Home Forums Feature Wish List Consolidation with Reality Marking actual vs planned (consolidation)

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    • Obelix
      Participant
      Post count: 48

      Had a thought about enhancing the entries(both debit and credit) a little.  It would be nice if there was some way to visually mark an entry to indicate that the transaction had occurred and was complete with the correct value.  Maybe just a little check on the left side of the entry bar in the calendar or something.  Thatway as I reconcile my account I can easily check off the bills that have gone through and verify that they were the amount planned (or not and make the change).  then when I go back to look over the upcoming week or so I can see that everything is reconciled up to that point.  Or I can see that I’ve been slack and need to reconcile some of my past bills to be sure I’m still on target with my cash flow.

      I noticed that there is no right-click menu on the entries.  perhaps checking off an entry can be done in a right click.  Or just make a right-click activate the check.  I guess you could just have it be a checkbox option when you open up the event itself.  Only issue I see with that is people that have a bunch of transactions having to open and check off each one individually.  I only have 2-4 each week so it wouldn’t be an issue for me.
       

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      This plays into our design discussions about how to track last consolidated dates to calculate when you do a bank import where do we start the import… not from the beginning of the file because… we all change the name of the entries to something meaningful in CalendarBudget – but the bank import has nearly useless titles.  Also, we cannot go simply on the amount of the transaction since sometimes we combine or split bank entries — such as a bank transaction for $100 at a grocery store, which we track as $80 food and $20 household items. 

      So… our current thoughts are to use the ending daily balance as a marker.  If the balance at the end of the day (including all transactions whether combined, split or normal) is the same as the end day balance from the bank import, we’ll assume that day is correctly consolidated and not include it.  We’ll do this from the beginning of the bank import file and keep ignoring data until there is a discrepancy.  Once we find a discrepancy, we’ll collect that data and present it to you for proper naming/categorization, etc.

      In this scenario – if you’ve been manually consolidating, or if your plan exactly matches actual – the bank import will understand that because the daily balances should match. 



      Now, if you decide not to use bank imports, your suggestion to flag some bills as paid or not may have some merit.  We can always use that right click menu – however, its very uncommon on the web to use right click.  Most people will never know its there to use it.

    • Obelix
      Participant
      Post count: 48

      Hmm I like your plan.  I submit to you that having a little checked icon or mark on the entry can be used alongside your plan and let a user know that they are in good standing up to that point.  That check can also be used by a user that hand reconciles their account.  You are correct that right click isn’t used much, but it’s being used more(google maps for example).  You could put the user activation of the check on entry edit screen(along with a note about the right click) and as a right click option.  its a one/two time learning experience that I think users will pick up on quickly.  Plus from then on, you open up a whole new menu area for your use.

      Oh, one little fly in the ointment.  What if you have users who have constant amounts being taken out from multiple places?  like writing allowance checks to your teenage kids as an example.  if one of 3 checks for $50 clear CB(calendarbudget) may not know which one it was.  I admit tho that this type of occurance will be rare, but anytime you have multiple bank entries that match you could mistakenly clear the wrong one.  Perhaps you need to check for that when you parse the bank statement and alert the user.  you could even go so far as to present them with a popup displaying the bank entry info in question and the multiple matching entries from the calendar and let them decipher and select the correct entry to reconcile.  There’s a few extreme cases you’d have to test out for, but it could be done

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      How about this as a solution…:

      The edit entry dialog could have an option (checkbox) which would flag an entry as “not paid/pending”.  When this flag is set, we’d set some kind of indicator icon on the entry row (in the calendar) to visually show that the item is not paid.  Then to change this indicator, you can use the edit entry dialog to uncheck the value, or perhaps we can hook up the right mouse click to also do that as a shortcut.  Then, when the checkbox is not checked, the indicator will be removed and it will look like the rest of the entries.

      This checkbox would default to unchecked so we don’t force people in to this scheme.

      Bank import consolidation would automatically remove the flag when it detects that this particular entries has been paid. 

      Regarding some entries on the same day with the same amount – yes that could be tricky.  I’ll have to add some exception cases for this and make the user choose which title is paid and which is not if one is paid and one is not.

    • Obelix
      Participant
      Post count: 48

      that sounds like a good way to handle it.  Kind of elegant in forcing a check for unpaid rather than paid. lets people who don’t use the check/indicator ignore the whole issue.  Would you allow a user setting that automatically checked all entries as unpaid when they were entered?  That would allow those who wanted to use it to generate entries that would be auto marked as unpaid instead of having to manually do it.  Or the alternative is to only mark those that are older than today’s date.  Of course then you would have to have an extra setting that declared a transaction had specifically occurred so that old accounts would’t get remarked as unpaid the next time a reevaluation of entries was run to detect entries older than today.

      As to the duplicate entry amounts,  I actually had that exact thing happen to me the day after I posted that.  I had bought 2 different items from 2 different thrift stores.  both marked at $25+tax.  One check came through before the thanksgiving holiday.  the other didn’t.  I had to look at the check images to see which one cleared so I could adjust the calendarbudget entries to match.

      Anyways, thanks for all your hard work.

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      I’m starting work on this now. I’ll keep everyone posted on progress.

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      Bank Import/Consolidation assistant is finally ready for use.
      Its the last tab on the category sidebar.
      Import your OFX file from your online banking (usually exports marked as Quicken, MS Money are OFX also), then drag the entries from your file to your calendar.
      If you drag to a blank spot or cell header you are creating a new entry.
      If you drop the bank import item on an existing item you are moving/updating the amount of that item to the actual amount that happened.

      Feel free to comment on usage.

    • Obelix
      Participant
      Post count: 48

      Cool!  Wish I could try it out.  My bank only does CSV at the moment.  I’v sent them a note asking for OSX also.  We’ll see what happens.

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      If you are willing to send me a copy of your CSV file, I’ll compare the format with what my bank offers — if they are similar enough, I’ll create a filter for CSV files also so you can use CSV.
      Send to epoulin@calendarbudget.com.

    • Eric Poulin
      Keymaster
      Post count: 371

      I’ve just added the “Mark as complete” feature for entries. You can now right click on entries to mark them as paid/complete. Later, I’ll add the ability to automatically have the reconciling assistant to this for you.

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