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How to put totals at the bottom?

riaamp
riaamp Member ✭✭
Hi I have a client who is 85. She wants her category reports with the totals at the bottom. Her bookkeeper says she can't find out how to do that. My client NEEDS to have a print out of her expenses - she's not an online user. They just called me for help. I'm turning to the forum for help. She has a Mac, Catalina OS so we upgraded her Quicken to whatever is the basic version. How can I get her what she wants? Is it available in a more expensive version for instance?

Best Answer

Answers

  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited May 2020
    Hello @riaamp,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community with your question.

    To create the report you are looking for, please follow the steps below.
    1. Go to Reports
    2. Create Summary Reports...
    3. Select Category for RowTime for Column, and Month for Interval (see below)
    4. Continue to Customize 
    5. Make any changes needed for the report in the customization window and click Ok 


    I hope this helps and let us know if you have any additional questions!
    -Quicken Anja
  • riaamp
    riaamp Member ✭✭
    That REALLY SUCKS! Yes, I'm mad. IT strikes me that it would probably take a programmer 4 hours to figure out how to give us this option. She's so upset about this that I think I will recommend to my client that she ditch Quicken for another program.
  • riaamp
    riaamp Member ✭✭
    And the fact that others have requested it for a LONG TIME..
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Quicken Anja  Even in the summary report you recommended, the totals are above the data, with one exception for the grand total at the bottom. The report starts with the income total, then lists income categories; it then lists total expenses, then lists expense categories. Any categories which have subcategories show the total for the main category first, followed by the subcategories. It's just backwards from any financial reports anywhere else in the world. It's one of my biggest complaints about Quicken Mac. 

    @riaamp, as much as I'd like to see this changed -- and I've been asking for it for nearly five years -- there's no "4-hour solution." The current approach of rollup/rolldown data presentation is enabled by one of the core libraries in macOS, saving the programmers a bunch of complex coding for screen and report displays. Moving subtotals and totals to the bottom would apparently require them to have to do significant work to re-write screen and print code. So far, they've resisted investing the time in this functionality enhancement. (The problem is that there are hundreds of users requests for many desirable features, so it's a matter of how they prioritize which requests move to the top of the list.) If more users who want to see this changed vote in this thread, hopefully the developers can be convinced this is a desired change. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    For what it is worth many years ago Quicken Windows had the totals at the bottom, and they were changed to the top when they went to a more modern report API.  That was probably sometime after 2008.  And yeah people complained about it some people claiming that they would never use a version newer.

    But there is a few of fundamental reasons for the change.  First off if you have the totals at the bottom, you can't "collapse" different levels like you can when they are at the top.

    The second reason is everywhere you look.  Browse some files. Select a menu.  What you are looking at is a control called a "tree".  This control is used everywhere you have cascading data.

    And the last one is to understand how software is really written.  If every programmer has to rewrite every bit of code it would never get done.  Instead what really happens (at least as much as possible) is that they use APIs that are already provided by the operating system or buy them.  Report generation is a complicated process especially when you consider printing and saving to different formats.  The average programmer isn't going to write a report generator, they are going to use one that is provided to them and use whatever "model" it uses.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited May 2020
    Chris_QPW said:
    First off if you have the totals at the bottom, you can't "collapse" different levels like you can when they are at the top.
    I'd respectfully disagree. You could collapse from the bottom the same way as you currently collapse from the top; it just has to be programmed that way.

    And database designers deal with this issue all the time. I use FileMaker Pro for a number of databases at work, and it has always offered a choice of creating subtotals at the top or the bottom. I don't use MS Access, but I believe it also puts totals and subtotals at the bottom. And, of course, that's the way most financial spreadsheets are built. It absolutely can be done; it is done.

    An alternative I've suggested in the past is that if the on-screen version collapses from the top because that's either considered a better UI or is easier to implement, then at least the printed reports could be generated with subtotals and totals at the bottom -- like every financial report outside of Quicken. Maybe that's a halfway compromise that wouldn't please everyone, but it would be significantly better than what exists, in my opinion.

    Chris_QPW said:
    Browse some files. Select a menu.  What you are looking at is a control called a "tree".  This control is used everywhere you have cascading data.
    That makes sense for browsing files. It simply isn't the paradigm for financial data. The "tree" approach is built into the operating system and can be access by programmers, so it makes it easier for programmers to do trees that collapse from the top. But again, it's not the normal way financial data is presented. 

    Chris_QPW said:
    And the last one is to understand how software is really written...  The average programmer isn't going to write a report generator, they are going to use one that is provided to them and use whatever "model" it uses.
    I agree with that. But we're not talking about the "average programmer" here. We're talking about the programmers for Quicken, the (purported) leader in personal finance software.

    As I've said, I understand that using the tree structure provided by the operating system makes it easier for the programmers. In the case of macOS, they've been working for three years now on building a modern reports engine and user interface to replace the inadequate reports inherited from the predecessor 2010-era Quicken Essentials program. It has been a slow and at times painful process to see functionality added one piece at a time. The reporting in Quicken Mac is now much better, but there's still a lot of work to do on reports; to name a few:
    • some legacy reports -- such as tax report and account summary (a.k.a. balance sheet) -- have to be recreated using the new engine and interface
    • users' old reports have to be converted to the new reports to the old reports can be removed from the menus and the code
    • ad hoc reports -- printing from a register view -- still use the old code and have to be converted
    • investment reports can only be done from a portfolio screen, so they can't be built as saved reports to re-use, and don't have all the selection criteria and sorting options users want
    So, yes, there's a lot to do, and anything that makes the work go faster by using existing code and frameworks helps the cause.

    But that isn't a sufficient reason to shrug and say, "geez, putting totals on the bottom would take more work, so we're just not going to do it." I understand why they did that initially, trying to bring a modern Quicken Mac to market back in 2014 with a limited staff. But when engaged in a possibly 5 year programming project to rebuild reports from the ground up, to offer the control and flexibility users ask for and want in Quicken Mac, tackling a way to present totals on the bottom -- the way financial data is presented in almost every other setting -- should be on the list of requirements and should be tackled at some point in the development process. 

    Tongue firmly in cheek, allow me to paraphrase one of John F. Kennedy's most famous speeches: "We choose to build superior personal finance reporting and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard… because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." Go for it, Quicken Mac team! Please.  ;) 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    "I agree with that. But we're not talking about the "average programmer" here. We're talking about the programmers for Quicken, the (purported) leader in personal finance software."

    I disagree with this statement.  I seriously doubt that Quicken Inc can attract anything more than average programmers.  This not "industry changing progress".  Most of it is "getting caught up with was already there in the past, with minor improvements."

    "Tongue firmly in cheek, allow me to paraphrase one of John F. Kennedy's most famous speeches: "We choose to build superior personal finance reporting and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard… because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." Go for it, Quicken Mac team! Please"

    Have fun with that, I have not seen anything to suggest that this Mac team's progress is anything other than "average", at best, on producing these changes.  It is 2020 and even if I'm generous and say that 5 years were lost to Intuit giving up on the platform from time to time, that is still 2020 - 2007 - 5 = 8 years.  And that is doing it "the easy way".

    At the rate they are going by the time Quicken Mac has a Quicken Mac Home & Business & Rental with just the ones that already exist (not even future features) that the Windows side has "new" Quicken Mac will be at least 30 years old.
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  • riaamp
    riaamp Member ✭✭
    FWIW: I used Anja's original suggestion and printed out a summary of the categories. My client already had the itemized list. We talked it through. I think the summary plus the itemized list will give her what she want. Client settled down and will adapt to the new method.
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