How to increase Quicken's accuracy when downloading Transfers

AlyssaMcF Member ✭✭
I have a lot of my accounts set with names like "A- Checking" or "J- Savings 0293" and I only mention it in case my naming is part of the issue.

When I download transactions, I find that frequently, Quicken doesn't seem to know where to put my transfers. It will bring in a line that says that X dollars were a "Transfer" but can't figure what account it came from. Or worse, it chooses the wrong account. This is a problem because sometimes I pay a credit card from one account and sometimes from another. I ended up having to manually fix and change things so it's correct, but over time I think I must have missed some, and now Quicken has a different balance total on some of accounts than my bank does.

I used to manually enter these transactions in hopes Quicken would simply find them and change the orange pencil icon to a blue pencil icon, indicating it had matched the transaction, but I still had trouble sometimes, so I tried not entering in advance and just letting Quicken tell me what it found, but it's just as bad if not worse.

What do you recommend?


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Transaction download problems with matching and adding new transactions correctly

    First please ensure that all optional settings in Quicken pertaining to recall, memorization, automatic categorization and renaming of payee names are enabled. You find those settings in Edit / Preferences / Data Entry & Quickfill and Downloaded Transactions. Additional settings for the detection and processing of transfer transactions can be found in Edit / Preferences / Transfer detection.


    Are you automatically accepting downloaded transactions into your registers?

    If you are relying on Quicken to "automagically" fill your account registers from downloaded transactions, you may run into problems. Despite all efforts by the Quicken programmers, the "Autopilot" (that's my name for the part of the Quicken program which processes downloaded transactions and converts them into new register transactions) is not infallible. For that process to work 100% of the time one would need a crystal ball because the information downloaded from the banks often is just too terse and cryptic.

    You should, at least for a while, turn off the "automatically accept downloaded transactions into registers" setting to gain better control over what is downloaded and what to do with it. Click on and review each downloaded transaction, make changes if necessary (e.g., to get a payee name = "Starbucks" instead of "POS TRANS 070119 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070219 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070319 STARBU" or to assign a category) before you click to accept each transaction.

    Any changes you make to downloaded Payee Names are remembered in Renaming Rules.

    Any other changes you make (add/change Category or Memo text) are remembered in the Memorized Payee List.

    Next time the same transaction for this Payee comes along, Quicken should remember and give you a better new register transaction.
    Paper checks you write should be recorded in Quicken as you write the check (and BEFORE you download transactions which might contain the cleared check). That gives you a register transaction with correct check number, payee name and category. No matter what information is downloaded from the bank, you already have a correct register transaction which the downloaded data cannot mess up.


    In case you have issues with transfer transactions not being generated correctly:

    For best results manually enter transfer transactions into your register BEFORE you download transactions from the bank which contain the transfer confirmations. For recurring transfers use scheduled reminders and enter them a day or two before the due date.  (This also includes Cash Withdrawals if you record them as transfers from Checking to a Cash account register)
    Be sure to use distinct Payee Names for each transfer / credit card payment to avoid confusing Quicken - memorized payee entries.
    That takes the guesswork out of the Autopilot's process. Because a correctly entered transfer transaction already exists in your account registers, the Autopilot should just match the downloaded transfer transaction to the existing one in both accounts.


    Where are the "Auto-accept downloaded transaction" settings?

    There are two places where this is controlled in Quicken for Windows:
     - Globally, for all accounts, in Edit / Preferences / Downloaded Transactions
     - For each account individually, the global setting can be overridden from the Edit Account Details screen, Online Services Tab. Look for blue text "Automatic Entry is: ON / OFF". Click the text to change the setting.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @UKR you posted a Quicken Windows answer in a Quicken Mac category which doesn’t apply to Quicken Mac.
    This is my website:
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    @UKR you posted a Quicken Windows answer in a Quicken Mac category which doesn’t apply to Quicken Mac.
    OOPS! Sorry about that.
    But the advice about transfer transactions still stands and applies to Mac users, too.
    And let me add that, if Quicken Mac cannot automatically match a downloaded transaction to an already existing register transaction, one can drag the downloaded transaction over the existing register transaction, to effect a manual match and get rid of an apparent duplicate transaction.

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