Why does Quicken treat transfers between accounts as income and expense in reports?

This is very annoying as I have to constantly create tags such as "not income" or "not expense" in order to exclude these transfers from Income and Expense reports.

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Quicken has the ability to show transfers between Accounts as "income" and "expense" and that ability is very useful in certain situations.  If you don't want to see transfers into or out of Accounts on any kind of "income and expense" type report you need to customize the report (gear wheel in upper right hand corner) and then either
    1. Go to the "Advanced" tab and make sure that "Exclude all" is selected next to "Transfers" on that page (if you don't want to see any transfers) or
    2. Go to the "Categories" tab and de-select the Accounts where you don't want to see transfers listed as a form of "income" or "expense" where you want to see some, but not all, transfers reported as income or expense.
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    Ok, thanks. Looks like I'll have to continue to use tags since none of those options do exactly what I want.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Those two options allow you to completely exclude transfers or to include some transfers but not others.
    What possibly could you want that isn't accommodated?

  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    When I exclude all transfers it doesn't include dividend income that is being transferred to the account. I can't figure out how to include dividends in this case. If I check to include the account that is paying dividends, it doesn't include the dividends in the report, but if I uncheck the account (Vanguard), the dividends show up as income (but only if I don't choose to exclude all transfers). So I am confused on how to show some transfers as income and some as not income. I've been playing around with the various options and I can't get it to display how I want without using tags. What I wrote probably does not make any sense since I am confused by all the various options.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    "When I exclude all transfers it doesn't include dividend income that is being transferred to the account."
    Well ordinarily, a transfer doesn't count as income because the dividend is the income; a transfer simply moves it from one pocket - the brokerage Account maybe - to a different pocket - the checking Account.  So if we have only two Accounts in Quicken, the investment Account and the checking Account, say, then ordinarily we'd have both Accounts checked under "Accounts" as feeding information to the report and would select "Exclude all" transfers.  The dividend income would show up as real "income" whether it was transferred to checking or not.
    Now let's say we have three Accounts in Quicken, the checking Account, the regular brokerage Account and an IRA Account into which we are making contributions and we don't want the income arising in the IRA being counted as "income" on a report - a report that's focused on real, "spendable right now" income.  In that case the IRA Account would not be checked under the Accounts tab - activity inside the Account doesn't feed the report - but the IRA Account would be checked under the Categories tab, and under the Advanced tab the "Exclude internal" could be checked.  That way the contributions made to the IRA, that result in a reduction of "spendable right now" money, would show up under expenses as "To IRA Account".
    Make sure you're using the "Categories" and "Accounts" tabs correctly.  An Account that's checked under the Accounts tab will feed internal information to the report while an unchecked Account won't.  An Account that's checked under the Categories tab will have transfers appear as a line item ("Category") as a "From" or "To" line item where unchecked Accounts won't.
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    That makes sense, but why is this happening: When I include my Vanguard investment account under Accounts and also under Categories, the dividend income from the Vanguard account is removed from the report, but if I remove the Vanguard account from Accounts (while still leaving it checked under Categories), the dividend income shows up in the report. Isn't this the opposite of what should be happening?
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Since I can't see exactly how you have things set up I can't comment on precisely what you're seeing, but if I take one of my customized and saved reports, (one that omits all retirement Accounts under the Accounts tab but includes a couple of them under the Categories tab), and then simply add one of my brokerage Accounts, (included under the Accounts tab), as a Category, transfers out of that Account and into that Account to my checking Account are shown as a form of "income" and "expense", respectively. in the report, as is the income generated inside the Account  So I'm not seeing what you're reporting.

    What is it that you want to see with respect to this particular Vanguard Account?  If it's an after-tax Account and you want to see the income included in a report, (what report?), then it seems like you've achieved that by simply having the Vanguard Account ticked under the Accounts tab.  If it's some sort of deferred-tax Account and you don't want to see the dividends included as income but you do want to see the transfers of cash out of that Account as a form of income then you don't have that Account ticked under the Accounts tab but you do have it ticked under the Categories tab.  (Depending on "timing" dividend income may or may not equal to transfers out of that Account.)
    Perhaps the problem is some sort of data corruption issue, but I'd suggest trying various iterations of reports with only a small subset of your Accounts to see if you can get this to work.

  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    I wanted to have my Vanguard dividend income show up as income as it was transferred to my savings account and my CDs that were closed and transferred to my savings account not show up as income (at least not the principle). I was able to do that by unchecking the CDs from Categories and unchecking the Vanguard account from Accounts without using tags. What was confusing me was the fact that I have to uncheck Vanguard from Accounts in order to count it as income, the exact opposite of what I was expecting.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    "I wanted to have my Vanguard dividend income show up as income as it was transferred to my savings account..."
    Let's stop right there and dissect that sentence fragment.  What, exactly, are you talking about here?  Do you want to see a line item on your report that reads "_DivInc" or do you want to see a line item that reads "From Vanguard..."? 
    As I pointed out above where I selected a brokerage Account as both "feeding" the report (selected under the Account tab) as well as a "Category" in the report, you can have both, but that amounts to, essentially, double counting of the income.  The point is that  the "Vanguard dividend income" is income, period, whether it's transferred to savings or not, but that modifier of as it was transferred to my savings account seems to suggest that what you really want to see is the transfer.
    "..and my CDs that were closed and transferred to my savings account not show up as income (at least not the principle)."
    So it appears that there's another Account in the picture, an Account that holds CDs, and here you only want the interest to show up as income and not the transfer of money from the CD Account to the savings Account?  You should be able to do that with the CD Account selected under the Accounts tab and the CD Account and checking Account not selected under the Categories tab and the transfers under the Advanced tab set to "Exclude self-transfers."
    " I was able to do that by unchecking the CDs from Categories and unchecking the Vanguard account from Accounts without using tags."
    What I'd expect you'd be seeing here is that there would be no _DivInc category - at least not from the Vanguard Account - on the report and you would be seeing a "From Vanguard..." entry as a form of income.  Is that in fact what you are seeing?  Is that what you want to see?
    I might suggest that you make a copy of your data file under a new name and then using that copy, start a fresh report, let's say an Income and Expense by Category report.  Under Accounts select all Accounts and under Categories make sure all Accounts are checked.   Under Advanced set transfers to "Include all."  All your income and expenses for the period should show up are regular Categories and all transfers between Accounts should show up as "To" and "From" line items.  Then go into the Categories tab and start de-selecting Accounts and watch how the report changes.  Then go over and de-select some Accounts under the Accounts tab and see what happens.  Do some experimentation with different selections for transfers under the Advanced tab.  That's the best way to gain an understanding of how the reports work.
    You should be able to get a report to your liking and does what you want it to do, I'd think.
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    I would prefer to see my dividend income as _Divinc instead of From Vanguard, but I can't get the report to show _Divinc, only From Vanguard and only if I uncheck the Vanguard account. This makes me think something is wrong with my data file. The Income Year to Date report does show _Divinc, but not the Income vs Expenses report (which is the report I've been working on) for some reason. I may try making the new data file like you said if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks for the help and great explanations you are providing.
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    edited March 2020
    I now notice quicken does not remember the boxes I check when I customize a report and close it. When I run the same report again I have to redo my settings. Do you know what might be causing this? Honestly at this point I'm thinking of going back to [removed]. As much as I hated it for the syncing problems, I seemed to have less problems overall and didn't have to constantly check to make sure everything was being done correctly by the program.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    "I now notice quicken does not remember the boxes I check when I customize a report and close it. When I run the same report again I have to redo my settings. Do you know what might be causing this? "
    If you modify a canned report you can't simply close it and then expect it to show up with all your modifications retained.  You must save it and give it a unique name.  Then when you go to run a report by clinking on Reports one of the options is to select a "saved report."  Based on what you've said here it sounds like you've neglected to save the report that you've customized.
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    Strange, I thought it did retain my settings previously without saving a new report.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Nope, the "save report" aspect has always been around.  In fact, when you go to close a report that you've modified you should be asked if you want to save it.  Are you getting that question?
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The option Edit > Preferences > Reports only > Remind me to save reports controls whether you are prompted to save modified reports
    QWin Premier subscription
  • ioticus
    ioticus Member
    I did not have that option checked, thanks.
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