ClearCheckbook's 2019 Roundup and What's Ahead for 2020

1/3/2020 in ClearCheckbook News

The main focus of 2019 has been on rewriting ClearCheckbook for our latest update, but we also hit some big numbers and milestones.

ClearCheckbook Version 5 had been taking most of our time this past year and we hope to have it launched soon. You can check out the full blog post for more information about what new features and updates this will bring. In short, the version 5 upgrade has completely rewritten ClearCheckbook for the latest versions of frameworks and programming languages the site is built around. This will help make updates faster and easier in the future.

ClearCheckbook hit a big milestone in 2019 and surpassed 400,000 registered users with a half a million users set firmly in our sights. Our users also added over 18 million transactions during the year which brings the total number of transactions we're tracking to around 112 million!

This growth and activity has also brought with it a few hiccups along the way. We've experienced some site lagging and slowdowns this year and have worked on mitigating this by doubling our database memory and increasing the number of CPUs the site has access to during high traffic times. We will continue to monitor traffic and site speeds and adjust these metrics as needed but we're very optimistic this will address a lot of the slow response times.

We also want to thank everyone who supports ClearCheckbook by upgrading to ClearCheckbook Premium. You're helping us to keep improving the site and keep the site running smoothly. We've never received any money from investors, advertising or any other means aside from ClearCheckbook Premium upgrades, so thank you again! If you haven't upgraded, you can always help us by spreading the word about ClearCheckbook to family, friends and coworkers.

Here's to great things coming to ClearCheckbook in 2020!

Brandon OBrien
Founder, ClearCheckbook.com

Upgrading ClearCheckbook hardware due to increased growth

1/2/2020 in ClearCheckbook Updates

ClearCheckbook has been growing and is quickly reaching the limits of our current server setup. To address this, we're doubling the memory for our database and increasing the number of CPUs that serve the site.

With the increased traffic we've been seeing, the site has had started exhausting its current resources. This expresses itself by the site running extremely slow or showing a timeout warning. We're doubling the amount of memory given to our database and are dialing in the increased number of CPUs required to help serve the site as quickly as possible.

There might be some more slowdowns in the site loading times while the database rebuilds its cache.

We look forward to ClearCheckbook's continued growth and all of the new features that ClearCheckbook V5 will bring.

The Next Big Update for ClearCheckbook - Version 5

10/30/2019 in ClearCheckbook News
The current version of ClearCheckbook (v4) was built on code and technologies from around 2009. While we still adhere to the latest in security and privacy measures, many of the frameworks and software versions we're using are getting old and will soon stop being supported. We've run into several cases where we want to implement a new feature or tool but are limited by our older code not being supported.

About a year ago we started planning a huge upgrade that will put ClearCheckbook on the latest frameworks with better infrastructure for future-proofing the site and apps. Our goal was to keep the front facing website (what you see and interact with on a daily basis) the same, all while taking advantage of the new framework to optimize speed, performance and security.

We’re finally at the point where we’re beginning testing of ClearCheckbook v5 on the same hosting platform the site is currently running on. We’ll be running v5 through a whole slew of testing over the next few months to make sure it’s ready for you to use.

Aside from having to rewrite the backend of the site, we’ve also taken this opportunity to add several new features, tools and updates.

New Features:

  • ‘Trusted Devices’ feature in conjunction with 2 factor authentication

  • Asset tracker - Manage and track assets such as homes, vehicles and other tangible assets.

  • Account Text Reports - reports similar to the Category text reports but for accounts.

  • Payee Text Reports - again, reports similar to the Category text reports but for payees.

  • Dark CSS theme - ClearCheckbook can be switched into dark mode to make it easier on the eyes

  • Net Worth Reports - See how your net worth has changed over the past 2 years with this new report.

  • ClearCheckbook Knowledge Base - We've rebuilt the Help / Support section to make a much more informative Knowledge Base with screenshots and much more detailed instructions on how to use the site.


Updates / Bug Fixes:

  • Auto-complete updated to show more information (such as which account/category will be auto-filled)

  • Ability to disable auto-complete auto-fill features so it only fills the text

  • Manually enter ‘last price’ for investments that aren’t automatically updated

  • Hide suggestions in the Import auto-categorization tool

  • Reminders will post deposits before withdrawals

  • Payee beta reports - ability to sort by sum column

  • Monthly Summary - fixed bug that was preventing accounts and categories from showing up alphabetically

  • Transaction History tool - link to view the current transaction so you can see what changed

  • Debt snowball - additional payments can now have a date associated with them

  • Reconcile tool - you can now edit or delete reconciliations

  • Separate withdrawals and deposits sums in a reconciliation report

  • If you change the number of transactions to view per page on the register, that setting is saved instead of resetting each time you log out.

  • Profit & Loss report - updated colors to make it easier to identify positive and negative numbers

  • Latest Transactions gadget - selection to view only transactions for a specific account

  • You can now categorize transfers when creating them

  • Updated how the 'lost password' form works to make it more secure

  • Budgets - you can now see a breakdown of how the amount spent is being calculated

  • Payee reports - export to CSV functionality

  • 2FA bypass - allows you to have a bypass code sent to a trusted contact method in case you can't access your authenticator app

  • Investment Portfolio - autocomplete for symbol and note fields in Add Investment form

  • Income Budgets - show the amount differently if you generate more income than the budget limit

  • Debt Snowball - you can now see how much you've paid toward principal and interest for each budget by expanding the history

  • Debt Snowball - you can now see which snowball methods will save you the most money or be paid off the fastest

  • Ability to assign all No Account transactions to an existing account from the search results page

  • Made it easier to delete all No Account transactions

  • Ability to quickly delete all expired reminders

  • Ability to turn an existing transaction into a recurring transaction

  • Tweaks + Bug fixes - Over 45 small tweaks and bug fixes to help make the site perform as expected


We’ve also greatly optimized and reduced the number of database calls made from each page load. This will help dramatically speed up the response time of the website.

As mentioned earlier, now that we’ve got the new version running on the same hosting platform as ClearCheckbook currently is, we’ll be doing our own internal testing. After we’re happy with that we’ll be asking for some beta testers to run the new code through its paces and look for any issues we might not have come across. We’ll keep you updated on progress as it goes on!

Updated on August 5, 2020 to reflect more updates and feature additions

2-Step Verification Now Available on ClearCheckbook

11/30/2018 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've added an extra layer of protection to your login with 2-Step Verification

2-Step Verification, or Multi-factor authentication (MFA), is a widely used method for securing your data online. The ClearCheckbook MFA is opt-in, meaning you can enable this if you'd like to add an extra level of security to your login.

Our MFA relies on you scanning a QR code through a security / authenticator app on your phone. Once done, the app will have an entry for ClearCheckbook and a 6 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. When you sign into ClearCheckbook, you'll provide your username and password and then you'll be asked to provide the 6 digit code before you're signed into your account.

2-Step Verification for ClearCheckbook
Sample 2-Step Verification QR code


You can enable MFA by signing into your account and then click on Settings at the top right side of the page. Next, click on the 2-Step Verification link. Scan the QR code on this page with the MFA app of your choice and then enter the 6 digit code provided by the app to verify setup and enable MFA.

There are many widely used authenticator apps available that you can use with our MFA setup. Some of the most popular are: Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Authy and LastPass Auth. Using our MFA will require you to have your mobile phone with you each time you manually sign into the site. Note: you won't be prompted to enter the 6 digit code if you have cookies enabled and remain signed into your account. The only time you'll be prompted for your MFA is each time you actually log in.

If you'd like to read more about what MFA is and why it's useful, check out these resources:

'Zero-Out' Method Reconciliation Tool Now Available

11/28/2018 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've added a new reconciliation tool if Jiving isn't for you.

While we still stand behind ClearCheckbook's established reconciliation tool, Jiving, we've had many users want a more traditional way to reconcile their bank statements by zeroing out to their ending balance by selecting the transactions that appear on their statement.

The tool we built to handle this is called Zero-Out Reconciliation and can be found by clicking on the " Reconcile" link in the Account Options box at the top right side of the Transaction Register. We moved a few links around and now have the Reconcile link next to the Credit Card payment tool, Search and Export links in the Tools line.

Account Options screenshot
New layout of Account Options box (as seen by ClearCheckbook Premium members)


To quickly summarize how the Zero-Out Reconciliation tool works: you'll select an account, statement end date and the ending balance for the statement. Once done, the site will find all unjived transactions for that account. You'll select the transactions from the statement and at the end the difference between the ending balance and the selected amount should be zero.

Once you've zeroed out the statement, clicking the Reconcile button will jive all the transactions and save the statement details (with an optional memo) to your reconciliation history.

We wrote an extensive step-by-step guide that walks you through how to use the Zero-Out Reconciliation tool as well as provides some common issues and fixes for if your statement doesn't zero-out. This walkthrough can be found here: Zero-Out Reconciliation help (note: you must be logged in and have an active ClearCheckbook Premium membership to see this page / use the new tool)

Zero-Out Reconciliation Sample: The arrows point out a successfully zeroed out statement.
Zero-Out Reconciliation sample

This is new reconciliation tool is available to all ClearCheckbook Premium members. If you haven't upgraded to ClearCheckbook Premium, we encourage you to check out the included upgrades and features here. ClearCheckbook Premium upgrades are how we can keep ClearCheckbook constantly growing and improving. Please consider an upgrade if you haven't already!

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