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vanguard downloaded transactions out to 4-5 decimal points

Pacoinmass
Pacoinmass Member ✭✭
edited November 2018 in Investing (Windows)
I've been putting up with this issue for several years and am now seeking a solution.  I have Vanguard brokerage accounts and 401k accounts that I track in Quicken Premier for Windows 2016.  When I download transactions from Vanguard, many of the transactions come with 4-5 decimal point precision in the Shares field.  This occurs with purchase and with reinvestments in all 8 Vanguard accounts.  Vanguard's statements and transactions available for download through their site however show share balances out to 3 decimal places (XX.YYY for example).  I have been manually rounding up/down transactions to 3 decimal places so that my Quicken accounts match Vanguard's statements.

Note that I do not encounter this issue with other accounts (E-trade, RBC, etc.).  They all download to 3 decimal places.

What could be causing this problem and how can I resolve it?  Thx in advance for the assistance.

Running Quicken Premier for 2016 on Windows 10.

Comments

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2018
    Quicken will download what gets sent via the financial institution.  If it's two decimals, three or six, that's what's sent.

    Since Vanguard sends shares and prices to six decimals, that's what gets downloaded to Quicken.

    And why are you rounding up or down to coincide what's in Quicken?  I would Add Shares or Remove Shares to account for the fractional shares you have mis-entered by only going to three decimals in Quicken.

    That way, all future downloads should be correct out to six decimals...as Vanguard reports.  
  • Pacoinmass
    Pacoinmass Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    B Hawks,

    Thx for the quick reply.  To be clear, I'm rounding
    up/down the incoming downloaded transaction from Vanguard so that my
    Quicken accounts match Vanguard's records (which are only to the 3rd
    decimal place as far as I can tell).

    I hadn't been
    adding/remvoing shares to account for the fractional shares because I
    thought that would affect my cost basis.  Is that not an accurate
    assumption on my part?
  • K.O. (Win-Premier)
    K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2018
    I would recommend not adjusting the share quantity in Quicken (i.e. rounding each transaction to 3 decimal places).  It's likely that vanguard actually tracks your transactions to 6 decimal places but only shows 3 decimal places on their statements/website.  If you round each transaction to 3 decimal places it is likely your totals will be incorrect but you may not realize it.

    For example, if you have 5 transactions for the same security and the share quantity is 1.111200 for each the total of all 5 will be 5.556 but if you round each to 3 decimal places when you enter the total is only going to be 5.555.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2018

    Quicken will download what gets sent via the financial institution.  If it's two decimals, three or six, that's what's sent.

    Since Vanguard sends shares and prices to six decimals, that's what gets downloaded to Quicken.

    And why are you rounding up or down to coincide what's in Quicken?  I would Add Shares or Remove Shares to account for the fractional shares you have mis-entered by only going to three decimals in Quicken.

    That way, all future downloads should be correct out to six decimals...as Vanguard reports.  

    You should be able to confirm presence of 6 decimal point values in the downloaded data by to Help/Log Files. Open the OFX log file, and select "Save AS". Save the file somewhere you can find it easily. 
    Now open the file in Notepad (should be the default app for .txt files). pick one of the transactions that have 6 decimals in quicken. Search for that entire number (whole part and decimals in notepad. If you find it, you will see that Vanguard is sending 6 decimals. Quicken just imports whatever number of decimals are sent from Vanguard.
    The OFX file is downloaded from Vanguard to
    quicken servers verified for syntax and, and then sent from Quicken servers back to your Quicken application.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    Paco,

    I do not have the problem you are seeing with Vanguard downloads, either with legacy mutual fund only accounts or brokerage accounts. Downloads via Direct Connect always come with 3 decimal places in the share quantity and always reconcile with the downloaded share balance.

    The share price for reinvestments has 6 decimal places however.

    Are you using a different download method perhaps?
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Pacoinmass
    Pacoinmass Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018

    Paco,

    I do not have the problem you are seeing with Vanguard downloads, either with legacy mutual fund only accounts or brokerage accounts. Downloads via Direct Connect always come with 3 decimal places in the share quantity and always reconcile with the downloaded share balance.

    The share price for reinvestments has 6 decimal places however.

    Are you using a different download method perhaps?

    Jim,

    Thx.  I was incorrect about which accounts this occurs in....it's in my employer-sponsored 401k and deferred comp accounts at Vanguard.  My personal accounts at Vanguard come over with 3 decimal places in the share quantity and reconcile without me having to make changes to the downloaded share amounts.  Agree that the share prices can go out to 6 decimal places.

    I download all transactions for both my personal and employer-sponsored accounts through Direct Connect (as I do for accounts at other financial firms).
  • Pacoinmass
    Pacoinmass Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018

    I would recommend not adjusting the share quantity in Quicken (i.e. rounding each transaction to 3 decimal places).  It's likely that vanguard actually tracks your transactions to 6 decimal places but only shows 3 decimal places on their statements/website.  If you round each transaction to 3 decimal places it is likely your totals will be incorrect but you may not realize it.

    For example, if you have 5 transactions for the same security and the share quantity is 1.111200 for each the total of all 5 will be 5.556 but if you round each to 3 decimal places when you enter the total is only going to be 5.555.

    K.O.,

    I appreciate the advice re: not to adjust the share quantities.  What's your recommendation now that I've been doing so for the past few years?  Should I simply accept the downloads next time and let Quicken create one-time adjustments for each fund?
  • K.O. (Win-Premier)
    K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    I would recommend not adjusting the share quantity in Quicken (i.e. rounding each transaction to 3 decimal places).  It's likely that vanguard actually tracks your transactions to 6 decimal places but only shows 3 decimal places on their statements/website.  If you round each transaction to 3 decimal places it is likely your totals will be incorrect but you may not realize it.

    For example, if you have 5 transactions for the same security and the share quantity is 1.111200 for each the total of all 5 will be 5.556 but if you round each to 3 decimal places when you enter the total is only going to be 5.555.

    Since it's in a retirement account I do not believe the actual cost basis matters.  You just pay taxes on everything you take out.  So if it were me and you want to get it back in balance you need to contact Vanguard and find out what the exact share count is and then I'd just add/remove the difference between what they show and what you have in Quicken.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    I would recommend not adjusting the share quantity in Quicken (i.e. rounding each transaction to 3 decimal places).  It's likely that vanguard actually tracks your transactions to 6 decimal places but only shows 3 decimal places on their statements/website.  If you round each transaction to 3 decimal places it is likely your totals will be incorrect but you may not realize it.

    For example, if you have 5 transactions for the same security and the share quantity is 1.111200 for each the total of all 5 will be 5.556 but if you round each to 3 decimal places when you enter the total is only going to be 5.555.

    @pacoinmass:  In contrast to KO, I probably would continue to change to three-decimal precision.  I would also do the double check with Vanguard.  It is curious that they are treating your 401k accounts that much different than personal accounts.  

    I primarily offer this as a message that what you choose can be personal choice.  (and I do respect KO's expertise on these matters).
  • Pacoinmass
    Pacoinmass Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Thx to everyone for their input.  Checked with Vanguard who told me that for my employer's 401k I should track dollar value of the account (and funds) not the actual shares even though the statements show share amounts out to 3 decimal places.  So moving forward I will simply accept the transactions as they are and do adjustments to bring them into line with the statements and not worry about trying to track exact cost basis.
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