How often does YNAB sync, and how can you tell if it happened or not?

When you have bank import syncing set up, how often does YNAB contact the bank and do a sync?  Just when you open YNAB in the browser, or more often during an open session?  Is there some indication that the sync has occurred?  It seems that I can only figure this out if I open the 'connect bank' window and see if each account is reporting a problem.

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  • Thanks for the tips, everyone. Here's what I tried. I don't leave YNAB open, but I usually stay logged-in. So I opened YNAB; on  the two active accounts, it showed last updates "a day ago." Refresh, no change. Log-out, one account showed up-dated "a minute ago" and the other still "a day ago." Let it sit for a few minutes and the later account finally showed updated "a few seconds ago."

    My conclusion is that with just some activity in the app, even a refresh, it just takes time. How much? I don't know, and YNAB apparently won't say. With a logout and a login, it still takes time, but less.

    This is knowable. But we're not being told.

    YNAB, why are you making us guess? Why can't you just be upfront and honest and tell us?

    Like 2
  • I've read the whole thread, and I'm about a month into using YNAB. The timing of the mass linked account update in the "wee hours" of the morning is a weakness. When this mass update happens, my bank hasn't yet posted all of the transactions from the day before. When I log in to YNAB each morning, there are no new transactions to import, even though my bank shows them as posted.  And yes, some mornings if I wait 5-10 minutes, the transactions appear. However, most nights I do a quick review of my budget right before bed, which triggers an import attempt, and when I wake up 6-7 hours later it's too soon for it to attempt another import (<8 hrs). If the nightly mass update were later in the morning, transactions would always be available when I check in the morning.

    So, if I could request a new feature, it would be the option to configure the time at which our nightly automatic update occurs. Whenever it's currently configured to happen, it's always too early for my bank.

    Like 1
      • Beanorama
      • beanorama
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Benjamin Ray To update since my last, I am finding that YNAB will import after I login. It may take awhile, but it will. I'm not experiencing any restriction or limitation based on it having been too since the last import. I'm also not experiencing YNAB importing overnight. Maybe it will, but I just don't see it. I'm able to confirm YNAB's activity on the website of one of my financial institutions that allows me to see YNAB accessing my account. It can be as often as several times a day if I'm active. My experience is that YNAB's importing is triggered by my activity, especially logins, though there is a delay.

      The delay varies significantly by bank. Chase is almost always immediate. US Bank can take what seems to be more than an hour at times. I've not been able to correlate this behavior to YNAB's status page (https://status.youneedabudget.com/), other than to note that Chase's connection success percentage always seems to be higher than US Bank's.

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      • Benjamin Ray
      • Forest_Green_Horn.2
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Beanorama The accounts haven't updated in 14 hours, according to the info that pops up when I hover over the checkmark to the right of each account. I've logged out and back in again repeatedly over the last few hours thinking that I'll trigger an update. Not happening. So it seems like I'm having an issue above and beyond the timing of the overnight data import.

      When an update IS triggered by my logging in (not today), it's usually less than 5 min before both accounts list new transactions to import.

      I know I can get it to work by removing the connection completely, but how many times a week should we be expected to do that?

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      • Beanorama
      • beanorama
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Benjamin Ray I'd put that issue to support. Yes, when I first login, most accounts often say hours, sometimes dozens, and often "updated one day ago." A few minutes later (maybe an hour for US Bank), and I'm usually good. But more than that I couldn't handle.

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      • Benjamin Ray
      • Forest_Green_Horn.2
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Beanorama I sent support an email. Transactions imported shortly after (about 14 hours from last import).

      I also submitted a feature request to allow us to schedule the time at which the automatic overnight refresh occurs. It's simply too early for my bank, it seems, and I'm sure I'm not the only one given the wide range of time zones among YNAB users.

      Like
    • Hi Benjamin Ray !

      I offered a bit of an explanation on the Last Updated section for accounts in a different thread on the forum. Since you wrote into support, they can take a closer look at your accounts to see if that's the issue or if there's another error your accounts are running into. :)

      I'm not sure if setting the time for the refresh individually is possible, since it takes place on such a large scale, but thank you for submitting that feature request for further consideration!

      Like
  • I'm confused as to how this thread has lasted for over a year without a change...? I've read  Faness 's same replies to everyone... and all I seem to be reading is, we're sorry, but if you don't like it you can do it manually. This is a paid service. There are free apps that can do this, why can't a subscription one do it? I came to this service because it was automated and gave me a heads-up/reminders when things were happening in my account. You literally advertise to people who've tried the spreadsheet several times and gave it up... People give up spreadsheets because manually entering everything is a total drag. Has this concern actually been voiced to the developers and the company has said, No, that's not going to happen? Can someone shed light on why this issue continues a year later? A little transparency would go a long way here, whereas the repeated responses are doing a wonderful job of pushing people away. 

    Why not show pending? If it takes the bank a day or two to clear, then you guys another day to update, I'm looking at 2 to 3 days AFTER a purchase before it is reflected in my budget. I'm working 3 days in the past, which doesn't seem like a very efficient way to do it. I don't want to, say, get paid today, but not be able to put that in my budget until three days from now because I'm finally able to log the $3 coffee I bought 3 days ago.  Does that make sense to anyone else? and please don't tell me to download info and manually upload that, or manually enter everything. That is what I would expect from a glorified spreadsheet, not a budgeting app. The thought of being a part-time accountant gives me anxiety -- hence me spending enough time reading and posting on this thread to more than account for the time it would take me to manually enter my discrepancies. 

    Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Keyster this is clearly the wrong app for you. Vote with your wallet. Ynab  is not what you are looking for.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Keyster You might see if you can get on the pending beta. They added it for me so at least I can see pending transactions and then enter in the ones I want myself.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Herman What's wrong with him voicing his complaints? They are valid. Why can't he ask to improve something that clearly needs improvement? What app do you suggest for him that does what YNAB does with better direct importing?

      Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone he can complain all he wants. I just offered many opinion that Ynab will not meet his needs and said he should vote with the only thing that matters. I have no opinion on what app would be better but by his own comment, excel would be as good. 

      Like
      • Keyster
      • Keyster
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone aha! Light in the tunnel. Did you download the beta or did you have to contact them? 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Keyster I contacted YNAB through the email support system and they hooked me up. Good luck!

      I am puzzled why it's taking so long to finish the feature and incorporate it into the tool for everybody. I was told it was due to the difficulty in programming the ability to enter distinct pending transactions into one's budget. (Currently, I have to do this manually.) I'm sure it's not an easy thing to program but certainly not an impossible task.

      Like 1
    • Hi Keyster !

      At the moment, we haven't decided to move forward with the Pending Transactions feature. As Superbone mentioned, we still have some work to do to make the feature more beneficial if we're to release it to everyone. Since we're currently at a bit of an impasse, we aren't including additional beta testers at this time. We plan to continue to look into this option, but we'll need a bit more time.

      Like
  • PLEASE BE AWARE! EXPENSIVE GLITCH.  I just stumbled across a really damaging bug related to sync.  YNAB says you can "start over" and begin a new budget, but that you can always go back and look at the old budget and associated transactions. I followed the YNAB guidance and it all seemed fine.  I occasionally looked back at the old budget just to get some information.

    However, it turns out that *if* YNAB syncs when you are looking at the old budget - something that happens in the background - those transactions ARE NOT updated when you move to the current (new) budget. YNAB does not tell you this! Our family relied on the budget figures in YNAB - including the CC balance. But it was wrong. The result is that our family budget was completely out of whack, and we ended up incurring debt, interest charges, that we now need to figure out how to fix. 

    At first, I thought that maybe there was some random sync error. But I reproduced the glitch.  

    I invested a lot of time in the "YNAB way" but this is just unacceptable.  How on earth didn't you think of this? 

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    • Hi Violet Dragon ! I'm so sorry to hear you're having trouble here! I wanted to double check if you're seeing problems with syncing between the web and mobile app, or if transactions aren't importing from your financial institution?

      When you do a Fresh Start, your connections are carried over and you will see new transactions in both budgets, as long as the link remains intact. If there is a connection issue with your bank, or you remove/unlink the connection, you won't see new transactions import. Does that sound like the case? Can you let me know the financial institution that credit card is with? I'm happy to look closer at your connection, so we can get to the bottom of this!

      Like
  • No. That's not the issue. The connections work fine.... Imagine that I have two accounts "old" and "new".  All of my transactions are there, but they are *not* in both accounts. They are scattered across them. When I am looking at my old account, and if YNAB syncs at that time, it pulls all the transactions properly onto that account. However, when I go back to new, it will only pulls some of the transactions - it misses some that had already been synced to the old account. This problem works both ways - new to old, old to new. It manifests across my accounts - so it is not a problem with, for example, a specific bank - including my credit union and Amazon Visa.  Because we didn't catch this - why would we - and relied on the budget and credit card figures that Ynab provided, our budget is a mess. And we now have credit card debt again. I mention this last point to try to emphasize that this problem is not trivial. 

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    • Violet Dragon Is that two YNAB accounts in your budget, for one real life account? Or are you switching between the old and new budget?

      It looks like two things are going on here—there is an ongoing incident with one of your financial institutions (Discover), and transactions aren't importing. Our import partner is working on resolving the issue! I'd also like to look closer at the credit union connection.

      I'm sorry you're frustrated. We'll dig in and figure out what's going on! I've reached out via email, so we can gather more details. 

      Like
    • Nicole When I go back - only did this a couple of times - to look at my old budget the problem occurs. When I am looking at my old budget, and if YNAB syncs at that time, it pulls all the transactions properly onto that (old) budget. However, when I go back to my new budget, YNAB  only pulls *some* of the transactions into the new/current budget - it misses some that had already been synced to the old account. This problem works both ways - new to old, old to new. It manifests across my accounts - so it is not a problem with, for example, a specific bank.  The problem is not accounts, its an issue across budgets. It is not an issue with Discover (Sadly I gave up on using the card because of the spat between YNAB and that company).  It happens for both my credit union checking and amazon visa.   I have deleted my old budget to avoid the problem. However, the frustration at having a month of budget blown - and inadvertently acquiring new credit card debt because some of my transactions were imported into the old budget but not the new budget, was very frustrating. I feel that Ynab should alter its guidance - right now the official guidance is that we can easily go back and forth between new and old budgets. That is incorrect.  I know I sound critical, but this is a fundamental issue - family budgets. To be clear, I really like the YNAB concept and the way it manages spending. But the syncing issues have been a continual source of frustration. This is only the most recent.  We have decided to give it another two months.  I really hope this all gets sorted out. 

      Like
    • Hi Violet Dragon !

      I hope you don't mind me jumping in here! When you create a new budget, we suggest disconnecting your accounts in the old budget. That should keep your accounts only linked in one budget to cut down on importing issues. Since you deleted that old budget, you shouldn't see any more issues where transactions import into one budget but not the other. If you notice any transactions that are missing or being skipped, please let us know and we can have our import partner take a closer look! 

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    • Faness Yes, thank you. Why on earth isn't that guidance located on this page? : https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/200-making-a-fresh-start - this is where YNAB describes to users how to do a fresh start and the instructions that I followed. Why would that "suggestion" - apparently a known issue - not be part of this guidance? Please let others know before they encounter the same problem. :-)

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    • Violet Dragon Thanks for pointing this out! I've passed this along to the rest of the team to have updated! :)

      Like
  • I agree that users should be able to request that their transactions be imported on demand. Currently, when I click 'import' at the top of the page I'm given the message 'There are no transactions to import' when there actually are based off my credit card account. 

    Budgeting for me tends to be a ritual where I sit down at a certain time on a certain day to account for my transactions from the week and budget. It would be helpful to be able to sync all my accounts so that I have a true snapshot of my spending to work from, rather than having to enter the unsynced transactions manually or wait for YNAB to update at its set time. That's what I already expect when I link my accounts; I'm opting not to have to do manual entry. Thanks!

    Like
    • Hi Blue Piccolo ! We check for newly cleared transactions every night during a nightly refresh, and it also checks again when you log in to the web app, if it has been more than 8 hours since your last import.

      There is a time restriction placed to avoid knocking on a bank's door one too many times, triggering their security alerts, and getting you locked out of your account. Nobody want's that!

      A number of users have brought up the idea of a button, but it's tricky to force a single connection (or a few connections) in a budget to sync on demand because of that. We're looking into alternatives for other improvements with direct import, to smooth out the process. If you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request to let our team know you'd like to see that?

      Like
    • Nicole What's the functionality of the current 'Import' button at the top then?

      Is putting a limit on the number of times an individual can make a request and/or doing away with some of the automatic requests a possibility? Putting it bluntly, from my individual practices, I see every request to the bank for more transaction data over the course of a week as a waste until  the one time on Sundays I'm ready to click 'Import', because that's when I do my budgeting.

      Sure, happy to fill out the form.

      Like
    • Hi Blue Piccolo !

      Sorry for the delayed response here! The Import button shows the transactions that have been pulled since the last check on the backend. Currently, those checks are scheduled to happen automatically (every morning and every time you log in if it's been more than 8 hours since the last check). Currently, there isn't a way to adjust the timing for a single account but submitting a feature request will put the option on our Product Team's radar! Thank you for taking the time to submit one! :)

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  • I would guess that the limitation imposed on the number of account data imports for linked accounts is the result of a cost consideration on the part of YNAB and its Direct Import Partner, meaning that the Partner agreement is for a fixed number of imports per day for $XX dollars (I'm sure the partner does not do it for free.). That would explain the seeming reluctance to offer YNAB customers more imports per day or importing on demand. In my mind that is not a fault because YNAB obviously wants to sell it's product competitively and an increase in the cost of direct imports would necessitate a cost increase passed on to customers.  But like an earlier comment on this or another thread, I would pay extra for the ability to do direct importing of data.  Perhaps YNAB can offer their product on a tiered rate where a higher priced product is offered with direct importing.

    Like 1
    • Hi MV Bear !

      Thank you for weighing in here! Currently, that daily limit is set for security protocols. If a connection is checked too fast or too often, it's flagged as suspicious activity and can cause an account to be locked. In the past, we checked every 12 hours, but we were able to change the frequency to every 8 hours a while back. Since we only import cleared transactions, an import schedule more frequently than every 8 hours is unlikely to pull in more transactions - most banks only clear transactions once or twice a day (some less frequently than that).

      We'll continue to look into ways to improve direct import. If you have any ideas you'd like to pass along to our Product Team, please don't hesitate to submit a Feature Request. :)

      Like
  • We're closing out Bank Importing threads in the forum to make sure these issues are better resolved.

    Replies in this thread have been turned off, but if you’re having trouble with your bank, please fill out this form and our Direct Import team will help you get things back up and running!

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