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Double Transaction Entries

I have a problem arising from transferring funds in my bank from one account to another (eg Savings to Checking).

When downloaded to Quicken (Windows), my Savings account shows the transfer twice (reducing balance twice). One shows as an Uncleared Transaction, one as a New Transaction. One has Payee "To ... payee" (the New transaction), the other "From ... payee", the uncleared transaction. Both show the same bank transfer ref #.

In my Checking Account, the Transfer shows up as a TXFR with Payee "From ... payee", but only a single entry and it does not show as either MEW or UNCLEARED.

What is going all. This has all been generated by Quicken; there are no manual entries here.

Actually, this problem has occurred identically to two different transfers between the same two accounts.

At the time, i had the "auto match" feature turned on in Preferences. I have now turned this off in case it is having an impact .

Although not related to the above, in addition this feature is pretty hopeless at categorizing things. For example, all my Amazon transactions are coded to the same Category, and when the amount is different, as it always is, it automatically puts in an uncategorized balancing entry to account for the difference between the actual charge (which is recorded correctly), and the amount that was on the transaction it was using as the example to auto fill.

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
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  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @Bob G,

    Regarding the first issue noted above, it sounds like one of your settings may have changed. To check this:

    Go to "Edit" > "Preferences" > "Transfer detection";
    Is the box next to "Scan downloaded transactions for possible transfers" checked?

    If not that could be causing your problem.  That box should be checked if you want Quicken to provide assistance with the recording of your downloaded account transfers.

    Regarding your second issue - I have found that "memorizing payees" is usually very helpful in limiting the number of transactions that need to be categorized.

    Let me know how this goes.

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R29.20 - Build 27.1.29.20  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 2004
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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    First please ensure that all optional settings in Quicken pertaining to recall, memorization, automatic categorization and renaming of payee names are enabled. You find those settings in Edit / Preferences / Data Entry & Quickfill and Downloaded Transactions. Additional settings can be found for the detection and processing of transfer transactions in Edit / Preferences / Transfer detection.

    Are you automatically accepting downloaded transactions into your registers?

    If you are relying on Quicken to "automagically" fill your account registers from downloaded transactions, you may run into problems. Despite all efforts by the Quicken programmers, the "Autopilot" (that's my name for the part of the Quicken program which processes downloaded transactions and converts them into new register transactions) is not infallible. For that process to work 100% of the time one would need a crystal ball because the information downloaded from the banks often is just too terse and cryptic.

    You should, at least for a while, turn off the "automatically accept downloaded transactions into registers" setting to gain better control over what is downloaded and what to do with it. Review each downloaded transaction, make changes if necessary (e.g., to get a payee name = "Starbucks" instead of "POS TRANS 070119 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070219 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070319 STARBU" or to assign a category) before you click to accept each transaction.

    Any changes you make to downloaded Payee Names are remembered in Renaming Rules.

    Any other changes you make (add/change Category or Memo text) are remembered in the Memorized Payee List.

    Next time the same transaction for this Payee comes along, Quicken should remember and give you a better new register transaction.

     

    In case you have issues with transfer transactions not being generated correctly:

    For best results manually enter transfer transactions into your register BEFORE you download transactions from the bank which contain the transfer confirmations. For recurring transfers use scheduled reminders and enter them a day or two before the due date. Be sure to use distinct Payee Names for each transfer / credit card payment to avoid confusing Quicken - memorized payee entries.
    That takes the guesswork out of the Autopilot's process. Because a correctly entered transfer transaction already exists in your account registers, the Autopilot should just match the downloaded transfer transaction to the existing one in both accounts.

     

    Where are the "Auto-accept downloaded transaction" settings?

    There are two places where this is controlled in Quicken for Windows:
     - Globally, for all accounts, in Edit / Preferences / Downloaded Transactions
     - For each account individually, the global setting can be overridden from the Edit Account Details screen, Online Services Tab. Look for blue text "Automatic Entry is: ON / OFF". Click the text to change the setting.


  • Bob G
    Bob G Member ✭✭
    To UKR/others: Thanks for responses.

    On "auto-categorization" however I am still not entirely clear from these posts whether I am better to go ahead and let Q. try and sort things, or manually categorize myself. My experience suggest that categorization, at least, is best left to me, as I frequently have same payee but different categories.

    At the time of problems occurring I had Preferences>Data Entry and Quickfill>Complete entries using previous entries checked. I have now turned that off and will manage that aspect manually. I will now own any errors 100%; while I never expected it to be 100% accurate, I actually found it 0% accurate; as noted in my original post it always made an unallocated entry to balance the actual cost of the transaction with the cost of the prior one it was using as a template. As it is rare for two transactions to be identical (in my circumstances), this always produced an error in categorized amounts, regardles of whether category was correct (and most of the time it was not).

    In Transfer Detection, "Automatically complete transfers when detected" was enabled and still is. I wonder tho if I am better selecting "Confirm before entering" instead.

    However, I am not at all clear how I link (if that is the right term) one of the two debit entries in my Savings account to the corresponding credit entry in my Checking account. Or is there a link there already and if so how do I determine that ?

    And, I presume a delete the spurious entry in my Savings account - but which one ... the "To" entry ? And if I guess wrong and it deletes an already-linked entry can I undo that and delete the other one ?
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    A correctly created transfer transaction in Quicken can be recognized by the Category.
    Assuming a transfer from ABC Bank Checking to ABC Bank Savings has been recorded in Quicken. This creates a matching pair of transactions which are internally linked together:
    • In your ABC Bank Checking register it will show with a Category of [ABC Bank Savings]
    • Its counterpart in the savings account will show with a Category of [ABC Bank Checking]
    Change one of these transactions and you automatically change the other. Change the category of one of these transactions from [bank name] to some other category and the linked counterpart will be deleted (or appear in another account register if you changed to a different [bank name])

    When it comes to Transfer Detection, "confirm ..." is better than letting the Autopilot decide what to do.
    It's even better if you get in the habit of recording transfers manually and correctly in the register BEFORE you download transactions from the bank containing the transfer confirmations. That takes away the possibility of the Autopilot messing up.
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi again @Bob G,

    You asked "Or is there a link there already and if so how do I determine that ?" - to determine which one of the two Savings Account debits has already been "linked" to the Checking account transfer just look at the "Category" of each transaction in the Savings account and the one that has [the Name of your Checking Account] will be the one that is already linked to it.

    And if you are still unsure which one to delete, before you do the deletion:
    1) click on the transaction you are going to delete and
    2) then "right click" and then select "Copy transaction"
    3) delete the transaction
    4) if you determine you deleted the wrong one - place your cursor in the date field of the next open transaction; right click and select "Paste transaction and then "enter"

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R29.20 - Build 27.1.29.20  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 2004
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    OK now the I know what setting you were talking about for "auto match" I can give you my guess at what happened (with yet some more questions), and some information on the process and my recommendation.

    One possible explanation of why you have two transactions in your savings account for the same "real world one" with one being New and the other Uncleared.

    You say you didn't do manual entry for this, but what about a reminder?
    If you had a reminder and that reminder got put into the register after the transaction was downloaded, then you would get exactly what you have reported.  Another possibility is that the amount of the reminder is different than downloaded one.  Note that if you have a reminder that reminder should have been a transfer, and it should have been entered into the register before the downloaded transaction shows up.

    If that isn't the situation there is a possibility that the there might be some kind of transfer detection, bug.

    To try to decide I have a question.  You told us about the payees, but what are the categories?

    Next on the automatic transfer detection.  What Quicken is doing for transfer detection is seeing that in one account you have downloaded a deposit for $xxx.xxx and a withdraw for the same amount has been downloaded into another account and is guessing that these two downloaded transactions are in fact a transfer.  Note that this can't kick in until the second account is downloaded.  If the amounts are unique at least around that time frame, Quicken's guess will probably be right, but I think that you certainly should have the "confirm" option selected just to make sure.

    On the categorizing of transactions I'm a strong believer in after one has used Quicken for a short while and got most of their payees memorized that several of the automatic settings should be turned off, BUT you have to understand the process so that you turn off the right ones and not just cause yourself more work.

    When a transaction is downloaded the first thing Quicken does is check it against the renaming rules.  If one matches it renames the payee.  Renaming rules look at both the payee and the memo to decide if they match.  This is a important step, because you need to "normalize" the payee names.  As in change payee names like "Safeway #3443434" to "Safeway".

    Next if the payee/memo doesn't match a renaming rule and you have the "Automatically apply Quicken's suggested name to payee" there is a possibility that Quicken will rename the payee based on some list on their server.  This is one of those that are nice when you just start, but in some cases cause some "strange" changing of the payee name that surprises people.

    Next Quicken looks to see if there is a transaction already in the register that matches this downloaded transaction.   Note the amount has to be the same for this automatic match.  This transaction in the register can get in there by manual entry or a reminder, but note it has to be in the register to match.  If you are displaying your reminders in the register that isn't considered "entered in the register" for this matching.  If it matches the category will be whatever was in the transaction in the register and the next step will be skipped.

    The next step is the categorization.  Quicken first looks for the payee in your Memorized Payees, if it finds a match it will use the category that ins in that memorized payee.  Note that you can have multiple memorized entries for one payee, which one you get has changed over time and probably will not work reliably, so it is my recommendation that for the payees that you download you only have one memorized payee entry per payee, and that you lock them.  Note this step is skipped if you have the Recall memorized payees option off.  I definitely recommend keeping that option on, but understand how it is working.

    If a memorized payee isn't matched and the Automatically categorize transactions is on, this is where Quicken will make a guess at what the category should be.  Again this is one of the options that I think should be turned off after a short while of using Quicken.  With this option off if Quicken gets to this point without assigning a category it will leave it blank.

    The final processing of this transaction is the automatic transfer detection that I described above.

    Now the flow above gets "interrupted" when you have the "Automatically add to banking registers" option off.

    As in when the transaction is downloaded it first goes through those two renaming of the payee steps above, but then "stops", and the transactions are put in the Downloaded Transactions tab at the bottom of the register.  And the flow goes like this. The user selects one of the transactions in the Downloaded Transactions tab.  At this point Quicken tries the matching of of existing transaction if such is found it selects that transaction in the register.  If a match isn't found the new transaction is filled in, including using the steps for categorizing it above.  If the user likes what they see they can select the Accept button to confirm this.

    Note at this point the automatic transfer detection hasn't yet run.  If you are in this mode it won't run until after all the transactions in the Downloaded Transactions tab has been accepted and closed.  And this is why usually people using this mode never see automatic transfer detection.  While they are going through accepting transaction into the register they would have either matched an existing transfer transactions that was put in manually or by a reminder or by simply changing the category before hitting the accept button.  So they would get a "match" for the other side of this transaction before the automatic transfer detection can kick in.

    Now I'm going to put in what all my options are so you can get a feel for what you might what.  Please note that every SuperUser here is going to have the "Automatically add to banking registers" option off.  I personally like the mode, but this is definitely one where you have to personally decide what works best for you.  Note that this option is on by default for new users.   I'm going to highlight options that I think are very important.

    And a "special call out" for memorized payees and renaming rules.
    Since I have Quicken's automatic categorize transaction off, how do I memorize payees?
    When I new payee comes in, it will show up in my register as a blank category.  So I fill in the proper one and than select Ctrl+m to memorize it.

    On the renaming rules.  Frankly I almost never need to do anything with them because all of the payees I usually use already have renaming rules if needed (some payees are fine just as the come from the financial institution).  At one point I had the automatic creation of the renaming rules off, and that might be a good way to go, but the creating of renaming rules tends to take a few more steps so I left in, but with a confirmation.  It kicks in when you change a payee in the register.
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  • Bob G
    Bob G Member ✭✭
    To Frankx: Thanks for suggestion .... I did copy a transaction (the one marked "New" for each of the two that had duplicates) before deleting it from Savings .... without deleting from Checking. So far so good.

    I then go back to Savings, and right click the "Uncleared" in the left hand column, which gives me the option to "match to a downloaded transaction" ... except it gives me no options on what to match to, nor it seems can i navigate manually to the (matching) transaction in Checking to marry the two up.
  • Bob G
    Bob G Member ✭✭
    To Chris: first error of mine ... I followed what I assume is automated instruction at bottom of your post yesterday "Reply to this email directly ....", to find it is a no-reply email address. Ah well. My actual response was:

    Chris

    Thanks for this very lengthy response.

    On the transaction categorization I think i need to read it more slowly and at length (!) but for now, I have turned off it guessing and I do not have that many transactions that I cannot manually categorize them (frankly, issues I have arising thus far take far longer to resolve than any time saved by having Q. try to do it ...).

    With regard to the transaction matching, I said that Q. generated both entries, tho something you said makes me wonder. Certainly, i did NOT make any changes to the Payee or Category or Amount. The amount was identical in each of the Savings and Checking entries. However, I did add a Memo entry (that is all) in what must have been the Checking account entry; that memo shows up in the Checking entry, but not in either of the Savings entries ... neither of those has such an entry in them (either the "To payee" or "From Payee". Could the process of saving the Checking entry with the memo generate a second entry in the Savings ? I had not looked at Savings before I made this Checking addition, so I cannot tell you what was in there immediately after downloading from the bank.

    Anyway, with all help this is progressing and I guess along with the specific advice I have received a key lesson is to "customize and experiment" more; in my naivety I guess I had not assumed I might need to do this. I don't mean this cynically, just I had been using Mac version relatively flawlessly for 2 yrs til late 2019 when Q. in its infinite wisdom changed some fundamental aspects of it that were integral to the way I was using it, and caused me to switch to Windows.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Bob_G changing the memo in a transaction certainly shouldn't have duplicated it, so I can't explain what happened in your case.

    It sounds like you have a plan that should work, so I will just wish you good luck on that.  We each use Quicken a bit differently so certainly each has to decide for themselves what works best for them.
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