ESPP Stock Split Bug

Drinkingbird
Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
edited November 2 in Investing (Windows)
Using the latest QW (though the split happened when I was using 2017).

Anyone with an ESPP in Quicken knows it creates two linked securities.  The normal one, plus one with "ESPP" at the end.  They are closely tied together so share balance includes both of them combined and the daily prices are in synch etc.

My ESPP had a 2:1 split a couple years ago.  The register updated correctly for both the regular and ESPP securities (though I think I had to go back and update some of the basis info in the ESPP Buy transactions from before the split, but that worked fine).  I have since transferred the securities to another account and want to close this one.  However it is telling me that there are negative securities in the account.

The register is correct, it shows 0 shares available.  If I go into the properties for the "regular" security, it is also correct.  However the properties for the ESPP security shows a negative share balance that is equal to the amount of shares from before the split.  So apparently the stock split transaction updates the register but somehow that doesn't get updated in the security properties.

Obviously a bug, but I'm hoping maybe someone ran into this before?

The only workaround I can think of is to delete the split and force a "removed" and "added" series of transactions for both securities.  That in itself can be difficult with ESPP as often the transactions in the ESPP security are restricted and you can't manually enter or edit them.  So maybe I can do a transfer to another account then move them back to the original account, or do the "sell" and "buy" but tell it to just remove/add the shares or something.  I'm concerned that may end up throwing something off at some point but can't see any other way to get that balance to 0.  If I add shares with value $0 then the security properties are correct but the register is wrong.

Any suggestions?  Obviously I can report the bug but I'm sure it will be a long time (if ever) until fixed.

Thanks

Comments

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's been a long time since I had a split affecting an ESPP and I won't be able to look at my data until a after work this evening, so mostly I just have some questions right now. 

    Are there any placeholders in the account you are trying to close?
    How are you looking at the ESPP security's properties, using the Securty Detail view?
    How did you transfer the shares to the new account, Shares Transferred between Accounts for all securities in the source account?

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    mshiggins said:
    It's been a long time since I had a split affecting an ESPP and I won't be able to look at my data until a after work this evening, so mostly I just have some questions right now. 

    Are there any placeholders in the account you are trying to close?
    How are you looking at the ESPP security's properties, using the Securty Detail view?
    How did you transfer the shares to the new account, Shares Transferred between Accounts for all securities in the source account?


    Are there any placeholders in the account you are trying to close?

    Nope, I have hidden transactions enabled and no placeholders are showing.  If I add one it still doesn't let me close the account, because the register now shows shares in the account.  Same if I "add" shares and set the price to $0, register now shows a positive amount and security detail shows 0.

    How are you looking at the ESPP security's properties, using the Securty Detail view?

    Yes, that is where it shows negative shares, register correctly shows 0.

    How did you transfer the shares to the new account, Shares Transferred between Accounts for all securities in the source account?

    Yes that's really the only way to do an ESPP transfer (all securities), if you try to do just some shares or a specific security, it throws an error (at least it used to).  I've actually transferred ESPP shares many times without issues in another account, it's just this split that is throwing things off.  Even if I did a sale rather than a transfer I think it would have the same issue, since the problem is in the security detail and not in the register.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Have not found anything that might point to a solution in my past ESPP transactions. 

    I would try walking an Investing Portfolio view customized to show the relevant accounts and security back through the key dates - when the split occurred and when the transfers occurred - and see if you can tell when the negative shares showed up. Hopefully pinpointing the date will lead to identifying the problem transactions. 
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2
    mshiggins said:
    Have not found anything that might point to a solution in my past ESPP transactions. 

    I would try walking an Investing Portfolio view customized to show the relevant accounts and security back through the key dates - when the split occurred and when the transfers occurred - and see if you can tell when the negative shares showed up. Hopefully pinpointing the date will lead to identifying the problem transactions. 

    The problem transaction was the split.  It doubled the number of shares in the register, and it doubled the number of shares in the security detail view for the regular security, but did not double the shares for the ESPP security in its security detail view.  I ended up deleting the split transaction, and doing it manually with removed/added transactions (for both the regular and ESPP security).  A hassle, but it worked.  Will probably throw off some figures since it now looks like the stock price cut in half at that point (no more split adjust) but couldn't think of any other way to do it.

    The only place the negative shares showed up was in the security detail view for the ESPP variant of the security.  The register, portfolio, and several reports all show it correctly (though I'm sure there are probably some reports that would show it incorrectly).  But at this point, the register and security detail are in synch and I can close the account in Quicken.

    I've found many bugs with ESPP transactions - such as editing an "added" transaction will change the acquisition date to the date you added, then editing it again will change it back.  Just have to figure out tricks to work around it.  ESPP lots also show strange basis numbers in portfolio view.  Some will show the actual basis you paid (with discount) others will show it without the discount.  But I've come to not trust a lot of stuff in the portfolio view....

    Oh well, maybe there is a better solution out there but this seems to have worked ok.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad you got the issue sorted out.

    I do recall that transferring ESPP shares has gotten harder to do than it was when I first started recording ESPP transactions, thus requiring tricks and workarounds. But I don't transfer my ESPP shares any more, so haven't experimented with transfers any time in the last few years. Good tip on using multiple edits to get the acquisition date right on an ESPP Add. 

    The difference in lots in the Portfolio views showing the basis with or without the discount would not be due to the lots being qualifying or disqualifying, would it?
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Drinkingbird
    Drinkingbird Member ✭✭✭
    mshiggins said:

    The difference in lots in the Portfolio views showing the basis with or without the discount would not be due to the lots being qualifying or disqualifying, would it?
    I believe that is what it is trying to do but it will show 5 year old lots with the "disqualifying" basis and a 4 year old lot with the qualifying basis.  I think the transfer probably throws it off, using the date of the transfer to calculate the 2 years rather than the actual acquisition date.  Who knows, I've given up on trusting portfolio view for many things.