A category transferred to an account not included in the report not showing in the report

racnstr
racnstr Member
Using Quicken for Mac 6.2.2 (latest version), with the updated budgeting feature, I want to display the principal payment on a loan in my income and expense report, but haven't been able to do it.

- The principal payment category is included in the report category settings.
- In each transaction, the category is set to be the principal payment category with a transfer going to the loan account.
- The loan account is excluded from the report.
- In the Report's advanced settings, "Include only transfers with accounts outside of report" is selected. (The other possible settings, "Include all transfers" doesn't work to display the principal payments in the report either.)

Based on answers to questions I've seen elsewhere, I believe this should work, but it doesn't. I've double and tripled-checked to make sure the above settings are set correctly. Is there another setting needed that I'm not aware of?

Thanks
Robert

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Quicken Mac is currently in a transition, on the way to eliminating allowing transactions able to be both a transfer and a category. In accounting, every transaction which transfers funds between an asset (checking account) and a liability (loan account) cannot also be an expense. Quicken Mac allowed such a transaction owing to its origins more than a decade ago when it could not track investments, but the developers have stated that this capability will be eliminated because it violates basic accounting rules.

    So payment of your loan principal isn't an expense, in accounting terms -- but it sure feels like an expense, right? So Quicken allows you to selectively include transfers in reports and budgets; you just need to do it explicitly, which forces you to acknowledge you're "breaking the rules" a bit to get the report you want.

    In your case, you shouldn't have any category on your transfer for the principal payment; it's just a transfer. Then for your report, you omit the loan account, and include transfers to accounts outside the report. The loan principal payments will then show up in a Transfers section of the report.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • racnstr
    racnstr Member
    Thank you, Jacobs, for your considered reply.
    As you said, it sure does feel like an expense and, unlike say a credit card payment, it has to be accounted for (or at least, considered) as an expense. In a credit card account, I show purchases as ongoing expenses, so not setting the transfer as an expense is the correct thing to do. However, with a home loan account, the purchase was paid once at the beginning of the loan, so the standard accounting method leaves me with no way of reporting or budgeting for my actual monthly expense of paying down the principal.

    I was, in fact, able to have it show up in the transfer part of my report and budget, but I would really like it to be accounted for under my reported and budgeted monthly housing expenses and monthly expense summary, because I have to consider it in my actual day-to-day spending as a monthly expense.
    I guess that can't be done without some kind of convoluted workaround. I suppose negating the transfer with an unreported/unbudgeted category and setting the principal payment as a reported & budgeted expense would do the trick, but I was hoping not to have to do that.

    Again, thank you for your response and explanation.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @racnstr  I understand your desire to have the mortgage principal show up under your expenses, but it's just not the way they've engineered the program to work currently.

    But you don't need to do convoluted workarounds; if you just view the Transfer section of the report as an extension of your expenses, it does accomplish mostly what you want, except in the way it's labeled. Your transfer to the loan is a negative amount on a Category or Transaction report, and is reflected in the Total at the bottom, so it does include the mortgage expense in the report -- just not alphabetically where you'd prefer it. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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