"In the past" balance unreliable in Projected Cash Flow

System
System Administrator admin
edited September 15 in Troubleshooting
This discussion was created from comments split from: Add a Net Worth Report [edited] (2 Merged Votes).
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  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk

    Full disclosure, I don't really understand the idea of "Cash Flow" and if you're talking about knowing the amount on a CC account based on projected future spending - or projected total net worth - then that's another matter.
    RobWilk said:
    though I know simplifi can't even tell me yesterday's balance on any account...
    I know this is off subject a bit for this particular idea post, but I wanted to follow up on this statement.  For me, Simplifi does show me this info in the Projected Cash Flow line graph; the one that's located at the top of the screen when viewing my CHECKING account on the Desktop App (the Mobile App displays the same info, but in a less useful non-line graph form in my opinion).

    On the Desktop App, it shows me the  estimated account balance for the the last 8 days and ahead to 6 months.  In theory, this is the amount that should be be in my CHECKING account each day and personally - once I got it set up according to Hoyle - it provided me with a surprisingly accurate estimate.  When it says my CHECKING account will have $14.32 in the future on 8/3/2022, I generally have found that I can trust it.  The further you go out, the sketchier it gets but in general, the default screen (1 month) is fairly accurate.

    If yours isn't providing this level of trusted info yet, then maybe there some other problem that we can try to help you track down and fix.

    This post (click here) lays out how I got to this point.

    Do let us know if we can try to help you in any way and we'll give it our best shot.  This forum is here to help all us users have a better experience with Simplifi...don't give up!






    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22
    @Flopbot Sadly, I've noticed when I use the cash flow chart, and look into the past, it's often wrong..  It's possible this is the case because it might only look at "scheduled" transactions and not actual transactions.

    Here's an example looking back 3 days:


    I know for a fact that on that date the balance was much closer to positive $36 (maybe ~$25 but still positive, i forgot there was $10 amazon purchase in there).  (I know, not much better.)

    The balance was never negative though.  If it were, I would've gotten penalty fees from my bank. 
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk

    I'm not sure exactly where to start troubleshooting, but first, I'd check these:
    1. I'd start by opening up Simplifi in a different browser or in Incognito Mode and see if it's a problem there also.
    2. Was the line graph accurate 3 days ago?
    3. Do you have any transactions that are around $84.21 ($48.21+$36.__) in the account that might help explain it?
    4. Are any old transactions still marked as Pending?  If so, see #8.
    5. Are there any overdue Recurring Transactions in the scrolling boxes below the line graph on the Desktop App?  Or your Spending Plan?
    6. Did you JUST make a change to the amount due in one of your Recurring Transactions?  I have noticed that - sometimes - immediately after editing this amount, the graph will be off for awhile...so far, this has always fixed itself, eventually. 
    7. Do you have any transactions that haven't been tied to a Recurring Transactions in your Spending Plan?
    8. If you go to Settings > Accounts > Edit Account (not Edit Institution) and toggle this, does it fix it?

    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22
    HI @Flopbot - Thanks for trying to help.

    In Terms of #3 and #7 this is one transaction that comes close to fitting both (and I'm unsure of the exact balance 3 days ago - but I believe it was $25-36. -- editing to note: the day after this was payday, so I may have spent last minute with what was left, but i did not go below zero).

    This transaction is the one which stands out - it's closest to that dollar amount, and it's non-recurring:

    It was an insurance adjustment refund check for a pharmacy copay amount.. It's ~$61 and it was completely unexpected when it arrived so it was not in recurring transactions.

    Additionally, I did get my regular income in, the day after this balance from 3 days ago, but that was recurring.

    In incognito mode the issue is the same.
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22

    I want to comment on the ones i didn't answer originally:


    1. I'd start by opening up Simplifi in a different browser or in Incognito Mode and see if it's a problem there also
    >> I did this--- result was the same

    1. Was the line graph accurate 3 days ago?
    >> I rely on FUTURE cash forecast regularly, so yes, it was right for the future, but it was probably wrong for the past.

    1. Do you have any transactions that are around $84.21 ($48.21+$36.__) in the account that might help explain it?
    >>I shared one, and -$48.21+$61=$13 which may be a possible valid balance (I"m not sure, but it's positive)

    1. Are any old transactions still marked as Pending?  If so, see #

    2. >>No

    3. Are there any overdue Recurring Transactions in the scrolling boxes below the line graph on the Desktop App?  Or your Spending Plan?

    4. >>No

    5. Did you JUST make a change to the amount due in one of your Recurring Transactions?  I have noticed that - sometimes - immediately after editing this amount, the graph will be off for awhile...so far, this has always fixed itself, eventually. 
    >>I do know that my paycheck (on the 20th, the next day) went up about $30-40 this month


    1. Do you have any transactions that haven't been tied to a Recurring Transactions in your Spending Plan?


    >>answered, the humana one is best match
    1. If you go to Settings > Accounts > Edit Account (not Edit Institution) and toggle this, does it fix it?
    >> There are *times* this works for one account in terms of getting the right balance, but not this one


    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Thanks for helping @RobWilk out, @Flopbot!

    I went ahead and split this into a new Discussion so that the Idea post for a Net Worth Report remains relevant to the request. Please proceed with troubleshooting here! :smiley:

    -Coach Natalie
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Coach Natalie - Thanks, and nice job summarizing the issue for the subject line here.
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk

    With the refund, was the original DEBIT transaction (-$61.38 on ___) in a different month than the refunded CREDIT transaction (+$61.38 on July 21, 2022)?
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    The refund was a physical printed check received by postal mail, and not a credit on a card.  It was for transactions that likely took place in April or May, but it was not in any way linked to those transactions because it came in check form (The payment was to a pharmacy, the 'refund' was a check from the insurance company).
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23

    Let's simplifi the problem:
    Yesterday's balance (that is, at end of day) should be today's current balance MINUS today's transactions ...
    Here's "yesterday's" balance:

    But Today Jul 22:
    $97.05 current balance at end of day
    $-101.84 in charges today
    $97.05 + $101.84 = $198.89 should be yesterday's (JUL 21) final balance (or today's starting balance based on end of day yesterday).

    Jul 21 the day of the $640.66 balance I had three transactions:
    $600 savings transfer
    $61.38 deposit i showed you before
    $4.99 bill paid
    Adds up to -$543.61 in transactions

    In short, i should add $198.89 (TODAY'S "STARTING" BALANCE)+ 543.61 = $742.50 as yesterday's STARTING balance

    If I take $640.66 (stated balance jul 21) - $543.61 (transactions jul 21) = $97.05 which is today's current balance *after* today's transactions.

    It seems to forget to "add back" today's transactions to today's starting balance (So a $5 charge today is a $5 credit to today's starting balance, since it seems to be giving starting balances for each day).

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23
    Okay, I've been editing my last post here quite a lot in the last hour or two, I'm posting a separate message so anyone who follows gets notifications:

    WIth respect to 'in the past' balances on cash flow chart:
    -Balances seem to be "beginning of day" balances, not end of day
    -It uses TODAY'S "Current" balance as today's "Beginning of day" balance (if no transactions today, it's possibly right), when calculating backwards to earlier days.  So today's transactions "never happened" and don't get reversed when calculating backwards from today.


    -Rob

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23
    BTW, Can we now move this to the 'reporting bugs' category?  @Coach Natalie - - There is enough information here to understand exactly what the software/service is doing wrong.

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23
    With respect to 'in the past' balances on cash flow chart:
    -Balances seem to be "beginning of day" balances, not end of day (note today and future day's balances are "end of day" hence my confusion).
    -It uses TODAY'S "Current/End-of-day" balance as today's "Beginning of day" balance when calculating backwards.  This is a problem if there were transactions today.  "Today" here strictly refers to "the current day" and not any given day.

    -Rob
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    The next day, as expected based on how i identified the problem, with *no* transactions today, the balances of previous days appears to be right, except, again, it's "start of day" balances rather than "end of day balances" which it is for today and beyond...

    Here's July 19th's starting balance:

    Notice the above is not negative.

    And yesterday's balance:

    I pointed out a few messages back, end of day yesterday (JUL 22) was $97.05, $198.09 was beginning of day balance.

    The problems I identified 2 messages back remain true...
    ==
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23

    In pseudo-code, it appears this is how it's working (or not working)


    The way it is now:
           for [each day #"i" starting at day before today and going backwards as far back as going]
                     day[i].balance=day[i+1].balance - day[i].transactionSum

    The way it should be:
           for [each day #"i" starting at day before today and going backwards as far back as going]
                     day[i].balance=day[i+1].balance - day[i+1].transactionSum


    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk, great job tracking this down.  Honestly, I'm not following the problem, but you've certainly documented it well!  We'll have to leave it in @Coach Natalie's hands for now unless someone else in the forum has any additional insight.

    That I know of, I've never experienced - or noticed - this problem before.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    See this post for more documentation/info and screenshots (removed self-referencing link).
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23
    If this helps, here's an easy way I can reproduce the problem:
    1.  Open my checking account
    2. Look at Cash flow chart and specifically YESTERDAY'S balance.  Make note of it.
    3. Enter a new test transaction with today's date, I did $10 withdrawal test.
    4. If I looked at yesterday's balance then, it is unchanged, but if i refresh the browser and look at yesterday's balance, it is $10 less than it was earlier (and, again, i entered a $10 transaction today that shouldn't change yesterday's balance).
    5. If I delete that $10 transaction today, and refresh and look at yesterday, yesterday is back to "some kind of normal" where "normal" is "start of day balance" (as opposed to today and forward which are "end of day" (after transactions) balances.

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW, I get that @Coach Natalie does not work on weekends, I hope they are enjoying themselves.  I suspect the developers don't work on weekends too.  I'm not certain if you are an employee of Quicken/Simplifi, or just a volunteer with higher levels of access.

    I guess I can summarize the problem another way:

    For days today and in the future, Balance is:
           Start at prior day's end of day balance, add this day's transactions to get this day's final balance which is shown (today's balance includes today's transactions)

    For days prior to today, as it stands, Balance is:
           Start at Next day's "balance" (as defined here or above) and subtract (remove) this day's transactions (not next day's), this means each day's balance does not include that day's transactions

    And because "today" is based on balance being end of day (with transactions), and "prior day"/yesterday is based on balance being beginning of day (Without transactions), something is lost (today's transactions affected today's balance, but they're not reversed/subtracted to affect what yesterday's balance should be).

    Prior day's balance should be:
             Start at next day's "balance", subtract NEXT DAY'S transactions, giving you that day's "beginning of day" balance which is the same as this day's "end of day" balance.

    This one fix would solve the whole problem.
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk

    Good question.  Yah, the Superusers are just volunteers...fellow Simplifi users...not Quicken employees.  We've got varying levels of experience and time to put towards the forum and I - for one - still feel like I have a lot to learn with Simplifi.  But, I have immensely enjoyed learning the software so far.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Flopbot Thank you for your time, the questions you asked initially i believe helped me narrow down this particular problem to where I understand what the issue is (Whether or not i can adequately communicate it.)  When we started, I was only guessing, but then I got to tracing the numbers until I knew what precisely was going on.

    It would be nice if this got corrected, but I understand depending on who you ask there are different priorities.
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @RobWilk it's been fun seeing you in the forums.  You're really good at tracking down interesting bugs.  I've been watching these two with interest (click here) and (click here).  Good luck getting this one taken care of.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    Brand new to Simplifi in 2021.
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    re: Good at tracking down bugs, thanks, I used to (before I became mentally disabled) work in Quality & Reliability Engineering (Software Engineering), where I fixed software bugs and was good at that.  Here, I'm doing it without access to the source code, which complicates matters.

    AT least one of those two issues you said you were watching; I believe may be fixed.   The other issue (nighttime transactions being the marked next day) I haven't run into lately, but I've been doing less transaction entry at night too, so it may just be i'm not running into it.  
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    This is no longer a troubleshooting post, this is a bug, @Coach Natalie

    In determining past balances

    The way it is now:
           for [each day #"i" starting at day before today and going backwards as far back as going]
                     day[i].balance=day[i+1].balance - day[i].transactionSum

    The way it should be:
           for [each day #"i" starting at day before today and going backwards as far back as going]
                     day[i].balance=day[i+1].balance - day[i+1].transactionSum


    If this helps, here's an easy way I can reproduce the problem:
    1.  Open my checking account
    2. Look at Cash flow chart and specifically YESTERDAY'S balance.  Make note of it.
    3. Enter a new test transaction with today's date, I did $10 withdrawal test.
    4. If I looked at yesterday's balance then, it is unchanged, but if i refresh the browser and look at yesterday's balance, it is $10 less than it was earlier (and, again, i entered a $10 transaction today that shouldn't change yesterday's balance).
    5. If I delete that $10 transaction today, and refresh and look at yesterday, yesterday is back to "some kind of normal" where "normal" is "start of day balance" (as opposed to today and forward which are "end of day" (after transactions) balances.

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    --- I originally sent a version of this as a private message to staff, they advised me to post it here--

    On that "in the past" cash flow balance unreliable bug...

    I totally get that there were a lot of words exchanged in the 'troubleshooting' process, probably too much to read.

    But the troubleshooting process resulted in a solid understanding of bad math being done by Simplifi.  It was a very easy mistake to make, essentially it subtract's the wrong day's transactions from the 'known' balance.

    It should be:

    For a prior day's balance: Take the next day's end of day balance and subtract the next day's transactions to get the next day's beginning of day balance which is also known as this day's end of day balance.

    That's not happening, instead as of now it's doing this:

    For a prior day's balance: Take the next day's "end of day" (it's not always because of this) balance and subtract this day's transactions.

    I just wanted to try to summarize where you don't need to read the 50 messages I wrote this weekend.

    I hope this can get fixed.

    -Rob
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Hello @RobWilk,

    I've read through everything in this thread and I just want to make sure that I'm understanding the issue. When looking at the "in the past" balances on the Projected Cash Flow graph, everything is correct, except that it seems to be using the end-of-day balance from the prior day instead of using the opening balance for that current day, correct?

    I tested this by following your steps and added a $10 transaction -- when dating the transaction for July 23rd, I see that the transaction was not counted in the "in the past" balance for the account until July 24th. When dating the transaction for today (July 25th), however, it seems to use it for the "in the past" balance for the last 2 days, in addition to the current day.

    To clarify, is the transaction(s) that you're testing/seeing an issue with pending, by chance? If so, pending transactions will be counted toward the balance that's being sent in by the bank on connected accounts, so this could be a potential culprit. 

    It definitely seems kind of funky, but I'd like to confirm the issue so I can confirm the intended design. Summarizing in a simpler format would also be much appreciated, as I don't personally deal with the coding of the program. 

    Thanks in advance!

    -Coach Natalie
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Coach Natalie

    Let me try to correct this:
       -Every day's balance SHOULD be the balance at the END of that day
       -For TODAY and FUTURE date's that is true,
       -For PAST dates, this is not true.  For Past Dates, it SUBTRACTS current days transactions from NEXT DAYS balance whether NEXT DAY is 'end of day' or (for past days now) beginning of day. 


    Past day would be consistent with the rest if it subtracted the next days transactions from next days balance.  that would give an 'end of day' balance for that day.

    Dinner's ready, i'm leaving this herer as is for now may add more late 


    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    Part 2 --- because PRESENT/FUTURE is based on END OF DAY and PAST DAYS are (incorrectly) trying to calculate BEGINNING OF DAY balances (why else would they subtract that day's transactions to get the balance) the result is if there are transactions TODAY they never get subtracted from today's end of day (so far) balance, so if there were subtractions (such as a $10 charge), calculating back to yesterday those subtractions don't get added back (reversing -$10 you get +$10 which should happen, but it doesn't in the case of calculating yesterday from today).

    The key part to remember to understand why it's starting with today's balance and going backwards is because simplifi really only "knows" the current balance.  From the balance forward it calculates based on end of day balances, from the balance backwards it does not (and this last part is the cause of the problem).


    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    Today the balance is $51.27



    There are three transaction today which contributed to the above balance:

    Doing the math that adds up to: -$40.77

    So yesterdays balance should be: $92.04 which is right ( 51.27 + 40.77 )

    But if i look at yesterday's balance simplifi says:

    Because it subtracted no transactions yesterday (there were none) from today's "current end of day after these transactions" balance you get the problem.   It should have subtracted TODAY'S transactions from TODAY'S balance to get yesterday's balance.

    I'm going out for a bit, will be back within an hour or so.
    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
  • RobWilk
    RobWilk Member ✭✭✭✭
    By necessity, any transactions dated 'today' will almost always be 'pending' until 1-4 days later.  From what I can tell, pending is not the problem.  The problem is in how past days are calculated.  It always subtracts that days' transactions from the prior known balance (next day).  Subtracting that days transactions will not give you that days balance (except "maybe" start of day balance, which is inconsistent).

    --
    Robert D. Wilkens
    robwilkens.net
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