"Expenses" and "See Where Your Money Goes" View Tweaks

JoelC
JoelC Member ✭✭✭✭
edited February 8 in Canada Windows

I am running Quicken Classic Business And Personal.

I have a Home tab / View for one on the businesses I track customized as follows:

The business categories are structured as "Business Expenses / Sub-categories" and "Business Income / Sub-categories" per Quicken's default structure / recommendation.

The result is that the "Expenses" and "See Where Your Money Goes" items provide no insight when used for a business because they report on the "top" category only (i.e., Business Expenses) as can be seen in the below image:

THE ASK / IDEA: When used for a business, chart / graph based on the first / initial level of subcategories below "Business Expenses" and "Business Income" so that the "breakdown" can be seen and useful information conveyed.

Thank you.

2
2 votes

Reviewed · Last Updated

Comments

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see any difference in Quicken's treatment of Home tab widgets/cards between business and non-business (personal or rental property) Home tab widgets/cards.

    I believe the Home tab widgets/cards are intended as quick high-level overviews, rather than detailed examinations of the data. As such they typically offer fewer customizations than Quicken reports. 

    That's not to say that the widgets/cards couldn't use some improvement; only that trying to make the Home tab widgets work exactly like Quicken reports seems significantly redundant.  When the detail is important, reports (and their associated graphs) are probably a better choice.

    As to the Home tab "Expenses" widget: to see the subcategory details; click the "Show Full Graph" button, click the resulting "Customize" (gear-wheel) icon, and select "Show all" in the Subcategories dropdown on the Advanced tab. While in that display, one can get individual transaction detail by clicking the "Show Report" button.

    [As noted in earlier discussions, you can make the Reports > Spending by Category graph (which is basically what the Home tab "Expenses" widget is) into a Quicken Toolbar icon.]

    -JP

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

  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭✭✭

    @mshiggins appreciate the response.

    I do wish to stress that I am not trying to get the widgets to act like reports. I am simply suggesting that got businesses they look one level beyond the business expenses parent category as otherwise there is no breakdown as was intended by the widgets.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Thank you.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    Looking at this widget my suggestion wouldn't be to treat "business" any different, the widget isn't for "business" it is for "expenses". But with that said I do think it could use some improvements. I tried selecting only the subcategories of Auto, and it reported just the total of Auto. It would be nice if would have reported on what I selected instead of just the top level of the categories I selected.

    Signature:
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Chris_QPW appreciate the response noting this is essentially what I am saying. Thank you!

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    "I do wish to stress that I am not trying to get the widgets to act like reports."

    The Quicken Reports > Spending > Spending by Category graph - properly Customized (to "Show subcategories") - already provides exactly the result you say you want. When that properly Customized graph is Saved and assigned to the Quicken Toolbar, you can see the results with no greater effort than opening a Home Tab "Expenses" widget.

    It's not clear to me why the capability that is already available is unacceptable?

    "I am simply suggesting that got businesses they look one level beyond the business expenses parent category as otherwise there is no breakdown as was intended by the widgets."

    [I don't understand "... got businesses ....".]

    How are you determining that "... [it] was intended [that] ... the widgets" display as you wish them to?

    And why would business data be treated differently than non-business data in this context?

    Most Home Tab widgets offer less Customization than their Report/Graph counterparts -and that's been true for as long as I can remember. The current Expenses Home Tab widget (for example) has the same limited Customizations as the Q2004 Expenses Home Tab widget. It seems to me if Quicken intended something different, it would have happened by now.

    I should also mention that I don't think the Home Tab widgets can be considered reliable for business info under all conditions.

    The Quicken Business features work for "business transactions".  A "business transaction" must have one, of two possible, characteristics: the transaction must have a Schedule E tax line item assigned (presumably a different "tax line item" in the Canadian version); or the transaction must have NO tax line item assigned and have a "business tag" assigned (see Business > Manage Business Information to create Business Tags).

    [There are also "Rental Property transactions": they have either a Schedule E tax line item assigned, or no tax line item assigned but a Rental Property Tag assigned. Rental Property Tags are created in the Quicken Rent Center.]

    When a report is selected from the Reports > Business menu choices, that report will automatically screen out all non-business transactions. 

    Which is why there is no need to attempt to exclude non-business categories from Business reports. 

    To my knowledge only those reports found at Reports > Business will do such screening. I also know of no Business reports that have accompanying graphs - thus eliminating the only reliable way to get accurate results from Home Tab graph widgets intended to focus strictly on business transactions.

    [I haven't given this a ton of thought, but one potentially useful addition to Home Tab widgets/cards (and even to non-Business reports/graphs) would be an option to:
    - Include all transactions
    - Include only Personal transactions (every Quicken transaction that is not a Business transaction, or a Rental Property transaction, is a Personal transaction)
    - Include only Business transactions (or only Rental Property transactions). Naturally those 3 options would only be applied to transactions that otherwise qualified for the report/graph/widget/card.]

    -JP

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

  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭✭✭

    @mshiggins , as always, that you for the detailed response.

    The Quicken Reports > Spending > Spending by Category graph - properly Customized (to "Show subcategories") - already provides exactly the result you say you want. When that properly Customized graph is Saved and assigned to the Quicken Toolbar, you can see the results with no greater effort than opening a Home Tab "Expenses" widget.

    Excellent and fair point. Thank you.

    It's not clear to me why the capability that is already available is unacceptable?

    It is acceptable just not as convenient / informative; that is a dashboard with number of graphs / widgets all on one screen is more convenient and informative (i.e., think of it as being akin to "one stop shopping").

    How are you determining that "... [it] was intended [that] ... the widgets" display as you wish them to?

    And why would business data be treated differently than non-business data in this context?

    I am making no such determination. I am proposing / suggesting that because Quicken recommends that business expense categories all be grouped under the "Business Expenses" category (i.e., unlike personal expenses that have no such "master category") that it may make sense (i.e., be a worthwhile consideration) to treat them differently so that the widget (and, by extension) the View can be more informative.

    Most Home Tab widgets offer less Customization than their Report/Graph counterparts -and that's been true for as long as I can remember. The current Expenses Home Tab widget (for example) has the same limited Customizations as the Q2004 Expenses Home Tab widget. It seems to me if Quicken intended something different, it would have happened by now.

    Agreed and have no issue with this.

    I should also mention that I don't think the Home Tab widgets can be considered reliable for business info under all conditions.

    The Quicken Business features work for "business transactions".  A "business transaction" must have one, of two possible, characteristics: the transaction must have a Schedule E tax line item assigned (presumably a different "tax line item" in the Canadian version); or the transaction must have NO tax line item assigned and have a "business tag" assigned (see Business > Manage Business Information to create Business Tags).

    Agree as to what constitutes a business transaction. It is unfortunate - as you explain further down — that the Home Tab widgets cannot be considered reliable.

    When a report is selected from the Reports > Business menu choices, that report will automatically screen out all non-business transactions. Which is why there is no need to attempt to exclude non-business categories from Business reports. 

    Excellent point and very helpful.

    To my knowledge only those reports found at Reports > Business will do such screening. I also know of no Business reports that have accompanying graphs - thus eliminating the only reliable way to get accurate results from Home Tab graph widgets intended to focus strictly on business transactions.

    Agreed, and that is part of the attraction of the widgets. Graphs are easier and more informative for directional information (i.e., reports are preferred when digging into the details ) and multiple graphs on a dashboard are even better!

    *****

    If nothing else, I do hope this discussion will get Quicken to revisit what can / should be done to further develop and improve is Home Tab widgets as they and should be an informative, powerful and useful part of Quicken.

    Thank you.

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I said:
    "To my knowledge only those reports found at Reports > Business will do such screening. I also know of no Business reports that have accompanying graphs - thus eliminating the only reliable way to get accurate results from Home Tab graph widgets intended to focus strictly on business transactions."

    To which you replied:
    "Agreed, and that is part of the attraction of the widgets. Graphs are easier and more informative for directional information (i.e., reports are preferred when digging into the details ) and multiple graphs on a dashboard are even better!"

    But the "reports" in the Quicken Reports menu that correspond to the widgets in question here also HAVE graphs. 

    And you can Save such a report with only the graph visible; then when you choose to display that Saved "graph" from the Quicken Toolbar, you will see only the graph ... looking just like the widget you are now using, but with the Customizations you want (with the exception that non-business reports/graphs/widgets/cards will not exclude non-business transactions, and cannot be Customized to do so).

    Bottom line: you will likely continue to have difficulty when attempting to use non-business reports/graphs/widgets/cards to report strictly business information. 

    And I suspect that this behavior is fairly deeply imbedded in the Quicken legacy code and can only be changed with significant effort. I don't have much confidence that Quicken will invest much time or money to upgrade the business capabilities. It seems like too few users (too little benefit) for too high a price.

    The simplest approach I can think of (and I doubt it is simple enough) to address the issue of this, and related, discussions  would be to allow all Customize dialogs to have the option to screen transactions as follows:
    Transactions to include: All Transactions, Business Transactions only, Rental Property Transactions only, Personal Transactions only (Personal transactions are all transactions that are not business transactions or rental property transactions). This screening of transactions would override any other Customizations for selecting transactions.

    -JP

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

  • JoelC
    JoelC Member ✭✭✭✭

    @mshiggins

    Bottom line: you will likely continue to have difficulty when attempting to use non-business reports/graphs/widgets/cards to report strictly business information. 

    Agreed!

    And, as you noted elsewhere, this is largely because of the absence of the combination of i) the ability to treat transactions the same and ii) the ability to select transaction type as you previously detailed elsewhere.