Contributions Account - How to turn-off on an old account

Stacy K
Stacy K Member ✭✭

I am a long time Quicken user that converted from Money. We have a very old 403(b) account that has an associated "contributions" account attached. On most other accounts, including IRAs, in the account setting, there is a selection to use or not use a cash account. However that is not available for the 401k/403b accounts.

The issue is that on many of the downloaded transactions, it will not let me select to use the cash account or not, so there is trapped transactions created an inaccurate cash balance. Is there any way to turn off the linked cash account?

I am hesitant to just delete it since there are so many transfers and fear I may be stuck with it. (Note: on accounts that allow it to be turn off, when I did, the program did a good job of "blended" the two into one account.)


  • Quicken Kristina

    Hello @Stacy K,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community and telling us about this issue.  I'm sorry to hear you're running into this problem. Has this "contributions" account always existed? If not, when did you first notice it appeared? Which version of Quicken were you using when it appeared?

    Does that associated contributions account act like linked checking accounts that can be associated with other types of investment accounts, or does it act like a stand alone account? For instance, when you go to Tools>Account List and click the Edit button next to that contributions account, does the description say it is a linked account?

    Thank you.

    Quicken Kristina

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  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    "We have a very old403(b) account that has an associated "contributions" account attached"

    I take it this is how things are setup at the custodian financial institution since you say that in Quicken you can't use a linked cash Account. But then you say "Is there any way to turn off the linked cash account?" and since Quicken doesn't have a linked cash Account and since the linked cash account is a feature at the custodian's end, are telling us that you're getting downloads into the 403(b) Account and you want to stop that?

    "The issue is that on many of the downloaded transactions, it will not let me select to use the cash account or not"

    That's unclear. I sort of assumed that you're getting information from the "investments" account only but this implies -to me at least - that the cash account IS being downloaded?

    I'll admit I'm lost as to what's going on here and it sounds like you DO have a linked cash Account in Quicken, even though Quicken doesn't allow that?

    I think you need to describe the full cycle of transactions at the financial institution - contributions, buys and sells - and how that gets reflected (via downloads, presumably) in what you're seeing in Quicken. Where are cash transactions "trapped?"

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tom Young - The file was converted from MS Money. In MS Money every investment account, regardless of the type, holds the securities transactions in one register and the cash transactions in another linked register. When MS is converted into Quicken, those accounts (including retirement accounts) are set up in Quicken with linked checking accounts. The retirement accounts remain set up that way unless and until the linked checking account option is deselected in Account Details.

    When I converted from MS Money to Quicken I removed the linked checking account options for all my accounts without any issue. But it sounds like the issue is that just one of their retirement accounts (a 403b) does not provide the option to do that. They want to know how to merge the checking transactions back into the main account.

    @Stacy K - Is my understanding on this correct?

    If so, then please answer @Quicken Kristina's question. It may help to provide some insight into what the next step(s) should be that can help to resolve the issue.

    Quicken Classic Premier (US) Subscription: R55.26 on Windows 11

  • Stacy K
    Stacy K Member ✭✭

    Yes, that is exactly the issue. On this one account, which was created before I moved to quicken, it had the required "cash account". And now, the "use a cash account" option is not available, like is on the IRA accounts. I will put the full reply the Kristina.

  • Stacy K
    Stacy K Member ✭✭

    @Quicken Kristina,

    Tom is describing exactly what happened. I didn't realize it all those years ago to try to turn off the cash account, so it rolled over, but has become a pain due to quarterly expense transactions. Unlike on the new/IRA accounts (Q_IRA_Account), which have a toggle to use a separate cash account, the 401K/403b account setups do not (Q_401_403_account).

    The linked cash account somehow "knows" it is the linked account, but does not have a description. (Q_contribution).

    In addition, and more frustrating, is that I am not able to select whether to use the cash account or not when entering a transaction in the investment register. (Q_Transaction). On all the other accounts, I am able to select "this account" or a different account. (Q_Transaction_open). I have even tried to remove the "X" from the Sold and Bought "Action" to no avail.

    So, I'm wondering if I am just stuck with it. If I could select

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Try this. Backup first in case the results are unexpected.

    Change the setting in Account Details for Tax Deferred to No. This should expose the Show Cash in Linked Account setting.

    Change the Show Cash in Linked Account to No. Quicken should then chug through moving all the cash transactions to the investment account, this could take some time.

    Then set the Tax Deferred to Yes.

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

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    At the time the Money-to-Quicken converter was written, Quicken did not allow any retirement accounts to have a linked checking account. 

    Since there was no way for a user to choose a linked checking account for a retirement account, no way was provided to unlink a checking account from a retirement account. 

    [Apparently. internally, it was possible to set a flag on any Quicken investment account that linked it to a checking account - but that flag was never made available to any user for Quicken retirement accounts.]

    Due to some failure to communicate, the ex-Money programmer who wrote the conversion did not know that Quicken retirement accounts could not have linked checking accounts. So ALL Money investment accounts were created in Quicken with their flag set to have a linked checking account - replicating the structure in Money.

    Other than rewriting the conversion program (not feasible by the time the problem was discovered), the only workable option at that time was to (BEFORE converting):
    - Tell Money that ALL retirement accounts were NOT retirement accounts
    - Convert to Quicken
    - Unlink the converted Money checking accounts from the converted Money ex-retirement accounts
    - Tell Quicken that the converted Money ex-retirement accounts were: tax deferred, then chose the appropriate Quicken retirement account type.

    [By the time the conversion problem was discovered, many Money users had converted to Quicken and made multiple subsequent entries in their converted Money retirement accounts - those users either never got word about the problem/work-around, or chose not to re-convert and lose all the Quicken data they had entered since they initially converted.]

    While there was no way to delink retirement accounts in Quicken for years after the Money conversion was written, I believe there is now a way - thanks to the relatively recent introduction of the Quicken investment account "Move transactions" transaction type (*).  

    For each existing Quicken retirement account that was converted from Money:
    a.) Create a new Quicken account of the same type
    b.) In the converted Money retirement account, use the "Move transactions" transaction type to move all the transactions from the converted Money retirement account to its newly created Quicken counterpart.

    As a result, the old converted Money retirement account will then be empty, and its new Quicken counterpart will not be linked to the old converted Money checking account. But the transfers from/to the old converted Money retirement account will now be transfers from/to the new Money retirement account.

    [I tested converting a Money2007 (Version file to Quicken subscription release R50.16]

    [ (*) As late as Q2013, there was no "Move transactions" capability for Quicken investment accounts.]


    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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  • Stacy K
    Stacy K Member ✭✭

    I found "move transactions" under the dial drop-down. It does indeed say to use it with caution. The available transactions in the full list includes transactions in the "cash" account, which I don't want.

    However, there is a "shares transferred between accounts" on the "enter transactions" dropdown. I'm curious if that would be a way to start a new account without all the old links, and then "close" the old one and remove the download data. I would then select the new account for online transaction downloads and I wouldn't have the ghost cash balance in the new one. Since it is a tax-deferred account, the complete share basis history isn't as important. But I think I would still have access to the history, just in the closed account.

    This option feels similar to when a credit card account number changes.

    Thoughts about viability?

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    "I found 'move transactions' under the dial drop-down. It does indeed say to use it with caution."

    Whenever attempting significant changes such as this, it's a good idea to be cautious ... by creating a backup: if the change results turn out to be unwanted, the backup can be restored.

    "The available transactions in the full list includes transactions in the 'cash' account, which I don't want."

    "Move transactions" only displays investment account transactions, no transactions IN the "cash" (checking) account are shown. 

    But ALL the investment account transactions are presented in the "Move transactions" dialog, including the investment transactions that would have affected the investment account cash balance, if they were not transfers from/to the linked checking account (that is, those transactions whose "Action" value ends with an "X").

    If the option to "Show cash in a checking account" were available, it would have the "Yes" radio button selected; and changing that to select the "No" radio button would return all the transactions from the linked checking account into the investment account. Meaning it would NOT get rid of cash transactions, it would just move them from the separate checking account into the investment account. Pure cash transactions (Deposits, Withdrawals, etc.) in the linked account would become "Cash [type] transactions" in the investment account, while transactions that transferred cash to/from the investment account (such as BoughtX and SoldX) would lose their "transfer" feature and take cash directly from the investment account (such as Bought transactions) or put cash into the investment account (such as Sold transactions).

    In my opinion, using "Move transactions" comes the closest one can get in this situation to doing what saying "No" to "Show cash in a checking account" would have done - it unlinks the checking account, but leaves all transactions as they were.  [Note: one can use BoughtX, SoldX, etc. transactions intentionally, without ever having a "linked" checking account. The cash for Buys need not already be in the investment account, and the cash from Sells need not be posted to the investment account. The funds for a Buy transaction, for example, can be transferred from the user's regular (unlinked) checking account using a BoughtX transaction.]

    If the linked checking account were simply deleted or totally severed from the investment account, there would be no way to account for the cash necessary for certain investment transactions (for example: the "cash" for Bought transaction has to come from somewhere, and the "cash" from Sold transactions has to go somewhere) ... so simply severing the checking account from the investment account is not a feasible expectation.

    [Also, every transaction presented in the "Move transactions" dialog can be individually selected, so there is no requirement to "move" every investment transaction, though I believe there is a good reason to do so in this situation.]

    Since I only attempted to address what I perceived as a desire to "unlink" the retirement investment account from its linked checking account (which "Move transactions" does), I did not address using the "Shares transferred between accounts" pseudo-transaction. Using "Shares transferred between accounts" will leave the original retirement account linked to its checking account, and will not move any investment "transactions" from the old to the new account.

    But if you do not care to have the historical retirement account transactions in a new retirement account, then "Shares transferred between accounts" should work fine.

    The new retirement account will contain all the holdings from the old retirement account - each and every lot. So the resulting cost basis in the new account will be the same as (as correct as) the cost basis in the old account - which is good. 

    If going the "Shares transferred ..." route, I suggest: 
    First deactivate the old account. Then create the new account, but do not activate it for downloading. Then transfer ALL shares from the old to the new account. After verifying the new account is correct, activate it for downloading.

    After that, I would just leave the old retirement account and its linked checking account as they are, since their history might be useful. You could mark the old account(s) as "Separate", if you don't want them to appear in displays/reports by default. And "Hide [them] in transaction entry lists", if you don't want them to appear in account name dropdowns.


    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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