transfer column vs category column (Q Mac)

pamela77
pamela77 Member ✭✭
In the past when I made a payment to a credit card from my checking account I would put the credit card in the category, and create a transfer. I am starting a new Quicken file and looking at the columns I see one labeled transfer. I tried using it for a payment to a credit card from the checking account, and that same account appeared as a transfer in the category column. Can I just continue to put the transfers in the category column? Is there any added benefit to using the transfer column? It seems like a duplication.
Thank you, Pamela

Best Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    You can do the exact same transfer two ways: use the Transfer column with account name, or use the Category column with the syntax "Transfer:[account name]". As you observed, information entered in one shows up in the other. 

    There are only two small advantages I can think of for showing the Transfer column:
    1. It makes it easy when skimming your registers to spot the transactions which have transfers.
    2. When you hover over the Transfer field in an existing transaction with a transfer, a gray round circle with a right-facing arrow (->) appears; clicking this arrow open the the other register in a new window and highlights the same transaction in that register.
    In the early days of the modern Quicken Mac, you couldn't specify a transfer in the Category column, so the Transfer field was necessary. Then they added the ability to enter and view transfers in the Category column (which exists in Quicken Windows and the legacy Quicken Mac), so you're correct that it is now redundant for many users. Hiding the Transfer column is an easy way to gain back some horizontal space in your registers. But for some people, one of the differences mentioned above makes it worth leaving the Transfer field visible.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    For a simple transfer transaction, with no splits, it shouldn't matter which account you create the transaction in. I enter my credit card payments in my checking account, because in my brain, it makes sense to push the money from checking to each credit card account I'm paying. But if I did it in reverse, recording the payment in a credit card account as a transfer from checking, it would work the same. I'm not sure why the Support representative would have said there would be a difference. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    pamela77 said:
    RickO, when you drag and drop the transaction to match it how do you get both accounts open at once? Do you open a window for each of them?
    You don't need both accounts open. The situation I'm describing is if in one of the account, there is a manually entered transfer transaction and also a downloaded transaction (which would never be a transfer), you drag one on top of the other to match them. 

    If the same thing happened in the other account, you could do the same there separately.

    You are not dragging a transaction from one account on top of a transaction in another account.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    You can do the exact same transfer two ways: use the Transfer column with account name, or use the Category column with the syntax "Transfer:[account name]". As you observed, information entered in one shows up in the other. 

    There are only two small advantages I can think of for showing the Transfer column:
    1. It makes it easy when skimming your registers to spot the transactions which have transfers.
    2. When you hover over the Transfer field in an existing transaction with a transfer, a gray round circle with a right-facing arrow (->) appears; clicking this arrow open the the other register in a new window and highlights the same transaction in that register.
    In the early days of the modern Quicken Mac, you couldn't specify a transfer in the Category column, so the Transfer field was necessary. Then they added the ability to enter and view transfers in the Category column (which exists in Quicken Windows and the legacy Quicken Mac), so you're correct that it is now redundant for many users. Hiding the Transfer column is an easy way to gain back some horizontal space in your registers. But for some people, one of the differences mentioned above makes it worth leaving the Transfer field visible.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you very much. I experimented with both ways end it seemed that if I used the transfer field from the checking account then when I went to the credit card it did not show which bank account was used to pay it in the category column. If I used the category when paying from the checking account then the matched transaction showed which bank account paid the credit card. It didn't seem to happen every time which is strange but it happened sometimes. Thank you very much for your fast response
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Does it matter which account the transfer originates from? When I was talking to support about my problems with Schwab payments and transfers the person suggested that when I had to use this method and originated it from the credit card that could cause a problem?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    For a simple transfer transaction, with no splits, it shouldn't matter which account you create the transaction in. I enter my credit card payments in my checking account, because in my brain, it makes sense to push the money from checking to each credit card account I'm paying. But if I did it in reverse, recording the payment in a credit card account as a transfer from checking, it would work the same. I'm not sure why the Support representative would have said there would be a difference. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you. Sometimes the date on one isn't exactly the same as the date in the other account. In that case I choose one and It is ok with me if it is off a little. As I was working with support, and the cloud kept downloading errors in payments from 2 schwab checking accounts to various cards, I wondered if this might have something to do with it. IE if the cloud can't find it's transfer on that exact day it might put a another one in there. Thanks again, Pamela
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    A linked transfer in Quicken can't have different dates in the two accounts; it's a single transaction which exists in both accounts. So yes, if you download transactions in both accounts, it's quite possible for one account to post with a different date — and it's fine to delete a downloaded transaction in one account. 

    Sorry, I don't have any Schwab accounts, and after reading all the posts about Schwab problems over the past few months, I won't even venture any guesses about what's going on with Schwab downloads. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    A couple of comments on this:

    If the downloaded transaction in one account doesn't auto match because the date is a bit off, instead of deleting that transaction, you can drag and drop it on top of the existing transaction, causing a manual match. One benefit of this it that you retain the bank info such as posted date and statement memo.

    I enter my credit card payment transfers in my checking account as a matter of course because I mark them as "send" and transmit them to the bank from Quicken using Direct Connect Bill Pay. If I entered them in the CC account, I don't think I could send them to the bank. I use the special default category "Transfer:Credit Card Payment". Why? I guess just because it's there. It does allow me to search for only credit card transfers separately from other transfers. But it does not let me use the bracket syntax in the Category column.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @RickO So you are not creating a linked transfer in Quicken, right? You have transfer transactions in each account, so they can be on different days. The special category Transfer:Credit Card is like the Adjustment category: it isn’t income or expense so it isn’t a category on reports, and Quicken just knows the money went (or came from) somewhere it doesn’t know about. As long as the transactions are in both accounts and are the same amount, this accomplishes the same thing as a single linked transfer transaction. So it’s just a matter of preference which approach is easier or seems best for your workflow.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you RickO, I just learned about the drag and drop yesterday as I was reading the community forums. Thank you, it is very helpful.I prefer linked transfers - it is a way to double check things.

    I don't use bill pay because my checking accounts are in Schwab and they don't support direct connect so I don't think I can do it can I?
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @jacobs No, I am creating a linked transfer, but with the Transfer:Credit Card Payment category and the CC account in the Transfer column. (Yes, I know that this may be disallowed at some future time.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    pamela77 said:
    I don't use bill pay because my checking accounts are in Schwab and they don't support direct connect so I don't think I can do it can I?
    Correct, the bank has to support Direct Connect and D/C Bill Pay to use it. However, you could conceivably use Quicken Bill Pay (Quick Pay) with your Schwab checking account as the source of funds and the CC account as the destination account via a linked transfer transaction.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you RickO - where could I learn about that. I thought I couldn't use quicken for bill pay due to schwab and quicken not playing well together. Is quick pay different?
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Sorry, when I said "conceivably", probably should have said "maybe". And the reason I would have said maybe is that I don't use Quicken Bill Pay or Schwab, so I have no knowledge if they can be used together.

    Quick Pay and Check Pay are the two parts of Quicken Bill Pay. So all the same thing. If you already know that you can't set up a Schwab account as the fund source for Quicken Bill Pay, then I apologize for getting your hopes up.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    That's ok, I thank you for your comments and ideas. I always learn something and it is valuable.
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    RickO, when you drag and drop the transaction to match it how do you get both accounts open at once? Do you open a window for each of them?
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    pamela77 said:
    RickO, when you drag and drop the transaction to match it how do you get both accounts open at once? Do you open a window for each of them?
    You don't need both accounts open. The situation I'm describing is if in one of the account, there is a manually entered transfer transaction and also a downloaded transaction (which would never be a transfer), you drag one on top of the other to match them. 

    If the same thing happened in the other account, you could do the same there separately.

    You are not dragging a transaction from one account on top of a transaction in another account.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
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