Using a Brokerage Checking Acct to automatically enter a payment to a charge card acct

After I reconcile any one of my charge cards, I use the “print a check” option so that Quicken will then create the transaction that’s made out to my credit card account with the amount automatically filled in for me. I then change this to a “transfer” (xfer) into my (brokerage) checking account, so the transaction can be linked to a matching payment in my credit card account. Everything works fine – until I download transactions, at which point Quicken never seems to be able to recognize my matching transfer. What am I not understanding is how I should be handling this so that everything doesn’t get out of whack. I always wind up with unmatched transactions. What am I doing wrong? I currently just a Deluxe version of the subscription, not the one that actually pays the bills from within Quicken.

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    Your first sentence sounds correct to me, but I think you're leaving something out here because the next sentence - "I then change this to a “transfer” (xfer) into my (brokerage) checking account, so the transaction can be linked to a matching payment in my credit card account" - throws me for a loop.
    When you set up a check to pay a credit card the normal process involves going to the checking Account from which the cash will be drawn and entering a transaction, with the offset to the cash outflow being a transfer the the credit card Account.  That is the accounting looks like this:
    Debit (decrease) Credit Card Account     $XXX
    Credit (decrease) Checking Account       $XXX
    In other words, one entry, and you're done. 
    The accounting entry I've posted here certainly sounds like what you're referring to in your first sentence, but your second sentence - where you use the words "checking account", "transfer" and "payment to credit card" exactly mimics that accounting entry.
    So I have to ask: what entry are you making when you do your first sentence transaction?  What Accounts and/or Categories are involved?  I think it's this "1st entry" that's messing things up.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The part I don’t recall is how the “Print a check?” prompt works. Do you specify the account for the check?  Does Quicken default to some account?  Can you not override or change that account used?  (Sorry I can’t check that behavior right now.)
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's might be the missing piece of the puzzle. 
    When Quicken prompts you to print a check at the end of a reconciliation it presents a drop-down list of Accounts so you can select which Account will be used to issue the check.   You should be selecting the brokerage checking Account at that point because it's that Account that will make the payment.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tom Young said:
    That's might be the missing piece of the puzzle. 
    When Quicken prompts you to print a check at the end of a reconciliation it presents a drop-down list of Accounts so you can select which Account will be used to issue the check.   You should be selecting the brokerage checking Account at that point because it's that Account that will make the payment.

    As I have now followed up, I see the offering of accounts upon which to write the check is limited to "spending" accounts.  Investment accounts are not an option.  Thus the OP must be first selecting a regular checking account as the source, and then editing that to be the desired investment account.  I'll assume that edit is in the credit card account by changing the 'category' from the checking account to the investment account. 

    I see the subsequent entry in the investment account is an XOut transaction.  You may need to edit that entry to be a withdrawal to the category of [Credit Card Acct] .  I don't know how the investment firm is describing their download.  Also, when I tried that sequence, it seemed to create an orphaned duplicate in the credit card account.  Be careful. 

    Seems like a lot of shenanigans to avoid typing in the amount one time.  My approach is to have a scheduled bill reminder where I type in the amount and copy in the CC's payment confirmation number to the 'Number' field when I authorize the payment.         
  • Sorry, I phrased my orig. question with sloppy typos. Let's say I'm reconciling my LLBean charge card. When it's successfully reconciled, I get a msg box that "offers" to print a check for me and I respond in the affirmative. Quicken "knows" the amount that's due to LLBean (because I just reconciled the acct, it knows the balance that's owed). So, when I say I want to print a check - Quicken automatically creates a transaction in my one & only checking account - which it automatically fills in for me with the current date (I think) but with both the correct amount (to pay my balance in full - which is what I always do) and the credit card as sort of both the payee and the "category" selected. - Here's a cut-&-paste of my example, but with amt owed not shown:

    ... Quicken leaves the place where you could enter a check # blank; I then change this blank to transfer (Xfer). That's the only change I make, except for also changing the date of the transactions. Transactions is plural, because by changing this to a transfer I can then use "go to matching transaction" in order actually see the transaction entered as a credit to my LLBean account.

    BTW, I've been doing it this way ever since there's been an extra charge for automatic bill payment. Perhaps this was before or after Intuit sold the software & it went to a subscription basis? It's been so long I can't remember when, nor do I remember exactly when Quicken was no longer able to match my downloaded transaction in my charge cards but instead creates its own.

    Hope this helps.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    " and the credit card as sort of both the payee and the "category" selected. - Here's a cut-&-paste of my example, but with amt owed not shown: "
    If the picture you've posted is a cut and paste from your checking Account, then I'd say "you're done", assuming you've selected the checking Account you intend to use for the payment. 
    If the name of the credit card Account in Quicken is "LLBean_CitiMstr 0054" the fact that Quicken has put that Account name in square brackets, (i.e., [ and ] ) indicates that you have a transfer.  You typically enter a "Category" (income or expense) in the Category box, but if what you enter in the Category has the square brackets and an Account name - [Name of Account] - then you've recorded a transfer.
    "Quicken leaves the place where you could enter a check # blank; I then change this blank to transfer (Xfer). That's the only change I make, except for also changing the date of the transactions."
    First, the transaction is a transfer by definition if the Category box is filled in with square brackets and a valid Account name.  Changing the check number field from bland to "transfer" really isn't necessary, but entering it also shouldn't really change things, as I understand it.  (Programmatically, if you change the field to "transfer" as your first step to entering a transaction, the program should only present Accounts in the Category drop down field.)
    "Transactions is plural, because by changing this to a transfer I can then use "go to matching transaction" in order actually see the transaction entered as a credit to my LLBean account."
    IF the Account name is correctly presented in the Category box before you make your change in the check number field AND the check is coming out of the Account you intend to use, THEN simply entering the transaction "as is" is sufficient. 


  • Well, thank you - that's very interesting & I'll try it as soon as I get another account to reconcile, however it still doesn't answer the question re. why Quicken creates its own duplicate entry when I download my credit card data, prior to reconciling. I would very much like to not have to delete their entry or manually match it.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    Setting the Check # field should not impact Quicken's ability to match an entry with a downloaded transaction.  When attempting to match an imported transaction an existing unmatched transaction, Quicken uses the date, amount, and payee.  I suggest comparing these fields.  I suspect the posted transaction is earlier than the entered transaction date.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    my one & only checking account
    Is that checking account the one you want the payment to come from?  (Since it is one and only, must be.  Duh, I say to myself). 

    How is it associated with your "(brokerage) checking account"?  That is, does this account exist as an account linked to your brokerage account?  Do the downloads to this account come in separate from the downloads to your investment brokerage account?  Really, I am after whether "brokerage" is an issue at all.   
    Everything works fine – until I download transactions, at which point Quicken never seems to be able to recognize my matching transfer. 
    Is it when you download checking account transactions or credit card transactions that the failure to match develops?

    The other question I see involves dates (possibly a red herring).  You reconcile and Quicken dates the check 'to print' as on that date.  But you actually make the payment when (and how, by paper check, bank's online pmt service, CC pay card feature)?  And the CC credits the payment as of when?  At one time, matching of downloaded transactions to existing transactions was believed to involve dates as well as amounts.  That may not be the case (thus a red herring), but I thought I should ask just in case there is a notable difference.    
  • In Quicken, setting up my brokerage accounts & the brokerage house's checking account was created linked in a way I have never understood. We've directed our brokerage house to sweep money from our "core" account into our checking account so we don't have to worry about bouncing checks. We never enter anything to our core account; our brokerage house works in strange (to us, anyway) & mysterious ways. We use our broker's online "bill pay" service to pay all our bills. However, as I'm sure you're aware, regardless of what date you enter as a "check" date the transaction must go through the Clearing House and then be processed by the receiving credit card company.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, thank you - that's very interesting & I'll try it as soon as I get another account to reconcile, however it still doesn't answer the question re. why Quicken creates its own duplicate entry when I download my credit card data, prior to reconciling. I would very much like to not have to delete their entry or manually match it.
    So the real issue is that the transaction that shows in the Quicken CC does not get matched up automatically to the newly downloaded transaction from the CC company.  I doubt that all this about the brokerage account and the "Print a check" option are relevant. 

    You have a transaction in the CC account for the correct amount on a date to a payee categorized as a transfer from your checking account.  Your next download from the CC company shows the exact same transaction amount but a different payee and possibly a different date.  Why don't they get matched?  That is not something I am well versed on.  

    Are you having the downloaded CC transactions automatically entered into the register?  If so, this discussion might help:
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7876719/manually-match-a-transaction-in-q2020-for-windows



     
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now that I think about it, I do believe Quicken's entry when you tell it you want to print a check after reconciling is "today's" date, (i.e., the date you finished the reconciliation), though presumably you don't actually pay the credit card amount until some 20 - 25 days later, closer to when the payment is due?
    If you're not changing the date from "today's" date the date when you actually issue the check, that could cause Quicken not to find a match when transactions get downloaded.
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