Transaction Report - Transfers by Account

The Mac version of Quicken Transaction Report is not grouping transfers
(at the end of the report) by account. The Windows version does provide this breakout. I make payments to mortgages, loans, cc's and other ACCOUNTS, and I need to get details and subtotals of what was transferred to each of these accounts. The report lumps all transfers under a single 'Transfers' heading. Will the Mac version be updated to do this? How do I handle it now?

Best Answer

Answers

  • J B ThomsonJ B Thomson Member ✭✭
    A number of simple reports have broken since the QMAC 5.13.0 release. The reason seems to have its roots in Transfers which I cannot get to appear anywhere. In my bank accounts, I use the Category "CC_Payment" with a Transfer To [whatever Credit Card Account]. It used to be trivial to generate a specific report "CC Payments This Month" selecting Category=CC_Payment and Date=This Month. Now, that style report is always blank "There were no transactions for the filter settings." and no place to even select display of transfers. I called support today, and the CSR assured me that "if it's a transfer its not money out". What? It certainly is money out if I'm looking at a single account. Wish I could go back.
  • J B ThomsonJ B Thomson Member ✭✭
    The handling of the relationship between the Category and Transfer fields in a transaction record has definitely changed. I manually enter all my transactions and for payments to Credit Card accounts, I categorize them as "CC_Payment" and enter the CC Account Name in the Transfer field in that sequence which makes sense to me because I am paying a bill to the credit card company. There is no reason that in a transaction report on my checking account, such records should NOT appear as expenses but that is the case as of 5.13.0 where, because of the Transfer account, the transaction is omitted. Worse, it doesn't show up anywhere!

    If you enter a transaction manually with Payee=Whatever, Transfer=Other_Account, Amount, then Quicken populates the Category field with "Transfer:[Other_Account]". You cannot then go back and change the Category to anything else without erasing the Transfer field which mean to me that the notation "Transfer[ ... ]" is clearly recognized as special in the Category field. This seemed enormously redundant to me when Quicken started doing this years ago and made no sense, but OK, let's consider that a "pure" transfer.

    IMO, if the Transfer field is populated with a valid Account Name, then the Category field should simply be blank (which is NOT considered "Undefined", just blank or Empty). User should absolutely have the option to Categorize such a transaction as, for example, a "CC_Payment" and that should OVERRIDE the fact that the Transfer field is populated with an Account Name.

    Many of my reports have now become useless (see previous post) because of the way the handling of Transfers has changed. Perhaps some day the Report Generator will handle them reasonably. IMO, currently it's a very crude report system that can't even do simple things properly.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are two ways Transfer shows up in the Category field. If you just use the generic category Transfer, it could signify that you're transferring money to some place that you do not track as an account in Quicken. For all transfer to accounts within Quicken, you should user the Transfer field to specify the receiving account; this will show up in the Category field as "Transfer:[Account Name]" (and alternatively, you could type this in the Category field if you don't choose to show the Transfer field in your register for space reasons).  

    Up until the version 5.13 release, Quicken Mac treated transfers in the proper accounting sense that they are neither income nor expense, and instead a transfer of funds, such as from your checking account (an asset) to a credit card account (a liability). Because such a transaction is not an expense, Quicken properly excluded it from income/expense-type reports. And that's why Quicken doesn't allow you to put an expense category on a transfer, because a transaction should;'t be able to be a funds transfer and an expense at the same time.

    In version 5.13, they made the first move towards allowing users to create reports on a cash flow basis instead of income/expense basis. A transfer is a cash flow transaction, so selecting this option will include your transfers. How do you do this? Create Summary Report or Create Comparison Report have a new Advanced tab in the Customize window, and there you can clearly see the choice or reporting by cash flow or income/expense.

    There's a gotcha that might be tripping you up: Create Transaction Report does not yet have this new Advanced tab, so you can't make the selection for a Transaction detail report organized by cash flow. I don;'t know why they chose to release 5.13 with Cash Flow possible for some reports and not others, but the product manager said it would be coming to Transaction reports in a future release. As a result of this puzzling decision to release this partially-implemented feature, you may find that a Summary report and Transaction report with the same criteria will have different bottom lines. I've notice, for instance, that the Summary report includes Realized Gain/Loss in investment income, but the Transaction report does not, resulting in different totals. Hopefully it won't be too long before they make all the new reports work the same way.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • J B ThomsonJ B Thomson Member ✭✭
    > @jacobs said:
    >
    > Up until the version 5.13 release, Quicken Mac treated transfers in the proper accounting sense that they are neither income nor expense, and instead a transfer of funds, such as from your checking account (an asset) to a credit card account (a liability).
    >
    > Because such a transaction is not an expense, Quicken properly excluded it from income/expense-type reports. And that's why Quicken doesn't allow you to put an expense category on a transfer, because a transaction should;'t be able to be a funds transfer and an expense at the same time.
    >

    I understand and agree with your first sentence in the above post and it is valid when one's point of view is one's entire set of accounts. (Or, I suppose, anytime if you are an accountant. I'm an engineer.)

    However, I don't agree with the second sentence: Quicken certainly does allow me to put an expense category on transactions even in the latest 5.13.1 release and it certainly is an expense when one's point of view is one's cash accounts only. Mac 5.13.x simply ignores the expense category now (in Reports, not in Register searches) whereas it used to recognize it in Reports up to 2 days ago. The same transaction is also income when the point of view is one's credit card accounts but you can't generate a transaction report that shows that either.

    The Point of View concept is very important when talking about how transactions are processed in reports. It seems to me that the most recent changes don't account for this but rather assume that the pure accounting state that a transfer is neither an expense nor income is always the case.

    In any case, it is very clearly handled differently now than it used to be and the developers certainly left the Report Generator in a half vast state as of this release.

    The only thing I can see if I want to continue on the path I have chosen is to forego the use of Transfers and double post everything. Seems absurd.

    I use Quicken exclusively to manage my cash accounts and keep track of CC transactions. I no longer use it to track investments, my financial advisors get paid for that. I need flexible reporting and searching of my records so that I can look at things the way I want to look at things. I also use Quicken as a database of dated events and notes with a couple of Categories that never have any Amounts associated with them and I never include in any reports.

    If it ever happens that Quicken actually inhibits me from putting an expense category on my CC Payments, Quicken will no longer be useful to me. I've been using Quicken for Mac in various flavors for 25 years
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The payment of a credit card bill is never an expense, unless you have not recorded any of the transactions that comprise that bill. It mar feel like an expense, because it's money coming out of your pocket, but the expenses occurred when the credit card transactions were made; the payment is a transfer of an asset to pay off a liability.

    Since you have a separate Quicken account for your credit card, I've been assuming you enter or download your individual transactions in that account. Is that right? If so, your expenses are properly recorded and categorized.

    If I understand correctly, you want a report that shows your transfers from checking account(s) to credit card accounts in the past month. So try this:

    • Create Summary Report
    • Row-Category
    • Column=Time
    • Time Interval=None
    • Continue to Customize
    • Date Range= Last Month
    • Accounts Tab
    •    Include only transactions from selected accounts
    •    Click Clear all, then click your checking account(s) and/or your credit card account(s)
    • Advanced Tab
    •   Organization=Cash Flow
    •   Transfers=Include all transfers
    • OK

    This should produce a report which shows first Income, then Expenses, and third Transfers (first all transfers from accounts, then all transfers to accounts).

    Note that this doesn't require any category for transfers. (I never categorize transfers.)

    Does this give you the report of transfers you're looking for?

    As noted previously, this works for Summary and Comparison reports currently; we have to wait for another update to gain the cash flow functionality for Transaction detail reports. However, in the Summary report described above, you can click on the amount of any Transfer line and Quicken will open a window to drill down to show the actual detail transaction(s) which comprise that transfer total amount.






    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • J B ThomsonJ B Thomson Member ✭✭
    > @jacobs said:
    >
    > Since you have a separate Quicken account for your credit card, I've been assuming you enter or download your individual transactions in that account. Is that right? If so, your expenses are properly recorded and categorized.
    >

    YES, that is correct. I manually enter all my CC transactions so I have everything properly recorded.

    > If I understand correctly, you want a report that shows your transfers from checking account(s) to credit card accounts in the past month. So try this:
    >
    > * Create Summary Report
    > * Row-Category
    > * Column=Time
    > * Time Interval=None
    > * Continue to Customize
    > * Date Range= Last Month
    > * Accounts Tab
    > *    Include only transactions from selected accounts
    > *    Click Clear all, then click your checking account(s) and/or your credit card account(s)
    > * Advanced Tab
    > *   Organization=Cash Flow
    > *   Transfers=Include all transfers
    > * OK
    >
    > This should produce a report which shows first Income, then Expenses, and third Transfers (first all transfers from accounts, then all transfers to accounts).
    >
    > Note that this doesn't require any category for transfers. (I never categorize transfers.)
    >
    > Does this give you the report of transfers you're looking for?
    >

    YES, it does, however in my simplified scheme of selecting just CC_Payments (the expense category on all my Transfers to CC Accounts) I got JUST the transfers for CC_Payments. With your suggested Summary Report, I also get all the other transactions and Transfer on the various checking accounts which is fine but not exactly what I used to have. Thank you for taking the time to supply the details above for generating a Summary Report. I would likely have never tripped over this by myself.

    So, not completely satisfied, I beat on it a little more and was able to generate a report of just TRANSFERS which is nearly equivalent to my old "CC Payments This Month" report with slightly different labels:

    Create Summary Report
    Row=Category
    Column=Time
    Time Interval=None
    Continue to Customize
    Date Range= This Month
    Accounts Tab
    Include only transactions from selected accounts
    Click Clear all, then click your checking account(s) and/or your credit card account(s)
    Categories Tab
    Include only transactions from selected categories.
    Click on Clear All and don't bother to check ANY Categories
    Advanced Tab
    Organization=Cash Flow
    Transfers=Include all transfers
    OK

    Voilà : A list of just the transfers which are OUTFLOWS. (I assume that if there were incoming transfers during the month they would have appeared as well.)

    If, on the Advanced Tab, you change the Organization=Income & Expense, then the list is labelled simply TRANSFERS with no INCOME line or Income details and no EXPENSES line or Expense details.

    Another change is that since this is a Summary Report, one does not see the Account from which the transfer was made so you cannot immediately tell which Account paid each CC bill. Perhaps when the Advanced Tab makes it to other report types, that will be possible.

    I did note that if you go back and change anything on the Categories Tab, any previous changes you may have made on the Advanced Tab are lost and the Advanced Tab options are reset to defaults.

    Thanks for your help, @jacobs . Let's put it to bed. I've spent way too much time on this already.
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