Basic Questions

I have been using Q little over a month, trying to learn various features/functions. There was quite a bit learning curve. I spent most of the time learning it through Q support, entering my 10+ years of data. Now, I have got a reasonable handle, but have some basic questions:
1. I see three status entries (unclear, clear and Reconcile) for every transaction. What is the significance of them? Do I have to worry about them? Do I have to make them all clear or reconcile? Do they affect end results (total spending, income, investment performance etc)?
2. Once a downloaded transaction is deleted, how Q know not to download it again upon next One Step Update? Does it keep a log of every downloaded transaction in qdf or other file?
3. If I copy qdf file to another file using Q's File/File Operation/copy method, it produces a smaller size file. What info is removed? Can it be used as a master file going forward? (So far, I have been copying using Window Explorer)
Thanks

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    #1 unclear, transaction in the register that hasn't yet cleared the financial institution. For instance you just wrote a check.  Clear(ed) means the transaction has cleared the financial institution.  Quicken will marked transaction downloaded as cleared because clearly they have been posted by the financial institution.  Transactions are marked reconciled when you have confirmed that your transactions match what the financial institution has.  Traditional reconciling would be to the monthly bank statement.  You can start a reconcile in an account with Ctrl+R.  You can also reconcile to the downloaded online balance.

    #2 Each transaction sent to Quicken is given an unique Id.  For Direct Connect accounts, it comes from the financial institution.  For Express Web Connect it is sometimes from the financial institution and sometimes from Intuit's servers which pick up these transactions for you (Quicken Inc pays Intuit for this service).  If you click on this icon, you can turn on the Downloaded ID column that shows this unique Id.  Quicken records all of these imported into the account (even if they are deleted).  And as such uses these to determine if it has seen them before and therefore will not put them in the register again.


    #3 Quicken's data file contains a database to store transactions and such.  The nature of databases is that adding new records is "costly" performance wise, so they avoid deleting and adding when they can.  So when you delete something Quicken really just marks is "deleted" and doesn't really remove it.  If you add something later it reuses these "deleted" records.  The copy operation is a record by record copy and it removes these records that are marked for deletion.  That is why the size goes down.  The copy can definitely used just like the original.
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    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    #1 Think of it this way.  You manually enter a transaction "blank"; you download from the FI and it is either new or matched "C"; you reconcile what is in Q to the paper statement checking off those that are on the statement "R".
    If you reconcile to downloaded balance, C & R happen at same time.
    #2 Quicken has a field named Reference (FITID / FI Transaction ID) that it remembers as each and every transaction is downloaded, it will not present that FITID again if it is downloaded.
    #3 Depends on what settings you used in the File Operations Copy.  As such, when you delete transactions or an account from Quicken, it does not reduce the size of the file, Q just uses the freed up space before it increases the file's size in the future.  If you have done a bunch of deletions, the File Operations Copy will reduce the file's size because it is making the copy at the transaction level and it is not a "DOS" copy like the File->Save a Copy As does.

    Using Windows Explorer is perfectly fine, it is an EXACT copy of your data file with no changes in the content.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    1.  Reconciling registers is optional but we do reconcile all our accounts against statements obtained from financial institutions.  Uncleared is generally used for transaction that has not been posted at a financial institution.  Cleared is generally used for transaction that has been posted at a financial institution.  Reconciled is generally used for transaction that has been reconciled against a statement obtained from the financial institution.  The flags on there own do not affect end results (total spending, income, investment performance etc).  Note: We may set transaction filters  for these flags in reports.

    2.  Every imported transaction has a FTID field that is supposed to be unique in the register.  Even when we delete the transaction the value of this field is still saved.  If we attempt to import a transaction into the same register with the same FITID, Quicken will automatically filter it out.

    3.  When we use File > File Operation > Copy..., Quicken is able to reclaim space in the Quicken file that is no longer being used which is why the resulting file may be smaller.  For example, when we delete a transaction, the space between the transactions is not always reclaimed.  It's similar to defragmenting a drive but its just the Quicken file.  You may certainly use the copied file as a master file going forward.
  • RajM
    RajM Member ✭✭
    Thank you all. I knew there are very experienced users out there who will be be able to answer my easy questions.
    Just a quick followup on #1: If I modify downloaded transaction, will it be still considered "Cleared/Reconciled"? For example, when my dividend is reinvested, my financial institution posts 3 different transactions, one for dividend, one for withdrawal and one for share bought. I usually delete dividend and withdrawal transactions and modify share bought to Reinvestment Type and leave the status as it is (Cleared).
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    RajM said:
    Thank you all. I knew there are very experienced users out there who will be be able to answer my easy questions.
    Just a quick followup on #1: If I modify downloaded transaction, will it be still considered "Cleared/Reconciled"? For example, when my dividend is reinvested, my financial institution posts 3 different transactions, one for dividend, one for withdrawal and one for share bought. I usually delete dividend and withdrawal transactions and modify share bought to Reinvestment Type and leave the status as it is (Cleared).
    When we delete a transaction, the transaction is no longer considered Cleared or Reconciled.
  • RajM
    RajM Member ✭✭
    Yes, for the deleted one. But what about the modified one? For example, when I change "share bought" to "Reinvestment" type, should it be considered cleared/reconciled?
    Another followup question: If my Q account is matching with FI account, why should I worry about clearing/reconciling transactions? It seems unnecessary step.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    When you start to talk about reconciling an investment account instead of a non investment account "reconciling" is "different".

    But let's start with this question it could come up in a non investment account.
    RajM said:
    Yes, for the deleted one. But what about the modified one? For example, when I change "share bought" to "Reinvestment" type, should it be considered cleared/reconciled?
    If a person changes a reconciled transaction they can certainly change it in a way that your account is no longer reconcile, as in it doesn't match what the financial institutions has.  But Quicken isn't going to change the status of that transaction.  If you want to have to be "reconsidered" in a transaction you would have to manually change the clear status from R to either c or blank.

    Now for reconciling investment accounts you have realize that there is two parts to this.  The first is that you have to make sure that on that given date all the securities have the right amount of shares.  This captures problems like you have a sell when it should be a buy, or some other mixed up action.

    The second part the "reconcile" Ctrl+R in and investment only reconciles cash balances.  There are transactions that only affect the share balance and not the cash ones.  So it isn't nearly is easy as in a non investment account where if you select/deselect transactions and the cash balance is correct you are pretty sure it is all correct.  For instance 401Ks typically have on cash in them so the only result cash wise you are checking that it is zero, that isn't that hard to hit with a lot of combinations of actions.

    There are exceptions of course like your example where the financial institution sends a buy when it is in fact a reinvestment.  The result is that you cash balance will be lower than it should.  The best defense for this is carefully reviewing your transactions as they come in and make sure they have the right action.  What's more you will get a feel for what the financial institution sends wrong.  For instance my wife's 401K always sends the monthly reinvests are buys, and I have to correct.

    RajM said:

    Another followup question: If my Q account is matching with FI account, why should I worry about clearing/reconciling transactions? It seems unnecessary step.
    The process of reconciling is making sure that your Quicken records do in fact line up with what the financial institution has, so that you can be sure of what Quicken tells you in reports, budgets and such.  Even though there is "reconcile dialog" and such that is just the "tool" to do the reconcile.  If you know that everything lines up you basically already done the reconcile.  But how do you know that?
    You have to some process that verifies that.  And marking the transactions with R, just a way to let you know what has and hasn't been verified.
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    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
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  • RajM
    RajM Member ✭✭
    Thanks and appreciate your time for explaining in details.
    So far, I haven't used Reconcile tool. But, I have been reconciling my accounts by comparing Q vs FI balance (both investment and cash) periodically.
    Another way I have been reconciling is use of Q's Tool/Online Center to compare balance and portfolio.
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