Add running balances

aalstot
aalstot Member
edited March 2023 in Feedback
I prefer to track most of my accounts manually, so having a running balance on accounts after each transaction would be really beneficial. I’ve also had problems with account balances showing up differently on the app versus the web browser, so I think this feature would help pinpoint what’s causing the discrepancies. 
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Comments

  • Coach Natalie
    Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
    Hello @aalstot,

    Thanks for posting your suggestion to the Community!

    I went ahead and moved this out of Feature Requests, as a running balance column has already been requested and was subsequently denied by the Product Team. You can read more about the reason for this decision here

    Sorry for not having better news for you!

    -Coach Natalie
  • Chrobrego
    Chrobrego Member ✭✭✭
    A possible 'compromise' might be to have a Projected Running Balance so that we could easily see what the balance would be using our entries.  You already do that graphically with the projected balance chart, but it's tedious to have to always move my cursor over a square to see what the balance is 'projected' to be.  A side panel showing the actual numbers would be more helpful, but I do like the graphical nature of the balance too. 
  • I read the reasoning and I'm failing to understand how that makes sense.  If I've had my bank account for 3 years, you likely will not be able to download all 3 years of raw transactions, so you would need to start somewhere with an opening balance amount.  Not showing a running balance is certainly easier, but imagine if quicken desktop said no to this for the same reasons? Or even most other online based finance tools that do provide a running balance. This is more likely caused by simply deciding you will always just take the stated balance as fact from financial institutions to avoid having to do the math yourselves.

    If the initial design decisions mean that at a technical level you did not anticipate having to track a running balance, just say so. The reasons listed just do not make sense when applied to real world use.

    @Chrobrego the mobile app as a table view we can see instead of the chart. So the functionality you are asking for a compromise on is there.
  • Flopbot
    Flopbot Superuser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @tsnyder91,

    Full disclosure here, I'm not someone who misses - or even wants - a running balance column in Simplifi.  With that said, one of the challenges I ran into over seven years of using Quicken Desktop (not Simplifi) was that the running balance column played a critically integral role in the Current Account Balance calculations.  There were multiple times that I would spend hours going transaction-by-transaction just to find that some past reconciled transaction amount had been changed somehow (maybe I fell asleep while typing, maybe my 2 year old found my laptop unlocked and practiced "typing", etc., etc.).  More frequently than I'd like to admit, some random $23.62 transaction would be be changed to $23.66 or something like that and - in the end - my Current Account Balance in Quicken Desktop would suddenly be throw off until I took the time to track it down.

    I'm not opposed to Simplifi finding a nice balance at some point for user who really want it, but this has been one of the things I love about Simplifi...I don't spend hours tracking down stupid problems.

    What real-world useful data does a running balance column actually provide?  I get that the future balance is critical to all of us, but what use does a past balance column really do for me?  I'm not really thinking of anything at the moment.  Since it's not critical to any calculations in Simplifi, it just seems like it would take up space in the check register and, if implemented, would just be one more thing that could randomly break causing user frustration.  If ever implemented, I would certainly want it to be a hide-able column.

    Do let me know if I'm not understanding something.

    Cheers.
    Chris
    Quicken Desktop user since 2014.
    New to Simplifi in 2021.
  • @Flopbot

    I actually enjoy the running balance, but the activity commonly associated with it, reconciling, I don't even do in my Quicken Desktop App.  Where it comes into play is accuracy in a variety of other features. 

    I'm one of those users that intentionally keeps my checking account on the low side with no overdraft protection and move money outside of it on purpose.  So I keep my balance at a targeted level and I rely on Quicken Desktops running balance projection feature to see where I'm at by the next payday and make financial decisions based on that.

    I've been using Simplifi for two weeks, In that time it has "double counted" series items multiple times, causing the projection numbers to be wildly inaccurate and alerts/notifications to fire based on the erroneous numbers. 

    I've seen this happen across all of my common accounts in the two weeks i've used simplifi, be it a bank or a big name credit card.  There exists the issue where sometimes the current balance number that is given when you connect to download, does not actually match the transaction list.  For example, if my checking says I have 1000 as my current balance, Simplifi takes this as gospel truth and bases all of the projections and alerts and UI on that number. BUT the transaction list does not yet have a pending amount for say a paycheck or a car payment. Or my credit card does not yet have the bill in it's transaction list I just charged. So simplifi is unaware of that credit or debit happening.  Since these are series bills in simplifi, they get double counted in the projection because they base the starting point of the projection on what the bank says the balance is.   

    In Quicken Desktop, I could trigger a new update in say 30 minutes when the transaction shows up in the pending list and all is well. And since I can CHOOSE to use either my ledger or the online balance for what balance to show, I can stay with the local number and be accurate. But Simplifi updates on what seems to be a non-consistent cadence. Some accounts update every few hours, others have differed from the source account in balance AND transaction list for more than a day and a half, firing mobile alerts and emails at me the whole time that my balance has crossed a threshold.  

    So the issue of NOT having a running balance, even if it were hidable or behind the scenes is that the rest of the UI is portraying information that is just not real for a few days at a time in just the first 2 weeks I've been using it.   Eventually it catches up and it fixes itself, but until it does, projects and alerts are inaccurate and false alarms get thrown. 

    It appears as though Simplifi was engineered to simply download transaction info, and current balance info, and the rest of the feature set is built around the ASSUMPTION that both of those are actually accurate and line up mathematically. Meaning that the balance that is reported is inclusive of the transaction list, essentially offloading the "running ledger" on the financial institution side.   It sounds clever, however real world tells me this has never been the case, and likely will never be. So honestly, in order to use this software, you need to take the projection data with a grain of salt and validate it always.  And validate the alerts as they come in as well. 

    Regardless of these issues. the "Reasons" the product team publicly give for not implementing a running balance just don't add up, much like their projected balance feature and notification system lol
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