How do I reconcile / balance my accounts in ClearCheckbook?
ClearCheckbook uses a tool called Jiving that lets you quickly and easily reconcile your transactions and accounts. When you jive your transactions we show you a Jived balance that should match your bank statement.
Each transaction you add to ClearCheckbook gets summed into your specific account balances which are then summed into your Overall Balance. This is the sum of every transaction you add to the site regardless of whether it's been jived or not. The Jived balance is the sum of every jived transaction you've added to the site.
How does Jiving work?
We recommend watching the following video tutorial that explains in detail the process you should take to jive transactions whenever you get your bank statement:
Jiving - Step by step
1. Adding your transactions
The first thing you need to do is add your transactions to ClearCheckbook. You can do this manually by entering your transactions using the 'Add Transaction' form on the Account Dashboard or by clicking the '+' button at the top right side of the page.
2. Find your bank / credit card statement
If you receive your bank statements in the mail, have this statement ready for the jiving process. If you use online bank statements, have the webpage or PDF pulled up in a separate window or browser tab. At this point you'll only be concerned with the transactions that have fully posted, not pending transactions.
3. Select the account you want to jive
Make sure you're only viewing transactions for the account you're currently trying to jive. To do this you can either click on the desired account from the Accounts drop down list at the top right side of the transaction register, or you can click on the desired account from the Account Overviews box.
4. Check off matching transactions
From the Transaction Register, find the account you want to jive from the Accounts drop down list at the top right side of the page and select it. Starting with the oldest transactions on your bank statement, find the correlating transaction in ClearCheckbook and click the
icon for that transaction. The icon will turn a darker green ( from
) and the background of the transaction will also darken. Repeat this process for each transaction that appears on your bank statement.
5. Keep an eye out for any discrepancies
As you're jiving your transactions, keep an eye out for any transactions where the amounts don't match, were posted multiple times or that you don't have any record of. This could be a sign that there were fraudulent charges or that you or the vendor made a mistake with the amount. If it's a mistake on your end, edit the transaction to correct the problem. If the issue seems fraudulent, contact your bank/credit card immediately.
6. Make sure balances are correct
After jiving all transactions from your bank statement, the Jived Balance for that account should match the ending balance for your bank statement. If the two balances match then you know all of your transactions are accounted for and there are no current issues that require your attention. If the balances don't match then you'll need to go back and investigate where the problem might have come from. We provided a list of common issues
below to help you track down any discrepancies.
If your jived balance doesn't match your bank statement ending balance then check for the following common issues:
- Was a transaction entered multiple times by mistake?
- Make sure the transaction was entered with the correct date. Often times around the new year, a transaction could be entered with the incorrect year (eg: January 24, 2016 instead of January 24, 2017)
- The correct account was used when adding the transaction. If you're trying to jive an account but the transaction was entered under a different account by mistake, it won't appear in the transaction list.
- Did you make a mistake when adding the transaction amount? (Make sure you didn't switch numbers by entering something like $43.23 instead of $34.23)
- All transactions that should have been added are properly in your ClearCheckbook register. Perhaps you lost a receipt or made an online purchase but forgot to add it to ClearCheckbook. These discrepancies will become apparent when you see transactions on your bank statement that don't appear on your ClearCheckbook register.
- Unless you added every transaction from the time the account opened, you'll need to add a Starting Balance for that account. Since ClearCheckbook only knows about the transactions you've added to the site, we need to have a starting balance in order to come up with the correct balances. The starting balance is the sum of all transactions that were posted to your account prior to recording them in ClearCheckbook. You can add the starting balance by clicking on Settings -> Accounts.
- You jived a pending transaction that hadn't fully settled. These transactions usually aren't included in the ending balance for the statement. Pending transactions may also change amounts before they're fully posted (eg: a gas station might set a pending transaction as $1 but post for the full amount)