Why does the "update balance" on a property create a transfer to itself?

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micktee
micktee Member

Quicken allows you to enter a transaction with category that is basically a transfer back to the same account. As far as I can tell, that mostly just messes up the ability to generate reports because the money doesn't seem to belong to any category, so it's not shown as income or expense, and it seems to mask any profit or loss when selling it. Quicken uses this mechanism when you do an "update balance" to an account, or when you do a zestimate update on your home. I typically change the category to something like an appreciation or depreciation category that I've created, but then it looks like cash flow, which its not.

My questions is whether there is some real purpose for using a transfer back to the same account, and whether me changing it is actually preventing quicken to do something useful that I'm not aware of.

Most of the quicken functions are based on fairly straight forward accounting principles, but this one always seemed odd to me.

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    The "transfer back into the same account" syntax is Quicken's syntax for a "balance adjustment". As in a transaction that is outside of the scope of Quicken. Just as you might have an opening balance in an account that was opened before Quicken and you don't have the transactions before that point in time. Quicken Windows plays pretty loose with the "Category" field. Using it for transfers, and balance adjustments. Which at times causes problems.

    But to address your question about the accounting. Certainly, there is a disagreement on how this should be recorded. For instance, if one is using the Zillow update price function (Quicken Premier or above) it not only uses a balance adjustment, it also assigns the transaction the "Market adjustment" tag.

    And yes, as soon as this feature was put in some people pointed out that it wasn't the proper way to do it, but there really hasn't been enough complaints about it to change Quicken Inc's mind on how to do this. I think for the most part, most people really don't care about it. I know I don't. The added tag bothers me more than the use of the balance adjustment.

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