Total envelope balance different on webpage and Android app

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  • Updated 4 years ago
  • (Edited)
After doing my salary distro on the first and ensuring that my Android phone synced with the web, I found my Android phone listing a balance of $3,923.67 and the webpage listing $3,422.84.  The same thing happened last month, as well, but just thought it was a one time fluke.

Immediately after doing the distro, I got a balance of $4,473.67 in the Android app, but after doing a manual sync it changed to listing a balance of $3,923.67 in the Android app.  

Which balance is accurate now? Last month the balance listing changed evenually so both matched, but I don't know which one was off.

 I did a distro from unallocated for the first time last month and again this month, so that is the only thing I can think of that I have done any different than usual.

Oh, and after I did the distro, I went to the webpage and transferred an amount from a few envelopes to unallocated.  Unallocated still holds -$264.85 to signify another income that will be coming in within the next few days.  Could that process have a bug someplace in it?  

At 7:29 PM:

I've just noticed that the "All Envelopes" balance on my Android app is listed as $3,923.67 and unallocated is -$264.85.  So it now seems obvious that on the Android app, "All Envelopes" does not include what is in unallocated, while the "Envelopes Total" shown on the webpage does indeed include unallocated.  The Android app is reporting a balance that is actually very misleading.  This is a rather serious problem for users who are on the road that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

Cheers!

John Vander Stel
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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John Vander Stel

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steven Tafzil, Employee

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Hi John,  

That's correct. The "All Envelopes" balance on the android app does not include unallocated. On the web we don't show an all envelopes total, but a "Total" that includes everything. I hear what you're saying about the distinction not being very clear. We chose consistency with the past, opposed to consistency with the other platforms, when we last updated the app. That may change in the future. I've added your thoughts here to that feature request.

Sorry for the confusion!
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John Vander Stel

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Hi Steven,

The reason I didn't notice this discrepancy earlier is because I wasn't actually using unallocated at all.  I actually didn't understand how to use it correctly so I simply didn't trust it.

Now that I've learned the actual recommended use and how it is correctly done, I actually took that step to use unallocated as recommended... but my trust was violated. :-(

As most users, I've always trusted GoodBudget's calculations, and I've even copied that "All Envelopes" total" to my physical checkbook register to ensure that my personal paper records had no mathematical errors.   It had always worked perfectly. 

Since I am now using unallocated as recommended, GoodBudget is no longer calculating the correct account balance.  Until it is fixed, I must now start to _manually_ calculate the new account balance every time I add a new transaction while on the road.  That defeats the whole purpose of relying upon GoodBudget to accurately do that math for me.

If, on the other hand, the user is totally unaware that GoodBudget is offering an incorrect total account balance, then it is completely screwing up all of the user's account register math and could easily cause the user to make very expensive spending mistakes!

The webpage displays the account's true balance when the user is correctly using unallocated, as recommended.  The Android app does not.  The Android app will now show a completely different and misleading figure.

In my opinion, That is not a feature problem, and it should not simply be put on the bottom of the possible change list for the next version. It is plainly a dangerous misrepresentation that could cause serious problems for GoodBudget users who actually do take the step to use unallocated correctly, as recommended. 

I actually do the account reconciliation by hand and for a period of time last month, as a result of the misleading total, my balance figures were all off.  That caused problems that I wasn't able to figure out at that time.  The same thing was happening this month and if I hadn't caught what was wrong, I could have made a grave spending error this month.  I must now go back and do all of the calculations for the last 34 days to correct for all of the errors.

Again, this is only my recommendation based upon actual use of GoodBudget, as recommended.  My only hope is that this user's prospective will result in a re-evaluation of this problem's seriousness and how time sensitive the fix actually is.

Thanks again for everything you guys and gals do for us all! :-)

Cheers!

John Vander Stel
Grand Rapids, Michigan
(Edited)
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Steven Tafzil, Employee

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Hi John,

Sincere thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I hear what you're saying and I don't want to give you the impression that this will never get updated. I just can't give you a date right now.

As a workaround, if you're using Accounts, the "All Accounts" total on the accounts tab should be the same as the "Total" you see on the web. So you can refer to that instead of doing mental math. 
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John Vander Stel

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Thanks for your kind reply, Steven.  

I'm not using accounts, so the account total isn't represented at all in the android app.  There is no workaround for this problem other than to ensure the Android app does indeed sync and then go to copy the account balance on the web.  The requirement to do mental math with the Android app is precisely why it should be considered a high priority fix

Also, the "Total" label on the website is indeed under the Envelopes tab.  It also represents the account balance when there is only one account and "accounts" is not being used.  The "Envelope Total" in the Android app is confusing and dangerous since it does not match the "Total" on the website and does not represent the true account balance.

I will be looking forward to that fix.

Thanks again, Steven.   You guys and gals rock! :-)

John Vander Stel
Grand Rapids, Michigan
(Edited)
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John Vander Stel

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Hi Steven,

I don't want my last reply to go unnoticed.  Please check it out one more time.  There is no workaround!  That is why it is so critical.

Cheers,

John Vander Stel
Grands Rapids, Michigan
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Steven Tafzil, Employee

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Hi John,

I can see how this is a serious issue for you, and I've forwarded your comments to those who set our development priorities. Unfortunately there's nothing else I can say that addresses your specific situation.

Please understand that there are other Android users who have used Goodbudget (then EEBA) since before it had Accounts or even Unallocated Money at all. That's where that "Envelope Total" first appeared, and it's represented the same calculation ever since. You make good arguments for why it should be changed, and doing so will likely help many new users, as it will also likely confuse some of our older users. Navigating this balance makes it a harder decision than it may appear to be. I realize that doesn't help you very much now, but hopefully it helps explain why things are the way they are. 
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John Vander Stel

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Hi Steve,

Thanks for hearing me out on this discrepancy.   This will be the last time I will comment on it in a request to get it fixed. 

I actually brought up this discrepancy before the last update was done on the Android app, but my initial report about this discrepancy was given a low priority from the start.

I, personally, have now completely figured out this discrepancy and it is indeed inconvenient, but I can now choose to completely ignore the erroneous total in the Android app and do the math manually to get the correct total while on the road.

The reason why I have been pushing this request so hard is because I don't want anyone else to have to go through all the problems I faced trying to figure out why my account didn't balance correctly.

It took me a long time to figure out what happened because it threw off all my calculations every day for over a month without any explanation at all and indicated that I had more in my account than I actually had.... all because I finally followed the advice of staff to start using unallocated, as intended.

It is presently confusing to current users _because_ of this discrepancy.  When "unallocated" was actually introduced, this discrepancy popped up _because_ of this old oversight.

When the user is not using accounts, that total MUST be the correct account balance!  There is no other balance given if one is not using accounts.  There simply is no use whatsoever for the erroneous total the Android offers if unallocated has anything in it... positive or negative.  

In this instance, the web page offers the correct total for everyone not using accounts and the Android app offers an erroneous total that can get the user into a lot of trouble!

I just don't want anyone else to have to go through what I went through simply because I followed the advice of staff to use unallocated for it's intended purpose.

I am done pushing to get this discrepancy fix assigned a higher priority and I am not trying to cause any problems for you guys.  You guys actually rock!  I have accepted the low priority this fix has been given and have moved on.

However, I now still feel a personal moral obligation to warn others about this downplayed discrepancy when others attempt to use unallocated, as intended and as recommended by staff.

Sincerely!

John Vander Stel
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi John,

We understand where you're coming from and can see why it would be inconvenient to have to calculate the total including Unallocated.

To be honest with you, this is still a lower priority issue because the majority of our users are using the accounts feature, which is what we recommend now that everyone gets one by default. 

Thank you for your continued support, John! We've really valued your candid feedback for the last couple of years! You're awesome. :)
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Colin Grant

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Steven, does all this apply to the IOS app as well?
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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi Colin,

Yes, the All Envelopes Total on iOS also doesn't include Unallocated. To see your total including Unallocated, you can check the Accounts tab.
(Edited)
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Colin Grant

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Thanks fir that. It does not really cause me a problem as I always budget to zero - therefore there will be nothing in Unallocated to take into account. Any spare cash I have laying around I always move to either my spending category or my buffer category.