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I am reviewing my GnuCash books. I see that back in January, my bookkeeper typed the wrong payee name when she entered a transaction. When I try to correct the payee name, I get this message:

Change transaction containing a reconciled split?

The transaction you are about to change contains reconciled splits in the following accounts:

...

Are you sure you want to continue with this change?

I don't understand the implications. Is GnuCash warning me that it will "unreconcile" the transaction if I proceed? If so, why? (Unreconciling a transaction due to a name correction seems very inappropriate.) If the warning doesn't mean that GnuCash will unreconcile the transaction, what does it mean?

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The purpose of Reconciliation is to confirm that your record of relevant transactions (in GnuCash) is consistent with your bank's record of the same set of transactions. If you've previously marked a transaction as Reconciled, you've indicated that the numeric aspects of the transaction agree with your bank's record.

GnuCash is warning you that if you edit a transaction to change the amount of the transaction then it will no longer agree with your bank's record. However, the warning is applied generally to any edit to a reconciled transaction, not just the amounts.

In the case that you specified, you can safely make a correction to the payee name (without changing the amount) and your records will still match the bank's records. When GnuCash provides the warning, you should indicate that you want to continue with the change. The transaction will be marked as "Unreconciled", but you can correct this the next time that you perform a reconciliation process for that GnuCash account.

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I know from experience that it unreconciles the transaction. I remember that I cleaned up the problem a few times in the past, but I don't remember how. I'm pretty sure that merely marking the transaction as reconciled again isn't allowed. I hope that someone will give clear and simple instructions, as I am now wanting to correct a mistyped check number in a reconciled transaction.

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