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Error Checking

Error Checking is now enabled by default on all budgets you create or open in YNAB 4. Error Checking ensures that your Budget is in perfect harmony with your accounts by flagging transactions that need your attention.

The 3 types of alerts are:

  • Reminders - These appear whenever you have one or more transactions that you have not approved after importing, or when a scheduled transaction has been entered into the register for you automatically.
  • Warnings - These appear whenever you have one or more approved transactions in a Budget Account that you haven't categorized.
  • Errors - These appear whenever a transfer from one Budget account to another Budget account has been recorded with a category.

Reminders

Reminders are just that, a nudge for you to follow up and finish what recently happened with either an import or a scheduled transaction that appeared in your account. When an account contains one or more transactions that need to be approved you'll see a small number in a box to the left of the account name in your account list.

Inside an account, you'll see a box just above the register at the top left that looks like this:

When you click on show, it triggers a search that shows you only the transactions that need your approval.

Whenever you approve a transaction while working through a search filter, it will disappear since it no longer meets the search filter. This is perfectly normal. Your transaction is still in your register but is simply hidden from your view until you clear the search.

Scheduled transactions entered automatically by YNAB

Each of these will appear as a single line transaction awaiting your approval. Clicking on the blue information icon between the Payee and the Category name will allow you to approve or delete the transaction.

The text you see in the screenshot above (This needs a category) is covered further down this page under the Warnings section.

Scheduled transactions entered by the software do not indicate real world activity in the account.  YNAB is not connected to your bank or creditors in any way.  You still need to pay your bills.  We recommend that you don't approve the transaction until the Inflow or Outflow that it represents actually takes place and has been verified by you.

Imported transactions from your Bank, Credit Union or Credit Card company

If you haven't previously entered the transaction manually then you'll see the same approve/delete choices as shown above when you click the blue information icon.

However, if you did previously enter the transaction manually, YNAB will show you both transactions in 3 stacked lines:

  1. The top line: How the transaction wil appear in your register after you approve it.
  2. The middle line: What the imported version looks like according to the bank.
  3. The bottom line: What the existing transaction looked like prior to the import.

If you like the way the top line looks, you can click the icon and approve it without any changes. To change any aspect of the transaction, double-click on the top line to edit it. Press the enter key or click the approve button.

Warnings

Warnings are a step up from Reminders and can cause serious problems if not addressed.

Warnings are indicated by a small orange icon next to the account name as well as an orange button above the top of the account register.

A Warning indicates that you have one or more transactions that have been recorded (or approved after an import) but don't have a category assigned to them. Categorization is how inform the Budget about spending and income. Categories are the glue that tie the budget to the accounts. 

 

When you click SHOW you are initiating a search of the transactions with a warning.  To clear the current search click the X in the search field. To cancel a search, click the red and white x next to "Clear Search". 

Errors

Errors are whenever you transfered money from one Budget account to another Budget account and used a category on either of the 2 transactions that are recorded with a transfer.

Errors will be indicated by a small red icon next to the account name as well as a red button at the top of the account register.

The reason that you should never categorize transfer transactions is because you were merely moving the money. Like taking cash out of one pocket and placing into the next, transfers don't need Categories since the money was simply moved around inside your budget and not received or spent.