What could cause "Statement Payee" to be incorrectly recorded?

I'm using Quicken Deluxe 2020 for Mac Version 5.18.2 (Build 518.35919.100).

I'm downloading transactions from my credit union using "Quicken Connect". I'd like to clarify at the outset that this is an issue with the "Statement Payee" and "Statement Memo" as shown in the Inspector window. This is not about a renaming rule.

I'm seeing an issue where the "Statement Payee" seems to be getting recorded incorrectly. I'm looking at a particular transaction (ID 4137). Based on the timing and amount, it was clearly a payment to my gas company. If I open the Inspector on that transaction, it says my financial institution reported (some details obscured):

FITID: 4137
Date Posted: (date)
Statement Payee: External Deposit - (name of a client)
Statement Memo: External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT

For almost all other transactions, the Statement Payee matches the first 30 or so characters of the Statement Memo. There are several transactions, like 4137, where they do not match.

If I look in the HTTPLog.txt file, I can find the transaction in question (some details obscured):

"amount" : xxx
"postedOn" : "xxxx",
"cpCategoryId" : xxxx
"id" : "4137",
"memo" : "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT",
"payee" : "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUN",
"inferredPayee" : "Puget Sound Energy",

So it looks like the information was fine as reported by the financial institution, and fine as reported by Quicken Connect, but got scrambled locally.

Has anyone seen this before? Is there any way to fix these broken transactions?

(I've read elsewhere that Direct Connect may be more reliable, and I've switched to it, but I still have a few months of transactions with garbage data. Plus I only just now switched, so I don't yet know if it fixed the problem.)


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's a limit on how many characters can be recorded in the Payee field.  By inserting that useless "External Withdrawal - " info, your CU is causing the actually useful info to be truncated.
    Switching download methods won't resolve previously recorded transactions ... and I doubt that it will stop your CU from insetting the prefix garbage.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    I understand that there is a limit to the number of characters that can fit in the payee field. I understand that "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT" will be shortened to "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUN"

    What I don't expect is for it to be replaced with some completely unrelated thing. In the example above, the Memo field is referring to a withdrawal. The Payee field is a truncated reference to an entirely unrelated /deposit/ by a different company: "External Deposit - (name of a client)" (I omitted the client name for privacy reasons.)
  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @prutschman

    Thank you for the additional details although I apologize that you have not received a follow-up response.

    In your initial post, I see that you mention the "Statement Payee" this is a column that may be added to the register. This is typically used when there is some sort of formatting issue and the usual "Payee" column may not be used.

    Are you experiencing a problem that is leading you to use the "Statement Payee" column instead of the standard payee column?

    If you are looking for a way to edit previous payees, you should be able to edit them "En Masse." 

    To do so, I would start by searching for a payee/category to isolate the transactions that you would like to edit.

    I would then select Command + A to highlight the entire register.

    I would then navigate to the "Edit" option along the bottom of the register and choose the payee for multiple transactions.

    The only caveat being, split transactions can only be edited individually and the process can not be applied to split transactions.

    Please let me know how it goes!

    -Quicken Tyka
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    I (attempt to) use renaming rules. When creating a renaming rule, there are two matching options:

    "If Quicken name is" and "If statement name contains"

    I don't know where the "Quicken name" comes from, but it's often wrong. It's not a useful source of matching information. For example, if a renaming rule has already triggered on a mis-recorded statement name, the quicken name will also contain erroneous information.

    So, I try to use the "If statement name contains" option when creating the rule, and pick which keywords to look for. Obviously this fails (badly) if the statement name is incorrect, since it will match on the erroneous statement name. This isn't improved by trying the "If Quicken name is" option, since that is apparently based originally on the "Statement name", and is possibly further modified by renaming rules.

    I can't address this with my financial institution, since according to the logs my credit union is sending correct data.

    This leaves me with no reliable source of information to use for renaming rules, since there is no "If statement memo contains" option in creating matching rules.

    Also at a basic level it is concerning to me that the data from my financial institution is getting mis-recorded in my local ledger. If statement names are getting mixed up, do I also need to worry that dollar amounts are getting mixed up?
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    As a concrete example, the gas company transaction I refer to above was recorded in the ledger with the incorrect statement name of "External Deposit - (name of a client)". This triggers my renaming rule, which sets the name to "Payment from (client)". I can manually change the Quicken Name to the correct value, but the only way to find these incorrect transactions is to enable the "Statement Memo" field, sort by that, and group-edit the Quicken Name. I also have to make sure to never run future renaming rules based on the statement name, since that will match on the "Payment from (client)" statement name incorrectly recorded in the ledger.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    I don't use Quicken Mac so I can't check what it is doing exactly, but based on what Quicken Windows is doing and what the OFX standard says (Quicken is suppose to be using the OFX standard for deciding things like the length of fields), here is my take on all this.

    "Quicken name" is basically what the "Quicken server" guesses based on a couple of things.  One is that there is a field that the financial institution sends that tells what type of transaction it is, and the second part is a list of know billers.  Clearly for billers that aren't common this turns into a pure guess.  And so you are right, it is basically useless.

    Quicken Mac's "statement name" is equalvant to Quicken Windows "payee".
    (Quicken Windows has "if payee contains" and "if Quicken name is")

    At least in Quicken Windows "if payee contains" is misleading.  Quicken Windows looks at both the payee and the memo for renaming rules.  I would hope this is the same for Quicken Mac.

    Now on the OFX standards for field lengths.
    <NAME> (statement name/payee) 32 characters.
    <MEMO> 255 characters

    So there isn't any reason that Quicken Mac should be truncating this field and the renaming rule should work.

    With that being said, it would be important to look at the Quicken logs to make sure the financial institution is actually sending the full memo data.

    Also if this account is setup with Quicken Connect then it is possible that the aggregator (Intuit) is also truncating this field. As in the financial institution is providing it to the aggregator correctly, but it is truncating it.  That would still show up in Quicken as truncated in the logs since it wouldn't know which is doing the truncation, it would just be where the fix would have to be.
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    Hi Chris,

    I have looked at the logs. The institution is sending, for example,
    "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUN" for name and
    "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT" for memo. This is exactly as I expect it to be.

    However, when I look at the same transaction in the ledger, quicken has recorded:
    "External Deposit - (name of a client)" for statement name
    "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT" for memo.

    These are not internally consistent, obviously. That name is not a truncation of that memo. According to the logs, it is not my financial institution messing up.

    Thanks for you tip about the match including the memo field. That does indeed appear to be the case on the mac version, but there's a problem:

    It does appear that the rules are matching on the combination of "Statement Name" and "Statement Memo". But since the "Statement Name" portion is getting incorrectly recorded, it will trigger a false match. So, in my example, it looks like the match is against "External Deposit - (name of a client) External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT"

    These are obviously inconsistent, which is the problem in the first place. The trouble is that my "Name of client" rule (incorrectly) matches, but my "Gas Company" rule ALSO matches. Only one can win, and which one does depends on exactly how the statement name is mis-recorded.
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    Just to reiterate: "External Deposit - (name of a client)" is absolutely NOT a truncation of "External Withdrawal - PUGET SOUND ENER - ONLINE PMT". It's completely different, and it doesn't show up that way in the logs.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Is it possible that you have another renaming rule that is doing this?
    And if so could you change that renaming rule?

    Another thought is that in Quicken Windows there are "Downloaded" columns that can be turned on.  They allow the user to see what was sent, and should be exactly what is in the logs.  Does Quicken Mac have that so that you can check that it in fact gets that information into the "register level"?
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • prutschman
    prutschman Member ✭✭
    I don't believe it's a renaming rule. I think "Statement Name" and "Statement Memo" correspond to the downloaded columns. I base this on the following:

    When inspecting a transaction they are described as "Information from the financial institution". Unlike the Payee field, they cannot be edited when editing a transaction. I have never seen these fields change as a result of a renaming rule. Renaming rules appear to only affect the "Payee" field.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    OK.  Just terminology differences between Quicken Windows/Mac.

    Well in that case if the logs have one thing and the columns in Quicken Mac have a different thing, that is a bug in Quicken Mac.
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
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