Handling Duplicate Business and Personal Categories

Nekoashi
Nekoashi Member ✭✭

What is the recommended practice to handle categories that are common across business and personal? For example, a bank charge, dining, or postage may be applicable to both business and personal transactions. In the past, I always used ONE category, and used a tag to identify business or personal.

With the newer business functionality in Quicken Mac, it seems like you need to duplicate the categories to make proper use of the business stuff. For example, I would need a "Bank Charge (Personal)" and a "Bank Charge (business)" (or use a subcategory under a business parent category), where the business one is tied to a tax schedule.

This design seems wasteful, causing me to duplicate a bunch of categories that really mean the same thing. I am tempted to stick with my tagging method, but then I feel like I am missing out on the current and future business functions.

Thoughts? (and thanks for the reply)

Comments

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    By the statement above I take it that Quicken Mac Business doesn't have business tags (at least not yet), can someone confirm?

    I don't use Windows Home & Business but did play with it once in a beta. And I know that each business had a "business tag". Not surprising the business features were built on the core Quicken features, and tags were used for this. Most likely a Windows SuperUser that uses Home & Business can go into better details on this, but it seems like the farther off Quicken Mac Business is the harder the conversion is going to be.

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Quicken Mac has Tags, but not Tags which are functionally different for business or personal.

    In order to be able to run reports and produce tax information for businesses, there has to be a way to identify each transaction as either business or personal. Quicken Mac Business & Personal is predicated on assigning each business transaction (or split) to a Business — a field separate from Tags and Categories. In order to assign a Business, the Category selected must be a category coded for business.

    It's logical, but it does create the situation described by @Nekoashi where there may be some duplicate categories to separate business and personal use. I think the reality is that most people would have only a small number of categories in duplicate for business and personal use. I suppose the developers could have built this business/personal separation around Tags instead of Categories, but that would require every business transaction be tagged, in addition to having a category and a business — so it would actually be more ongoing work (tagging every business transaction) rather than a little extra one-time setup time for categories.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    Frankly like I said I haven't really used it, so I don't know now Quicken Windows used those "business tags".

    I do know that the way that Quicken Windows knows that a given transaction is "business" is because the category it is assigned has a business tax line assigned to it otherwise it isn't considered a business transaction. So, I think that is basically the same as Quicken Mac Business.

    Most likely the business tag is used like some of the special account types it has, as in just some certain circumstance where a "top level" separation is needed.

    So, most likely Quicken Mac Business is still inline with Quicken Windows, as far as it features that it does have.

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  • Nekoashi
    Nekoashi Member ✭✭

    I did come from Windows. I guess my question is more about the design and duplication, and whether I am thinking about it correctly with the dupes. @jacobs seems to confirm that you need the duplicate categories, so I guess I have to stomach that to stick with the business features as intended. At least (it seems) you don't have to create dupes across all businesses - just one set of business categories (assigned to a business tax line per @Chris_QPW) and then select which business it applies to.

    The bummer is that I have a subscriptions category with a bunch of sub-categories for the type of subscription (we are being "over-subsucriptioned" these days). Most of them are in common with my personal stuff. Not ideal as I can't stand duplication, but I guess I can live with it.

    One could also argue I should have the business accounts in a separate Quicken file, too, but the convenience of having both in one file outweighs the advantage of separating the files (please provide an alternate viewpoint if you have one).

    Appreciate the replies.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Nekoashi Since you did come from Quicken Windows Home & Business, how did it handle this? Did it automatically tag transactions with the business' tag?

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @Nekoashi In your case, it may might help to keep all your business categories as sub-categories of the main Business Expenses and Business Income categories. However, Quicken Mac will prevent you from assigning a personal Category to a transaction with a Business attached, and from assigning a business Category to a transaction without a Business attached — so even if you click on the wrong one of a Category which is duplicated, Quicken will tell you and make you fix it!

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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