Improve Categorization

Improve categorizing entries, esp. vendors with two or more words. I have monthly entries....same vendor, same amount every month, set to wrong category every month. I have coffee places I go to from 3-12 times a month...always comes back uncategorized. This could be improved with a little attention instead of all the features I never use.
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  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Elaborate, and please provide pictures of such.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • You *can* let the program wing it using a list of known vendors and some generic heuristics. Its a very attractive idea and it will get some right - and the rest wrong. It usually does as much good as it will ever do the first time its used. If its still on, shut it off. Edit->Preferences choose "Downloaded Transactions" on the left and clear the three check boxes under "During transaction download". Feel free to waste time complaining that if the AI had less artificial and more intelligence it would work, but looking for something else to use instead of Quicken is an even less productive use of time, so you might as well just get straight to it.

    With those boxes cleared the program uses a set of renaming rules. The automatically suggested rules are usually inadequate or lead to trouble, so if like most people you allow it to automatically suggest renaming rules, DON'T just click OK to continue. Look at the rule and make sure it contains a name unique to the vendor but no more extraneous words. If you create a rule that uses only "A" "THE" "CO" "INC" or "STORE" you may spend a lot of time right clicking on transactions, choosing "revert to downloaded" to find out what it was and then choosing a payee manually.

    The renaming rule renames the downloaded payee to a memorized payee which then invokes a memorized transaction to fill in the category. It's said "memorized payee" instead of "memorized transaction" for as long time, but the first memorized transaction with the same payee name is the one that gets used. If the first memorized transaction with that payee name has the wrong category, downloads will keep being categorized that way until you edit or delete that memorized transaction. press <ctl>-t (as in transaction) to open the "memorized payee" list and find the payee being mis-categorized. If there are several memorized transactions for the same payee with different categories, delete the ones other than the one you want to use. If you actually use several with a payee, you can leave them. If you check "never auto-categorize this payee", you'll have to manually pick the right one each time, but that may be better than having to poke around to find the ones that are in the wrong category.

    If there isn't a memorized payee for the coffee shop, then there isn't a renaming rule. Make sure to have a memorized transaction for each store or chain name and a renaming rule.

    For the coffee shops never recognized, if you have a memorized payee and renaming rule the renaming rules probably include unnecessary name elements that prevent them from matching. Trim rules like DUNKIN DONUT STORE 8875 232 COMM AVE BOSTN and STARBUCK'S 2231 88N HACKSAWAY ROAD SALEM or COFFEME 200828 0747 (includes date & time) down to the just the one word or words that are needed - "DUNKIN", "STARBUCK" "COFFEEME" etc. Long names are constantly altered by abbreviation changes as the chain store changes card swipe machines and payment processors, by intermediate credit card processing steps, and by your own credit card company. Look in Tools->Renaming Rules to see and edit your rules. You can have multiple rules for a single memorized payee name. it works on whole words. STARBUCK ,STARBUCKS, and STARBUCK'S aren't the same. WALMART and WAL-MART aren't the same. IIRC words are solid blocks of the letters A-Z, comma, period, apostrophe and hyphen and case insensitive so STARBUCK'S will match Starbuck's.
  • TTSguy
    TTSguy Member ✭✭✭✭
    Two or more words can be used to setup Renaming rules. Just go to Renaming rules in Help section, and become familiar with the settings regarding Renaming Rules in Preference settings There are things in there that may help answer your questions,
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    For your monthly entries....same vendor, same amount every month, I recommend using either Memorized Payee List entries or Scheduled Reminders. Once set up correctly, Quicken should be able to create a properly categorized transaction every time.
  • TTSguy
    TTSguy Member ✭✭✭✭
    Another good way to fill your transactions in is to select that transaction, then go to your Memorized payee list select the payee that you want to use. Select that Payee, right click that selection, use the dropdown list with a list of items to select from. select "Use". and bingo! That memorized payee is used to fill in all the columns in your transaction! Set up as as many Memorized payees as you need for any given payee!