How to Balance Your Credit Card Account in Quicken 2010

By Stephen L. Nelson

You can balance your credit card account in Quicken 2010 with your credit card provider’s records. To reconcile a credit card account, first get your credit card statement — you need to tell Quicken what that nasty credit card company says.

1Choose Tools→Account List, and then select the account you want to balance.

The transaction list window for that account appears.

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2Click the Account Actions button and select Reconcile from the pop-up menu that appears.

Quicken displays the Statement Summary: Credit Card dialog box.

3In the Charges, Cash Advances text box, enter the total of the charges and cash advances that your statement shows.

Your statement should identify this amount with a label such as Total Charges.

4In the Payments, Credits text box, enter the total payments and credits that your statement shows.

Your statement probably labels this total as Credits.

5Enter the new balance shown on the credit card statement in the Ending Balance text box.

Record what your statement says, even if you just can’t believe you charged that much.

6Enter the ending statement date in the New Statement Ending Date text box.

For more than ten years, Quicken has been able to reconcile your credit card account (and any other account) without this information, but now it asks for it.

7Enter the monthly interest charge in the Finance Charges text box.

Pause for a moment of silence if this topic makes you sad, sad, sad.

8Select the appropriate spending category from the Category drop-down list.

For example, you might select Interest Exp.

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9Click OK.

Quicken displays the Statement Summary: Credit Card window.

10In the Statement Summary: Credit Card window, select each charge that appears on the credit card statement to mark it as cleared.

Quicken adds the check mark symbol in front of the list entries in the Clr column to mark these charges as cleared, and then updates the cleared statement balance.

If you can’t find charges, you probably didn’t enter them in the Quicken register yet.

11Open the credit card account register by clicking its tab, and then enter each missing charge in the register, clicking the Clr field after each entry.

Clicking the Clr field enters a c in that field, which identifies the charge as one that’s already cleared.

12After you finish, click the Return to Reconcile button.

The Statement Summary: Credit Card window reappears.

13Mark each payment or credit listed on the credit card statement as cleared.

Quicken adds the check mark symbol in front of the list entries to mark the payments and credits as cleared, and then updates the cleared statement balance.

If you can’t find the payment or credit, it means you haven’t entered it into the Quicken register yet.

14Open the credit card account register by clicking its tab, and then enter each payment or credit into the register, clicking the Clr field after each entry.

Clicking the Clr field identifies the payment or credit as one that’s already cleared.

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15When you finish, click the Return to Reconcile button.

The Statement Summary: Credit Card window reappears.

After you mark all the cleared charges and payments, the difference between the cleared balance for the credit card and the statement’s ending balance should be zero.

16If the Difference field shows 0.00, click Finished to tell Quicken that you’re done.

If the difference doesn’t equal zero, you have a problem. You can postpone reconciling the account by clicking the Finish Later button. By postponing a reconciliation, you can hopefully find the problem or problems, and fix them. Then you can restart the reconciliation and finish your work.

The Make Credit Card Payment dialog box appears, asking whether you want to pay the bill.

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17From the Bank Account drop-down list, select a bank account.

Select the account on which you want to write the check.

18Select the appropriate radio button in the Payment Method section.

Specify whether you want to use a printed check or a handwritten check.

19Click Yes.

Quicken records a check that pays the credit card balance into the register. You can edit, print, and do whatever else you want to do with this check in the usual way.