Resolving Missing Cost Basis (Placeholders) in Quicken for Mac


When the total number of shares for a security listed in the downloaded investing transactions is not equal to the total number of shares of that security represented by the investing register in an account, then the security is called as an out-of-balance security.

It may happen because many financial institutions restrict the data to be downloaded for the past 90 days (or in some cases, past 1 year) only. So if you have purchased a security prior to that time, then that transaction is not downloaded and listed in the investing register.

Next Steps

You'll want to read about how to resolve out-of-bound securities by adding estimates, by adding cost basis, or by adding explicit transactions by selecting appropriate transaction type that is required to resolve the out-of-bound security and a date earlier than the cost basis transaction.

Resolving older (out-of-bound) securities and missing cost basis

When your transactions in an investing account consist of any out-of-bound securities (securities that Quicken knows you hold based on your downloaded data, but which have missing transactions -- such as old transactions not provided by your financial institution), Quicken automatically adds placeholder transactions for such transactions that account for the holding (number of shares, for example) but which do not have cost basis information.

In order to get correct tax projections and portfolio value, you need to fix these cost basis transactions. You can resolve placeholder entries with one transaction or manually enter your entire history with that security. When the number of shares you account for is equal to the number of shares listed in the cost-basis entry, it is completely resolved. Whereas when the number of shares you account for is less than the number of shares listed in the cost-basis entry, it is partially resolved.

Adding Estimates

If you are not using Quicken for tax purpose and have no time to trace the past transactions for the security, you can add estimates. An estimate gives you a rough idea about the gain on that particular security. However, if you are using Quicken for tax purpose, you should add a transaction to resolve out-of-bound security.

To add an estimate

  1. Double-click the placeholder entry (or single click the Add Cost link).
  2. Click the Add Guesstimate button.
  3. A guesstimate sheet appears. Based on the discrepancy in the number of shares, you can enter Average Price/Share or Cost Basis.
  4. Click Save to add your estimate.

Adding Cost Basis

If you are using Quicken for tax purposes, you should add the actual transaction to resolve the out-of-balance entry. Adding an actual transaction is required to accurate tax reporting and to get the correct long and short-term gain and other implications.

To add a cost basis

  1. Double-click the placeholder entry (or single click the Add Cost link).
  2. Click the Add Transactions button.
  3. The Add Transactions sheet appears displaying the discrepancy in the number of shares. Select the type of transactions you need to enter from the drop-down list.
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      Note: The transaction date should be earlier than the cost basis transaction date.
  4. Enter the details appropriate to the transaction type and click Save.
  5. Repeat these steps until you've filled in all the missing transactions and the Shares unaccounted for in Quicken value equals zero
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      Note: If the security had splits, reverse splits, stock dividends or over events that impact the total share count for the security, you'll need to enter those transactions in addition to the buy and/or sell transactions.

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