ClearCheckbook iOS app beta update

7/25/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
I just wanted to give everyone an update on the beta testing stage of the new iOS app. In the last week and a half since we launched testing, we've received a lot of great feedback and have already issued two new updates in that time. The UI side of the app is pretty much complete and we've got a couple more issues to fix but those should be done within the next 7 days. After we finish this list of issues we'll release one or two more updates for a final round of testing.

The issues we have to work on are some long loading times on initial login or app re-launch, a few crashes with editing reminders and budgets and some other small bugs that shouldn't take long to fix.

Thanks again to everyone who's been helping us out with the testing and providing us with valuable feedback.

We'll have another announcement about a launch date after we're done fixing this last round of issues.

Beta testing the ClearCheckbook iOS app

6/29/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're aiming to open the iOS app to beta testers some time next week. If you'd like to help us test out the new app by providing feedback and testing for bugs, please EMAIL US with your email address. Don't post your email address in the comments below or in the support forums or it will be removed. Use the Contact Us form or email address at the bottom right side of the page instead.

You'll receive an invite to the beta program if you're needed.


ClearCheckbook was hit by a DDOS attack which caused site downtime

6/2/2016 in ClearCheckbook News
On June 1, 2016 starting at around 10:20am ET, ClearCheckbook was hit by an extremely massive amount of fake logins which overwhelmed our database and caused the site downtime some of you had experienced.

These kinds of attacks are used either by a competing organization to cripple their rivals or by nefarious individuals or groups that use the attack to expose any weaknesses in the database which would let them gain access to it.

We're still not sure what the reasoning for the attacks were but none of your data was compromised while the issues were going on.

I'm extremely sorry for any inconveniences this caused you today. We'll be monitoring our logs to keep an eye on similar attacks and fix them quickly now that we know what to do.

ClearCheckbook News and Updates for May 2016

5/19/2016 in ClearCheckbook News
This blog post will cover a lot of new features, mobile app updates and bug fixes that we've been working on recently.

Introducing Account Groups
We just added the ability to create groups to help you organize your accounts. Each group will be separated within your Account Overviews with their own 'group total' balances. You also have the option to exclude a group from being added to your overall balances.

To start using the account group feature, click on Settings at the top right side of the page, then click on Accounts. Below your list of accounts you'll see a new form to add a new group. Once you've added a group you can assign new or existing accounts to them. Note: Account Groups requires an active Premium Membership.

iOS App Update
The developer we contracted to rebuild the app has finished all functions of the app itself. We're now going through and testing all the sections of the app for bugs and any issues. Once that is done we simply need to update the UI and we'll be ready to launch. I hope to have some screenshots of the app with the new UI available soon.

Android App Update
Several months ago one of our users reached out to us asking if they could have a shot at rebuilding the Android app and we said 'of course!' Since they're doing it as a side project of their own we aren't making any promises about a delivery timeframe but so far the app is looking really good. Here are some screenshots from the Alpha version of the new app:
ClearCheckbook Android app alpha
ClearCheckbook Android app alpha
ClearCheckbook Android app alpha
ClearCheckbook Android app alpha

Recent bug fixes / minor updates
Most of the recent bug fixes revolved around input validation to make sure that when you're adding, editing or deleting transactions, reminders, budgets, etc you won't run into unexpected results based on the data you enter. There were also some tweaks to the Import Transactions tool to better recognize data fields and automatically match them on the field verification page. Running balances also got an update that fixed some issues with the balances not showing up correctly if you started paging through your transactions.

Happy Birthday to us!
In addition to all of the above, ClearCheckbook just turned 10 years old today! I launched the site back in May 2006 as a way for myself and some friends to manage our personal finances. The site has grown and improved tremendously over the years due in large part to the suggestions of you, our users.

We'll have more news about the mobile apps soon.


Founder, ClearCheckbook

ClearCheckbook iOS app update

3/10/2016 in ClearCheckbook News
We've been getting a lot of questions lately regarding the iOS app so this update is meant to address all of those. The app is still being worked on but doesn't have any real UI applied to it yet (the developer is getting all the functionality nailed down and then we'll get it looking pretty). Once we start adding the UI we'll post some screenshots and updates.

May 4, 2016 Update - The developer is wrapping up the last section, reminders, now. After that's done we need to go through and do some final testing and complete the UI. We'll have more information soon.

May 18, 2016 Update - All functions of the app have been coded and implemented. We are now updating the UI and in the process of running through the app to catch any bugs.

ClearCheckbook New Feature / Update Roundup for January 2016

1/14/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've been busy working on new features, updates and bug fixes over the last two weeks and wanted to give you a quick roundup of everything in case you missed our other announcements in the support forums.

New Features:
* Ability to attach files to your transactions
* Search for duplicate transactions in your existing transaction register
* Set permissions for Additional Users
* Save your Import settings for files you use regularly

Feature Updates:
* Better handling of future/post-dated transaction display in register and balances
* Add credit limits to your credit cards

Bug fixes:
* Currency conversions in Custom Reports
* Currency conversions in Save-Up Tracker and Income Budgets
* Editing Envelope Budgets

Other things to note:
* Like we do every year, we opened the 2015 text reports to all free members until April 15, 2016 for tax purposes
* We met with our iOS app developer and the rebuild is coming along well. We'll have a better idea about possible release timeframe in a few weeks

ClearCheckbook Premium Members can Attach Files to Transactions

1/4/2016 in ClearCheckbook News

We're happy to announce an update to ClearCheckbook that allows all premium members to attach files to their transactions. This is great for attaching purchase orders, receipts, contracts, statement of works, etc to your transactions for archival purposes and to easily correlate transactions with any necessary documents.

If you're already a premium member, you can enable the Attach a File feature by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page and then click on Manage Custom Transaction Fields and then change the drop down list next to the Attach a File option.

Once you've enabled the Attach a File option you'll see a new option on the Add and Edit transaction fields that allow you to select a file. When you add or edit a transaction after selecting a file, the file will be given a unique codename and uploaded via secure connection to our file hosting server.

Click to view

Once you've attached a file to a transaction, you can view it by clicking the paperclip icon. This will download the file to your computer so you can refer to it as needed. You can also use the Search tool to find all transactions that have an attachment associated with them. This will make it extremely easy to hunt down the necessary transactions if you're searching for the file later.

Click to view

This has been a highly requested feature and we're happy to have it out and available for use now. There aren't immediate plans to integrate this ability into the iOS or Android apps that are currently being rebuilt but it's something we'll look into for a further update.

The fine print: The files you attach are limited to 2mb in size and have certain file format restrictions only allowing documents and images (such as PDF, JPG, PNG, XLS, etc). Deleting a transaction with an attachment associated with it will also permanently delete that attachment from our servers. Editing a transaction and replacing the attachment with a new file will permanently delete the old attachment from our servers.

2015 Year in Review and What's Ahead in 2016

1/3/2016 in ClearCheckbook News

The biggest change for ClearCheckbook in 2015 was the switch from our old hosting environment on our dedicated server to a new hosting solution that allows for much easier data backups, scalable resource handling and much more in depth development tools we use for error debugging.

The old server we had the site running on was set up and started hosting ClearCheckbook back in 2008. After almost 8 years of service, the server was starting to show its age and the limitations of its hardware were becoming ever more apparent. This all came to a head on July 4, 2015 when the massive size of our transactions tables was causing major problems for the server. The site wasn't able to stay up for more than a few minutes before being overloaded and crashing. After hiring some great outside help, we got those issues under control and started work on the migration to our current hosting solution (that migration took place at the end of October and has been running extremely well ever since).

What we're currently working on in-house:
* File attachments for transactions. This will give you the ability to attach a receipt or document to any transaction you add to the site.
* Updates to the Jive feature that will show you when a transaction was jived and give you the ability to 'revert' back to the jive status on a certain date
* Saving import configurations so you don't have to select the same fields every time you import a file from the same source. This will be helpful if you import files regularly from the same financial institution.
* In addition to the above, we've got our normal backlog of suggestions and requests that we'll be working on.

What we've outsourced and is currently in progress:
* iOS app rebuild. The iOS app is currently being rebuilt into a native app that will work much more efficiently on the current and future versions of iOS.
* Android app rebuild. The Android app is also being rebuilt and will have an updated UI as well as some additional syncing features.

We'll keep you updated when we have more updates in regards to the mobile apps and when we launch some of the new updates we're working on.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or feature suggestions please pass them our way!

Introducing Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets plus Including Future Transactions

4/14/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've been hard at work creating several new updates to the Budgets tool here at ClearCheckbook. Today we're announcing and launching Grouped, Combo and Income budgets as well as the option to include unpaid bills and un-posted scheduled transactions.

We receive suggestions for site improvements all the time and this round of updates represents some of the most frequently requested ideas. This is the biggest update we've ever made to the Budget tool and we're happy to share what these new features will do for you.

New Budget Features!

Grouped Budgets
  • This update gives you the ability to group multiple accounts and categories into a single budget.
    • Grouped Budgets will let you create, for example, one budget that covers both your Checking and Savings accounts but ignores the others. You can also create a grouped budget that covers multiple categories without having to rely on organizing your subcategories.
Combo Budgets
  • Combo Budgets let you create an Account/Category combination.
    • This update will let you create a budget that, for example, covers any expenses made to your Eating Out, Entertainment and Miscellaneous categories but only if they come from your Debit account.
Income Budgets
  • Set a budget goal for how much you want to save and see how you're progressing toward that amount.
    • If you select the Income Budget option, we'll handle the budget a little differently by tracking all of your deposits made to the budgeted account or category and showing you your progress toward the amount goal.
Other Updates
  • An option to Include Future Transactions
    • When this option is enabled we'll search all of your upcoming and unpaid bills from the Bill Tracker as well as any upcoming and un-posted scheduled transactions from the Reminders and Recurring Transactions tool. Any bills or recurring transactions that meet that criteria and fall within the budget duration will be counted toward the budget.

We've added icons for Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets so it's easier to differentiate them in your budget list and budget history reports. These new features are available now for anyone with a ClearCheckbook Premium membership.

Here are some screenshots from the new Budget updates. You can also check out our video tutorial that covers all of the new budgeting features.
New Budget List
Budget List
Combo Budget
Combo Budgets
Future Budget
Future Budget

Are you a University student? Get a free year of ClearCheckbook Premium!

3/26/2015 in ClearCheckbook News
At ClearCheckbook, we strongly believe in the importance of financial literacy and having a good grasp on where your money is going. Student loan debt now tops $1 trillion (averaging over $24,000 per graduate) and is higher than both auto loans and credit card debt. Student loans also have the highest 90+ day delinquency rate out of mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt.

With that in mind, we want to do what we can to help university students have firm control of their finances before graduating. To play our part, we're offering a free year of ClearCheckbook Premium to anyone with a valid .edu email address.

When you register for ClearCheckbook and use a .edu email address, we'll include a confirmation link in your Welcome email. Simply click on that link to activate your premium upgrade. If you're already a member with a .edu email address, you'll see an alert on the Dashboard with a link to send a confirmation email. This free upgrade has no strings attached and no billing information is required.

The only reason for the email link confirmation is to ensure the email address is valid. Per our privacy policy, we won't send you any offers or sell off your email address. We just need to make sure you're actually the owner of the .edu email address.

I started ClearCheckbook when I was in college because I needed a way to manage my own finances. Living on your own and going to school plus all the responsibilities that comes with it can be hard to adjust to at first, but setting budgets and controlling your spending is a great way to set yourself up with a good financial foundation.

ClearCheckbook Reaches 50 Million Transactions

5/5/2014 in ClearCheckbook News
We've passed another milestone today by now storing over 50 million transactions that our users have entered. We're averaging about 28,000 new transactions added each day which is a huge amount!

We're extremely happy to see the site continually growing and we have some great updates planned for the future. We'll post more information about these updates over the next couple of months.

Thanks again for using ClearCheckbook!

Viewing Multiple Accounts on Transaction Register

1/22/2014 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a new feature, some updates and a few bug fixes. The main new feature is the ability for Premium members to select multiple accounts to view on the Transaction Register. If you're a premium member the Accounts drop down list is now a multi-select form where you can select among any of your active accounts. By selecting multiple accounts your balances will update accordingly and the register will show transactions for each of those accounts combined.

The Search tool was also updated with some new options. When you're searching or exporting transactions you can now select to exclude transfers and paid credit card transactions. This will make it easier to see the correct balances for accounts since you can eliminate duplicates (eg: you paid your credit card with a transfer so now you can hide all the paid transactions since they're covered by that transfer).

In addition to those updates we also knocked out a few small bug fixes related to exporting transactions and the reminders/recurring transactions gadget.

If you're a premium member trying to select multiple accounts and it doesn't seem to be working correctly, please refresh the page about 5-10x in a row really quick to clear your browsers cache.

Automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to Dropbox

11/27/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're happy to announce the launch of a new ClearCheckbook feature that lets you enable automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to your Dropbox account.

If you're a premium member and you have a Dropbox account, you can now enable automatic backups by clicking on Tools at the top of the page, then click on Automatic Backups. Once enabled, your data will be backed up to a CSV file on your Dropbox account each night as long as you've added new transactions since the last backup, have an active premium membership and have the feature enabled.


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