Reconciling Accounts on Mobile
Because you use your budget to make spending decisions, your records in YNAB need to be in complete agreement with your bank’s records—the process of verifying they agree is called reconciliation, and we recommend you reconcile your spending accounts at least once a week.
In this doc we'll explain the reconciliation process, as well as the three different transaction statuses that come into play during that process.
In This Article
Your transactions have one of three statuses in the far right-hand column of your account register:
- Cleared: Transactions that your bank knows about and have finished processing are cleared and are marked with a green C at the right-hand side of the transaction line.
- Your bank likely calls these transactions cleared or processed.
- If you import transactions, many of them will be cleared in YNAB automatically.
- Cleared transactions make up the Cleared Balance at the top of your register.
- Uncleared: Transactions that your bank hasn’t processed are uncleared and have a gray C at the right-hand side of the transaction line.
- Your bank likely calls these pending transactions.
- A transaction might be uncleared because your bank hasn’t yet received notice of the final transaction, or if you wrote a physical check that hasn’t been cashed.
- Uncleared transactions make up the Uncleared Balance at the top of your register.
- Reconciled: Once transactions have been reconciled, using the process described below, they are locked and marked with a green lock symbol. 🔒
Beware of Uncleared Transactions
Before you reconcile, make sure you check that the Uncleared transactions in your account register are correct. If you don't, you may reconcile to an inaccurate balance.
If you find any incorrect uncleared transactions, address them appropriately by either clearing, editing, or removing them.
Quick Tip! When entering transactions that occurred with literal cash (in your wallet, purse, pockets...wherever!), they can be marked as cleared as soon as you enter them; there's no processing time for cash transactions.
Now that you know about the different statuses of your transactions—and what the balances at the top of your register represent—follow these steps on the iOS mobile app to complete the reconciliation process.
The golden path
- Log onto your bank’s website and check your current balance. Keep in mind that some financial institutions include pending transactions in the current account balance, while in YNAB those should only make up your Uncleared balance. ( Check out this article if you're having trouble finding the right balance at your bank!)
In the YNAB mobile app, head to the account register you want to reconcile and tap the More menu (three dot icon) in the upper right. Then tap on
Reconcile in the drop down menu.
- A pop up will ask if your bank’s balance matches the Cleared balance that YNAB is showing you. If it is, tap Yes. You’re reconciled and you’ll see that YNAB updates your “last reconciled” time stamp!
When the balances don't match
First, don't worry! This is exactly what the reconciliation process is meant to do — find and fix errors. Here's how:
- If the two balances do not match, tap No and enter the balance from your bank’s records in the field provided. If the balance should be negative, make sure it is toggled to the red, negative indicator before the amount. If the balance should be positive make sure it is toggled to the positive, green indicator before the amount. Then tap Next.
The difference between the bank’s balance and the YNAB cleared balance will be shown at the top of your register screen.
You'll then have the opportunity to look through your account register screen again to find the cause of that discrepancy. If there are transactions that appear on your bank’s list but are not entered in YNAB you can enter them by tapping Add Transaction on the bottom of the screen. If there are transactions that have cleared at your bank but are not marked as cleared in YNAB you change their status by tapping on the transaction, toggling the status in the edit transaction menu, and then tapping Save Transaction.
- Check to see if your financial institution is including pending transactions in the calculation of your account balance. If so, look for the current running balance (not including pending) and reconcile against that instead.
- If you have a transaction in your YNAB register that is not yet in your bank’s records at all, make sure it is not marked cleared in YNAB.
- Keep making adjustments like these until the difference at the top of your register is down to $0 (or until you can’t find the discrepancy and want to move on!). At that point tap Done in the upper right corner of the screen.
Time for the Reconciliation Dance!
If the difference is $0 when you tap Done, YNAB finishes the reconciliation and all cleared transactions will be filtered out of view now that they're reconciled.
If the difference is greater than $0.00, YNAB will present you to with a menu where you can tap Create Adjustment and Finish. This will adjust the cleared balance of the account in YNAB to match the real life account by automatically entering a Reconciliation Balance Adjustment in your register 👍
Once you've finished reconciling you will see all your cleared transactions have the green 🔒 lock icon next to them to indicate they have been reconciled.
After YNAB creates a Balance Adjustment
When YNAB creates a Balance Adjustment, it does not mean you've failed, or that your accounts are broken. It just means an error happened at some point since your last reconciliation (or since you started the account in YNAB, if you've never reconciled before), and the balance adjustment is fixing that mistake.
Double-check your Ready to Assign after entering the balance adjustment. While regular transactions are categorized to your spending categories, balance adjustments are not assigned to a spending category, so they'll impact Ready to Assign instead. If your balance adjustment made your Ready to Assign go negative, move money until it's at $0.00 again. If your balance adjustment added money to Ready to Assign go ahead and move that money to categories in your budget!
If you realize you made a mistake while reconciling there are a few options to get things squared away.
If the balance adjustment or any other reconciled transaction is incorrect:
- You can edit it just like any other transaction by tapping on the transaction and then adjusting the amount.
- If you'd rather delete the transaction, you can do that by tapping on the transaction and then tapping Delete Transaction at the bottom of the screen. YNAB will warn you that the transaction has been reconciled, but you can confidently finish deleting it knowing you're correcting it.
If you accidentally reconciled a transaction that should have been uncleared as cleared, you can delete the original transaction and re-create a new uncleared version of that same transaction.
YNAB reminds you to reconcile frequently (we recommend at least once a week!) by including a timestamp of how many days it has been since you last reconciled. When you tap the More menu in the upper right corner of your account register screen, you'll see how long it's been since you last reconciled.