Here’s a question about reconciliation and running reports in Quicken from a reader:
I have quicken and would like to use it to run reports (net worth, where I’m spending, etc.). But it seems to be forcing me to do “reconciliation” which from what little I understand is to make sure there aren’t mistakes that the banks are making etc. I’ve connected to my accounts online, but the totals for those accounts in Quicken don’t match what they should be.
I usually just review my bank statements to check for mistakes, and reconciliation seems like way to much work. Can Quicken be used in the way I’m thinking, or am I way off base?
Before you run any reports, you should do what you can to make sure all the data are accurate, and that’s what reconciliation is for. The software doesn’t force you to reconcile, but you my have set up Quicken at some point to automatically reconcile each time you download your activity from your bank. If that’s the case, you can turn that off by performing a manual reconciliation of each account and turn off the option for automatic reconciliation.
Click the image thumbnail to the left to see where this option is in Quicken 2007 Home & Business.
Perhaps this is because part of my day-job responsibilities involve working with bank-to-ledger reconciliations for a company with thousands of bank accounts, but ensuring the validity of your data is important before running any net worth or spending reports. Reconciliation catches mistakes on the bank’s side (improper fees, incorrect amounts, extra or missing transactions) and well as mistakes on your own side.
Whether or not you choose to reconcile, Quicken can be used to run all kinds of reports, but the reports will only be as accurate as the information in the software. In the menu bar, under Reports, select “Reports & Graphs Center” to see all the different types of reports you can run. The standard reports are displayed on the left of the resulting window, and any custom reports you have saved are on the right. Click on the image thumbnail for an example from my personal Quicken file.