Amex Transaction Troubles

Hello,

I'm new to Quicken and I need your help.

I downloaded my Amex transactions through Direct Connect, and run into some quirks that I'm trying to figure out before I get too deep in the weeds.

First, it's probably important to know how my cards are set up with Amex... I have 3 cards under the same account. I'll Identify them as follows:

Card 1: My Personal Card
Card 2: My Wife's Personal Card
Card 3: My Business Card

All 3 cards roll up under the same Amex account balance, however, the business card is setup so that transactions are listed separately in Amex's mobile banking system. (This helps me with my expense reports).

Here's the issues(s): When I downloaded the transactions into Quicken, it automatically split them as follows:

Issue 1: All of the transactions for My Personal Card and My Wife's Personal Card are in one account listed on the left sidebar. Not a big deal at a high level, because it's all personal expenses, but I can't tell which ones are mine and which are my Wife's.

Is there a way to tell the difference between these two accounts in quicken? (Some hidden transaction-level account # maybe?)

Issue 2: The business transactions are split into a separately listed account in the sidebar (this is actually a good thing!), however the account balance for this card is mirroring the account balance for the main account... Basically, it's double-counting the total balance. i.e. right now both accounts show -16K but the balance on the personal card should be around -16K, and the balance on the business card should be around -2K.

Is the solution to Issue 2 just a matter of manipulating the starting balance or is this going to be an ongoing problem?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

Answers

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 11
    "Is there a way to tell the difference between these two accounts in quicken? (Some hidden transaction-level account # maybe?)"
    Not that I'm aware of.  My wife and I have separate cards within one AMEX account and nothing comes down into Quicken that I can see makes a distinction. 
    "however the account balance for this card is mirroring the account balance for the main account..."
    That's odd.  How is the register for the business card coming up with a total that's the same as the amount charged on all 3 cards?  (I assume that's the case, though your sentence explaining what's going on suggests the balance for all 3 cards should be ~18K.)  The numbers in the Balance column should be straight math, which makes it sound like all the personal charges are also downloading into the Quicken Account, but you don't say that. 
    "Is the solution to Issue 2 just a matter of manipulating the starting balance or is this going to be an ongoing problem?"
    It's unclear since I don't understand exactly what's going on here.  Do both Quicken Accounts have the same starting balance number?  If that's the case then that's clearly wrong, but it's unclear exactly what's happening in the Quicken Accounts.  Can you simply change the beginning balances in both Quicken AMEX Accounts and get the new total between the two Accounts to come to the correct balances, individually, and in total?  If you can then going forward the Balances in the two Accounts should simply reflect new "transactions", and stay correct.
    It's not clear how this situation will work going forward when it comes to reconciliations and allocation of your payments, particularly if you carry a balance.  I think I'd ask AMEX to split off the business card into its own separate AMEX account.
  • Jon Eckels
    Jon Eckels Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the Reply, Tom.

    > @"Tom Young" said:
    > "Is there a way to tell the difference between these two accounts in quicken? (Some hidden transaction-level account # maybe?)"Not that I'm aware of.  My wife and I have separate cards within one AMEX account and nothing comes down into Quicken that I can see makes a distinction. 

    Well, that's a bummer.

    > "however the account balance for this card is mirroring the account balance for the main account..."That's odd.  How is the register for the business card coming up with a total that's the same as the amount charged on all 3 cards?  (I assume that's the case, though your sentence explaining what's going on suggests the balance for all 3 cards should be ~18K.)  The numbers in the Balance column should be straight math, which makes it sound like all the personal charges are also downloading into the Quicken Account, but you don't say that. 

    the 16K balance is correct - It's the exact amount that shows in my Amex account right now.

    Actually, I just noticed a new wrinkle that changes the nature of my original question.... I see now that the transactions in the business account are ALSO included in the personal account.

    In other words - the personal account does perfectly mirror the actual Amex account by including the transactions and balance of all 3 amex cards.

    So, In theory, I COULD just delete the business account and the totals of the personal account would be correct (including the business expenses)

    However.. I'd REALLY like to exclude the business transactions from my personal account for budgeting purposes...

    So my question becomes more of a best practice question:

    It feels like I have an opportunity here with all of the business transactions already segregated into a different account. Is there any time-saving method or trick within Quicken to use this list of transactions to create an auto-post or auto-reconcile or something that will save me time and remove these transactions from my personal account?

    Since I receive an expense check to offset these business expenses, that is deposited in one of my other accounts, which I also downloaded into quicken....would I be better off applying that incoming check to the business expenses in the amex account?
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm still flummoxed by Quicken having two AMEX Accounts that mimic one another.  I'd expect that you'd just have the one "consolidated" Account with all three cards inside it (which you do have - twice) so I'm mystified about this came about.  Did you attempt to set up 2 different AMEX Accounts, thinking one would be "personal" and the other would be "business?"  I don't think there's any way Quicken, on it's own, would create 2 Accounts when you only attempted to add 1 Account.
    I don't think there's any easy way to remove either "personal" transactions from the business Account of "business" transactions from the personal Account.  Since I don't see any downloaded distinction with 2 different credit cards inside an AMEX Account I'd guess the same goes for 3 credit cards inside an AMEX Account.
    It does sound to me like you created the same Account twice and I can't see that fixing itself.  If I've got that right then I think you'll have to get rid of one Account or the other - doesn't seem to make much difference which you choose - and deal with it for the time being.  Having the business activity separate and distinct from the personal activity should make life easier in a lot of ways, but unless AMEX can somehow accommodation that within the 3 cards/one account structure, it seems like the easiest course is to split off the business activity into its own stand alone account.
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