Investing Transactions Search Box Quirk

Bruce Steidel
Bruce Steidel Member
edited April 25 in Investing (Mac)
When the Investing Transactions window is opened, it contains a search box. The default search is "Search all visible columns". For me, it does not work for payees. If I enter a valid payee and search, no data appears. However, if I change the search box to "Search Payees", then it works. Not a major problem but seems to me, the Payee search should work for Search All Visible Columns as well as Search Payee

Answers

  • lhossus
    lhossus SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am not seeing any problem with searching for a payee.

    As you likely know, you must have a column visible for Search all visible columns to find a transaction with a matching value in that column. This is how Quicken has defined that search mode.

    One thing is not clear in your post. Which columns do you have enabled for display in the register when the search fails? In particular, note that there are three columns that overlap in their function: Security, Payee and Security/Payee.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited March 22
    @Bruce Steidel I think you have identified a bug. As @lhossus notes, in investment registers, there is overlap between the default field of "Security/Payee" and "Payee". If you have the Security/Payee field visible, the search works as expected. But if you hide the Security/Payee field and make the Payee field visible, and the Search box is set to Search All Visible Columns, then searching for a Payee fails to work. If the Search box is set to search only the Payee field, then it works as expected.

    To recap: if the Payee field is visible and the Security/Payee field is not visible, and Search is set to All Visible Columns, then searching for a Payee does not work.

    I will report this via Help > Report a Problem, and suggest that you do as well.


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  • lhossus
    lhossus SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    jacobs said:
    ...
    To recap: if the Payee field is visible and the Security/Payee field is not visible, and Search is set to All Visible Columns, then searching for a Payee does not work.

    I have tried again, using several different approaches. I am unable to reproduce this bug.

    My suspicion is that there is an additional condition required for this failure to appear. If this is true, and the Quicken employee reviewing the problem report is also unable to reproduce the bug because of the absence of this condition, then the report will probably go nowhere.

    I invite others reading this to try to reproduce the bug. Me Too's welcome, indicating your success or failure.


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  • Bruce Steidel
    Bruce Steidel Member
    lohssus- The only columns I have visible in the Investing Transactions windows are: Date, Payee, Type, Shares, Amount, Account. With these and only these columns visible and with the search box set to "Search all visible columns", when I type the name of a known payee into the Search box, I get no data back. If I replace Payee, with Security/Payee, then it works. As I said originally, this is not a major problem, but it does appear to me to be a bug.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Ah, I think I get it now! In my previous test, I was testing using the name of a security in my account, and it seemed like a bug. But @lhossus is correct that it's more nuanced…

    In an investment account, I have some dividend transactions from Apple. If you turn on the three relevant columns — Security, Payee and Security/Payee — "Apple" appears in each column. Now if you hide Security and Security/Payee, leaving only the Payee column visible, Apple still shows as the Payee. But if I Search for Apple, Quicken returns no found transactions. This is what Bruce and I have labeled as a bug.

    Now I create a banking transaction — a transaction of Type=Payment/Deposit — and enter a payment to Payee=Test. With only the Payee column still visible, if I Search for Test, Quicken finds the payment transaction. This is what @lhossus likely found. 

    So Search for the Payee field works correctly for a genuine Payee entered in a Payment/Deposit transaction. But it does not work for a Payee for an investment transaction. Quicken, it seems, is displaying the Security name in the Payee field in the register, but doesn't actually store the Security name in the Payee field in the database. And I think I've figured out what is going on under the hood...

    Investment transactions don't actually have a Payee field in the structure of the database table; they only have a Security field. When it comes to displaying a register or a report, Quicken is actually doing some complicated work to display a mix of both investment transactions and banking transactions. To make this work correctly for Reports — which by default have only a Payee column — for investment transactions, Quicken displays the Security Name in the Payee field. Thus if I do a report for transactions in my investment account, I see both the Apple dividend and the payment to Test. In a transaction report, there is only a Payee field; there is no Security field or Security/Payee field. So displaying the Security name in the Payee field makes reports work as one would expect. The same "trick" is used in displaying registers: the Security name is displayed in the Payee column for investment transactions, even though it is not stored in the database as the Payee.

    Here's additional proof that this is the way the database is organized: create a transaction report for an investment account, and you'll see both investment transactions (like my Apple dividend) and banking transactions (like my payment to my Test Payee). Now edit the report: go to the Payees tab, select "Include transactions only with selected Payees", click Clear All, and check "No Payee". This produces a report of all transactions with no Payee — and the Apple transaction (and all investment transactions) — are shown. Investment transactions in the database have no Payee.

    And that's why Search with only the Payee field visible does not find and investment transactions. Quicken is only displaying the Security name in the Payee field in registers, but they aren't actually Payees.

    So is this a bug? Probably not. It can be confusing, as this thread proves, but it's actually probably working as designed. Would it be better if Quicken did not display the Security name in the Payee column of registers? That would avoid the confusion Bruce and I unearthed here. ;) But that's probably not a good solution, because on Reports, the Security name has to be pushed into the Payee field, since Payee is the only field available to display; it would likely cause confusion if a security name showed up as a Payee in a report but did not show up as a Payee in a register.

    Perhaps the best solution would be if they programmed the Search in registers to search both the Payee and Security fields when the Payee column is visible, irrespective of whether the Security column is visible. If Quicken is going to make the user believe the slight-of-hand that the Security name is also the Payee name, it could follow that through to the functionality of Search. 

    Whew! This is a perfect example of something which appears pretty simple on the surface yet turns out to be much more complicated. ;) 
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