Quicken Community is moving to Single Sign On! Starting 1/22/21, you'll sign in to the community with your Quicken ID. For more information: http://bit.ly/CommunitySSO

Best way to start over a 401k account within a file?

While I’ve been using Quicken since 1996, I’ve been hanging out in the familiar waters of Q2007 and have been on Q2020 only four days.

Everything has updated perfectly with the exception of my 401k account. It’s been a hot mess since the beginning because the statements were so furiously vague, I had to move shares in and out to match the statement shares. (And as you all know Q2007 couldn’t download for a dog’s age.)

Now that I've happily had Q2020 download direct from the financial institution, the balance is double what it should be. I checked and 401k statements are available to download all the way back to the beginning of my opening an account in May 2011.

Is there a way to keep and rename the out of balance 401k (for reference), start a new 401k with the right name and have Q2020 download the statements again, but this time all the way back from May 2011 (which require special settings on the financial institution’s website)? Then once I’m up and running for a statement or two, how do I delete that out of balance 401k?

Best Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Hi, Susan:

    Yes, you can create a new 401k account which you can later rename to whatever you want. (You can rename any account in Quicken by right (or control) clicking it's name in the sidebar) 



    You can also delete, or better yet, Hide (via Hide and Show accounts) your older problematic account so it doesn't affect your current workflow, but is still available (unhide)down the road should you need to examine it. Just make sure you deactivate your older account (if you have) before you Hide it. Ask if you need help with that, but you do that in that Account's Settings:Troubleshooting.

    The caveat is that if you create a fresh new account, it is unlikely you will get 9 years of history. I don't know if the historical minutia matters to you. Being a 401k with simple tax implications, I don't think you have to worry about tracking cost basis or specific lots. (You can always add cost basis for opening balance adjusting entries if needed.) 

    My guess is you just want a correct current value for your various securities. That it will. The good news is that you can always manually enter in older data if you later feel compelled. 
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, transfers will certainly complicate matters and your concerns are correct. Not a lot of people (correctly) track in this level of detail, so that is why I didn't bring it up initially.

    (You can batch change transfers to a different account, but not so easily if they are part of a split transaction which might be the case if you break out your paycheck as a split.) If you simply delete the older account, those transfers will be orphaned, so don't do that. Hiding the account won't orphan transactions.

    Without seeing your data, it is really hard to tell you the best way to proceed. Do you fix your existing 401k account (possible), or do you recreate new and fix all the existing transfers? Only you can determine which is easier. 

    But, keep in mind if you create a new account, then an auto adjusting entry during accounts creation will be made to make the final cash balance correct (which is usually $0 for a 401k) You can always change future contributions to this new account. That might be the easiest way to proceed.

    Yes, deactivating means to turn off downloading of transactions:


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    You could make a copy of your Quicken 2007 data file, delete all the accounts except the 401k, and then import that file into Quicken 2020. The problem with doing this will be that your transfers from your paycheck won't be linked transactions, so if anything is off in the slightest bit, this could be a mess that you'll have to troubleshoot paycheck by paycheck. John might have some further insight into this...
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Hi, Susan:

    Yes, you can create a new 401k account which you can later rename to whatever you want. (You can rename any account in Quicken by right (or control) clicking it's name in the sidebar) 



    You can also delete, or better yet, Hide (via Hide and Show accounts) your older problematic account so it doesn't affect your current workflow, but is still available (unhide)down the road should you need to examine it. Just make sure you deactivate your older account (if you have) before you Hide it. Ask if you need help with that, but you do that in that Account's Settings:Troubleshooting.

    The caveat is that if you create a fresh new account, it is unlikely you will get 9 years of history. I don't know if the historical minutia matters to you. Being a 401k with simple tax implications, I don't think you have to worry about tracking cost basis or specific lots. (You can always add cost basis for opening balance adjusting entries if needed.) 

    My guess is you just want a correct current value for your various securities. That it will. The good news is that you can always manually enter in older data if you later feel compelled. 
  • Susan Alinsangan
    Susan Alinsangan Member ✭✭
    Thank you very much John_in_NC!
    What awesome info, I'm anxious to start. I do need help with "deactivate my older account", does that mean turning off the auto-download of statements? Also I noticed that there's transfers between accounts in this 401k (from a checking account payroll check deduction to this account as a deposit) but if I hide the account but not delete it, won't the transfers occur twice? Once in the hidden account and once in the fresh new account? And will that affect the balance in my other account?

    I do like historical minutia if it's easy, I'm pragmatic that way. I think that's how this 401k got in a hot mess in the first place, it was just too impossible to chase down a detailed statement every month.
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, transfers will certainly complicate matters and your concerns are correct. Not a lot of people (correctly) track in this level of detail, so that is why I didn't bring it up initially.

    (You can batch change transfers to a different account, but not so easily if they are part of a split transaction which might be the case if you break out your paycheck as a split.) If you simply delete the older account, those transfers will be orphaned, so don't do that. Hiding the account won't orphan transactions.

    Without seeing your data, it is really hard to tell you the best way to proceed. Do you fix your existing 401k account (possible), or do you recreate new and fix all the existing transfers? Only you can determine which is easier. 

    But, keep in mind if you create a new account, then an auto adjusting entry during accounts creation will be made to make the final cash balance correct (which is usually $0 for a 401k) You can always change future contributions to this new account. That might be the easiest way to proceed.

    Yes, deactivating means to turn off downloading of transactions:


  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    And also, make a backup of your data file before you try anything! That way you can always go back.
  • Susan Alinsangan
    Susan Alinsangan Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I made an interesting discovery on this problem 401k so decided to try a test. From the financial institution, I'm able to download a .qif file of the entire history that would only import into Q2007 (which I'm running alongside Q2020 for awhile). I reconnected my payroll transfers, no more hot mess, and it worked great!

    Now, is there a way to import JUST this 401k into Q2020 since all my other accounts (checking, savings, credit cards, investments, etc) have already been moved over? Or do I have to covert everything all together again? If so, do you have suggestions on the best way of doing that?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    You could make a copy of your Quicken 2007 data file, delete all the accounts except the 401k, and then import that file into Quicken 2020. The problem with doing this will be that your transfers from your paycheck won't be linked transactions, so if anything is off in the slightest bit, this could be a mess that you'll have to troubleshoot paycheck by paycheck. John might have some further insight into this...
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Hi again, Susan & Jacob:

    I agree, Jacob; the transfers will again be your thorn. While there are workarounds to get a single file in, I don't know how far ahead you will be.

    Now, what may be helpful is that you can also import convert this special file containing all your history into a different Quicken 2020 file. That way, you can see the way the transactions are supposed to be and possibly take corrective action to your "hot mess' account. I don't know how fastidious you are/willing to spend time to correct-but at least you will see the way things are supposed to be. (Your 2007 data will be untouched.)

    Not a lot of financial institutions will provide that much history-90 days is the norm, and maybe a year for investments. You are lucky.
  • Susan Alinsangan
    Susan Alinsangan Member ✭✭
    That sounds promising! There's only a dozen or so paycheck transfers and that's easy to do manually. Let's see if John or anyone else has something to add. Thank you kindly Jacobs.
  • Susan Alinsangan
    Susan Alinsangan Member ✭✭
    Hi John,
    Our replies must have crossed. We were within seconds of each other. I'd be really interested in hearing how to import this .qif file directly into Q2020. As I mentioned, there are only a dozen or so paycheck transfers, so not a lot of corrections need to happen to the orphans. I'm not a Mac power user (certainly not kindergarten level, but I can match a third grader most days) so if it's complex, maybe you could explain it in steps?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'll let John weigh in because he's got more knowledge in this area, but I'd just say if you're talking about roughly a dozen transactions, just take the time to make them right and you'll be done with it faster than all the posting on this forum ands steps to convert and import files. :)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Jacob is correct in that if you only have a few transfers, then it shouldn't be hard to correct-even if they are in splits.

    We can try importing the QIF directly into 2020, although I have never tried that route as that import method is newer. Here we go:

    1. (Before you do anything, make a backup in 2020, and also note the name of your current file even though you won't be messing with it yet.)
    2. In 2020, choose File:New, and create a new file. Choose the option to create the file from another financial application via QIF.
    3. Point the software to the QIF file you downloaded from your 401k holder, and let it import.
    4. Examine the results.
    5. You can cancel out of any new bank setups if presented.
    Ideally, this new file will only contain that single 401k account. Let us know how it goes, and we can work from there as to getting it into your existing file.
  • Susan Alinsangan
    Susan Alinsangan Member ✭✭
    Hi John and Jacob, lots of great info, thank you very much. Here's what I did:
    -I tried John's importing the QIF file four times (dropping onto the window or selecting via the button) using a fresh QIF each time in case I'd corrupted the file previously. Each time it did open a new account correctly named, with a blank account.
    -I also used Jacob's making a copy of my Q2007 deleting all other accounts, then importing into Q2020. But once I read the fiery hoops of merging accounts, I wimped out. https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7150406/how-to-merge-two-quicken-files.

    With only a few new transactions entered in Q2020, it was easy to sacrifice them and just start over, re-import Q2007 but this time with my 401k that has the downloaded QIF file. It was a success! I learned so much from this little exercise. How to activate and deactivate, hide and unhide in lists, find Q2020 files on my hard drive and most importantly, save a backup where I can find it.

    I really appreciate your help. For us newbies who are floundering around, guys like you are a lifeline and voices of reason.
This discussion has been closed.