Categorizing transfers properly

Newbie to Quicken for Mac here. Please see my attached screenshot of six transactions (numbered in red). These are transfers between my accounts, but I'm not sure how to categorize them.

For example, in transaction #6, I withdrew from my account named "Stocks" then deposited it (transaction #1) into an account named "Car". Likewise, #5 was sent to #2, and #4 was sent to #3.

But what should the categories be? Transactions #4-6 (the "origin" accounts) were automatically labeled Transfer, and transactions #1-3 (the "destination" accounts) were automatically Uncategorized.

I see Quicken has categories labeled "Transfer:[AccountName]" but I'm not sure how or if I should use these.

What's the RIGHT way to handle situations like this? Thank you!


  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    First off, customize your register(s) to add the Transfer column.

    Second, the way you have your screenshot, you have categories as Transfer.  But that's not how transfers actually work.  You have to actually designate the transfer account.  

    You can designate a transfer a number of ways in Quicken Mac.  You can go to the newly added Transfer column, use the pull down arrow and select the account you are transferring funds to.

    Or in the Category column, use the pull down arrow and scroll all the way to the Transfer category and select the account you are transferring funds to in the Transfer "subcategory" list that appears when your cursor is on Transfer.  

    Or in the Category column, you can enter the account name EXACTLY as listed in your Quicken enclosed in square brackets.

    Therefore...if you are transferring funds to the Quicken account "Car", you would enter [Car] as the category.  

    Note that if you enter the transfer in the Category field instead of the Transfer field, the Transfer field gets automatically filled for you. 
  • Thanks very much for this. I never knew about the Transfer column. I just enabled it. Then I went to the "source" transaction, went to the Transfer column, and selected the "destination" account. When I did that, Quicken prompted me that it found a matching transaction and did I want to pair them: I said yes.

    Then I repeated that for all 3 sets. I think I did it right. Would you mind double-checking this screenshot to make sure that this is the right way to do it? (The new Transfer column is just to the left to the amount column.)
  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Looks perfect.  Nice job!
  • phyllis
    phyllis Member ✭✭
    I also am often stumped by how to enter a transfer. Can you please confirm that this step-by-step process is correct, or tell me what I'm doing wrong?

    1. I incur an expense on a credit card. The transaction shows up on my register for that account in Quicken, and I enter the correct category for that expense (say, groceries or parking).
    2. When I get the monthly bill from the credit card company, I pay it from my checking account.
    3. In my checking account register on Quicken, I call that transaction a transfer to that same checking account, since I've already accounted for the individual transactions in step 1. Quicken tells me I'm transferring back to that same account and I say yes, I want to do that.

    I'm always confused by this process so please let me know if this is correct (or not).
    Many thanks.
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @phyllis,

    On the payment transaction - #2 and #3 above... you should not "call that transaction a transfer to that same checking account" because it is not that at all.  It is a payment being made to the credit card company, so it needs to be posted to the credit card account.  Just as in your item 1. above - the charge for the item purchased was posted to the credit card account, the other side of the transaction (i.e. the payment you make to the credit card company) needs to be posted to the credit card as well.

    Does that make sense?

    Hope this helps.


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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In step enter the expense/purchase in the credit card account, right?  Then when you pay the bill out of your checking account it should be a Transfer to the credit card account.   Otherwise the credit card balance would never be paid off or go down.  Then your credit card account should match what you actually owe at any time.

    Why in #3 do you post the payment back to the checking account?

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    So #1 and #2 are correct. For #3, in the Transfer column, you should select the credit card account. This will decrease your checking account balance and decrease your credit card balance.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • phyllis
    phyllis Member ✭✭
    Thank you all. This clarifies it for me. I had understood (obviously incorrectly) that if I charged the item to my credit card, and then pay the bill to the credit card, it would be like paying for it twice. But I understand now that essentially the item charge is a debit and the payment is bringing the debit back up to zero.
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