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Transfers between accounts not categorized correctly

I have been using Quicken for several years. I have my bank accounts and credit card accounts linked to Quicken so I can download transactions. In the past, a payment from my checking account to the credit card account would show up as follows: When viewing the checking account, the transaction would have a category of "[Mastercard xxxxx]" (where xxxxx shows part of the account number). When viewing the credit card account, the transaction category would display as "[Free Checking xxxxx]".
Suddenly starting this January, the categories were reversed - in the checking account the category shows as "[Free Checking xxxxx]" and in the credit card it shows as "[Mastercard xxxxx]".
This makes absolutely no sense - you want the category to display where the money was transferred to (or from). But right now the category is the same as the account itself, making it seem like it is transfering to/from itself.
I tried to change the category so that it appeared the same as it had always appeared until this January. This resulted in Quicken creating a duplicate transaction for the other account, and would then have to go and delete the other transaction. In other words, if I change the category of the payment under the credit card to [Free Checking xxxx], a duplicate transaction is created in the Checking account and I have to delete the other one.
This seems like a bug to me - it definitely started occurring in January and has happened each month since then. Is there a solution to this?

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    First off let me state that if you have [Free Checking xxxxx] when you are in "Free Checking xxxxx" then you have a "balance adjustment" transaction not a transfer.  As in the "nonsense" syntax of a "transfer to the same transaction" tells Quicken Windows that to enter the amount without affecting any category or other account.

    When you changed it, and got a duplicate transaction, that is actually what is expected.
    In other words in one account you changed the balance adjustment to a transfer, that creates a transfer in the other account (your duplicate transaction), but it doesn't remove the balance adjustment transaction in the other account.  So to be correct you would have to also delete the balance adjustment transaction in the other account.  And once you did you would only have one transaction, the linked transfer.

    Now to why this is happening.  The best way to handle transfers is to pre-enter them either manually or with a reminder.  And then match the downloaded transactions to that transfer.  And to do that you would pre-enter/have a reminder that is for only one account, since when a transfer is entered into an account it creates both sides of the transfer at the same time.

    As for why it is doing something different now I would look at your reminders and your Memorized Payee list and see if they are setup to put this transaction in as two balance adjustments.

    Also it might be that the "Transfer Detection" option in the Preferences has been turned off.

    The way that works is that when it sees a downloaded deposit in one account for $XXX.XX and a withdraw in another account for -$XXX.XX it will "guess" that they are a transfer and connect the two.  So this might have taken the two balance adjustment transactions from in the past can changed them into a linked transfer.  But note this is only a guess, so make sure you have the "confirm option" for Transfer Detection on, so that you can catch "mistakes".
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  • dfkurz
    dfkurz Member
    So first off, I just checked the preferences and it is set to "Automatically create transfers when detected".

    Second, I don't want to have to manually pre-enter them - why should I have to do that if it downloads the automatically? I just want to click the Update Accounts button and have everything come in properly.
    I don't have any reminders, so that is not an issue.

    As to memorized Payees, I do see a memorized payee for one of my two linked credit cards (I have two from the same bank, one for me and one for my wife. They both list the Payee as "Withdraw Barclays Bank", but that never cause a problem before - each one would be categorized to the correct account. Ove the years the payee name has changed, for example it used to show up as "Barclays Bank Debill", but that never changed how it categorized the transfer.)

    But I believe it now shows up under memorized payees because I tried memorizing the payee recently to see if I could fix the problem - there was never any reason to memorize the payee before because the category was always correct.

    I can edit the Memorized payee list but I am not certain what I need to do to make sure it is treated as a transfer rather than a balance adjustment. Can you explain what needs to happen?

    This still does not explain why this suddenly started happening in January - I have been using Quicken since 2013 and this never occurred until this year!
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    dfkurz said:
    So first off, I just checked the preferences and it is set to "Automatically create transfers when detected".

    Second, I don't want to have to manually pre-enter them - why should I have to do that if it downloads the automatically?
    Because the "other account" is unknown.

    If you were to look at the logs for the data coming in all you would see is a withdraw with a payee (maybe like transfer), and a date, and an amount.  The same fore the other side.  Quicken has no way of knowing which accounts are being referenced.  The possibilities are that both accounts might be from the same financial institution, or not, or even one of them are not.  What's more it is probably recorded exactly like that Credit/Debit, not "Transfer".  So the bottom line is that they only thing that Quicken can do is "make a guess" and that is exactly what the "Transfer Detection" does.  And sometimes it gets it right sometimes not.

    As for the rest of it, and why it changed. I can't really tell.  You might try a backup copy of Quicken before that time and see if it behaves the differently.

    Given that you have used Quicken for a long time, I will assume for explaining what goes on with the Downloaded Transactions tab in the process.

    First the process in which Quicken determines the category.
    First any renaming rules are applied.  If none match and you have the option on for Quicken to guess at one, it might change the category.
    Next if a memorized payee that matches in the Memorized Payee list then the category will come from it.  Note that if you have multiple entries for the same payee, which one will be picked is "unknown", as it has changed over the years.  If no memorized payees match and you have the option on for Quicken to guess it will make a guess at the payee name based on the payee/memo.

    When you look at a transaction in the Downloaded Transactions tab the renaming rules will already been applied.
    When you select a transaction in Downloaded Transactions tab it will move to that transaction in the register if there is a match with an existing one or it will move to the new transaction entry slot and at that point you will see what Quicken picked for the category based on the above rules.  You can either accept that category or change it.  If you change it to [Other Account] then you will be creating a transfer to that other account.  And when you get to the other account and are working on its side of the transfer it should match the one that you entered in the other account.

    There is also an option in Quicken to automatically memorize payees based on what category you entered into Quicken for that payee in the transaction.
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