My American Express updates are now reversing debits and credits

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xskip747
xskip747 Member ✭✭

My payments are going in as debits, and all other transactions (purchases, subscriptions, etc.) are showing up as credits. This is only happening with my American Express account. All other credit cards, bank and investment accounts are correct.

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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Then the opening balance should have been in RED if you owed a balance. Black means you overpaid the bill or got a big refund for something. Quicken thinks the credit card owes you. You have to fix the opening balance. Show us the top of the register with the opening balance.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
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    @xskip747 - It is understandable that you found the Opening Balance to be wrong and confusing. You should note, however, that there has been an issue for the past year or so in which sometimes when an account is deactivated and then reactivated the Opening Balance amount gets changed, especially with regard to accounts that were reauthorized to EWC+ or when there has been some other connection method change.

    I suspect that this is what happened with your AmEx account when you reauthorized the account for EWC+ because the reauthorization deactivates and then reactivates the account with a new connection method.

    What I have been suggesting to people is to go to the Opening Balance transaction of all their connected accounts in Quicken and manually enter and save the dollar amount into the Memo field of that transaction. Then in the future it becomes a quick reference point to confirm whether or not the Opening Balance has been changed and, if it has, it is then easy to know how to correct the dollar amount of that transaction. You might want to be considering doing this, as well.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Fortunately, the Opening Balance being changed only happens sometimes. Quicken announced a fix for it last fall and while it did reduce the frequency of this it has not eliminated the problem. So, yes, it's good to keep this in mind.

    Two other things that can sometimes happen when there is an account deactivation/reactivation, especially when there is a connection method change:

    1. Sometimes there can be duplicate transactions entered into the register. In most cases, if duplicates are entered they will be within the last 90-days of when the deactivation/reactivation occurred. If duplicates are found, they will need to be manually deleted.
    2. Less commonly: A 2nd Opening Balance transaction with a more recent date than the original will be entered. When found it, too, needs to be manually deleted.

    These kinds of issues should not be occurring but it is good to know they sometimes do so the troubleshooting process can perhaps be a bit easier to accomplish.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    as a note - suggest you go thru all your accounts and scroll to Opening Balance and copy the amount into the Memo field for future safe keeping… in case it gets changed by a Quicken software update.

    QWin - R54.16 - Win10

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Answers

  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    What color is the numbers in the balance column for that latest transaction?

    How about a screenshot of the last couple of transactions obscuring any personal information?

    -splasher using Q continuously since 1996
    - Subscription Quicken - Win11 and QW2013 - Win11
    -Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    This is what I get. Balance is not red (as a credit), since it's continuing to treat payments as debits.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @xskip747 - Did you start observing this issue after you had updated the Quicken version you are running or when you changed the connection method to EWC+?

    If so, I suggest you take the following actions:

    1. Back up your data file before proceeding.
    2. If you have a backup file from before when you started seeing this problem (or before when you updated the Quicken version and before when you changed your Amex connection method to EWC+), restore it and make note of the dollar amount of the Opening Balance transaction. Then compare that to the Opening Balance transaction dollar amount in your primary data file. If they are different, change the dollar amount in your primary data file to match what it is in that backup file. If that fixes the issue for you, then you are done. If not, proceed to the next step.
    3. Look for a 2nd Opening Balance transaction in the account register that is dated later than the 1st one. If you find one, manually delete it. If that fixes the issue for you, then you are done. If not, proceed to the next step.
    4. Scroll back through the account register looking for duplicate transactions. Delete any duplicate transactions you find so only 1 of each transaction remains. There might be quite a few. Generally when this happens it will occur somewhere within the approximately 90-days window prior to when the Quicken version was updated or when the connection method was changed to EWC+….but it could all be within a shorter or longer window than this.

    If you find these issues, then correcting them should eliminate the problem you are seeing in the register.

    Let us know what you find out and if these steps resolved the issue for you.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    Thank you… I will try your suggestions and let you know. It might be a few days - I think I'll need to set aside a lot of time to deal with it. I suspected the update or change to EWC+ was at fault, but unfortunately didn't notice the weirdness until a couple of days ago. Thank you for your help.

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    Just started to investigate, as per your suggestions, and now see that ALL transactions are reversed… back to the beginning in 2003. I know for sure that it was not like this until recently. I also checked, and I have three other credit card accounts on Q that use EWC+, and I double-checked those, and they are fine.

    I download all bank, credit card and investment data every morning - and am annoyed at myself that I didn't notice the AMX issue right away - and therefore don't know precisely when it started. The fact that no other people with AMX accounts on Q have this problem is puzzling.

    Again, thank you for the suggestions, but for the time being I'm probably just going to have to be 'aware' of the discrepancy until there's a clear cut way to resolve it.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2023
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    It's not as bad or time consuming as it sounds. I was playing in a TEST file this morning seeing how well a credit card that was set up for Web Connect (manual downloading/importing of transactions from the bank) could be updated to Express Web Connect (not EWC+) and I was surprised to find all 3 of these things happened….changed the original Opening Balance dollar amount, added a 2nd Opening Balance transaction and entered about 30 days of duplicate transactions. The entire process fixing all 3 took me less than 15 minutes and when it was all done everything balanced out showed up in the register perfectly, again.. But I'm pretty familiar with these troubleshooting steps so if you aren't as familiar with them then it might take you a bit longer.

    Another suggestion you might want to try if this Amex register issue has not been going on for very long: Restore the last backup file from shortly before the change to EWC+ occurred. If it's only been a week or two that might be the fastest and simplest way to resolve it.

    Also, you might want to look at your automatic backup files. There have been 3 version updates from 3/9-3/21. When Quicken updates the version it will now automatically back up the data file before doing the version update and will place the previous version number in the backup file name. It will look something like what is shaded in yellow in this following picture:

    In this picture the version that was updated from was R38.30 and it occurred on 3/9/2022. If you see any backup files with the prior version number in the backup file name and if the version update occurred in the same suspect time period as this issue, then it is possible it was the version update that caused or contributed to the issue for you and not the change to EWC+. But, I'm with you and betting it was likely the change to EWC+.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    OK - thank you again… I will look for backups. Believe it or not, I was a computer systems analyst before retiring, so troubleshooting is not too foreign to me, and I can see the logic in what you're saying. I'll probably address all this over the weekend - and will let you know how it goes.

    Do you know if 'just' AMX changed recently to EWC+? Just guessing that Chase and Citibank changed before without this problem, since they use EWC+ and their updates are fine.

    I'll let you know…

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I believe (am not sure) that only Amex was involved in the recent EWC+ transition. But most of the prior EWC+ transitions have had their share of issues, some different issues than other and some worse situations than others. The 3 problems I'd mentioned were common with earlier EWC+ transitions so it seemed logical that EWC+ might have caused similar issues with Amex. But it now sounds like the issue you are seeing is different. Maybe restoring that backup file might be the fastest and least painful solution.

    I feel quite fortunate in that my EWC+ transitions (PayPal, Cap One, Chase) have been relatively painless but that is not the case for a lot of users. And, if you conduct a search on the Amex transition you will see there are a fair number of posts by those saying they are having problems with it. Eventually the issues mostly seem to get resolved.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    I looked at the Quicken discussions re the AMX transition, and see what you mean. So I made an entry myself of what I've done, and how I've 'resolved' my problem.

    In a nutshell, after talking to the 'technical' people at both Q and AMX, I got no help. They both blame the other, and say their side of the equation is fine.

    So I've changed all my automatic payments to another credit card (one that I leave at home) and will only use the AMX for grocery stores - where I get 6% cash back from AMX.

    I'll zero the register balance, and as charges and payments are posted incorrectly, I'll just manually correct them. The old part of the register will just stay wrong - I only keep it for reference if I need to look back to find an old purchase information.

    Besides my payments, there should only be 1-2 grocery charges a week for me to deal with.

    After hours of dealing with this, this is my solution. Thank you for your interest, and help. Since somehow my entire 20 year register was reversed, this is the "easiest" way for me to deal with this. It saves me looking back, trying to find an accurate back-up to start with, especially since on-going transactions from AMX will probably continue to be reversed.

    Thanks again!!

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    So, restoring the backup file did not resolve the issue? That will often resolve a lot of issues introduced by deactivating/reactivating accounts and transitioning accounts to EWC+.

    Sorry to hear that you got so little productive support from both Amex and Quicken. Best of wishes to you.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Restoring a backup now forces a sync to the Quicken cloud, so you probably got the same bad data synced to the restored backup. To avoid the forced sync, copy the backup file, rename the file to remove -backup from the extension and add "test" to the file name. Then double click the renamed file to open it.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    I just lost patience with trying to find a 'pre-problem' backup - and since I have no faith that the reversing won't continue with new transactions, I'll just live with correcting new downloads as they occur.

    Thank you for trying to help - you've done 100% more to assist me than either Quicken techs or AMX techs have done!

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Perhaps you would be willing to try one lat experiment. What happens to the credit and debit reversals if you add a fake payment of $5000 on January 1, 2023?

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    I did what you suggested, and added a $5000 payment on 1/1/2023. but it did what all other 'credits' do, and was added to the balance as a debit. Thanks for trying!

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I'm a bit confused. Because, in the example, the Charges ARE reducing the balance as they should. It's just that the balance is positive (Black) when it should be negative (Red).

    SO, double check your Opening Balance (which should also be Red), and see if there are double posted payments.

    Q has been known, under some circumstances, to change that "Opening Balance"

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    The balance column is working right. Here's my standard answer…..

    Look back through your transactions and maybe you'll spot one that was entered backward. Or a payment in the charge column or a charge in the payment column. Look around back where this first started happening.  Or maybe you are missing some charges? 

    If the balance is in Black, it means you have a credit on the card.  Like if you overpaid the bill or got a refund for something you returned.   When you enter a charge it will reduce (decrease) the credit you have available on it.   And a payment will increase the balance.

    Also make sure you have the right starting balance.  If it's zero you might need to add a beginning balance for when you started the account in Quicken.

    The credit card balance you OWE should be in RED. If the balance is Black then it's showing the credit card company owes you and you have a credit balance. And then when you make a payment it's like the cc owes you more. So you need to go back though your entries and find where the balance switched to black to being in your favor.

    See this for more info.....

    A Positive (Black) Balance in a Credit Card Account 

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    No, the charges shouldn't be reducing the balance… they should be adding to the balance. Otherwise every time I buy something, I'd owe less and less money.

    And, the whole register, going back to 2003, is now reversed… so the 'opening balance' is the ONLY thing that is correct. I have never had something so weird happen in Quicken, and cannot understand why I am the only one it's happened to!

    I don't know when this happened. Either the Windows Update, or the change to EWC+ caused the problem - but since I didn't notice it right away, I don't know which is the culprit. Whichever, it's all screwed up now and Q and AMX are pointing the fingers at each other. None of my other EWC+ account downloads are a problem - other credit cards and my banks are fine.

    I've now switched all my automatic payments to another credit card, so there will be minimum transactions that I'll have to correct after each download. I'll only use this AMX card for groceries now… since I do get 6% rebate … otherwise I'd consider canceling the card entirely.

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    Please look closely at my example: when something is charged, the balance is REDUCED. When I make a payment, the balance is HiGHER. And, as I've noted previously, when whatever the weirdness happened, it reversed all transactions, going back to 2003.

    I pre-enter the payment that's going to be made, once I see the statement - hence the payment that I'm showing that will happen on April 10. So that is a clear illustration of how a payment is adding to, instead of subtracting from, the balance.

    Thanks for trying… I appreciate people trying to help.

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    The chages are reducing the balance because the balance thinks you have a credit like if you overpaid the account. The math is working right. You have to find what transactions are missing or duplicate payments.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Charges are supposed to reduce the balance. Payments are supposed to raise the balance. That's exactly what you're showing.

    SO, in what column is that "Opening Balance" and what color is the amount in the Balance column next to it?

    The amount column of a credit card is, typically, red … as in "you're in the red", meanig that you owe money.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    This IS a credit card - and the amount column of this one is black. I'm confused as to how you say using the credit card to make a purchase means that AMX would owe me money (?)

    Note: All my other credit cards act just as you state… balance is red.

    When I added this credit card to Q in 2003, the opening balance was black, which is what I owed prior to downloads. The downloads worked perfectly up to very recently (though I don't know exactly when they all got reversed… hence the difficulty determining the cause.)

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Then the opening balance should have been in RED if you owed a balance. Black means you overpaid the bill or got a big refund for something. Quicken thinks the credit card owes you. You have to fix the opening balance. Show us the top of the register with the opening balance.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    You are absolutely right!!! Thank you. I put in a transaction to reverse that to a negative (red) balance, and now the debits and credits are being calculated properly going forward.

    This doesn't explain the mystery of why it happened since it's worked perfectly, and in balance with the AMX statement, for 20 years. Now, reversing that opening balance means the processing is correct - but even though it's showing a red balance owing now -as it should - it's the wrong balance [which doesn't make sense.] BUT, I'm going to put in a 'fake transaction' now, to bring it into line with the actual AMX balance ... and that should solve my problem.

    Somewhere, in 20 years, there's a glitch - but I don't need to find that at this point... I just need to be able to download from now on with the adds and subtracts working - which they appear to do now.

    So thank you very much. I appreciate yours, and all the others', help!
  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Well fixing the opening balance must have been only one part of the problem. Say you started with a $600 balance but entered it as a black 600. Then your register was really off by $1,200. You should just have changed the opening Balance to the right negative amount (in red) and not just reversed it, unless you made the reversal entry for double the amount. Did you follow that?

    But yeah it doesn't make sense that it was working and balanced to the statements unless it was the right amount but your register had the sign wrong and backward.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    I know - I think it's going to be a mystery forever. But when I calculated what the amount off I was, it was within $22... so I just deleted the opening balance entirely and put in a $22 debit balancing transaction and I'm in line with the AMX balance now.

    Maybe that "opening balance" showed up from the ether somewhere? Since it accounted for all but $22, I'll bet that $22 is just a missing debit - from who knows how far back, and I didn't ever notice since by the time I get the statements I only look at listed charges to make sure they're valid.

    It's all good... this caused me to change all my recurring automatic charges for utilities, subscriptions, etc., over to another credit card - which is one that I never carry with me. That way, should one of my cards that I carry get stolen or compromised, I don't have that additional task of changing the automatic payments to a different card - it's been done now!

    Again, thank you. This whole thing was such a weird confluence of variables, I was looking for zebras.
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
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    @xskip747 - It is understandable that you found the Opening Balance to be wrong and confusing. You should note, however, that there has been an issue for the past year or so in which sometimes when an account is deactivated and then reactivated the Opening Balance amount gets changed, especially with regard to accounts that were reauthorized to EWC+ or when there has been some other connection method change.

    I suspect that this is what happened with your AmEx account when you reauthorized the account for EWC+ because the reauthorization deactivates and then reactivates the account with a new connection method.

    What I have been suggesting to people is to go to the Opening Balance transaction of all their connected accounts in Quicken and manually enter and save the dollar amount into the Memo field of that transaction. Then in the future it becomes a quick reference point to confirm whether or not the Opening Balance has been changed and, if it has, it is then easy to know how to correct the dollar amount of that transaction. You might want to be considering doing this, as well.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    Now that you explain that the Opening Balance might have been changed, it clears up a mystery. If that's what happened, it would make sense of why things looked just fine until the EWC+ change. It will certainly be something I will be watching for in the future, and I will check that before starting other troubleshooting. Thank you for all your help, and I will follow your suggestions!
  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Fortunately, the Opening Balance being changed only happens sometimes. Quicken announced a fix for it last fall and while it did reduce the frequency of this it has not eliminated the problem. So, yes, it's good to keep this in mind.

    Two other things that can sometimes happen when there is an account deactivation/reactivation, especially when there is a connection method change:

    1. Sometimes there can be duplicate transactions entered into the register. In most cases, if duplicates are entered they will be within the last 90-days of when the deactivation/reactivation occurred. If duplicates are found, they will need to be manually deleted.
    2. Less commonly: A 2nd Opening Balance transaction with a more recent date than the original will be entered. When found it, too, needs to be manually deleted.

    These kinds of issues should not be occurring but it is good to know they sometimes do so the troubleshooting process can perhaps be a bit easier to accomplish.

    (Quicken Classic Premier Subscription: R55.15 on Windows 11)

  • xskip747
    xskip747 Member ✭✭
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    All your suggestions, and the background information, is so helpful. Thank you so much.
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    as a note - suggest you go thru all your accounts and scroll to Opening Balance and copy the amount into the Memo field for future safe keeping… in case it gets changed by a Quicken software update.

    QWin - R54.16 - Win10

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