Selecting an account on the Accounts tab vs Categories tab?

When building a report, I've always been confused by the fact that accounts appear both on the Accounts tab and on the Categories tab.

It makes sense that accounts appear on the Accounts tab (duh!). But why do they also appear on the Categories tab? What are the implications of checking the checkbox for an account on either or both of the two tabs?

Comments

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 9
    The account names that appear in the Categories tab represent transfers to or from the registers with those account names.  In account registers, transfers are represented by the placing the name of the account between square brackets in the category field.  For example: [Checking]

    If a category is not checked in the Categories tab, the transaction entries with the category are filtered out of the report.
    If an account is not checked in the Accounts tab, the transactions in the account's register are filtered out of the report.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 10
    Here's an example of what @Sherlock has explained to you: 
    Let's say you had a retirement Account into which you make periodic contributions and you want to see these contributions as a form of "expense" (they're not) but you don't want the gains and losses and the income and expenses that happen within that Account appearing in the report.
    In this situation you'd uncheck that retirement Account under the Accounts tab, but you would check that Account under the Categories tab.
    These two actions would ensure that activity inside the retirement Account - including your contributions - would not show up in the report, but your Transfers into the retirement Account would show up as a form of "expense" labeled "TO [Name of retirement account]."
    The ability to see Transfers as a form of "expense" or "income" and what Transfers are allowed to be displayed on the report are controlled under the Transfers section of the Advanced tab.
  • camner
    camner Member ✭✭
    Thanks both for your clear explanations! I did have to read both of replies twice to make sure I understood, but I'm pretty sure that I do.

    I'm not sure, though, that what led me to ask the question is something that I can get Quicken to handle...

    I have an asset account for my home. When I make home improvements that add to the cost basis of the house, I want those expenses to show up in the monthly report I run that tells me how much I've spent that month on home improvements. So, I have the home asset account UNchecked on the Accounts tab, but CHECKED on the Categories tab. This way, whenever I pay for something that adds to the cost basis, it shows up in the monthly expense report on a line that says "To Our House."

    What I've described works well except when I bought the house and made the down payment from my checking account. Of course, the down payment IS part of the cost basis of the house, so it makes sense that the payment shows up on my monthly expense report.

    But, I really don't want it to show up on the monthly expense report, because it isn't really a normal type of expense. If I put in a new sprinkler system, say, then I'm paying for that out of current income. But I'm not making the downpayment out of current income. I transferred $$ from an investment account to my checking account for the downpayment and then wrote a check.

    I looked back at what I had done when purchasing a prior home, and at the time I had checkwriting privileges on a money market (investment) account, and wrote the check for the downpayment directly against the investment account. And, since investment accounts don't show up on my monthly expense report, I was happy as a clam.

    Seems that just the fact of making an asset transfer to my checking account before writing the check for the downpayment shouldn't have to screw up what I'm trying to do, but it seems to have done so and I can't figure out a workaround.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    camner said:
    Thanks both for your clear explanations! I did have to read both of replies twice to make sure I understood, but I'm pretty sure that I do.

    I'm not sure, though, that what led me to ask the question is something that I can get Quicken to handle...

    I have an asset account for my home. When I make home improvements that add to the cost basis of the house, I want those expenses to show up in the monthly report I run that tells me how much I've spent that month on home improvements. So, I have the home asset account UNchecked on the Accounts tab, but CHECKED on the Categories tab. This way, whenever I pay for something that adds to the cost basis, it shows up in the monthly expense report on a line that says "To Our House."

    What I've described works well except when I bought the house and made the down payment from my checking account. Of course, the down payment IS part of the cost basis of the house, so it makes sense that the payment shows up on my monthly expense report.

    But, I really don't want it to show up on the monthly expense report, because it isn't really a normal type of expense. If I put in a new sprinkler system, say, then I'm paying for that out of current income. But I'm not making the downpayment out of current income. I transferred $$ from an investment account to my checking account for the downpayment and then wrote a check.

    I looked back at what I had done when purchasing a prior home, and at the time I had checkwriting privileges on a money market (investment) account, and wrote the check for the downpayment directly against the investment account. And, since investment accounts don't show up on my monthly expense report, I was happy as a clam.

    Seems that just the fact of making an asset transfer to my checking account before writing the check for the downpayment shouldn't have to screw up what I'm trying to do, but it seems to have done so and I can't figure out a workaround.
    There are many ways to exclude transactions from a report.  For example, you could associate a tag with the down payment transaction and uncheck the tag on the Tags tab.

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Or, create an asset Account of some sort, transfer the down payment from checking to this new Account, then transfer that same amount out of the asset Account to the Home Account and don't have that new Account feeding your report.  The result will be that the down payment shows up in the cost of the house but doesn't pass through your report.