How can we improve PocketSmith?

Allow me to mark which items or bills have cleared / paid and which have not

Individual occurrences of items / forecast events in the calendar should be able to be marked as paid, or "cleared".

Problem: if I have a car payment that is due around the 15th, but there is a weekend and it clears on the 13th, the forecast still takes it out of the balance on the 15th.

The way it should work is that I mark off the items that are paid (associate a scheduled bill with a cleared transaction), and the forecast shows me my actual balance minus the uncleared scheduled bills.

Likewise for bills, as I go and pay each bill forecasted for the current pay period, I would like to be able to mark it off as paid. Then when I write a check I would like to mark the item as paid so my wife does not come along and do the same.

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    Beth GardnerBeth Gardner shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    11 comments

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      • Jamie PJamie P commented  · 

        Any update on this? looks like it's been "planned" for almost 2 years now.

      • AndrewAndrew commented  · 

        Jason, your proposed new feature to reconcile discrete transactions (bills) sounds cool.

        Please also consider this simple budget enhancement to correct balance projections impacted by unpredictable transaction count and timing: add a user-settable attribute to defer the effect of that budgeted amount on balance calculations until the end of the period (after adjusting for actual transactions).

        E.g.: grocery budget of $500, period starting on the 1st of every month, defined as “month end" (instead of "month start")

        New behavior: Do not remove the $500 from the projected balances on the 1st. Instead, project a reduction in balance on the last day of the month by $500 LESS any actual grocery expenses within the period to date. This means that only the *unused* portion of the $500 budget would be used to adjust balances at the end of the period. Of course, if expenses exceeded the budget, no "budget" adjustment would be needed.

        With such a feature (a per-budget attribute to defer effect until end of period), I believe you would gain these benefits:

        - current balances and projected period-end balances always correct

        - timing of transactions within such a budget period become unimportant

        - less need to artificially create weekly budgets as a workaround for the coarse forecast granularity of present “monthly start” budgets

        - easy to handle extraordinary transactions that occur within the budget period — either:
        a. add a "once" budget event on the transaction date to insert a budget offset, or
        b. revise the current period budget amount (up or down) to reflect the unusual transaction

        Before adopting PocketSmith, I used spreadsheets (imported bank transaction data) for basic expense and income tracking. I also had a cash flow/forecasting function, by category, that worked well as described above. Needing to migrate to an automated feed system, with a relational DB beneath the covers (for efficiently managing categories, rules, etc.), I chose PocketSmith because of the cash flow/forecasting capability. However, I miss having forecasts work in this “logical to me” fashion (without having to resort to using scenario balance calculations, and manually setting closing balance = actual balance at end of each month).

        I hope you agree that a being able to define a budget as “period end” (instead of period start), with the above behavior, would be generally useful, regardless of other enhancements in the works.

      • Miranda HelinMiranda Helin commented  · 

        Any update on this? Many items in my budget don't occur at exactly the frequency or amount budgeted; I need to be able to skip these without deleting the whole budget or changing its start date.

      • charlescharles commented  · 

        Any word on this status? Quicken is forcing me to upgrade by April to 2014 or else I lose my bank connectivity... If you can get this feature working by then, you can save me the upgrade.

      • hayleyhayley commented  · 

        So its November now, can you tell us a timeline for you adding in the "paid bill" facility? Im not sure I want to continue the software without it.

      • sfrizzellsfrizzell commented  · 

        I just started using PocketSmith, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance if my suggestion isn't feasible.

        I have an account with Simple Bank (which is awesome, btw), and they allow you to set up Goals (which is just a separate "bucket" of money set aside within the account) and then associate transactions with these Goals.

        For instance, I can set up a monthly goal of $500 per month for groceries. So, after each transaction shows up in the application, I select those from a grocery store and click "Spend from Goal", and select which Goal should be debited for the amount of that transaction.

        Similarly, in PocketSmith, each bank transaction could have a way to associate it with a future event. So, clicking the UI element on the transaction could bring up a list of all future events (within a specific date range), then selecting an event modifies its effective date.

        On the back end, this action could create another row in the database for that EventID with the new date having an "IsCurrent" flag or something similar. (obviously, you're developers would know the best way to create an historical record.)

        So, essentially, this process would be taking a transaction and converting it to an Event using its existing date and amount, while simultaneously deleting the old Event. (from the interface, not the database)

        Keep in mind, I'm not a developer, so what makes sense in my head, may not be feasible in real life. :)

      • Michael KossMichael Koss commented  · 

        From Derek Welker's comment:

        "Perhaps each time a user logs in there could be a popup showing the user the recently imported transactions and "suggested" matches to those transactions from the projection. This matching should look at amount and a +/- date range to allow for transactions which don't clear on the expected date(s). If a transaction is matched, it should have its status changed to "ignore" or something similar, but still show up in the calendar without affecting the running balance."

        I would like to see this too! This would make the forecasting much more accurate.

      • David EuwingsDavid Euwings commented  · 

        I was about to post for this very issue, when I saw it highlighted. Not having this feature makes the process of viewing an "actual" forecast difficult; you have to manually exclude already processed transactions from the forecast total. This defeats the purpose (for me) for using the app.

      • NeilNeil commented  · 

        James, I just sent you guys an email showing you what I do for my forecasting and "actualizing" a day that is in the past. What I was going to do when I start building my app was have two engines, one for forecasting and one for actualizing.

      • Johny MiricJohny Miric commented  · 

        yes, this is indeed needed. I can't use this software without being able to mark it as paid

      • Derek WelkerDerek Welker commented  · 

        I just experienced this problem today. I have a transaction scheduled every month on the 1st for $150. This transaction cleared my account last night and was included in my daily bank balance download, however it still shows as a projected transaction on the 1st (tomorrow). Ideally, the software should recognize that this upcoming projected transaction is already included in the balance.

        Perhaps each time a user logs in there could be a popup showing the user the recently imported transactions and "suggested" matches to those transactions from the projection. This matching should look at amount and a +/- date range to allow for transactions which don't clear on the expected date(s). If a transaction is matched, it should have its status changed to "ignore" or something similar, but still show up in the calendar without affecting the running balance.

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