Quick, en-lighten me!
October 13, 2007 12:26 PM   Subscribe

How do I set up Quicken without ending up with a negative balance at the end when I import historical account information?

I've got Quicken 2007 for Mac, and I'm trying to import all of my old account information (from TD Canada Trust, if that makes a difference). This would seem to be straightforward, except that the end result of these imports is that I have a negative balance; it starts all of the imports from a $0 balance, despite the fact that my balance at the start of the import was much higher than that. Moreover, I can NOT change what Quicken sees as the starting balance on the accounts. This has been the blocker for me when I've tried to track my finances this way before, but I don't want to give up this easily again. So, can someone walk me through the right way to start using accounting software like this with historical information, in a way that does not result in my going mad?

Newbie warning: Much of the terminology in dealing with accounts ("reconcile"?) is unfamiliar to me. I may require some hand-holding.

Thanks in advance!
posted by ChrisR to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Best answer: Are you sure you can't change the starting balance? In all of my accounts, I can select the first entry, and change the "deposit" value from 0 to whatever I like.

If that doesn't work, just add a MISC entry with a deposit for the balance that you know existed. Give it a date far enough in the past (before you set up the account in Quicken).
posted by xil at 12:32 PM on October 13, 2007

reconcile means to make your ledger agree with the bank's. if all of your transactions in your ledger are the same as the bank's, and you started with the same balance as the bank, then the difference between the two is $0.00, and thus the account is reconciled.

reconciling in quicken is the act of checking off all deposits and withdrawals on a given bank statment, and making sure that the ending balance agrees as described above.

as to your first question, i guess i just don't understand. it may just be the case that the data you are importing from the bank simply does not have the starting balance. all you need to do is enter the staring balance by hand before importing all the transactions, and you should then not end up with a balance less than zero.
posted by joeblough at 12:33 PM on October 13, 2007

(Also, when you say "I can NOT change what Quicken sees as the starting balance on the accounts", please describe exactly what you're trying to do, and what happens when you do it.)
posted by xil at 12:34 PM on October 13, 2007

Response by poster: Entering the starting balance beforehand only works if you don't go back afterwards and import something older :)

Anyway, xil's suggestion worked; I simply fixed the starting balance a bit, and now things are better.

posted by ChrisR at 12:53 PM on October 13, 2007

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