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Use a report to highlight all of our subscriptions?

Hi Everyone. We have multiple bank accounts and multiple credit cards. Is there a way to run a report that looks for 'subscriptions' so I an manage them somewhere? We have apple for several, netflix, amazon prime annually, Pelaton, etc. etc. Would love to be able to monitor them all and possible cancel some of them!!

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you use a Category like "Subscriptions" when you make your periodic payments then running a Spending report by Category, customized to that one specific Category and pulling from all Accounts would at least list them all out.  Subtotaling by Payee would bring all the bills from each provider together for easy review.
    If you don't use only one Category for all these transactions - maybe Subscriptions for some, maybe "Entertainment" for others, etc. - then a customized and saved spending report with only the vendors that have a "subscription" element (periodic payment) to their business model would be another way to go.
  • cwpomeroy
    cwpomeroy Member ✭✭
    Most of them hit my credit card and I don't go thru and categorize each credit card transaction. I saw a teaser from a banking software app that had this idea listed as a 'feature'. i just thought quicken must have something similar. I suppose i could run a report looking for recurring payments of the same amount?
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    " I suppose i could run a report looking for recurring payments of the same amount? "
    You could run a report like that but you could only pull out the vendors one at a time.
    Since you seem to know what business use a subscription model it would be more straightforward to simply customize a spending report by payee with only those vendors selected, and save that report.  That way they would all be in one place.

  • cwpomeroy
    cwpomeroy Member ✭✭
    Yes, but then i have to remember all of the vendors..... seems like this would be a cool quicken feature for them to build into the platform.
  • bmciance
    bmciance SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The “cool” Quicken feature is the ability to categorize and/or tag each transaction so that you can report on them later.  You can also memorize these transactions so they will automatically be categorized in the future. You can also make recurring transactions scheduled to match up with the downloaded transactions.  Then you will know they are categorized properly.  Yes, this could take some work setting up but once it is it works great. 

    I have to ask, if you don’t categorize each transaction, what do you use Quicken for?   
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Another way to identify subscriptions if they fall into different Categories would be to define a Tag called Subs or whatever and assign that to the subscription payments.

    Since the subscription payments are recurring, you should have a memorized transaction for each of them and then the tag would be memorized too and the assignment of the tag would be automatic.

    Then you could set a report to include just that tag and you would see all of your subscription payments in one place.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    cwpomeroy said:
    Yes, but then i have to remember all of the vendors..... seems like this would be a cool quicken feature for them to build into the platform.
    And what magic would Quicken employ to provide to this?

    If you can't explain how you would do it, there is no chance that a Quicken Inc programmer would be able to do it for you.

    When I think about how I might do it I come up with only two ways, and only one of them would be "automatic", but it would also be error prone.

    The one automatic way would be to have a list of all the subscription vendors in the world and if a vendor name is on that list call it a subscription.  Of course such a list doesn't exist, and it would also overlap a list of vendors that provide both a subscription and some other service, and as such couldn't be relied upon.

    The second way is that the user tells Quicken what payees are subscriptions.
    And as others have suggested that can already be done, but you have to put in the work.  You can either create a saved report with the vendors/payee names that are subscriptions for you (and as such Quicken remembers them for you). Or you can do it up front by properly categorizing your transactions and/or tagging them and then reporting on those.
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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Quicken DOES have a feature to automatically categorize downloaded credit card transactions, but you must keep an eye on what it does and create Renaming rules and memorized transactions to fix it when it gets a name or category wrong.

    The automatic categorization does not work if you have created your own categories. You can rename the built-in categories so they are more meaningful to you, but if you delete the built-in categories and use your own instead, it breaks the auto-categorization.

    To enable auto-categorization, go to Edit > Preferences > Downloaded transactions and select Automatically categorize transactions.

    The other settings I use on that dialog are 
    • Automatically apply Quicken's suggested name
    • Use my existing renaming rules
    • Automatically create rules when I rename payees
    • Let me review/confirm the automatically created rules
    The other options I leave un-checked.

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  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Quicken does have a feature that scans for repeating transactions. It's a component of the Bill and Income Reminders functionality. It will suggest creating Reminders for the repeating transactions. 

    If memory serves, you can find it under options in the Bill and Income Reminders window:
    Menu path: Tools | Manage Bill & Income Reminders
    Keyboard shortcut: CTRL J

    In fact, even if the Bill and Income Reminders scan doesn't find your subscriptions, you could still create Reminders for your subscriptions. Combine that with adding the Bill & Income Reminders snapshot to your Home tab view and you would have your subscription info readily accessible on your Home tab. 

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I had thought about the Bill and Income Reminders too, but the fact that a bill comes in every month, every quarter or whatever doesn't make it a "subscription" as I think the term was used by the OP.  All your water bills, electric bills,natural gas bills, garbage bills, credit card bills, etc. are recurring but aren't really "subscriptions."

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Quicken DOES have a feature to automatically categorize downloaded credit card transactions, but you must keep an eye on what it does and create Renaming rules and memorized transactions to fix it when it gets a name or category wrong.

    I'm not sure if this was directed at what I said or not.
    If it is then I want to point out that it isn't that you can't get Quicken to automatically categorize transactions, you certainly can.  It is that you can't get Quicken to automatically categorize them "as subscriptions".

    I'm sure that if Quicken automatically categorized Netflix, it would give it a category like Entertainment, not Subscription, if for no other reason than there isn't a "subscription" category in the default categories that it uses for such purposes.
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  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020
    cwpomeroy said:   Is there a way to run a report that looks for 'subscriptions' so I can manage them somewhere?
    Totally up to you to identify each transaction with either a Category or a Tag -
    You can't really ask Quick to report on data that you have not taken the time to identify for later reporting..... that's the whole reason for doing it -
    And not really "subscriptions" - more like a "recuring payment" -

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  • cwpomeroy
    cwpomeroy Member ✭✭
    Hi everyone. Thanks for the feedback. One question, if I don't tag transactions what do I use Quicken for? I run all of my banking, credit cards, bills and investments thru it. I pay all of my bills thru it. It was just a lot of work to manually tag all of the transactions so I give up some detailed reporting but I can still look up a ton of info and check on my portfolio etc.

    Second question was how would I program it? Well, I would start crowdsourcing tags. Why isn't (maybe they are) using our data to help each other? I would start asking users to tag things and then gather that up to improve their automatic tagging. But until then, I would simply look for regular repeating payments and offer them up as "possible" subscriptions. I see other tools offering this as a feature, so it must be possible.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think you are talking about Categories and not Tags. Categories are for tracking types of income and spending - groceries, auto expenses, utilities, taxes, interest, dividends, etc. You can have subcategories if you want.

    Quicken's automatic payee renaming and categorization help get you started using Categories. Memorized Payees and renaming rules help you fine tune the process. I currently have about 200 memorized payees and 100 renaming rules. I hardly ever have to correct the category or standardize the payee name for downloaded transactions.

    Tags provide an extra "dimension" for tracking. Using the subscription example, you might have subscriptions in several unrelated categories - cable TV (Netflix, Disney +), Computer (backup service, App fees) etc. Using a common Tag would let you group these together for reporting purposes.
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  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes the tech term vs the common english usage ... Category, Tag.
    I think the OP meant just the action, and not the Quicken Tag function.
    BTW... I just started with Tags for our vacation travels.
    I could go either way.... like - airfare - make it a Category, with a Tag for the trip...
    --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = San Diego
    --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = LAX
    --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = MIA 


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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    cwpomeroy said:

    Second question was how would I program it? Well, I would start crowdsourcing tags. Why isn't (maybe they are) using our data to help each other? I would start asking users to tag things and then gather that up to improve their automatic tagging. But until then, I would simply look for regular repeating payments and offer them up as "possible" subscriptions. I see other tools offering this as a feature, so it must be possible.
    On crowdsourcing data.  I have a feeling that you find that Quicken users aren't to keen on sharing their data for such purposes.

    On the subject of searching for regular repeating transactions, look at mshiggins comment above.
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  • cwpomeroy
    cwpomeroy Member ✭✭
    > @ps56k said:
    > Sometimes the tech term vs the common english usage ... Category, Tag.
    > I think the OP meant just the action, and not the Quicken Tag function.BTW... I just started with Tags for our vacation travels.I could go either way.... like - airfare - make it a Category, with a Tag for the trip...
    > --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = San Diego
    > --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = LAX
    > --- Category = Vacation/Airfare and Tag = MIA 


    Yes, sorry for any confusion. I'm a 20+ year user of quicken but never got too advanced in using it. I was using generic terms and not quicken specific. I just meant I thought Quicken could learn from it's users use of the data to help automatically do things for us. Maybe they do already. I was looking for an easy button solution to finding all of my recurring expenses. I have a credit card that does it for me and I don't do anything to it's 'data'... it just tells me here are some recurring transactions.
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