and I reconcile. The current process in Moneydance is not that simple, in that you have to accept each transaction, then in a separate step mark each transaction with an orange diamond (which is mislabeled as "Reconciling").

    So far I am satisfied with the way MD displays my available balances, including my ledger balance and current actual balance.

    Again, I appreciate your comments.

  3. 3 Posted by Randy on 30 Jan, 2010 07:47 PM

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    Accepting transactions and reconciling them are two separate steps in Moneydance. They were in Money as well if you only reconciled at the end of the month when you got a paper statement.

    I doubt they will be combined any time soon, but after you get used to doing things a little differently, you shouldn't have any trouble with it. Because of the speed of Moneydance, I can get through with both steps faster than I could in Money, even though they were somewhat together there. And, getting through is what matters most with me.

    The reconcile step moved on the menu in build 738.

    In build 735 it was under Edit, in 738 it is under Account. Check to see which build you are using so you will know (or just look for it).

    You have to have an account selected (one of the registers visible), and you should finish accepting everything first. Then accept the first screen, and on the second screen you should get some transactions with the gold diamonds next to them. If the difference is zero, press done and you are through...........

  4. 4 Posted by Jeff Blumenthal on 30 Jan, 2010 07:52 PM

    Jeff Blumenthal's Avatar

    Thanks, Randy. I will try what you suggested. And you are right. I'm used to Money and not used to MD yet. Also, Money was a lot "prettier" of an application than MD. I guess that's what happens when Microsoft is the developer!

    I have build 735. I read somewhere that build 738 is still in beta. Do you know when it will be out of beta, or is it worth downloading now?
    Thanks again.

  5. 5 Posted by jeff on 30 Jan, 2010 08:03 PM

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    I just reread your post, and wanted to clarify my suggestion. Basically, my suggestion is that an accepted transaction should be automatically marked by MD in the "C" column, either with a non-orange diamond, an "X," or something else. It is confusing to me when I accept a cleared transaction, and there is still nothing in the "C" column.

    The next step, reconciling, comes when the statement is delivered. After reconciling, the marker in the "C" column should change to the green check mark.

  6. 6 Posted by Randy on 30 Jan, 2010 08:11 PM

    Randy's Avatar

    Its unlikely to get changed to a "C" since that is the culmination of the reconcile step, not the culmination of the Acceptance step.

    We lobbied for a status (much like Money's "e" status), but so far, the blue circle and the blue i are the indicators that the developer seems to like.

    If your transaction only has a blue i, it is similar to Money's 'e' after you have accepted them. If it has both a blue circle and a blue i, that is kind of the way Money was when the type was bold and the status was e.

    You can also hit the unconfirmed filter at the top of the register, and if the register is then blank, you know you don't have any additional transactions to accept.

    It just takes some time to get used to. I converted 8 months ago, and now find it hard to remember all the stuff from Money (and I used money for 10 years).

  7. 7 Posted by Jeff on 30 Jan, 2010 09:52 PM

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    This issue looks like it was covered in ticket no. 2562. How do I "vote" for this ticket?

  8. 8 Posted by Ben Spencer on 30 Jan, 2010 09:57 PM

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    To vote on a ticket register and log into trac then click the up arrow to the right of the "+1" at the top of the ticket.

    Ben

  9. Angie Rauscher closed this discussion on 24 Jul, 2011 07:23 PM.

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