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How to Reconcile in Quicken Essentials for Mac

Updated: 2/28/2012 | Article ID: GEN82859

Overview

When you balance, or reconcile, an account, you compare your Quicken account records against your current bank statement and, if necessary, resolve any differences between the two. Reconciliation can be affected by transactions that occurred in the period shown on your current bank statement as well as by earlier transactions.

When you manually enter your transactions and balances directly into your Quicken data file, reconciling is a useful way of double-checking the accuracy of your transactions. But if you download transactions from your financial institutions reconciling is often unnecessary.

If the balance shown on your most recent bank statement is different from the balance in your Quicken register, don't assume that something's wrong. You've probably entered transactions in Quicken after the bank prepared your statement, or transactions that have not yet been cleared and downloaded, so the bank balance is not as up-to-date as your register. You may also have checks or other transactions from earlier months that have not yet cleared the bank.

Instructions

 

  1. Select the account you want to reconcile from the Accounts section in the sidebar on the left. The reconciliation process is done directly within the register you select.
    Please note: Before you begin reconciling, enter any interest, bank charges, or finance charges. Quicken Essentials does not automatically enter this information for you.
  2. Choose Accounts on the top menu bar, then select Reconcile Account.
  3. Enter the date and balance for the first day of the period you are reconciling.
  4. Enter the date and balance for the last day of the period you are reconciling.
  5. Click Start Reconciling. It narrows down the focus so you only view the transactions you care about and "dims" the rest of the historical transactions that are outside of the date range and already reconciled.
  6. Put check marks in the reconcile column for all the transactions that match against your bank statement. If the transactions were downloaded into your register, all of the transactions will already be checked.
  7. Click Finish Now when the difference is 0 and all the transactions are checked. If you are reconciling a credit card account, the ending balance should equal what is currently owed.

    If the difference is not zero, a transaction is missing. The transaction is either in the register and has not been selected, it has already been reconciled in a previous reconciliation, or it falls outside the selected date range or you have not entered it. 
    The difference may also not be zero if you have somehow entered the wrong amounts as the starting and ending balance, or entered a date range that doesn't match the date range of the printed statement.

    • Green: If the difference is green and greater than zero, then there is more money in the account than expected after reconciling for the time period selected. What to do if the difference is green? A payment is missing. Find the transaction and/or enter it.
    • Red: If the difference is red, then there is less money in the account than expected after reconciling for the time period selected. A deposit is missing. Find the deposit and/or enter it.

    Note: If there is a difference and you cannot find the discrepancy, you may click on the Gear in the top right corner and choose Add an adjustment transactions of [amount]. This will zero out the reconciliation. This step should only be used when all other options have been exhausted.

 

More Information

Do you feel like you are stuck and cannot get out of reconciliation? Click on the gear in the top right corner and choose Save and finish later.

Also available from the gear drop-down menu, is the ability to Start Fresh, marking any transaction before the Starting Balance date as reconciled.

If you have used the Start Fresh feature and find that the next time you reconcile your difference does not zero, transactions that fall before the Starting Date of your current statement may already be reconciled. If this is the case, un-reconcile those transactions (ensure the dates match), then attempt to reconcile again checking those items again as part of the the current reconcile.

If you are converting from a previous version of Quicken, transactions may become inadvertently reconciled. If during the reconciliation process you find transactions that should not be reconciled, uncheck them.

If you have a difference in the number of cleared items, you may have:

  • Missed marking an item
  • Forgotten to record a transaction
  • Missed entering a service charge
  • Entered a transaction twice
  • Mistakenly marked an item as cleared
  • Entered a deposit as a payment or a payment as a deposit
  • Entered separate transactions in the register for a single deposit in the account
 
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