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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.