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Improvements for Reconcile Mode - Advanced Reconciliation

Hi, 


Please feel free to share your ideas on what the best feature set for really cool reconciling features that you would like to see in MoneyWiz.


10 people like this idea

I'd just like to add my comments to Phil's.


I've long felt that reconciliation as implemented in Moneywiz isn't a true reconciliation process, and I agree with what Phil is saying, specifically that:

  • when you click to reconcile an account, it should automatically default to start with the last date and balance when the account was previously reconciled.
  • it should show all unreconciled transactions on the account, i.e.including transactions with a date before the last reconciliation. This is because they could have been input to Moneywiz but not cleared on the statement by the time the previous reconciliation was completed.
  • you enter the the date and closing balance of the latest bank statement, then work through clicking the transactions that have appeared on the statement
  • during the reconciliation, it may be necessary to enter transactions from the statement that haven't been captured in Moneywiz
  • the process is complete when all transactions on the statement have been 'clicked' as reconciled in Moneywiz, and the difference is zero. There may still be unreconciled transactions in Moneywiz that haven't appeared on the statement as mentioned above; these will appear as unreconciled next time the process is carried out.
  • when the difference is zero and you click 'Done', the final date and balance are saved to start the next reconciliation.

Sorry if this seems a bit long-winded, but better to be explicit about this. The process would then reflect not only the way reconciliation works in MS Money, but also the same as a number of other accounting packages I've used.

I'm not sure about the merits of Phil's suggestion re credit cards; nice if it can be done, but for me, it's not a big deal. If however the reconciliation can be implemented as per Phil's and my suggestion, Moneywiz would be an even better package!



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I agree with Andrew Locke, here. Jonathan Kratzke also sums it up perfectly here (http://silverwiz.freshdesk.com/support/discussions/topics/307680)

I (we?) simply want to see a running reconciled balance and the ability to check off transactions against a periodic statement with the aim of reducing the differential between opening and closing balance to zero, then closing the reconciliation process and committing the statement 'transaction' to the database (or backing out/cancelling the reconciliation if so desired). That way, I know I have captured all of my transactions in MoneyWiz and I truly know where my finances are. As bonus feature, the ability to postpone the reconciliation until a later time, coming back where you left off. I appreciate that I'm basically describing the way MS Money works, which revolves around the statement delivery, but that has worked very well for me for many years. MW2 as it stands, is too prone to error and then makes it very difficult to track the error down or back out of the reconciliation process.


I bought MoneyWiz 2 on the (mis)understanding that it handled reconciliation (advanced reconciliation as you guys at SilverWiz like to call it). I'm really, really keen to transition from an ancient version of MS Money to MoneyWiz, but I can't make the leap until this feature is implemented. I appreciate and understand the pressure you all at SilverWiz were under to get MW2 out and then to stabilise it (I'm in the software business as well), but this feature has been in the plan for at least a year. Given that the current version has concepts of 'cleared' and 'reconciled' transaction status in the current version, you already have the underpinning data model, so it's just a matter of adding the concept of a statement and a user interface to reconcile against that statement, and some extra integrity checking/control to ensure that reconciled transactions stay that way. Easy ;-) 

(of course, I'm saying this tongue in cheek, as I'm deliberately simplifying the task at hand, but I think the requirements are relatively straightforward).


I think the product is fantastic, but I really need this killer feature to be able to get rid of MS Money once and for all! Please, please prioritise this feature as I suspect there are many others out there thinking the same. 


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I really would like to be able to enter an "Ending Balance" and be able to see what my current reconciled balance is as I check off transactions as Reconciled.  Once the current reconciled balances equals the "Ending Balance", my account can be considered reconciled.


By the way, in what ways has Reconciliation been implemented in MoneyWiz for Mac?  I don't see this feature at all in my Mac app.


Thanks,


Andrew


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I would like to see the following features in advanced reconciliation:

Bank account reconciliation

Ability to enter Opening Balance, Ending Balance and Statement Date. Ending Balance from previous reconciliation to be carried forward as Opening Balance, if available. New Statement Date entered automatically calculated from previous reconciliation statement date, if available.

Ability to enter any service charges or interest earned, as shown on the bank statement, with transaction date and category. Transaction dates entered automatically calculated from previous reconciliation corresponding transaction dates, if available.

Having entered the above, to only show unreconciled transactions in two columns (for payments and deposits) with ability to tick each transaction as shown on the statement. To also show running balance of cleared balance, statement ending balance and difference. 

Ability to click on any transaction and go to the register to edit it, then return to the reconciliation.

Ability to add any missing transactions in the register, then return to the reconciliation.

Once reconciled to a zero balance, the ability to permanently save the reconciliation tick on all reconciled transactions so that it cannot accidentally be unticked.

Credit card account reconciliation

Ability to enter Charges/Cash Advances, Payments/Credits and Statement Date. New Statement Date entered automatically calculated from previous reconciliation statement date, if available.

Ability to enter any finance/interest charges as shown on the statement, with transaction date and category. Transaction dates entered automatically calculated from previous reconciliation corresponding transaction dates, if available.

Having entered the above, to only show unreconciled transactions in two columns (for charges and payments) with ability to tick each transaction as shown on the statement. To also show running balance of cleared balance, statement ending balance and difference.

Ability to click on any transaction and go to the register to edit it, then return to the reconciliation.

Ability to add any missing transactions in the register, then return to the reconciliation.

Once reconciled to a zero balance, the ability to permanently save the reconciliation tick on all reconciled transactions so that it cannot accidentally be unticked.


2 people like this

Hi Phil,


I've logged this to the dev team. The ability to filter out reconciled transactions is already logged & planned for MoneyWiz 2.6 actually, so the ability to save/cancel the whole reconcile process + to remember the start/end dates and suggest the proper dates for the next reconcile is what I logged.

As for a scheduled transaction to pay the CC - we have this logged, but it requires a lot more changes so I don't expect to see it so soon actually. Probably in MoneyWiz 3. For this to work properly we need to ask people when is their credit card statement closing date + give them tons of options on how they pay their credit cards (such as minimum balance, statement balance, full balance). Even then, things may get blurry if people don't enter transactions properly (with the proper dates, don't miss transactions etc). So automating this via a scheduled transaction is not as trivial as it sounds in order to minimize error.


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The update 2.1 was finally approved and now available in the Mac App Store.


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Hi Iliya and Robert,


I totally agree about being able to exit the reconciliation process before it's complete - it can happen for a variety of reasons.


So here's how I envisage it working:


  • you start the reconciliation process by entering the date and closing balance from the bank statement; these would typically be blank, unlike at present
  • you continue through, clicking transactions in MW that appear on the bank statement
  • if the process cannot be completed, perhaps because it's necessary to investigate a transaction, you click 'Cancel'. The process stays as is, i.e. ticked transactions remain ticked, unreconciled transactions remain untucked, and opening/closing balances are unchanged.
  • when you resume reconciliation of the account by clicking on the 'balance' symbol, MW displays exactly how it was when left: opening/closing balances as they were, ticked/unticked transactions just as they were left. You continue clicking (or amending transactions stored in MW) until the difference in the balance is zero. Only then is the 'Done' (or 'Confirm') box ungreyed and can be clicked. 
  • MW then replaces the opening date/balance with the closing date/balance, and everything is ready for the next time the account is reconciled.

This is the way I've seen it implemented in other systems. It in no way compromises the ability to leave the reconciliation process part way through, then resume it.

If you do this at the moment in MW, the opening date/balance and the amount to be reconciled are updated, and it's very difficult to pick up when you come back.

Sorry about the long-winded reply, but it's important to explain this clearly. Just hope you can do it!

Bill.


1 person likes this
Hi Iliya, The suggestion more accurately is that it remembers the closing date and balance from the last statement but does not filter transactions based on the dates. It is sufficient during a reconcile to show only unreconciled transactions. In fact, a filter for unreconciled transactions is another suggestion I have made elsewhere but in this case the filter would need modification so that transactions reconciled in the current reconciliation task are still shown. Alternatively, it might be good to allow transactions to be marked for reconciliation during the process and only permanently mark them as reconciled when the user confirms that the statement is correctly reconciled. A side benefit if transactions are marked with the statement end date is that it should be possible to produce a report which will match the transactions of the statement by using the statement closing date as a filter.

 


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Bill,


All noted to the dev team. I hope we can do it in MW 2.6. I definitely want to see it before MW 3!


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Hi Iliya,


I'm totally with Celia (Helen?) on this, and I find the way that reconciliation works at the moment is a pain; it should not be necessary - or even possible - to amend the Opening Date or Balance. These should be 'locked' when 'Done' was clicked the last time the account was reconciled. And that should make it possible to postpone a reconciliation, and come back to it (with the same Opening Date and Balance) at a later date.


I sent you some thoughts on this a few months ago (just scroll back a bit in this topic), and you mentioned that it shouldn't be too hard to do and you'd already raised the ticket. So I support Celia in saying that you should fix the basics before going on to add new features. And I would regard this as a bug rather than an 'enhancement'.


Anyway, best wishes to all at MoneyWiz for a happy and successful New Year.



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I don't want to suggest anything that would delay reconciliation being added, so this is just an idea that might be nice someday. Once you've reconciled to a statement, all reconciled entries have their amount "locked" and perhaps the checkmark locked and faded so that you don't accidentally "un-reconcile" it later.


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That said, I think the main thing that a true reconcile mode needs is a running reconciled balance, and secondly, for those who reconcile to their bank statements, it would be nice to be able to enter in the statement balance and reconcile down to zero. But I'd settle for something as simple as just being able to see the reconciled balance and then visually compare that to my statement balance

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Additional suggestions: being able to add bank charges or deposits (for example my savings account gets interest monthly). Now I could add that in as a new entry, but since I only ever see it when reconciling, it could be nice to have it just part of the reconciliation mode. This would reflect Quickbooks reconciliation mode, I just think it's a nice touch–not necessary in any way. 


Thanks! Really, other than reconciliation being really tough once a month, MoneyWiz (the software, the platform) is great and I applaud what you have already done. Keep up the good work! 


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Hi Iliya, I have tried the advanced reconciliation and it is missing some basic functions as others have pointed out. It is very disappointing, even for a first attempt, and I quickly reverted to ticking off items in the main view while comparing to my bank statement.  From previous communications I thought it would be very similar to Money. I really do suggest that you investigate how reconciliation was carried out in that product. It is really important that "unticked" items from previous statement periods are carried into the current reconciliation view along with the previous bank statement closing date and balance which should be editable. I didn't even try to get far enough to discover that adds, edits and deletes weren't possible in the reconciliation view. These are also essential. I think the process should be something like:-
1. Get latest bank statement (probably soft copy)
2. Open advanced recon view in Moneywiz which will include ALL unticked items no matter how old.
3. Check that opening balance and date in Moneywiz match the statement. (This should the case for second and subsequent recons since these are the closing numbers from the previous reconciliation).
4. Tick off all items that appear in the statement while adding, deleting and editing items in Moneywiz as necessary.
5. When all items in the statement have been ticked the Moneywiz balance should equal the closing statement balance and the Moneywiz closing date should be adjusted to match the statement.
6. Investigate any discrepancies and correct.



 

 

You have asked for "cool" ideas for reconciliation features - how about just getting the basics right first? As I have said previously, your process should include the following: 1. Once a reconciliation has been performed, it should be locked in and available as a report that would exactly reflect the statement you have reconciled to. 2. It should be possible to leave unreconciled transactions from a previous period, where for some reason the payment has not yet gone through. This could be unpresented cheques or an order placed but not yet fulfilled. At the moment, I have to change the dates and this means that my record does not tie up with the date of my order. I hope that you will address this issue urgently, as people have been asking for this for well over a year to my knowledge. Your system means that I spend far to long on a task that should be simple.

Hi guys,


Thank you all for the feedback. I logged all of this to the dev team for implementation. Most of these things will come soon (although we are short-staffed in the iOS/Mac team this month due to vacations). The only feature that may be delayed a little is the concept of storing separate statements. The reason is that this requires a data model change which requires porting to Android/Windows + data migration + new sync version. All of this would delay our Windows release (by then, Android would be released so no delay there) and we really want to roll out Windows asap. Either way most of the features as I said will be done in September, when we also plan to roll out Advanced Reconcile for iOS & Android as well based on all the feedback.

I would agree that the Reconciliation process would ideally look much like the scenario laid out by Robert Stark.
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