Quicken and Running Balances

One thing that bothers me about Quicken is that it confuses me with running balances when I’m filtering out transactions.

Normally, when I view an account’s transactions, I like to see the running balance on the right side of the register. It confirms that for each transaction in my register, it pretty much agrees with whatever the bank thought I had in my account at the time.

Happy bunnies prance about whenever my bank is in agreement with my register.

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Prancing happy bunnies are good.

However, if I filter my transactions in the account register for any reason, Quicken shows me a running balance as if the visible transactions were the only transactions ever made.

Why?

What possible use can I have for seeing the running balance of a limited set of transactions?

Maybe I think Quicken’s addition and subtraction calculator is wrong, and the running balance proves that it’s not?

Unlikely.

Almost every time I filter transactions, it’s because I don’t want to see all the correct and reconciled transactions from many years ago, and I just want to look at the most recent unreconciled transactions. Or maybe I want to just see the Flagged transactions.

Either way, the running balance is not just useless.

It’s confusing.

It confuses me because it is display exactly the same as the normal running balance is displayed for the complete, unfiltered list of all transactions. The one the happy bunnies go on prancing about.

But it’s not.

It’s a lie.

Here is a redacted screenshot of my register, where it has been filtered to show just the Unreconciled transactions.

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The amounts in the Payment and Deposit columns are correct. But the amounts in the Balance column don’t correspond to anything else in the real world, except for basic addition and subtraction, which I really don’t need to see or care about because there’s absolutely nothing useful I can do with that information.

The bunnies are not prancing because they are not happy.

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Suggestion 1

When the account transactions are filtered, remove the Balance column entirely. That would be the easiest.

Suggestion 2

Quicken really should know what the actual running balance was for each transaction in the unfiltered view, and it should keep showing that in the Balance column. That might also be confusing, because the values will seem to be completely unrelated to everything else on the screen. So the column should be titled differently, or there might be a different appearance to the values.

What I would probably try to do (if I had complete control over the Quicken UI) is this:

Instead of hiding the filtered-out lines of the transactions completely, I would reduce those hidden lines into a single thin row and put a small button inside that thin row, which I could click to temporarily view the hidden rows (but not edit them).

Maybe that would work, and maybe I would discover that it is even more confusing, but the bottom line is that it would be anything different from the way it is now.


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