Erratic Category Assignment

Hopefully, this will be a straight forward issue/question.

I have a recurring health club membership that comes in twice a month. The payee is memorized with category "Health & Fitness". Every existing transaction with this payee has category "Health & Fitness." I have a renaming rule to spot possible variations of the payee name "Health Club", "Health Club Co", "Health Club LLC", etc., and correct it to just "Health Club."

However, whenever a new transaction for this payee comes over, Quicken assigns it to "Utilities", or occasionally "Uncategorized."

I've looked everywhere I can think of for any reason that Quicken might get confused over this and find no precedent for either of these for this payee. Given that all history as well as renaming and memorized payees are aligned, Quicken should be able to assign the right category.

What is going on?


  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would consider eliminating the extraneous renaming rules. As long as the term "Health Club" is in the payee field, the rest does not matter. Perhaps Quicken is getting confused as a result of multiple renaming for the same payee.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 11 Pro version 21H2
  • Quercus47
    Quercus47 Member ✭✭
    In the particular instance I'm experiencing, the renaming rules are not being invoked. The transaction is coming through with the intended default payee name.

    The reason I created the renaming rules to begin with is that Quicken is not automatically identifying the various alternative names and applying the correct payee name or category. The renaming rules was supposed to be part of the fix, not create new problems.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    Have you tried this yet?
    • Delete the Renaming Rule for Health Club before the next transaction comes through.
    • Before you do the next download for this account containing a Health Club transaction, turn off "automatically accept" for this account (or globally for all).
    • Download transactions
    • Manually review and accept all transactions. Rename the Health Club transaction before accepting it. With a little luck, you'll get a "create renaming rules" prompt to make Quicken build a "contains Health Club" renaming rule.
    For more details, please read and consider this:

    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.

  • Quercus47
    Quercus47 Member ✭✭
    UKR, thanks for the input. I'm going to try re-enabling memorization and auto renaming, etc. Those were intentionally turned off due to previous experience where Quicken was assigning odd names and categories also, so disabling these options was the recommendation given to me at that time. The original post was the result of downloads where Auto Accept was turned off. Let's see how the next trail goes.