A user to user chat about the new YNAB reconciliation workflow.

A Note from Jesse (3/3/14): I meant to write this last week, but was out of town. I apologize that I didn’t write it quite a bit sooner.  I want to make clear a few things: 1) We understand that we slowed down the workflow of many users. 2) We do hear your feedback. We may not always agree with user feedback, but we do listen. I feel like that distinction needs to made. 3) To address the workflow we’ve made worse, we are working on an update that will be better than what we had before, and better than what we have now.  It will also improve the workflow (even more) for those confused users whom we were originally trying to help. Thanks for your patience as we iterate. We mean no malice. To fewer keystrokes for all. – Jesse

This post is for a very specific type of YNABer:

(If the following doesn’t describe you, carry on, and have a great weekend!)

1. You update your Budget Accounts frequently, and you know your YNAB ‘Cleared Balance’ matches your online account balance.

2. You’re thorough, so you like to use YNAB’s Reconciliation feature to officially lock down transactions as soon as the bank has cleared them.

3. Because you updated your Budget Accounts frequently, and because you knew your YNAB balances always matched your bank balances, you could trust YNAB’s suggested Reconciliation number. (That was a mouthful, but you understood it if you’re this type of YNABer.)

4. YNAB’s new Reconciliation workflow has thrown off your game, and you’re mad.

I’m not part of YNAB feature conversations, so let’s just talk user to user for a second. I used the new workflow to reconcile accounts this morning, and I found it pretty straightforward.

I went into my credit card’s online account and manually entered a few missing transactions. I made sure the card’s current cleared balance matched my ‘Cleared Balance’ in YNAB.

I clicked ‘Reconcile Account,’ and saw this (click to enlarge):

I knew the account was current as of today, and I knew the cleared balances matched in YNAB and in the online account. The old YNAB Reconciliation would have filled -$773.54 in for me, so I just typed it in myself and clicked ‘Begin Reconciliation.’

Couple clicks later I was finished.

In other words, the new reconciliation process does cost me a few extra key strokes. But given my habit of frequently updating accounts and visually matching cleared balances and online balances – the few extra keystrokes are all it cost me. Right around five seconds per account in added work.

Trust me, nobody on the YNAB team likes to disrupt users’ flow, but the old reconciliation flow was positively wrecking the budgets of newer users way too often. Might there be a happy medium? I imagine so. But if this feature stays as is forever – just speaking user to user – I’m feeling fine about it.

Update: Jesse tells me that he and the product team recognize the need to serve both types of workflow. They hear the feedback and plan to address this in a future release.