Home > Announcements > Account Tracker 2.8 and opening balances

Account Tracker 2.8 and opening balances

January 3, 2011

In version 2.8 I have changed the way I handle the opening balance of an account, mainly because the old way added complexity, and it was a bit confusing not being able to create transactions when you wanted. Instead of there being an opening balance transaction, with a date and an amount, I no longer use the date, and the opening balance itself has moved to the account settings.

For most people this change will be completely transparent – the first time you run 2.8 I automatically migrate the opening balance to the account settings, and remove the opening balance transaction. Your balance will be correct and all will be well.

However, some people might have created transactions that occur before the old account opening balance date. This could happen if previously you decided to move your opening balance date forwards past a bunch of transactions. With the 2.8 update, these previously hidden transactions will re-appear and more importantly they will affect your balance.

For various reasons it was too dangerous to try to clean this up for you, so I thought it best to present the data and let you decide what is best. If one of your accounts is affected, when you view the account you will see the message “Opening Balance. This is now set in the account settings, however for this account one or more transactions happen BEFORE the old Opening Balance date. Since these now affect your balance, you should check and possibly delete these old transactions, INCLUDING the Opening Balance transaction itself”. If you scroll to the oldest transactions in your account, you will see one or more followed by a transaction called Opening Balance with an amount of 0.

You can now do one of two things – either leave the old transactions in place, but adjust your opening balance in the account settings to correct your running balance. Or simply delete each of these old transactions and your balance should fix itself.

Either way you should also delete the opening balance transaction, otherwise you will see the warning message every time you view that account.

I do apologise for making this change, and I wouldn’t do it if the benefits weren’t there in terms of user simplicity and code maintenance.

  1. January 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm


    Having just updated to 2.8 I am trying to sort out my new incorrect balance. I received no warning message when opening the app and have no “opening balance” transaction to delete. Of course I can add in a transaction to correct balances but it’s a right ball ache to go through all 6 different accounts and then any adjustments won’t be exactly correct due to pending transactions I’ve put in to the app but are not yet showing on bank balances.

    Any other ways to correct this?

    • January 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Steven, I just sent you a mail. If you know what you need to set the balance to, i.e. you know that after transaction X the balance should be B, but it is currently C, just go into the account settings and change the opening balance to be

      (old opening balance) – C + B

      That should be a quick fix. Still very curious why your balances are wrong if you don’t get the message. I’ve asked for more info in my email.

      • January 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

        Graham, I have sent you an email but just in case anyone else experiances the same problem –

        I had changed the balance the same way you suggested, just to clarify – when I started up 2.8 my account balances showed as changed – one of them went from correctly showing over £200 to something like £60. No message was displayed when I went into the account, and no ‘opening balance’ transaction is present, also tried searching for “0” to pick up the opening balance transaction.

        • January 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

          Hi Steven, just to confirm that this was caused by a recurring transfer that had been edited, and then the end date of the series was set to be earlier. Deleting this extra transfer has fixed up your balance. The underlying issue will be fixed in version 2.8.2.

  2. David Simon
    January 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Dear Graham, I just have iPod Touch as a gift and I am looking for app to manage my finance. Previously I use Adarian Money on Palm. It is very comprehensive yet simple program. Your app looks similar so I am thinking of buying your app. However, I need to know whether I can import the data into your app in QIF format? If not now, do you plan to include this feature? Thanks.

    • January 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Hi David, I don’t support import of QIF files, however if you can get the data into CSV format, you can import those easily enough. For the exact file format see grahamhaley.co.uk/accounts/backups.

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