How do I report on how many transactions I have per category, or find unused categories?

I've used Quicken since 1993, and still have ONE file. It's wonderful, and I can search anything I've done forever. However, my categories created over 30 years are perhaps unwieldy. Is there any way I can find unused ones, or do a census of how many transactions there are per category? I know I can do it one category at a time, but... I was hoping for a report of some kind.

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Answers

  • Rob Price
    Rob Price Member
    Ah, thanks, there it is. I thought that years ago I had seen something like this, and now it's found again. Much obliged.
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You are welcome!
    (QW Premier Subscription: R36.45 on Windows 10)
  • Rob Price
    Rob Price Member
    I now recall why I turned that column off, years ago. Since I have 30 years of transactions in it, invoking CATEGORIES takes a while, since it has to tabulate the number of entries for each. Turning the column off gives instant access to the CATEGORIES window.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rob Price said:
    I now recall why I turned that column off, years ago. Since I have 30 years of transactions in it, invoking CATEGORIES takes a while, since it has to tabulate the number of entries for each. Turning the column off gives instant access to the CATEGORIES window.

    AFAIK ... Every time you add or delete a transaction, the Usage count for the category is updated. There should not be any delay in scanning the data file in order to refresh the Usage count.
    How many categories do you have? Click Help then CTRL-click About Quicken and it'll tell you in a File Information window (which I'd like to see, too. Can you attach an image snapshot of this window, please?)
    How many levels deep do you nest your subcategories? (1 - 16)
    Is your Category List sorted or filtered in an unusual way, other than "Show Full List" and sorted by Category?
  • Rob Price
    Rob Price Member
    Neat trick, and I pasted the image. My categories might go 3 deep. But the bottom line is: when I click on Categories, the window comes up in less than a second. When I have the usage column "on", it takes 10 seconds, even when I close the window and bring it up again (i.e. it doesn't seem to be cached). No big deal, but interesting, I suppose.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the File Information image. You only have 389 categories, that's a lot, but not too much.
    There could be a memory (RAM) issue in your system which can cause a lot of extra disk I/O to the paging file on the C: - drive.

    Your Memorized Payee List could use a trim ...

    How many Memorized Payee List entries do you have in your file? A couple hundred? Several thousands?
    Click Help in the Menu Bar. CTRL+click About Quicken and it'll tell you in a File Information window.
    To trim the list and keep it in shape please do this:
    In Edit / Preferences / Data Entry and Quickfill make sure you have a checkmark at
    "Remove memorized payees not used in [xx] months"
    and set [xx] to something like "18". Do not set it to zero. IMHO, you should set the number to 12 or higher for best results, so that once-a-year payees don't vanish.
    Restart Quicken for the change to take effect and housekeeping to clean up the Memorized Payee List.
    Check the File Information box again to see the reduced count.

  • Rob Price
    Rob Price Member
    I'm sure it's not the number of categories, but rather the 64K of transactions. That is, when I call up the CATEGORIES, it takes it 10 seconds to go through all of them and tabulate the count for each. It's a pretty simple experiment to do. I turn off usage, and it comes up immediately instead. As you suggest, it would be nice if Quicken kept a running count, but apparently it doesn't, and recomputes it each time.

    I took your advice and cleaned up 2K of my memorized transactions.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @UKR I think you are wrong.  It looks like to me that Quicken is fetching/updating the category usage when the dialog is brought up.  Like a lot of things in Quicken they are not updating some "static" numbers.

    Just going into the category list and toggling the Usage on takes about 5 seconds in my case (about 47,000 transactions).

    And I get the same difference in time if I bring up the category list with and without the usage column.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW note that this is about what is happening on the category list dialog, not what is happening in a register when adding a transaction.
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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Rob Price  I agree with your assessment; I see the same behavior. 
    Usage shown for 63000 transactions == 10-15 sec to show category list
    Usage not shown == 'instantaneous' appearance
    And I only have 203 categories.  

    BTW:  You can sort that Category list by the various headers - Usage, Category, Type, etc.  That might be helpful for your task of gulling out unneeded ones.   
  • Rob Price
    Rob Price Member
    Thanks. So far I am winning the "most transactions" derby, I notice, but not by much...
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Rob Price said:
    Thanks. So far I am winning the "most transactions" derby, I notice, but not by much...
    We are all in the minor leagues here, there have been people reporting that that they have thousands of categories!

    I come close to yours, 377.
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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    Rob Price said:
    Thanks. So far I am winning the "most transactions" derby, I notice, but not by much...
    We are all in the minor leagues here, there have been people reporting that that they have thousands of categoriesg

    I come close to yours, 377.
    His “competition” challenge was for transactions, not categories. But I suspect 64k is still well short of the lead. 
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Oops.   :)
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