Transfer Account matching is never accurate.

I'm a long time quicken user, and for some reason, within the past year or so, quicken for windows has stopped correctly matching my transfer-to accounts on downloaded transations. I use Capital One 360 if that helps identify the problem.

I have several accounts, I use them sort of like an envelope budget system. This way my pet expenses, or gas money, are tucked away in savings accounts and not just sitting in my checking account to get "accidentally" spent. This system works, but quicken is making it unbelievably frustrating.

Every time it downloads a transfer transaction, its like it picks an account at random as the destination. If i have several transfers in a row, like on payday when my automatic transactions to various savings accounts happen, quicken picks one account, and logs all of those transfers to that account, instead of to the various accounts that they actually went to.

I've tried renaming my accounts to match the names that Capital One shows me, that doesn't help, I've tried renaming them to their account numbers, that didn't help. How can I convince quicken to track these properly? It really messes up my registers, and if I'm not super-vigilant, i end up with a nightmare of improper transactions to sort though when I try to reconcile my accounts.

I can't say that i know for certain that this is a quicken problem, maybe Capital One is not sending the right data? I just don't know, but i know its caused me many a frustrating hour fixing the mess.

Thanks!

Comments

  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @gangrif,

    This could be an issue with your preferences, since you've indicated that it was working in the past.

    To check it:
    1) Click on "Edit" in the menu bar at the very top;
    2) Then click on "Preferences";
    3) In the pop-up menu select "Transfer detection"
    4) Make sure that "Scan downloaded transactions for possible transfers" is checked, and then select either option - "automatically create" or "confirm... before entering"

    This may put you back where you were before the behavior changed.

    Let me know how this goes.

    Frankx


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  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    It sounds to me like you're using the downloaded information to make entries "for you" in your Quicken file?  If that's the case then one rock-solid way of avoiding the problem you're facing is to make your entries "manually" and then use the downloaded information to confirm these entries happened as they were supposed to.  (The word manually is in quotes because the entries might actually be made by Quicken "for you" by Reminders you've created.)  Another thing you might try is ticking the "Confirm possible transfers before entering in register" button in Edit > Preferences > Transfer detection.
  • gangrif
    gangrif Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the answers. @Frankx that option is already enabled, it's the first thing I checked when I started researching why this wasnt working properly.

    @"Tom Young" adding the transfer confirmation option just might be what I'm looking for. One of the reasons I use quicken, is that it can pull in my transactions automatically. Which as I mentioned used to work great. It still works pretty well, but this transfer detection inaccuracy is killing me. Forcing me to confirm these as theyre imported just might do the trick. I've been doing that anyway, but it happens after they land in the register already, and it makes it a lot easier to miss one, which causes headaches later. Thanks for the suggestion!
  • gangrif
    gangrif Member ✭✭
    just spent an hour cleaning up after quicken again and its botched account transfer matching. Beyond frustrated. Enabling the option to confirm transactions before they're entered did nothing at all, quicken happily botched every single transfer to account, even did some weird crap where it made _additional_ transactions in other accounts. Im about ready to nuke my quicken profile and start over. Which will _not_ be fun, but seems like its going to be necessary. Anyone have any other suggestions?
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I think the transaction detection/confirmation option has nothing to do with the problem.

    First off I will guess since you are a long time user that you aren't using automatic transaction entry mode, right?

    Another way you might hit it is by using Accept All.

    Transfer detection doesn't happen until after the transactions are accepted into the "second account".

    In other words imagine this.  You withdraw a $100 in one account and deposit $100 in another account.

    You download the transactions for the first account and that $100 transaction gets all the way to the account without a category.  You download the transactions from the second account and it gets all the way to the accounts without a category.  This is when Quicken's transfer detection kicks in, and it makes the guess based on the amount and approximate date this is suppose to be a transfer and connects them (hopefully after you confirm it because you should always have that option on).

    Needless to say if you are using the Downloaded Transactions tab and as you accept the transactions in the first account and put in [Second Account] for the category for that $100 transaction, then the transfer detection isn't involved.  And what should happen in the second account is that you now have the $100 transaction "manually entered" and as such you should get a match with the one downloaded.

    Note like @Tom Young said if you had already entered that transfer into the register before any of the downloading then what would happen is you would get a match in both accounts.

    Automatic transfer detection is mostly for users that are using the automatic transaction entry mode where their transactions go directly into the register.

    And part of how well that would work would depend on the amounts of the transactions.  If they are all for the same amount there would be no way for Quicken to guess which is which it could certainly pick the wrong account.

    You would want to either avoid using the same amounts or pre-enter the transactions.
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  • gangrif
    gangrif Member ✭✭
    Here's a scenario, which I think outlines what I'm seeing.

    I have say.. 4 accounts.
    checking
    savings1
    savings2
    savings3

    like I said, I'm using savings accounts here like envelopes for budgeting. which is why I have so many.

    Paycheck gets deposited into checking, and I have automatic transfers setup for things like, pet expenses, groceries and gas.

    Paycheck hits, and my scheduled automatic transfers of $200 to savings1, $50 to savings2 and $75 to savings 3 all happen, while i'm asleep.

    In the morning, I open quicken, none of these transactions exist in quicken yet, i click "update accounts" at the top of my accounts bar, which initiates all of the sync jobs between my bank accounts and quicken. Wait for it to complete, this should have updated _all_ of the accounts listed above.

    What i'll end up with is all four transactions in my checking account, the paycheck, and the three transfers.

    The tree transfers will pick one account, say savings2, and all three of them will show that they were transferred to savings2. savings2 will have a balance that's all out of whack because it shows two extra transfers that didn't actually happen. And quicken auto-marks them as cleared, because they were pulled from the bank, and cleared my checking account.

    Savings1 and savings 3, sometimes will show a transaction for the deposit side of the transfer, with a "from" account, it itself. So savings1 would show a 200 deposit from savings1. So if i fix the transactions in checking, so they point to the right accounts.. then i have doubles in the destination accounts.


    To answer your question about whether i'm a long time quicken user. I am a relatively long time quicken user, i think this profile has been in use for 2-3 years, when i'd switched back to quicken after trying a different app for a year or so.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @gangrif You didn't mention using the Downloaded Transactions tab.  When you run One Step Update do your transactions go directly into the register?

    This can be done in either way, but knowing what you are using will allow me to better test the different flows and give a better answer.

    I might say right off the bat that I'm surprised that Quicken is doing what it is doing given that the amounts are different.

    I have a feeling the "fix/workaround" would be to setup three reminders to get the transfers into the checking account just before the paycheck is downloading into the register.  But I'm going to try to see if I can reproduce what you are seeing, especially since it looks like some kind of bug.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    I just had a thought. What is the payee for each of the transfers?
    Is it the same one for each of them?
    (I would imagine it is.)

    As such now I think it isn't a bug and here is what is probably happening.

    I'm going to use the payee Transfer.
    Let's start from the "beginning".

    You set this up and get four transactions, One with the payee like PayCheckName, and then three like Transfer.

    For the first one you probably have a paycheck reminder setup or you just entered a category for the net deposit.

    For the next three transactions you enter [savings1]. [savings2], [savings3].
    With the default Quicken settings automatic memorization of the payees is on.
    This results in these entries in the Memorized Payee List (Ctrl+T).


    Later you download the same transactions here is the flow Quicken is going to use.

    First it goes through the payee renaming rules, if you added one the payee name will now get changed to what you set.  For instance you might have set "Transfer 343423" to just Transfer, or it might have been the same payee to start with. But the end result is that you end up with a payee "Transfer" that matches the one in the Memorized Payee List so that it can pick up the category.

    The next step is that Quicken looks at that payee and tries to match it to the Memorized Payee List.  And it this case it does, it matches "Transfer".  Now there is a problem there is three different entries for Transfer.  You might be fooled to believe that Quicken would pick the one you want by the amount, but you would be wrong.
    The amount has already been provided in the downloaded transaction, it doesn't play any part in this.   Think of the "normal" case.  You want all of the "Safeway" payee transactions to be categorized as "Groceries" no matter what the downloaded transaction amount is.

    So how does Quicken decide which to pick?
    Well that is actually vey hotly debated thing.  Some feel it should pick the "last one used".  Some feel it should pick the last in the above (or maybe even the first one) in the list.  But the bottom line is that you have put Quicken into the situation where it is making a guess, and it is going to use the "same answer" for all three of your transfers.

    I believe this is what you are seeing.

    And the fix?
    In the One Step Update flow/entering of transactions into the register I left out one of the checks Quicken makes.  It will first check for a matching transaction before it does any of those steps.  So if these transactions are already in the register Quicken will instead match the downloading transactions to them instead of using the payee renaming rules/Memorized Payee List. EDIT this match is mostly done on the amount, that is why I said it important that the amounts be different.  If they were the same then again Quicken would have to guess and would most likely do the wrong thing.

    Transfer [savings1] $200
    Transfer [savings2] $50
    Transfer [savings3] $75

    And the easiest way to ensure that these transactions are entered into the register before you download the paycheck is to setup reminders for each one of them.

    As a side note you might wonder why the Memorized Payee List allows for multiple entries for the same payee and has the amount in it.

    The reason is that when you are manually entering a transaction and you type that Payee name, Quicken uses this information to fill in the rest of the transaction.  Since that is interactive you can use you arrow keys or mouse to choose one of the other entries if the one you wanted didn't come up as the first choice.
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  • gangrif
    gangrif Member ✭✭
    im confused as to why quicken needs to make all these guesses. Isn't the "to" account included in the downloaded transactions?

    I do have reminders setup for most of these problem transactions. The thing I dont have is the habit of going into quicken a day early and adding them. It would be helpful if quicken recognised the scheduled transactions like it does scheduled bills. Which is also hit--or-miss for me.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    NO, the "to" account isn't included in what you download ... because you bank has no idea that this is a transfer nor what you have named your accounts. 
    Your checking account sees one side of the transaction and downloads that.
    Your savings account sees one side of the transaction and downloads that.
    REALLY, the best practice is to input these transfers manually and let Q simply do the matching.
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  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    NotACPA said:
    REALLY, the best practice is to input these transfers manually and let Q simply do the matching.
    Which can easily be setup as recurring transfer reminders if they occur on a regular basis. Set, forget and match the transactions when they are downloaded. Works as expected every time.
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  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    "...because you bank has no idea that this is a transfer nor what you have named your accounts."
    To clarify that statement... If all these accounts are with the same bank then of course the bank "knows" this is a transfer and "knows" which account the money left from and which accounts received the money.  Walk into your bank and ask a teller and he or she will have that information at their fingertips.
    But the bank doesn't sent Quicken a "balanced" accounting entry encompassing the entirety of the transaction and where debits equal credits:
    Debit (increase) Savings1 $200
    Debit (increase) Savings2 $ 50
    Debit (increase) Savings3 $ 75
    Credit (decrease) Checking   $325
    It sends each of those entries as a separate and distinct transaction, isolated to the one account each entry affected.  It's "as if" you were still using paper registers and had to make 4 separate entries in separate bank books.  If you looked at that $75 deposit a year from now you might not even know where that money came from unless you happened to make a note to yourself in that account's register.
    Although Quicken has developed all sorts of programmatic aids to try and help you keep your accounting straight - memorized payees and reminders among them - ultimately it's on you to be the intelligent actor in your role a Chief Account Officer.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    No teller is involved in these downloads.  It's the bank's checking system and the bank's savings system.
    And each of them ONLY knows about the transaction that posts therein.
    Downloads are from these respective systems (which don't know that the transaction is a transfer).
    There is no mythical teller involved.
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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @gangrif:  You might clarify whether these are rel-world savings accounts or Quicken-world savings accounts you created only for the purpose of your envelope budgeting.  I suspect some contributors may be jumping to unsupported conclusions.  In the same vein, I suppose it could be one real-world savings account that you have for convenience broken into multiple 'envelopes'.     
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @q_lurker if this wasn't for real world accounts this problem would never come up since any of the transfers would have to be done with either a split transaction or with three manual transactions that never get downloaded because the financial institution would know nothing about them.

    gangrif said:
    im confused as to why quicken needs to make all these guesses. Isn't the "to" account included in the downloaded transactions?

    I do have reminders setup for most of these problem transactions. The thing I dont have is the habit of going into quicken a day early and adding them. It would be helpful if quicken recognised the scheduled transactions like it does scheduled bills. Which is also hit--or-miss for me.
    Just to drive home the point the others have made, here is an old transaction entry as it was sent by the financial institution (From the OFX log):
    <BANKACCTFROM>
    <BANKID>322271627
    <ACCTID>*********
    <ACCTTYPE>CHECKING
    </BANKACCTFROM>
    <BANKTRANLIST>
    ....
    <STMTTRN>
    <TRNTYPE>CREDIT
    <DTPOSTED>20110218120000[0:GMT]
    <TRNAMT>118.68
    <FITID>201102181
    <NAME>XXXXXXX RETAIL DIRECT DEP
    <MEMO>PPD ID: 9111111103
    </STMTTRN>
    ...

    By the OFX standard there is a <BANKACCTTO>, but it is optional and seldom used.
    What's more it would be useless for transfers between different financial institutions.


    And on the second part of your question if the reminders/transactions aren't already in the register before you download what is Quicken suppose to match to?

    As it turns there is a very "flaky" attempt to match downloaded transaction to reminders, but it is very unreliable (and hard to say when it will even kick in) and would again be guessing that the two are the same, and it is so much of a guess that when it happens Quicken will always ask you if the downloaded transaction is in fact that reminder and if you say yes it will skip it, and I'm not even sure it will get the transfer category correct.

    On the reminders you can set them to be automatically entered on that day and as such you will not miss them.  Or maybe have them enter on the day before.
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