Reconciling with online balances, not account statements

Coming from Quicken, I am in the habit of regularly reconciling accounts against their online balance rather than against a printed statement. (Quicken offers both options.) The only community plugins I have seen seem to be based upon using bank statements as a basis for reconciliation.

Is there a “best practice” for reconciling against online balances? I’d like to be able to see the equivalent of Quicken’s account registers with a reconciled column and a running balance for each account, as well as an easy way to check for duplicate and missing transactions. (There has been a chronic and aggravating problem at Alliant Bank where they periodically assign new transaction IDs to the same transaction, resulting in duplicate transactions.)

I saw at least one individual user in these forums mention reconciling online balances, though the explanation was unclear. Is this procedure really such a “corner case?”

:wave: @glenviewjeff, welcome!

There really isn’t a pre-built workflow that I’m aware of that addresses what you’re asking here. We don’t pull the running balance into the Transactions sheet at this time.

The balance online sometimes also may be “current” balance, which could reflect pending transactions and sometimes we grab that or we grab the available balance and this can vary by institution so it’s a little tricky.

If the ultimate goal is to spot duplicates or what’s missing you could use some conditional formatting in the spreadsheet to help you more easily spot those, I think, but I don’t know exactly how to create that conditional formatting rule.

As far as whether anything is missing, that’s a little tricker, and probably the Statements sheet for reconciliation is the best bet.

We hope to offer more tooling in the future to address those questions and the reason why people want to reconcile, rather than just building the reconcile feature :wink:

Another reason to reconcile (with an appropriate reconciled column, just as checkbook register ledgers have included for ages) and apparent major deficiency in Tiller is to trace transfers. Suppose I make a credit card payment but it fails to be credited to the destination account. Under the current transfers system there is no way to detect this. As I believe you already know, Quicken (and Microsoft Money) link source and destination transfers.

Your article incorrectly assumes that if a transfer from one account to another is downloaded and both accounts are connected to Tiller, that both sides will be downloaded. This is only true if the transfer is successful. And this is precisely the kinds of scenarios that reconciliation and linked transfers are designed to detect. An added complication is that for successful transfers you will eventually download the transaction corresponding to the already-entered transfer, and the user will need to determine and confirm whether or not this is the same transaction.

I also recall reading a false-premise argument somewhere that this deficiency is actually a benefit, because the source and destination can (and usually do) have different dates. However, it is not true that linked transfers must have the same date. There is nothing stopping you from linking two transfer transactions with different dates.

As I am sure you are aware, there is a linked transfers community solution. However, there is a warning that it may significantly slow down your sheet. I am hoping to ditch Quicken for its egregious performance, so this does not sound terribly appealing.

The reason you don’t know how to create that rule is because it’s virtually impossible. You have no way of knowing that a transaction is a duplicate if and when an institution incorrectly issues new transaction IDs for the same transaction. Alliant does this fairly regularly, and other banks seem to do it, for instance when issuing a final credit after having issued a provisional credit for a dispute. Another scenario where you might end up with duplicate transactions is after having entered manual transactions. Or if a user erroneously edits or deletes a transaction, this needs to be detected in the future.

Hi @glenviewjeff ,
Take a look at this post for a possible solution:


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