How do I use smart accounts?

smart account Smart accounts are special accounts that are used to dynamically group transactions based on criteria you specify. They do not necessarily reflect real-life bank accounts, rather they use customizable rules to compile and display transactions from multiple iBank accounts. Smart accounts work in very similar fashion to smart playlists in iTunes, or smart albums in iPhoto.

To create a smart account:

Choose Account > New Smart Account, or click the plus (+) button below the source list and choose "Add Smart Account." Using the sheet that appears, give the smart account a name, then click the '+' and minus (-) buttons, respectively, to add and remove the rules that will determine which transactions are displayed in the account:

This example will show all transactions in the account named "Checking" that have dates within 2009 and are assigned to either the "Rent" or "Utilities" category.

Smart account rules:

Rules are executed in the order in which they appear. To illustrate, the example above will first look at transactions in the account "Checking," then it will narrow those down to ones that are dated on or after January 1, 2009. Next it will eliminate any dated on or after January 1, 2010. Finally, it will check the transactions that remain to see what categories they are assigned to, and eliminate any that are not assigned to either "Rent" or "Utilities."

When you are done configuring the smart account rules, click "OK" to add the new smart account to the source list. The account will dynamically update to show you all transactions that match the rules you defined when the account was created.

Editing smart accounts:

To edit the rules for an existing smart account, double-click it in the source list, or select it and choose View > Show Popup Inspector. Make any changes necessary, then click "Save." iBank will automatically update the account's register to reflect the changes.

To delete a smart account:

Select the account in the source list and click the minus (-) button below the source list, or choose Edit > Delete. A sheet will appear asking you to confirm that you want to permanently delete the account. The transactions displayed in the smart account will not be affected.

Limitations of smart accounts:

Transactions cannot be created in smart accounts, but you may edit or delete transactions in them. Any changes you make affect the transactions in their original accounts. Smart accounts cannot be used in reports or budgets. They do not show balances in the source list, nor do they affect the totals displayed in the summary pane. Smart accounts do not keep running balances like other accounts - instead, they show the name of the account to which each transaction belongs.

Split transactions are not broken apart for inclusion in smart accounts. If a smart account rule matches one part of a split transaction, the entire transaction will be included. "Transaction memo" and "Amount" rules do not search individual split items, but "Category" rules do.