All AmEx account downloads renamed to clothing category

Not sure how this was triggered but for some reason all downloads from my wife's Amex are categorized as clothing whether buying gasoline, shopping in a grocery store or whatever.
I looked at the renaming rules and can't find anything that explains this behavior. Having to recategorize every downloaded transaction for that card is a time waster and annoyer.
Any suggestions about how to fix the behavior would be appreciated.

Answers

  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 10
    Hello @Peter Sidell

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community to report this issue, although I apologize that you have not received a response.

    I would consider creating renaming rules to assign the category to a specific payee, details on how to do so are available here.

    Please let us know if this option helps to resolve the issue!

    Thank you,
    -Quicken Tyka

    [Edited to Include Mac Instructions]

    ~~~***~~~
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Peter Sidell  Just to understand, you're downloading transactions from various Payee names, and all those Payees are being auto-categorized as Clothing? You can try turning off auto-categorization in Quicken Preferences, but that might create as many or more problems for you. Have you tried creating QuickFill rules (not Renaming rules) for a few of these Payees to see if subsequent transactions from those Payees get categorized correctly? 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Peter Sidell
    Peter Sidell Member ✭✭
    It appears there are (at least) 2 types of rules that can rename transactions: Quick Fill Rules and renaming rules. The quick fill rules are invoked when I change the name of the payee on a downloaded transaction. The quick fill rule is created when I change the category of a downloaded transaction and check the save quick fill at time I make the change. Both can be edited on separate tabs of the Payees and rules window. In addition in the Quicken preferences under the register section is the option to create both renaming and quick fill rules after editing a payee name or category respectively. With quick fill I can opt to save category only or all fields.

    I now understand where I can access the rules. However I can find no rule for the AmEx card that renames everything to the clothing category.
    I have created quick fill rules for the supermarket to change to groceries but it seems to be over ridden.
    I am not sure where I can turn off auto categorization in Quicken preferences. There is a check box for:"automatically improve the quality name of downloaded payee names and categories." Is that the same thing?

    Perhaps I better understand the quick fill and renaming rules at this point. I thought I had a renaming rule for the grocery store.

    I have looked at the AmEx account to try and determine if it is auto tagging before the down load but can't identify that as happening.

    I will now watch to see if this problem has changed at all.
  • Peter Sidell
    Peter Sidell Member ✭✭
    I seem to be confusing the names of the 2 rules.

    My understanding at this point is the renaming rue is when I change the name of a downloaded payee (rename the payee.) The quick fill rule is created when I change the category for a transaction and check the box to create a quick fill rule. both can be edited on separate tabs in the payees and rules window.
    I don't see anything that would automatically try to choose the clothing category for every download from a particular account - AmEx in this case.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The account itself shouldn't have anything to do with categorization; Quicken Mac looks only at the Payee name; if you make a purchase from Amazon in the Amex account and Amazon in a different credit card account, the results should be the same.

    Renaming rules are to help you drive Quicken to use a consistent Payee name. Some transactions download like "Home Depot Store#1234 Anytown", and a renaming rule can change that downloaded Payee to "Home Depot". Renaming rules don't affect the category, just the Payee name.

    QuickFill rules allow the category, or all fields, to be filled in when a transaction for an existing Payee is entered or downloaded.

    It used to be that the next level of attempting to categorize a transaction would depend on whether the Payee has an exiting transaction in your database; Quicken would simply apply the same category as the most recent transaction for the same Payee. If Talbots is always clothing, this worked great; if Home Depot is sometimes Lawn & Garden, sometime Home Supplies and sometimes Tools, then new transactions would just be whatever was used last since Quicken doesn't know what you bought. This is the way Quicken Mac worked prior to QuickFill rules. It does not do this any longer for manually entered transactions; I'm not sure about downloaded transactions with no QuickFill rule.

    When there is no QuickFill rule to specify the category for a Payee, Quicken attempts to categorize the Payee based on a database of crowd-sourced data. It might know that Exxon is gas and Talbots is clothing. These server-driven results can be helpful, or can be off the mark. Some people find them incorrect often enough that they turn off the Preferences > Connected Services option to "Automatically improve the quality of downloaded payee names and categories". That turns off Quicken's attempt to clean up payee names and to auto categorize transaction, so it might leave you with a lot of "Uncategorized" transactions instead of some correctly and some incorrectly categorized transactions. But some people prefer this so they can search for Uncategorized transactions and categorize them manually. Also, note that this auto-categorization only works for the categories Quicken starts with as its defaults; if you create a new category, Quicken's crowd-sourced categories will never match with your own category.

    All that said, my suggestion is that you create a few QuickFill rules for specific Payees you're finding mis-categorized currently. This can be done quite quickly: if you've corrected a transaction to the category you want it to use, you can select Transactions > Save a QuickFill Rule (or Command-Y), and Quicken will create a QuickFill rule matching that Payee to the Category of that transaction. The next time one of these Payees is used in a downloaded transaction, it should apply the category you've told it to. Once you find this works, you may want to spend a little time building your library of QuickFill rules for recurring Payees.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Peter Sidell
    Peter Sidell Member ✭✭
    Interestingly other payees don't seem to be recategorized to clothing which is why I wondered if it was something AmEx was adding to the transaction.
    At any rate I'll try your suggestions for a few days and see if it helps or solves the problem.
    Thanks for the interest.
  • Peter Sidell
    Peter Sidell Member ✭✭
    Well it has now been a week or so. I have now download3d another 10-12 transactions from my wife's AmEx and they are all categorized to clothing. Some are for transactions that I had told to auto categorize to the correct category - such as groceries. They are from things like gas stations, toy stores, grocery stores. Of the group only one was actually from a clothing store. My AmEx is linked to hers but has a different number. Its transactions seem to be appropriately categorized. I have now unchecked the preferences for auto renaming rules and auto quick fill rules.
    Somewhere either in AmEx or in quicken downloads for that card are being inappropriately categorized.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Just to be clear: you created QuickFill rules for some Payees, transactions came in and matching these Payees, and it did not use the categories in your QuickFill rules? I've never heard of that happening. 
    Somewhere either in AmEx or in quicken downloads for that card are being inappropriately categorized.
    • AmEx doesn't transmit categories to Quicken; it's just not a part of the OFX specification.
    • Quicken doesn't have categorization rules which can vary between different accounts/credit cards.

    Peter, I'm pretty well stumped at this point!
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
This discussion has been closed.