Cleaning up credit card payments/transfers (Q Mac)

davidlh
davidlh Member ✭✭
Hi,

I'm using Quicken Mac subscription and I'm cleaning up my data. I have about 16 credit card payments that are showing up as deductions from my checking account and deposits to my credit card account but not recorded as a transfer. I saw prior posts recommending manual entry of credit card payments to insure proper recording as transfers, but nothing addressing cleaning up transactions that have already been downloaded. What's best practice for cleanup?

I called Quicken support and the rep I spoke with recommended setting up a new category, changing all the transactions in the checking account and credit account registers to the category, then excluding that category from spending reports. But that solution doesn't fit with what I've seen about using transfers.

I'd like to know what the community thinks so thanks in advance for the feedback.

Thanks,

David

Comments

  • Hi @davidlh,

    Thank you for contacting the Community with this question. 

    First off, I would like to gather some more information so I can better assist you. When you say 'cleanup', what exactly are you trying to do? Do you want to put all these transactions into a transfer category? Have you thought about creating a memorized payee in order to ensure the transactions that are downloaded go into the correct category?

    I look forward to hearing your response. 
    Quicken Jasmine

    -Quicken Jasmine
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    Thanks Jasmine. What I am trying to do, and what I'm asking about, is this: most (but not all) of my payment transactions were downloaded as "uncategorized." As a result, my payments are being shown as an expense on my spend reports and because the downloaded credit card transactions are also in expense categories, the spend is double-counted. My question is what's the best way to prevent this? Is it to or put the payments in a transfer category as recommended in the discussion board, assign them to a new category as the Quicken phone support rep suggested, or something else that hasn't been mentioned yet? And the second part of the question is if the best way is to put them in a transfer category, how do I do that without creating duplicate transactions and messing up my account balances?

    I don't know much about memorized payees, but if I set one up doesn't that only affect future transactions? Is that better than manually recording my credit card payments as was suggested in previous posts?

    Thanks,

    David
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    Everything I'm seeing online about memorized payees refers to Quicken for Windows and I use Quicken Mac. Does the Mac version have memorized payee functionality?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I think the Quicken support rep's suggestion is a bad one! Don't do that!

    There are two ways to handle transfers cleanly, either as linked transfer transactions (where it's really one transaction existing in both accounts), or as separate transactions in each account, using a special generic category Transfer category which won't affect reports. 

    Could you clarify what currently exists in your Quicken data? You said you have "about 16 credit card payments that are showing up as deductions from my checking account and deposits to my credit card account but not recorded as a transfer." So just to be clear, you have a transaction in your checking account with money going out, and a transaction in your credit card account with money coming in, right? What Category is currently used for each of these transactions? Does it simply say Transfer? 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    Thanks Jacobs!

    Yes, that is correct: I have a transaction in my checking account with money going out, and a transaction in my credit card account with money coming in. Most of the categories are "Uncategorized." I attempted to insert a screen capture of my checking account register, hope it came through. Note that there are several different versions of the payee name, and also note that two transactions are showing up as transfers--the ones with a category of [VP Campus Prestige]--that's the name of my credit card account. The data is as downloaded from the bank, I haven't changed payee or category.

    Data on the credit card is similar except payee names start with "From" and amounts are positive.

    Thanks
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    Just to help with clarity, here's a screen capture of my credit card register.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @davidlh You can change the category of those uncategorized transactions to Transfer:Credit Card Payment. This is a special category which Quicken doesn't count as income or expense; it just says "money came from/went to somewhere". As long as you have transactions in both accounts so they are both correct, this is all you need to do.

    (You can select all the Uncategorized transactions by Command-clicking each one; then select Transactions > Edit Transaction (or Command-E) and enter the Category to change all the transactions at once.)

    Is the second column in your screenshots the Payee name, or a Memo column? Often with downloads, it is possible to create a Renaming Rule to standardize the Payee name, and then to create a QuickFill Rule to assign a category to transactions from that Payee. If that's the downloaded Payee name we're seeing, you could create a Renaming Rule like this (and others):



    I missed your earlier question about "memorized payees". Quicken Mac works a bit differently. There is no list of memorized Payees; every Payee in the database is linked to wherever that Payee name exists. For instance, if you open your Payee list and fix a misspelled Payee, it will change that Payee name in all transactions in which that Payee appears. What you may be looking for is QuickFill Rules: the ability to apply a category, or all the fields of a transaction, the next time a Payee is used. You can create QuickFill Rules manually in the Window > Payees & Rules box, you can have Quicken create them as you enter a transaction by clicking the box which appears in blue above the category column, or you can go to Preferences > Register to set a global preference to create rules for every transaction.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    @jacobs Thank you, that worked perfectly! If you can indulge me for a couple more questions: I have a similar issue with transfers between other accounts, e.g. checking and savings. Can I simply add a sub-category "Other" under Transfers and use that? Also, I noticed a small difference between the outgoing transaction in my checking account and the incoming transaction in my credit card account on two transactions. The difference is less $50 and it's on older transactions, maybe interest or a fee. Not worth spending a lot of time nailing it down, but I would like to make the transfers balance. Can I just split the transaction to multiple categories? (i.e. $2,000 Transfer:Credit Card Payment and $50 Bank Fees)

    Finally, how did you do the in-line screen capture? I tried command-v while in the body of a comment and it pasted as an attached file.

    Thanks again for your help, your responses are very thorough and easy to follow (Renaming Rules are a godsend, set up several of them after your post and will be adding more tomorrow).

    David
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    davidlh said:
    Can I simply add a sub-category "Other" under Transfers and use that?
    Actually, you can't. "Transfer" is a special category, and Quicken won't allow you to add a sub-category. But you can simply use "Transfer" as the category. The only difference with using the sub-category Transfer:Credit Card Payment is you can search for "credit crd payment" if you want to find those transactions. But functionally, they're interchangeable. So just use Transfer.

    Note that I'd do this only if you've downloaded transactions in both accounts and the transfer transaction already exists. Otherwise, use the category "Transfer:[account name]" which creates a linked transfer in the other account.

    davidlh said:
    Also, I noticed a small difference between the outgoing transaction in my checking account and the incoming transaction in my credit card account on two transactions. The difference is less $50 and it's on older transactions, maybe interest or a fee. Not worth spending a lot of time nailing it down, but I would like to make the transfers balance. Can I just split the transaction to multiple categories? (i.e. $2,000 Transfer:Credit Card Payment and $50 Bank Fees)
    Yes, that would work. 

    One of the reasons for using a linked transfer is that it assures the same transaction in both accounts, which makes you immediately aware if there's a discrepancy. 

    davidlh said:
    Finally, how did you do the in-line screen capture? I tried command-v while in the body of a comment and it pasted as an attached file.
    That's a stupid "feature" of the software platform Quicken is using to run this forum. When you're a brand new user here, it only allows file attachments. After some time — I don't know if it's the number of posts or passage of time — you'll find you've "graduated" to having your images show up inline. (I think they have it set this way because there used to be a problem with scammers posting on the site.) In any case, just drag your image into the text box, and if the site will allow it to be an inline image, it will just happen.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • davidlh
    davidlh Member ✭✭
    @jacobs thanks again. Cleaned up my transfer transactions using your instructions, worked like a charm. Thanks again for all of your help!
  • Just throwing this out there: even if both sides of the transfer have already downloaded and they are not set up as linked transfers, you can still set up one side of the transfer as a linked transfer by setting the category to "Transfer:[Account Name]" or by entering the account name in the "Transfer" column. When Quicken creates the "other side" of the transfer in the other account it will check to see if there is already a transaction that exists for the matching amount and a relatively close date. If it finds that the other side of the transfer already exists (from being downloaded, manually added, etc.), it will offer to match it for you, thus creating a nice, clean linked transfer without duplicating existing transactions.

    That being said, you can certainly stick with just setting the category to "Transfer" or "Transfer:Credit Card Payment". But should you want to make past transfers that aren't linked be set up as linked transfers, Quicken will attempt to avoid duplication by finding the "other side" if it exists and matching to it. It's really just a matter of preference.
  • MeMyself&I
    MeMyself&I Member ✭✭
    [email protected] It used to offer to match the transactions. I can't get it to match them anymore, even if they are the exact same date and amount. So my only option is to delete the "duplicate" transaction.

    Does anyone have any idea if I can manually match the transfer from the checking account that pays the credit card bill with the downloaded payment from the credit card company?
  • MeMyself&I
    MeMyself&I Member ✭✭
    And just like that, I found a workaround. Change the category for one to something completely outside of the Transfer option. Click away to something else, then back in, and change the category to the transfer you want.
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