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Why does match not pick the right transaction?

I have a few transactions that are weekly withdrawls for exactly the same dollar amount. Many times, I will go 3-4 weeks before downloading transactions and most times, the software will match the downloaded transaction to the wrong transaction in the register (e.g. amounts match but payee or date show that it is not the correct one). Is there anyway to help the software find the correct transaction in the register more frequently? I currently have to manually match 5-10 transactions a session.
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If the downloaded transactions contain sufficient information, you should be able to use renaming rules to help Quicken match subsequent downloaded transactions:


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Sherlock

    I don't believe renaming rules will help with this problem. Quicken's matching is done almost entirely based on the amount and doesn't really consider either the payee or the date.

    The matching system basically always matches to the first transaction with the same amount to the "first" downloaded transaction that has that amount. Then it goes on to the next one.
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  • ggkrupp
    ggkrupp Member ✭✭
    I think @Chris_QPW is correct. The match algorithm is very simplistic apparently. I will have 3-4 transactions with the same payee, same amount but different dates and the match algorithm rarely matches more than 1 correctly. And, like I mentioned, sometimes I'll have another payee name with the same amount and it'll even screw that up.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I agree the algorithm is simplistic but it is documented as using Date + Amount + Payee.  In my experience, Date is a limited range inclusively prior to the current date, Amount is exact, and Payee is exact and used only for selection when multiple amounts match.  The flaw with the algorithm is that the imported transactions are processed sequentially.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting. My experience differs.
    Often, Q will fail to match a transaction because the dates are not identical. Just being one day apart can cause failure.
    If I edit the existing transaction in my register to change the date, the pending-accept download at the bottom of the screen changes from New to Match while I watch.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • ggkrupp
    ggkrupp Member ✭✭
    Usually my dates are within a day or two but often not the exact date the transaction processes. If the dates are exactly the same, it matches I think.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I decided to retest this since I haven't tested it in a long time, and I'm getting different results than what I remembered/reported above.

    The payee does matter. At least in the latest subscription version I'm using.
    @ggkrupp what version of Quicken are you using?

    I set up a test where I'm importing a QFX file and I have purposely put in the transactions in the register with the dates reversed, and have even flipped the dates around and it doesn't seem to matter. I have also tried it with and without renaming rules and both work. As in without renaming rules on, if the payee name in the download transaction matches or is even "contained" in the payee in the transaction in the register if matches up by that payee. And if I turn on renaming rules and that renamed downloaded payee matches with the payee of the transaction in the register it will match it correctly.

    Note that the date doesn't seem to play into this at all from what I can see. I'm not sure if that is important or not since mostly the manually entered date is used except for when you are reconciling.

    Now if the payees don't match then all bets are off.
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  • ggkrupp
    ggkrupp Member ✭✭
    @Chris_QPW i was using Quicken 2017 but I just upgraded to the subscription. Perhaps this will make my problem go away. Like I said, most times my payee is exactly the same with exactly the same amount. Just different dates. Based on this thread, I may hit a renaming rule just to be sure it recognizes the payee name. Between that and the upgrade, I'm hopeful that the transaction match will be more reliable.

    Not sure why, but never had this problem until about 2-3 Quicken upgrades ago. Just couldn't put my finger onto why. Either it was a software bug or maybe my behavior changed.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    P.S. On the dates. I was testing with two transactions with dates no more than 4 days apart, so it really wasn't a good test for what they are doing with the dates. But I purposely put in different dates for the transactions in the register, and in the QFX file.

    I will also say that I have never had to change a date to get a match.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    > @ggkrupp said:
    > Like I said, most times my payee is exactly the same with exactly the same amount. Just different dates.

    OK then I tested the wrong thing. I was testing with two transactions with the same amount, but different payees. If the payees are identical then certainly renaming rules aren't going to change it, and that goes for "matching the payee" since they are the same.

    Now we get down to expecting the matching to do "the closest date", and that is really "speculation" when the dates aren't exact.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @ggkrupp

    BTW if the payee and the amount are the same why is it a problem/needed to "match the right one"?
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  • ggkrupp
    ggkrupp Member ✭✭
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > @ggkrupp
    >
    > BTW if the payee and the amount are the same why is it a problem/needed to "match the right one"?

    I am just OCD I guess. 😆
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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