Quicken needs to robustly recognize Stock Split transaction downloads

MontanaKarl
MontanaKarl Member, Windows Beta, Mac Beta Beta
edited July 7 in Investments (Mac)

Charles Schwab and Edward D Jones  - and perhaps other brokerages - do not download Stock Split transactions to Quicken.  Instead they download "Add Shares" transactions with zero cost basis.  Arguably, this is the brokerages not providing the correct data to Quicken...but the data that they do provide is ample to recognize and properly process a split with just a little pattern matching on Quicken's part.


When Quicken automatically enters these Add Shares transactions (which it does on QMac - on QWin it can be set to be reviewed manually) - the result is that the cost basis per share for all shares of the stock holding are now wrong.  Instead of the cost basis being evenly divided, within each basis lot, across all post-split shares... each pre-split lot retains its pre-split basis, and there is a single massive post-split lot with zero basis.  Any subsequent sales will have the wrong cost basis reflected in Quicken and in realized capital gains tax reports...and obviously if there are subsequent splits the data error percolates. 


I think it would be easy for the Quicken software engineers to program a simple rules-based approach to properly convert these errant "Add Shares" from certain brokerages into a proper "Stock Split" transaction.  Thus, Quicken investment data would not get corrupted by allowing the "Add Shares" to be accepted without at least a dialog asking us what to do.


The idea/logic:  If a downloaded "Add Shares" transactions has ZERO as the cost basis / purchase price, and happens on the SAME day as a stock split for XYZ stock, and corresponds EXACTLY to an N for M stock split known by Quicken (via historical quote download) to have happened on that date... it is 99.9% likely that it is really an N for M split.


Quicken can then provide a pop-up saying "Your brokerage has added N shared of XYZ stock to your account on mm/dd/yy.  This seems to correspond to a J:K split that was declared on that day.  Would you like Quicken to enter this as a stock split?  Or, did you deliver new shares to your brokerage on that day?"  [Enter as split] [Leave as New Shares]



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I'm copying this same Idea to the QWin ideas forum since the same issue happens there.


Quicken Windows and Mac subscription.  Quicken user since 1990.

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Comments

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    I wish that there was some way to vote AGAINST this.
    Q should NEVER muck around with what the financial institutions send.  There's just too much room for error therein.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • MontanaKarl
    MontanaKarl Member, Windows Beta, Mac Beta Beta
    @NotACPA
    Perhaps you can tell us what is wrong with the logic I give for the pop-up?  Where is the room for error if the user is prompted to leave the Add Shares alone, or to convert it to a split because Quicken has verified that it matches exactly a published split (date, and N:M ratio)?

    (How can it be WORSE to offer the user a choice, which would automatically correct their data, vs just let them accept the Add Shares have have their cost basis be wrong?  Most small investors don't even understand this stuff and would just accept the Add Shares.)
    Quicken Windows and Mac subscription.  Quicken user since 1990.

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    You're expecting Q to pay attention to what's going on, instead of simply recording what it receives.
    IMNSHO, ain't never gonna happen.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • MontanaKarl
    MontanaKarl Member, Windows Beta, Mac Beta Beta
    NotACPA said:
    You're expecting Q to pay attention to what's going on, instead of simply recording what it receives.
    IMNSHO, ain't never gonna happen.
    That is last century thinking.  Intelligent data analysis is what is supposed to happen in today's software environment.
    Quicken Windows and Mac subscription.  Quicken user since 1990.

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 6
    We already have the ability to delete erroneous transactions we import from financial institutions and Quicken already prompts us to enter missing splits when we import historical prices:  https://help.quicken.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=3216589

    If a financial institution is exporting erroneous transactions, fix the financial institution. 

    I also vote against this idea.  
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Wouldn't it be better to try to lobby the brokerages who are not following the OFX standard to update their software so that it downloads the correct transaction for a stock split, rather than trying to get Quicken to jump through hoops to correct their mistakes?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • MontanaKarl
    MontanaKarl Member, Windows Beta, Mac Beta Beta
    Sherlock said:
    We already have the ability to delete erroneous transactions we import from financial institutions and Quicken already prompts us to enter missing splits when we import historical prices:  https://help.quicken.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=3216589

    If a financial institution is exporting erroneous transactions, fix the financial institution. 

    I also vote against this idea.  
    I've been using Quicken with investment accounts for over 30 years ... and have NEVER been prompted by Quicken about any splits.  If I had... perhaps I would not have made this request.

    I agree, everyone - yes, the financial institutions should send the split.  But, Quicken has no control over them... and as multibillion dollar companies with no direct line to anyone who knows anything ... our input / complaints to them will not change things either.  Hence, the wish for the simple rule above that would recognize a split.

    Nobody has told me what would go wrong with the wish/feature request as stated... which is analysing the data and offering the user how to enter it?

    Quicken Windows and Mac subscription.  Quicken user since 1990.

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 7
    Sherlock said:
    We already have the ability to delete erroneous transactions we import from financial institutions and Quicken already prompts us to enter missing splits when we import historical prices:  https://help.quicken.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=3216589

    If a financial institution is exporting erroneous transactions, fix the financial institution. 

    I also vote against this idea.  
    I've been using Quicken with investment accounts for over 30 years ... and have NEVER been prompted by Quicken about any splits.  If I had... perhaps I would not have made this request.

    I agree, everyone - yes, the financial institutions should send the split.  But, Quicken has no control over them... and as multibillion dollar companies with no direct line to anyone who knows anything ... our input / complaints to them will not change things either.  Hence, the wish for the simple rule above that would recognize a split.

    Nobody has told me what would go wrong with the wish/feature request as stated... which is analysing the data and offering the user how to enter it?

    I think the first thing you should do is figure out why you're not receiving the prompt for a potentially missing split entry.  As has been repeatedly explained, the prompt should appear once when the historical prices are imported and the expected split is not already present.

    I suggest you create a test Quicken file and see if you can figure out why.  The split you originally raised as potentially missing is being provided properly by the third-party quote service.


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    There is already present, in the OFX spec, a transaction for SPLIT.  It's simply that the various Financial Institutions aren't using it.  BLAME THE FI's, Not Q.
    And DON"T vote for this idea!

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
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