The balance options for an account

The Current Balance is the up-to-date balance which is displayed for an account. This current balance is set for a certain Current Balance Date, which is used when PocketSmith needs to know what date the balance is accurate for.

The Current Balance Source is how PocketSmith figures out the current balance. You can set this by going to the Balance Settings menu option for an account, and choosing one of the available options. You also choose a current balance source when you first create accounts from the Live bank feed service.

How the Current Balance is used

The current balance is displayed wherever the most up-to-date balance is needed - for example on the Dashboard, or in the Bank Statements section. It is also the balances used by an account's primary scenario as the starting point for its forecast.

Summary of all Current Balance options

Different accounts may require their current balance to be figured out in different ways, depending on how the account is used. There are three types of balances to choose from:
  1. Calculated Closing Balance which uses the closing balance of the account's last transaction (i.e. the "Balance" column in the Bank Statements view).

  2. Live Feed Balances that the data provider gives with bank feed connected accounts - you can choose any of the options that the data provider discovers.

    You can see this from the "closing balance" column in the Bank Statements section - the last transaction and transaction date will be used here.

    • Last transaction balance means the closing balance of the last transaction in the account is used, with the current balance date set as the date of this last transaction.

    • Last transaction balance, at today also uses the closing balance of the last transaction, but sets the current balance date to be as at today.

    • Live feed balances will let you choose which data feed balance you'd like to use. For example, an "Available" and "Current" balance is given here - your balance options may differ.

    • Reversed live feed balances let you choose a data feed balance, but it will be reversed before it is used. For example, if a credit card is given a positive balance then you may want to select a reversed balance - this will mean it is represented as debt.

  3. Scenario Balances, in which the balance shown for the account is the forecast balance (based on budgets), not the account's closing balance (based on transactions - options 1 and 2 above).

When to use each Current Balance option

If you have a bank feed connected account, you should use one of the Live Feed balance options. This will ensure that the balance is always as up-to-date as possible, and doesn't rely upon all transactions to be inplace and current for the balance to be correct.

If you manually upload bank transaction files, you can choose either of the Last Transaction balance options. Should the account be only updated infrequently (e.g. a savings account with few transactions) then you should select the "at today" option - this makes sure that your current net worth is correctly reflected.

If the account is more frequently updated (e.g. a credit card or checking account) then it may be better to use the standard Last transaction balance option. This means you can use the current balance date as an indicator of having to upload a new bank transaction file.

If you are a Scenario-only user - meaning, your account only has budgets and a forecast, then you will want to use the Scenario Balance option. This will prevent your account from displaying an irrelevant 'actual' figure (e.g. $0.00) as the balance of your account. Instead, the account balance will always display the present day's scenario balance.

Learn more: Why would I use the 'Scenario balance' option?

Default Current Balance option

Prior to 22nd of August 2013, the Last transaction balance option was the default for manual upload and live feed accounts. This means that all accounts created before this time have been left with this as the default value, so that there aren't any abrupt changes.

Manual upload accounts created after this date will have Last transaction balance, at today as the default option. Most people who upload their bank transaction files will know when their transactions need to be updated, and infrequently-used accounts can affect the starting balance for the account's primary scenario and forecast - and so "at today" is the default option for manual accounts.

Bank feed connected accounts have the different data feed balances available by default, and the specific option is selected when the account is first created from the Live Bank feed overlay. You're able to switch a feed account to a last transaction balance as well, but only once the account has been created. 

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