Issue Fixing Downloaded Transfers Categories to Correct Account

I am new to Quicken and not an accountant; worse an Engineer.

Quicken automatically sets categories for transfers to the same account (self referential); [Account A]. When I change it to the correct account [account b], it creates a new entry in [account b] with a red pencil saying that it did not find a match. In a row above or below in [account b] will be the transfer entry that should have been linked. I can delete the dup entry, but there has to be a better way.

Answers

  • JAbro
    JAbro Member ✭✭

    Strange thing is that sometimes there is not a matching transfer in the other account.

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    The best way to handle transfers is to enter them manually or via a Reminder before the corresponding transactions are downloaded. This almost always results in the downloads matching the already-entered transfer.

    The next best way is to enable automatic transfer detection at Edit > Preferences > Transfer detection. This usually works even if the transfer was not entered before downloading.

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  • JAbro
    JAbro Member ✭✭

    Thanks @Jim_Harman! I am trying to reconcile back to Jan 2023 from a new Quicken install. So, I am doing this after the initial downloads. The issues is I get Account A reconciled, then move to Account B. When I fix the transfers in Account B, it messes up account A and other accounts that I have not gotten to. I guess if I delete each duplicate entry that results I can do that but that means doing this iteratively with the 100's of transfers. BTW: How do I get rid of the "red pencil".

    I have more than a dozen accounts and make 20+ transfers per month, so manual entry for each transaction would make me want to go back to my spreadsheet.

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Again, if the transfers are automatic and occur at regular intervals, you can/should set up Reminders for them so you will not have to enter them manually.

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  • JAbro
    JAbro Member ✭✭

    They are different every time and adhoc

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 28

    The problem is that the FI that sends the downloaded transaction does not know which Quicken account is on the other end of the transfer.

    Quicken's automatic transfer detection attempts to figure it out by looking at the amounts and dates of the transactions, but in practice you need to examine each downloaded transaction to make sure it is recorded correctly.

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  • JAbro
    JAbro Member ✭✭

    Thank you. Appreciate the help. Looks like a slog.

  • smithhead
    smithhead Member ✭✭

    I have this same issue. I have used Quicken for 12 years. (I tried it several years before that but went back to Microsoft Money until they shut it down.) I had never had a problem with it recognizing transfers. Then last year I had an issue and it stopped recognizing them, recording everything as a transfer back into it's own account. I spent many hours with support. Finally we found some old preferences files from prior versions and deleted those, and it started working again. Now I have another problem and they said I have to just start over with a new file.

    So I did, and downloaded all my transactions fresh for the past 2 years, but it didn't recognize any transfers except within the same bank. When I change one to a transfer I get a duplicate. In the past sometimes when I would do this it would recognize the other one and ask me, but not now. And historically I could manually update the description and date in the new opposite transaction in the other account to match what came down, and then delete the original. But now when I do that it updates the one in the other account too.

    Why isn't there simply a way to manually link two transactions? They should also have the option to manually run transfer detection. It's really inexcusable that this doesn't exist, and also that sometimes it works fine and sometimes it doesn't. It's a computer, it's an algorithm, it should work the same every time.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's really inexcusable that this doesn't exist, and also that sometimes it works fine and sometimes it doesn't. It's a computer, it's an algorithm, it should work the same every time.

    The reason it doesn't work right every time is because it is based on a guess. Just because it uses the same algorithm doesn't ensure that you will get the same result every time.

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  • JAbro
    JAbro Member ✭✭

    Thanks @smithhead for sharing your similar experiences. You characterized it perfectly. I still have less than 30 hours working with Qucken, but it is becoming more and more familiar. I am finding when I change the transfer from the self referential account, it does create another transaction in the account the transfer actually went as you said, but I can click on the red pencil and it offers transactions to match it to. A pain, but I am able to get through it.

    Once I get everything current will work on renaming and memorization to see if this process can be automated. I realize that I probably should do this now and same time, but I want a good baseline until venturing into new learning curve areas.

  • smithhead
    smithhead Member ✭✭

    Yes, you can click the red pencil to match it, but it doesn't update the original transaction to match so you have to do this on both sides of the equation, which is really stupid and annoying. But you are wise in getting one thing working at a time. It takes a while to get it set up how you want; sometimes I've wished I could just start over though.

  • smithhead
    smithhead Member ✭✭

    Well, we can agree to disagree. I am a software developer, I realize things can get complicated, but an algorithm will follow the same process every time. If the algorithm is to look for other transactions that have the same amount within 5 days as has been stated on this forum then it should do that, but it doesn't. I have had no problems until last year. Support has given up and just told me to start over with a new file, and everything is working fine in the new file.

  • smithhead
    smithhead Member ✭✭

    That said, there is obviously more to the algorithm that support doesn't understand. This problem is certainly extremely complicated and all programs have bugs, but ideally they would escalate this and figure out the solution.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    @smithhead Just to be clear, of course the algorithm doesn't vary, but what is working on does. Change what comes in and you might get a different result going out.

    I can have an algorithm that says take four steps forward. I will get completely different results if I start on the ground or if I start one step from the edge of a building.

    In the case of matching transfers, Quicken only has the amount and approximate dates. It can't use the payee because it might completely be different on both sides of the transfer. So, it is looking for a downloaded withdraw in one account and a downloaded deposit in another account for the same amount with approximately the same date. Sounds simple enough until you consider that you might have multiple transactions with the same amount. Which one(s) are transfers? That is the guess.

    Also, I certainly wouldn't put it past the developers to tweak the algorithm from time to time (maybe even by introducing a bug). That is a possible reason that it changed for you.

    But my main point is that at the end of the day it is a guess, and as such it can never be 100% reliable.

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  • smithhead
    smithhead Member ✭✭

    Thanks, I understand and agree. And if it did try to take the name into account that could cause more problems than it helps. Sometimes it will try to match things that aren't matches, which I understand, so I always confirm matches.

    But it has been working reliably for me for over 10 years, and now suddenly it's not, although it seems to be working a little better. But there are still amounts that match and are within at most 3 days of each other, and it doesn't match them. Normally there aren't duplicate amounts but when I've seen that in the past I've gotten prompts for both.

    I may try turning off memorized payees, as I see it created entries for transfers which may have thrown it off. So I deleted all of them.

    I've even more annoyed now though by the manual match behavior. I tried starting over with a new file and it was a mess; it didn't attempt to do any matching on the initial download and correcting them manually is painful due to the poor implementation of that. I could delete everything prior to this year, but I was really hoping to have at least a year's worth in the file.