[GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

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[GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

Jeffrey Black
Running GnuCash Version: 3.2 Build ID: 3.2+ (2018-06-24) Finance::Quote:
- on Windows 10 pro 1803.

Several days ago I had Gnucash abruptly shutdown, no warnings, no
windows error reports. Just like someone flipped a switch and GnuCash
was gone.  I was shocked but; when I restarted GnuCash, working with the
same accounts, everything was fine.  And before you ask, no I didn't
think to look at the log files.

It was several days latter when I went to reconcile 2 other bank
accounts that my troubles began.  The previously reconciled ending
account balances (in the reconcile window) are off by several thousands
of dollars.  I would prefer to not enter anymore entries in the
"unexplained transaction amounts" account, Quicken created quite enough
thank you.

By the time I discovered the issue, I did not have a data-file old
enough to revert to.

Is there a way to change the stored ending reconciled dollar amount in
the data files to the correct numbers?  Or would I be better off to just
enter another "unexplained transaction amounts" entry in order to get
the accounts to balance at the statements ending balance.

--
--JEffrey Black M.B.A.

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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

David Cousens
Jeffrey,

Any entries in the Imbalance or Orphan accounts, they really need to be
fixed. Their purpose is simply to highlight transactions which didn't have a
transfer account either when created or through some form of editing or
where an account has been deleted without deleting the transactions to it or
transferring them to another account.

If the previously reconciled balances are off, then somehow you have created
transactions either before or in the period that was previously reconciled.
This can happen sometimes when you enter a date incorrectly, e.g entering a
4 digit year as GnuCash only recognises a 2 digit year in the register
entry. Selecting the wrong account when entering a transaction is another
possibility. Incorrectly entered transacactions are unlikely to be
reconciled. Initally ignoring the ending balance and then opening the
reconcile window and look for transactions which are before the reconcile
period which should occur at the top of the window. The default ordring is
usually ascending date order.  Another possibility is you may have edited
transactions going to this account and changed the account to another
account accidentally removing  transactions which should have gone to this
account. The value of the ending balance may give you some clue as to which
of the above is likely.

If you find any transactions which are incorrect, you can double click on
them in this window to open them in the account register and correct them.
They should then disappear from the reconciliation window or  at least
appear at a correct date position in that window. Once you can get the
starting balance and ending balances to agree you can finish the
reconciliation normally

Another strategy is to go back to the last previously reconciled period
where you have agreement with the starting and ending balances and reconcile
forward fixing errors as you go. This is more time consuming but can be a
method of last resort.

Adding transactions to the Imbalance account is not  an advisable strategy
to fix a reconciliation. It just means you have introduced one more error to
fix existing errors.

If you import data for two accountssay for a cheque account and a credit
card where there are transactions between them, i.e you pay off the credit
card check the importer hasn't created a transaction twice, once when you
import the check account and again when you import the credit card data. The
importer should match transactions corresponding to those originating from
the first import when you perform the second import and flag them not to be
imported second time around.

Good luck

David Cousens




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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

Jeffrey Black
On 2/25/2019 8:11 PM, David Cousens wrote:
> Jeffrey,
<snip>
> Another strategy is to go back to the last previously reconciled period
> where you have agreement with the starting and ending balances and reconcile
> forward fixing errors as you go. This is more time consuming but can be a
> method of last resort.

The previous statements reconciled perfectly when I finished them.  I
got lucky on one account and the account balance matched the previous
ending paper statement balance, there were no checks floating out in
hyper-space waiting to be cashed.  And the account balance still
matches.  The previous ending balance in the reconcile window is wrong
when I do the new statement.

> Adding transactions to the Imbalance account is not  an advisable strategy
> to fix a reconciliation. It just means you have introduced one more error to
> fix existing errors.

<snip>

Agreed, using the imbalance account is not an acceptable accounting
practice.  And the only time I use it is when I import an ofx or qif
file that contains a check or debit that has not been entered in my
physical ledger nor GnuCash (I love my wife but; would like to ring her
neck for her lack of record keeping). Once I receive my monthly
statement, I dig the offending receipt out of the black hole she carries
for a purse, correct the entry, then reconcile. [yes, I am also a
physicist, which makes Murphy my patron Saint]

> Good luck
>
> David Cousens
>
>
>
>
> -----
> David Cousens
> --
<snip>

Some how when GnuCash abruptly ceased to being a running program under
Windoze 10, some data was corrupted.  How much I have yet to discover. 
I am still using the default xml data format.  And I have since
increased the number of copies GnuCash keeps for backups.

I assume that somewhere there is a key and value for the previous
reconciled statement balance in the xml structure.  Would you by chance
know how to locate that key for a specific account?  I could then, in a
copy of my data file, change it to match my new statement and see if
everything agrees.  If it does not then I know for certain that there
are missing or inaccurate transactions, and can then enter a fudged
transaction that can latter be split to the proper accounts when I
eventually discover the offending transactions.  If it matches then
happy dance.  I can continue on my merry way with my bit bucket
(physics, love it).

--JEffrey Black M.B.A.

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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

John Ralls
In reply to this post by David Cousens


> On Feb 25, 2019, at 7:11 PM, David Cousens <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If the previously reconciled balances are off, then somehow you have created
> transactions either before or in the period that was previously reconciled.
> This can happen sometimes when you enter a date incorrectly, e.g entering a
> 4 digit year as GnuCash only recognises a 2 digit year in the register
> entry.

David,

I'm on travel this week and can't check on Windows, but GnuCash should both accept and display 4-digit years in the Register. It does on MacOS. If it's doing otherwise on Windows that's a pretty serious bug.

GnuCash 2.6 accepted dates from year 1 (that's proleptic Gregorian, actual European accounts from then would have called it 755 AUC) to 9999 but GnuCash 3.x can handle only dates after 1 January 1400. A common problem for people migrating is having mistakenly entered a 3-digit date (e.g. 219 for 2019) in 2.6 and having GnuCash 3 fail to load their database because the date is out of range. That was fixed in 3.2; GnuCash changes the year to 1970.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

Stephen M. Butler
In reply to this post by Jeffrey Black
On 2/26/19 1:01 AM, jeffrey black wrote:

> On 2/25/2019 8:11 PM, David Cousens wrote:
>> Jeffrey,
> <snip>
>> Another strategy is to go back to the last previously reconciled period
>> where you have agreement with the starting and ending balances and reconcile
>> forward fixing errors as you go. This is more time consuming but can be a
>> method of last resort.
> The previous statements reconciled perfectly when I finished them.  I
> got lucky on one account and the account balance matched the previous
> ending paper statement balance, there were no checks floating out in
> hyper-space waiting to be cashed.  And the account balance still
> matches.  The previous ending balance in the reconcile window is wrong
> when I do the new statement.


This has happened to me when I make changes to the split (like fixing
the description) in that account.  It unchecks the reconciliation flag.

>
>> Adding transactions to the Imbalance account is not  an advisable strategy
>> to fix a reconciliation. It just means you have introduced one more error to
>> fix existing errors.
> <snip>
>
> Agreed, using the imbalance account is not an acceptable accounting
> practice.  And the only time I use it is when I import an ofx or qif
> file that contains a check or debit that has not been entered in my
> physical ledger nor GnuCash (I love my wife but; would like to ring her
> neck for her lack of record keeping). Once I receive my monthly
> statement, I dig the offending receipt out of the black hole she carries
> for a purse, correct the entry, then reconcile. [yes, I am also a
> physicist, which makes Murphy my patron Saint]
Saint of computer professionals also!  The computer will do exactly what
it thinks you told it to do.
>
<snip
> Some how when GnuCash abruptly ceased to being a running program under
> Windoze 10, some data was corrupted.  How much I have yet to discover. 
> I am still using the default xml data format.  And I have since
> increased the number of copies GnuCash keeps for backups.


I would fear that the XML file itself is damaged.  Have you tried an XML
validator tool?

>
> I assume that somewhere there is a key and value for the previous
> reconciled statement balance in the xml structure.  Would you by chance
> know how to locate that key for a specific account?  I could then, in a

Nope.  It appears to add up all the reconciled split entries to get the
balance.  So, if one got unchecked it would not be in that balance any more.

If the account balances are correct (without any fudge factors applied),
then I'd try to reconcile to the day after the last one.  Look at the
window for entries prior to that date.  Those are your likely culprits. 

> copy of my data file, change it to match my new statement and see if
> everything agrees.  If it does not then I know for certain that there
> are missing or inaccurate transactions, and can then enter a fudged
> transaction that can latter be split to the proper accounts when I
> eventually discover the offending transactions.  If it matches then
> happy dance.  I can continue on my merry way with my bit bucket
> (physics, love it).
Be sure you have an overflow drain for when the bit bucket fills up!

--
Stephen M Butler, PMP, PSM
[hidden email]
[hidden email]
253-350-0166
-------------------------------------------
GnuPG Fingerprint:  8A25 9726 D439 758D D846 E5D4 282A 5477 0385 81D8


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Liz
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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

Liz
On Tue, 26 Feb 2019 10:41:19 -0800
"Stephen M. Butler" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2/26/19 1:01 AM, jeffrey black wrote:
> > On 2/25/2019 8:11 PM, David Cousens wrote:  
> >> Jeffrey,  
> > <snip>  
> >> Another strategy is to go back to the last previously reconciled
> >> period where you have agreement with the starting and ending
> >> balances and reconcile forward fixing errors as you go. This is
> >> more time consuming but can be a method of last resort.  
> > The previous statements reconciled perfectly


> >when I finished them.
Something has happened since then


> > I got lucky on one account and the account balance matched the
> > previous ending paper statement balance, there were no checks
> > floating out in hyper-space waiting to be cashed.  And the account
> > balance still matches.  The previous ending balance in the
> > reconcile window is wrong when I do the new statement.  
>
>
> This has happened to me when I make changes to the split (like fixing
> the description) in that account.  It unchecks the reconciliation
> flag.

This has caught many of us.
I strongly suggest that jeffrey goes back to reconcile and looks for
unchecked entries before the last reconcile date.
After that, if still cannot find all the items, then go back to the
last "good" one and restart reconcilation.

Liz
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Re: [GNC] unexplained reconciliation dollar amounts

David Cousens
In reply to this post by John Ralls
Hi John,

I'm runniing GnuCash v3.4 on Linux Mint Tara(19.0 (Ubuntu 18.04)) .

If I enter a transaction from an asset account register and enter the date
as 27/02/2019,  the transaction is recorded as 27/02/20 not 27/02/2019 and
if I select the dropdown calendar selector the year shows in that as 2020.
Only if I enter the date as 27/02/19 does it set the right date. The
Date-Time settings in the preferences is "Locale 31/07/13". I remember this
occurring in v2.6. It has never bugged me enough to report it as a bug, I
just adapted my practice to avoid it. Bug report 797118 raised.

If I change the Date-Time setting to "UK 31/07/2013" then it all seems to
work as expected. I can enter either 27/02/19 or 27/02/2019 and the correct
date is now set so it appears to be a subtlety in the interaction of the
locale date format setting and the parsing of the string typed in.

I can't wrest my wife's Windows machine from her to check the behavior on
Windows at the moment. I'll give it a go later when she is not using it and
add any observations to the bug report.

David





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