Credit Card Pmnt: Transfer Categorization Not Working Correctly

I have a credit card account and a checking account in Quicken. I am categorizing individual purchases on my credit card using the standard Quicken spending categories. When I send a payment from my checking account to my credit card, I can see the matching transactions in the two accounts, and I try to categorize both transactions as a transfer using the square bracketed categories, e.g. [bankaccount] (in credit card account) and [credit card] (in banking account). This is all according to standard Quicken practice, as I understand it.

But when I try to do this, here is what happens. I start in the banking account, select the dropdown in the category field, and select the [credit card] transfer category. The transfer category shows up in the banking register, and it looks fine at first. But when I look at the credit card account, I now have two identical payments: one is the original payment that was downloaded and is still uncategorized; the second is a new transaction that was apparently created when I set up the transfer category, and has the linked transfer category [bankaccount]. The second transaction is also uncleared. This means I have one too many payments, and now my balance is screwed up.

It gets worse. Then I try deleting the new transaction on the credit card side. This now deletes the transaction on the bank account side as well, and now my bank account is missing a transaction. When I try to redownload my transactions, it does not bring back the missing transaction and now my bank account balance is screwed up. When I try to manually enter a new transaction, I get it in and try to link it to the remaining credit card transaction using the above procedure. This once again creates a new transaction instead of recognizing the existing one on the credit card side.

I have no words to express my rage when encountering this problem. Somebody please tell me I'm doing it wrong, and then tell me how to do it right.

I would also like to add that there is an additional frustration I have just discovered -- when looking at this message in the window I just typed, I cannot scroll back up and so cannot see the beginning of my message. Please fix that too.

Answers

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're doing things mostly right, but in the wrong order.

    You ought to enter the transfer before downloading the payment from the credit card account. Then the downloaded transaction in the credit card account will match to the transfer transaction that's already there.

    The way you did it, you could have deleted the downloaded, uncategorized CC payment transaction and all would have been well.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24
    Hi @nopeatnopedotnope

    With respect to what are transfers between Quicken accounts - for example you need to make a payment from your bank account for on a credit card balance - you only need one transaction, not two.  The second thing that you are doing wrong is the way you are "handling"  downloading transactions from your online accounts (bank account, credit card account, etc.) where you've already entered manual entries in one or more accounts. Once again you are duplicating payments. 

    If you make manual entries and then download transactions, the proper process is to match the downloaded data (before you "accept" any of it) to the corresponding existing transactions in your accounts.  If you cannot find an existing entry, then, and only then, should you allow Quicken to enter a new transaction.

    On your final frustration, I can't help you because I have never had that problem and can always "arrow up" to any other part of the messages I post here in the forum.

    Hope this helps.

    Frankx

                            Quicken Home, Business & Rental Property - Windows 10-Home Version

                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am a believer in the manual entry first approach as well. But if you choose to rely on downloads first, I suggest a) not having downloaded transactions automatically entered, and b) reviewing, accepting, and categorizing transactions one at a time. 

    If you process the checking account first and categorize the payment as a transfer, when you move to the cc account you should find the downloaded credit matched to that side of the transfer. No duplication. Same goes if you do the cc account first; should become a match in the checking account. 

    HTH
  • Okay, thank you all. As @"Rocket J Squirrel" mentioned, when I made a CC payment, I did not enter a manual transaction into Quicken -- I just waited till the transaction showed up on the downloaded transactions, and then was trying to categorize as a transfer. I just made a test payment and entered the transaction manually, and it looks like it is working; at least, it did on the bank account side. Still waiting for the payment to post on the CC side. @q_lurker : I don't understand -- what did you mean when you suggested 'not having downloaded transactions automatically entered'? Isn't this exactly what is meant by downloading transactions? Also, can positively confirm that when categorizing a downloaded payment transaction as a transfer, Quicken will not automatically match the 'opposite' transaction. This is what caused my frustration in the first place.

    TLDR: not putting the transfer into Quicken manually was my problem. It does seem strange to me that Quicken is not smart enough to handle matching transactions on the other side of a transfer.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @q_lurker : I don't understand -- what did you mean when you suggested 'not having downloaded transactions automatically entered'?

    When you download transactions from a financial institution, you have a choice as to whether those transactions automatically appear in your bank and  cc registers or whether those transactions are first presented in a frame below the register for you to review, categorize, adjust and accept.  The setting is controlled under Edit / Preferences - Downloaded transactions.  Note that there is also a selection for Transfer Detection.  Being an old-school long time Quicken user, I view the auto-entry, auto-categorization, and transfer detection as the user ceding control to the program.  I prefer as the user to be in control.   

    All in all, I am suggesting you have the option to bypass the manual entry and still avoid the duplication problem you cite.  Personally, I also prefer the manual entry which I make when a schedule the CC payment to be made in the real world.  Another point where I am in control.  When the downloads come through, they match the manual entries -- unless I typed a number wrong.    

  • Well, I'm glad I asked as I had no idea you could do this. Going forward I think I will use the full manual approach as I like that better. Thank you!