How can Bank and Quicken disagree on downloaded transactions?

I tried years ago to mix manual entry and automatic download to the destruction of my ability to track and reconcile values.

This year with a new Quicken for Windows (R35.31) I started a new file, added three institutions with 10 accounts, then set up for download on all three.

For a couple months I have ONLY used the download feature, never entering a transaction myself directly, but this week I have found:
* A transfer between accounts represented in only one of them.
* A check and an online transfer for the same amount where part of the information comes from each transaction to a single quicken entry (reconcile out of balance).
* An online transfer which shows in the register and was not seen by reconcile until I deleted and added it manually.

My question:
HOW can Quicken and the Banks NOT agree on what transactions have been done when all data is from the account download option?


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    Just like in certain car models, the "Autopilot" still doesn't function 100% all the time. You cannot take a nap while driving and you have to watch the lane splits ... or, in this case, the transfer transactions. There just isn't enough information provided by the banks to create correct transfer transactions in both sending and receiving accounts all the time. This applies especially to transfers between banks, e.g., paying your credit card bill.
    My recommendation is to manually record transfer transactions into Quicken when they are made, but BEFORE you download transactions from the banks containing transfer confirmations.
    The same applies to paper checks you write and all other types of transactions with complex Split category definitions (like paychecks, etc.) that cannot be divined purely from downloaded data.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    There are tons of reasons why they can disagree, but first on the list is probably transfers.

    Downloaded transaction never have "transfer information", they are either a deposit or a withdraw.  Quicken has a "guessing" system called Transfer detection, but that is all it is, a guess.  It works by the fact that if you have a deposit for a certain amount downloaded about the same time you have a withdraw for the same amount in another account downloaded, it will detect that as a transfer.  Since this is a guess one should always have the "confirm" option on, and make sure that when prompted these really is a transfer and between the correct accounts.  Or one should pre-enter transfers and match them as they are downloaded.

    Added problems can come up with Sync to Mobile/Web and the Quicken Bill Manager system.

    And when talking about investment accounts, the list is much longer.

    And I will add a special note for a guess at this one:

    * An online transfer which shows in the register and was not seen by reconcile until I deleted and added it manually.
    The reconcile excludes transactions that aren't within the ending balance date.
    That date is the "Downloaded posting date" for a downloaded transaction, but it is the date you enter for a transaction that hasn't been downloaded.

    There are two ways that the date might be outside of the ending balance date.
    One is the the Downloaded posting date is just later than one would expect.
    The second is that you are reconciling to the online balance and the date it got for that balance is older than expected.  This problem has been reported for Express Web Connect accounts quite a bit lately.
    This is my website:
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are many possible reasons there may be differences between the registers in Quicken and a financial institutions even when we only import transaction.  The example you raised are transfers where you may have set a Quicken preference that asks Quicken to guess if imported transaction is transfer.  Sometimes Quicken will guess correctly.  Sometimes Quicken may guess wrong.  I suggest you set Quicken to prompt for confirmation:  Select Edit > Preferences...

  • Thank you, I will turn on the match manual verification and try that for a while, it sounds like some of the issues I encountered could have been seen in that manual review. That was off by default.

    In some senses this seems an unbounded problem in now to match things. On the other hand I had expected transfer between two accounts in the same bank (requested and completed within seconds) to be able to figure it out.

    NOTE: This particular bank does put info with a transaction number and the from/to account in the downloaded transfer data, but that may not be in the expected places.

    The discussion for checks and ACH transfer between banks is much more complex because the request and confirmation is usually days (sometimes weeks) different from request to posting date, and the posting in the two banks may not even be on the same day.

    Maybe a future improvement to the download format can help resolve this, it is certainly better than the attempt many years ago, but getting all the players to agree takes a long time.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021
    One way to increase the ability for the transfer matching to work right is don't use common amounts.

    EDIT also download more often.  The matching is done once the downloading is done.  For automatic transaction entry mode that is right after the download, but for when you are going through the Downloaded Transactions tab that is after you select Done.  The point is the more transactions you have the more likely to have matching amounts that aren't transfers.
    This is my website: