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Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

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Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

aegross
Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
"fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
opening balance in order to fix this.   I know changing the opening balance
is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
transaction" method?

Thanks everyone,


Andrew Gross
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

GnuCash - User mailing list
Andrew, 
What do you mean, you can't fix the opening balance? If you are talking about your "Opening Balance" transaction, that is just another transaction, and of course you can edit that. (The recent discussion about reversing transactions was about a technicality for business books, and not necessary for personal books)
If you are talking about the "Starting Balance" when you reconcile each month, take a look in the Guide at 4.4.1, and read the note there about how to handle that. 
Either way, it's a one time fix. 
David

 
 
  On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:20, Andrew Gross<[hidden email]> wrote:   Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
"fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
opening balance in order to fix this.  I know changing the opening balance
is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
transaction" method?

Thanks everyone,


Andrew Gross
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

Lincoln A Baxter
In reply to this post by aegross
On Sun, 2017-05-14 at 21:19 -0400, Andrew Gross wrote:

> Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
> issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
> accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
> attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
> "fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
> then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
> opening balance in order to fix this.   I know changing the opening balance
> is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
> transaction" method?
>
> Thanks everyone,
>

Why not create another transaction from the opening balance account
that represents your correction. Label with a description that will
remind you of why it is there, and then mark it is reconciled. Or, you
could just change the opening balance...

Lincoln
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

aegross
In reply to this post by GnuCash - User mailing list
David,

I used the wrong terminology -- I should have said "starting balance".  I
am looking at 4.4.1 of the documentation (
https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html) and
I did create a dummy transaction and then reversed it after the
reconciliation.  Do you believe this is just a one-time fix?  I would doubt
that since it wouldn't change the underlying starting balance.  I think I
am misunderstanding something here...

Thanks
AEG

Andrew Gross
917 750 6981

On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Andrew,
>
> What do you mean, you can't fix the opening balance? If you are talking
> about your "Opening Balance" transaction, that is just another transaction,
> and of course you can edit that. (The recent discussion about reversing
> transactions was about a technicality for business books, and not necessary
> for personal books)
>
> If you are talking about the "Starting Balance" when you reconcile each
> month, take a look in the Guide at 4.4.1, and read the note there about how
> to handle that.
>
> Either way, it's a one time fix.
>
> David
>
>
> On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:20, Andrew Gross
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
> issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
> accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
> attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
> "fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
> then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
> opening balance in order to fix this.  I know changing the opening balance
> is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
> transaction" method?
>
> Thanks everyone,
>
>
> Andrew Gross
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
> -----
> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
>
>
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

Maf. King
In reply to this post by aegross
On Monday, 15 May 2017 02:19:18 BST Andrew Gross wrote:

> Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
> issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
> accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
> attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
> "fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
> then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
> opening balance in order to fix this.   I know changing the opening balance
> is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
> transaction" method?
>


Hi Andrew,

The usual advice is to ignore the opening balance and reconcile to the most
recent statement, including any older transactions that have become un-
reconciled.  When the final balance matches up, you can finish the reconcile.

If you need to add a dummy txn to recreate something you have deleted, then
create one but be aware that it is a fudge and add explaining notes.

I've looked through the text of chapter 4.4.1 that you mention, and I can't
see any reference to reversing the dummy txn - which would clearly throw the
reconcile off for next time.  Can you point me to the paragraph that you saw,
for context?

HTH,
Maf.

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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

Maf. King
On Monday, 15 May 2017 09:11:07 BST Maf. King wrote:

>
> If you need to add a dummy txn to recreate something you have deleted, then
> create one but be aware that it is a fudge and add explaining notes.


Let me expand: if you create a transaction, but are not entirely sure what was
deleted, then it is a fudge.  If you know why you are adding a txn, then it
clearly isn't a fudge, but a normal txn (just created in a different workflow)

Maf.


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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by aegross
Andrew, 
I reread your messages. You say you "fixed" a reconciled transaction, and now, you have to enter an extra transaction which you reversed afterward. Do I have that right? 
OK, if you"fixed" a reconciled transaction, then presumably now, it is correct. First question: how did you get the account to reconcile before? If your transaction was wrong,  then it shouldn't have balanced. 
Next question: now that you fixed the wrong transaction, why do you need any dummy transactions at all? Again, the reconciliation should then work (once you take note of the note in 4.4.1 and ignore the starting balance).
Despite what others are saying about creating fixing transactions, I think you haven't demonstrated to me that you need any such transactions. 
David

 
 
  On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:21, Andrew Gross<[hidden email]> wrote:   David,
I used the wrong terminology -- I should have said "starting balance".  I am looking at 4.4.1 of the documentation (https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html) and I did create a dummy transaction and then reversed it after the reconciliation.  Do you believe this is just a one-time fix?  I would doubt that since it wouldn't change the underlying starting balance.  I think I am misunderstanding something here...  
ThanksAEG
Andrew Gross
917 750 6981
On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:

Andrew, 
What do you mean, you can't fix the opening balance? If you are talking about your "Opening Balance" transaction, that is just another transaction, and of course you can edit that. (The recent discussion about reversing transactions was about a technicality for business books, and not necessary for personal books)
If you are talking about the "Starting Balance" when you reconcile each month, take a look in the Guide at 4.4.1, and read the note there about how to handle that. 
Either way, it's a one time fix. 
David

 
 
 On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:20, Andrew Gross<[hidden email]> wrote:  Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
"fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
opening balance in order to fix this.  I know changing the opening balance
is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
transaction" method?

Thanks everyone,


Andrew Gross
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

aegross
David,

At some point I fiddled with a previously reconciled transaction (I know,
bad move) and the starting balance became incorrect.  In order to finish
the reconciliation I had to add a transaction; I could then use the finish
button.  After the reconciliation though, the balance was of course off.
So I added a reversing transaction to return the account to the correct
balance. But with the next reconciliation cycle, I believe the starting
balance will be off and will need to repeat this
add-a-transaction/reverse-a-transaction hack ad infinitum.

Andrew Gross
917 750 6981

On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:03 AM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Andrew,
>
> I reread your messages. You say you "fixed" a reconciled transaction, and
> now, you have to enter an extra transaction which you reversed afterward.
> Do I have that right?
>
> OK, if you"fixed" a reconciled transaction, then presumably now, it is
> correct. First question: how did you get the account to reconcile before?
> If your transaction was wrong,  then it shouldn't have balanced.
>
> Next question: now that you fixed the wrong transaction, why do you need
> any dummy transactions at all? Again, the reconciliation should then work
> (once you take note of the note in 4.4.1 and ignore the starting balance).
>
> Despite what others are saying about creating fixing transactions, I think
> you haven't demonstrated to me that you need any such transactions.
>
> David
>
>
>
> On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:21, Andrew Gross
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> David,
>
> I used the wrong terminology -- I should have said "starting balance".  I
> am looking at 4.4.1 of the documentation (https://www.gnucash.org/docs/
> v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html) and I did create a dummy
> transaction and then reversed it after the reconciliation.  Do you believe
> this is just a one-time fix?  I would doubt that since it wouldn't change
> the underlying starting balance.  I think I am misunderstanding something
> here...
>
> Thanks
> AEG
>
> Andrew Gross
> 917 750 6981 <(917)%20750-6981>
>
> On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Andrew,
>
> What do you mean, you can't fix the opening balance? If you are talking
> about your "Opening Balance" transaction, that is just another transaction,
> and of course you can edit that. (The recent discussion about reversing
> transactions was about a technicality for business books, and not necessary
> for personal books)
>
> If you are talking about the "Starting Balance" when you reconcile each
> month, take a look in the Guide at 4.4.1, and read the note there about how
> to handle that.
>
> Either way, it's a one time fix.
>
> David
>
>
> On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:20, Andrew Gross
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
> issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
> accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
> attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in a
> "fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
> then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset the
> opening balance in order to fix this.  I know changing the opening balance
> is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
> transaction" method?
>
> Thanks everyone,
>
>
> Andrew Gross
> ______________________________ _________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/ mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
> <https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user>
> -----
> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
>
>
>
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

Dave H
Personally I would have have fixed up the incorrect already reconciled
transaction and then re-run the reconciliation.  Although I'm at a loss to
understand how you already managed to reconcile the account if you had an
incorrect transaction in the mix :-)  If you re-reconciled after you fixed
up the transaction and the closing balance was correct you wouldn't have an
issue and wouldn't be adding transactions to try and get your next starting
balance correct.

Cheers Dave H.



On 16 May 2017 at 07:08, Andrew Gross <[hidden email]> wrote:

> David,
>
> At some point I fiddled with a previously reconciled transaction (I know,
> bad move) and the starting balance became incorrect.  In order to finish
> the reconciliation I had to add a transaction; I could then use the finish
> button.  After the reconciliation though, the balance was of course off.
> So I added a reversing transaction to return the account to the correct
> balance. But with the next reconciliation cycle, I believe the starting
> balance will be off and will need to repeat this
> add-a-transaction/reverse-a-transaction hack ad infinitum.
>
> Andrew Gross
> 917 750 6981
>
> On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:03 AM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Andrew,
> >
> > I reread your messages. You say you "fixed" a reconciled transaction, and
> > now, you have to enter an extra transaction which you reversed afterward.
> > Do I have that right?
> >
> > OK, if you"fixed" a reconciled transaction, then presumably now, it is
> > correct. First question: how did you get the account to reconcile before?
> > If your transaction was wrong,  then it shouldn't have balanced.
> >
> > Next question: now that you fixed the wrong transaction, why do you need
> > any dummy transactions at all? Again, the reconciliation should then work
> > (once you take note of the note in 4.4.1 and ignore the starting
> balance).
> >
> > Despite what others are saying about creating fixing transactions, I
> think
> > you haven't demonstrated to me that you need any such transactions.
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:21, Andrew Gross
> > <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > David,
> >
> > I used the wrong terminology -- I should have said "starting balance".  I
> > am looking at 4.4.1 of the documentation (https://www.gnucash.org/docs/
> > v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/txns-reconcile1.html) and I did create a dummy
> > transaction and then reversed it after the reconciliation.  Do you
> believe
> > this is just a one-time fix?  I would doubt that since it wouldn't change
> > the underlying starting balance.  I think I am misunderstanding something
> > here...
> >
> > Thanks
> > AEG
> >
> > Andrew Gross
> > 917 750 6981 <(917)%20750-6981>
> >
> > On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Andrew,
> >
> > What do you mean, you can't fix the opening balance? If you are talking
> > about your "Opening Balance" transaction, that is just another
> transaction,
> > and of course you can edit that. (The recent discussion about reversing
> > transactions was about a technicality for business books, and not
> necessary
> > for personal books)
> >
> > If you are talking about the "Starting Balance" when you reconcile each
> > month, take a look in the Guide at 4.4.1, and read the note there about
> how
> > to handle that.
> >
> > Either way, it's a one time fix.
> >
> > David
> >
> >
> > On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:20, Andrew Gross
> > <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Greetings -- have looked at a couple of old threads on reconciliation
> > issues that come close to this question, but not quite. In two of my
> > accounts (one asset; one liability) I committed a transgression; I
> > attempted to fix a reconciled transaction.  Since then, I have to put in
> a
> > "fix" to balance each account.  I add a bogus transaction; reconcile; and
> > then reverse the transaction.  Essentially, I need to be able to reset
> the
> > opening balance in order to fix this.  I know changing the opening
> balance
> > is not an option; is there an alternative so I can stop using the "bogus
> > transaction" method?
> >
> > Thanks everyone,
> >
> >
> > Andrew Gross
> > ______________________________ _________________
> > gnucash-user mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.gnucash.org/ mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
> > <https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user>
> > -----
> > Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> > You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
> >
> >
> >
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

aegross
On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 5:23 PM, Dave H <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Personally I would have have fixed up the incorrect already reconciled
> transaction


Wasn't able to figure out how to do that.  It was a month or two ago -- I
have been doing my hack since then.   Is the  idea that this cannot be
fixed unless I go back, find that transaction and somehow re-reconcile it?



Andrew Gross
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

GnuCash - User mailing list
Andrew, 
Presumably, if you fixed a reconciled transaction, it should be right. If it is now right, then your ending balance should now be right, and you should see below. 
If your ending balance is wrong, then you have ANOTHER problem in your account, and you should look for THAT error, rather than keep entering and reversing spurious transactions.  
If you are seeing an incorrect starting balance in the reconcile window, but a correct closing balance, then I suggest you go back to section 4.4.1 again, and read it closely. It very clearly explains this situation, and how to recover from it. 
David

 
 
  On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 7:53, Andrew Gross<[hidden email]> wrote:  
On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 5:23 PM, Dave H <[hidden email]> wrote:

Personally I would have have fixed up the incorrect already reconciled transaction

Wasn't able to figure out how to do that.  It was a month or two ago -- I have been doing my hack since then.   Is the  idea that this cannot be fixed unless I go back, find that transaction and somehow re-reconcile it?


Andrew Gross

 
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Re: Fixing opening balance for an incorrectly reconciled account

aegross
On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 1:59 AM, David T. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> . It very clearly explains this situation, and how to recover from it.


I will study that again.    Thank you!

(As an observation, as much as I like GC -- the software -- I consider this
mailing list to be one of its outstanding features.)

Andrew Gross
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