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Transfers and Categories (Q Mac)

Robert Lynch
Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
Hi there - anyone have any guidance on automatic transfers for paying loans so that in checking the category, will fill in as Mortgage & in the loan it will fill in as Adjustment (or some other category that does not make it appear as a net zero transaction)?

I am looking to link the transactions, but have different categories for reporting purposes. I have other transactions within these loan accounts that I want to keep in the reporting and why I cannot just exclude the accounts from the reports.

It seems that linked transactions when you update the category in one, the other is not able to update.

Side note, this is not just for loans, it will also be for automatic savings transfers between checking and savings accounts.

Thanks!

Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Robert Lynch Sorry, you lost me. You're asking if you can "make linked transactions with different categories." If I understand you correctly, "linked transactions" are, by definition, transfers. And transfers don't have categories. So the answer is no -- if I'm understanding you correctly.

    I'm not sure I understand why you're wishing to handle your loan payments by entering adjustment transactions in both the liability account and your savings account -- it seems like you're swimming upstream against the way Quicken was designed to work -- but if your approach suits your needs, so be it. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • MontanaKarl
    MontanaKarl Member, Windows Beta, Mac Beta Beta
    Trying to understand what you want, Robert...

    A transfer between accounts has no category (in accounting, Quicken categories correspond to income/expense accounts) - it is just a movement of cash which impacts the balance sheet (one account goes up, the other down) without impacting the income statement (cash flow).

    A mortgage payment, your first example, is typically entered as a split transaction, with one entry being in the category for mortgage interest expense, and the other a transfer to the mortgage liability account representing the principal portion of the payment which is reducing (curtailing) the mortgage balance.  The principal payment has no impact on an income/expense statement.  For cash flow purposes, a cash flow report would include transfers... and show this curtailment there.

    When a mortgage payment also includes escrow amounts - for real estate taxes, insurance, etc, those are entered as additional split entries of the transaction from the account making the mortgage payment...each to the appropriate expense category.

    There should "never" be any transactions inside a mortgage liability account... other than the opening balance (initial loan) and the subsequent principal payments (transfers, reducing the balance).  So, I'm confused when you say that there are other transactions there that should show up in reports?

    Similarly, when you have an automatic transfer between checking and savings, for example, why do you want the transfer put into a category?  It is just a balance sheet movement of an asset from one account to another with no tax or cash flow impact, nor any impact on net assets.

    Maybe I or someone can better answer if we better understand what isn't allowing you to report transactions as you wish?

    Quicken Windows and Mac subscription.  Quicken user since 1990.

  • Robert Lynch
    Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
    Hello - thanks for replying!

    I use the category reports to see line items by category and time periods to see where the full scope of my money goes.

    I have other loans besides a mortgage that has origination fees that I want to be in the report and why I include the account in the report. When I make the transfer, out of my checking since both accounts are linked, it is netting to zero on the report. My thought was to allow the transfer to link, but in checking account have the category be loan principal and in the loan account the category be adjustment (so it is ignored).

    For the example of automatic transfer for savings. I view that as real cash out and why I would like to see it as a similar view as above with the loan - checking category of automatic savings and in the savings account category of adjustment.

    I'm not set on the adjustment category, open to something different as long as it does not pull into the reporting.

    Root question is in linked transactions can they be different categories in each of the accounts that they transfer to/from?

    Thanks!
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Why are you including both the in and out categories in your report? The idea is to for spending/cash flow reports is to include one side of transfers but not the other, so they don't zero out. Exclude the loan (or savings) accounts from your report, and you'll have the view of your spending you want, won't you?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Robert Lynch
    Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
    Right now I do not have the transactions linked. I name each one of them separate. I label the ones in the loans and the auto savings in the savings account as Adjustment and they are removed from the reporting.

    My question is, am I able to use the linking function with different categories?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    "Adjustment" is a special category in Quicken specifically designed to be invisible to reports. I wish they didn't ave it, because I think it confuses more people than it helps; just my opinion. ;)

    Transfers of funds should not have categories, because they are not expenses. Form a cash flow standpoint, though, money out feels like an expense, which is why reports allow you to include transfers. but you only want to include accounts with one side of the transfer, to avoid the other side canceling out what you're trying to see in the report.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Robert Lynch
    Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
    Thanks. That is not my goal, and I have no current issues with how I am setup, this is an inquiry question if there is a way to make linked transactions with different categories.

    I think the way I am setup is best it will be for how I wish to view my reports - I fully understand what I want are not expenses, however this is my personal requirement.

    How can I resolve this discussion thread?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    @Robert Lynch Sorry, you lost me. You're asking if you can "make linked transactions with different categories." If I understand you correctly, "linked transactions" are, by definition, transfers. And transfers don't have categories. So the answer is no -- if I'm understanding you correctly.

    I'm not sure I understand why you're wishing to handle your loan payments by entering adjustment transactions in both the liability account and your savings account -- it seems like you're swimming upstream against the way Quicken was designed to work -- but if your approach suits your needs, so be it. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Robert Lynch
    Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
    Ok, I was able to get a few to be different categories, but it was clunky.

    I keep the transactions NOT linked b/c within my loans accounts there are origination fees that I need to pull in the reporting. So in the loan accounts the transaction downloads from the vendor, I have a run setup to categorize it as Adjustment. Then in checking It downloads from my bank and I have a run setup to categories with splits -- no linking.

    This is working how I need it to with no intervention besides reconciling and clearing the transactions.

    Thanks for confirming my question. This thread can be marked as resolved and closed.
This discussion has been closed.