FEATURE SUGGESTION: calculate invoice .33 and .67 hours as 1/3 and 2/3

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Member ✭✭
edited April 26

I've used Quicken Home & Business (recently renamed "Business & Personal") since it came out (maybe 20+ years ago?). I have version R55.26, build 27.1.55.26. I use it on a Mac in VMWare Fusion running Windows 11 Pro.

PROBLEM

Quicken's hours/quantity calculation for invoices has always had annoying 1/3 (one third) and 2/3 (two thirds) calculation annoyances.

When I bill for 20 or 40 minutes, I want Quicken to calculate 1/3 hr or 2/3 hr, not the sloppy rounding of .33 hr or .67, both of which result in ugly dollar amounts:

.33 hr x \$180/hr = \$59.40 when 20 minutes should yield \$60.

.67 hr x \$180/hr = \$120.60 when 40 minutes should yield \$120.

Note: those problems persist for all hours/quantities ending in .33 or .67, e.g., 2.33 and 3.67 hours.

This annoyance increases payment errors because customers are more likely to pay a wrong amount or do their own rounding, both of which force me to modify the original invoice to line up with their mispayment.

ANNOYING WORKAROUND #1

For invoice items with hours/quantities ending in .33 or .67 (hours), I recently started leaving the HR/quantity field blank and only enter the hours in the Description field. Though the RATE field auto-populates, I can manually type anything in the Amount field, e.g., \$60 or \$120.

ANOTHER WORKAROUND #2

I could redesign the invoice to use minutes instead of hours in the quanity field then use my per minute dollar rate instead of per hour. Then I'd enter 20 minutes in the Minutes/Quantity field, the RATE field would auto-populate with \$3 (per minute; \$180/hr) so the Amount field would be accurate and never round, e.g., 20 minutes would simply be 20 min x \$3 = \$60.00 and 24 min would be 24 x \$3 = \$72. I'd never enter a fractional amount in the quantity field and would never encounter any rounding errors.

Ideally, I'd only use an hourly rate with a whole number per minute equivalent, but the per minute rate could have some combinations of 2 unrounded decimal digits and still work, e.g., \$3.15/min = \$189/hr and 20 minutes x \$3.15 = \$63.

Because this method restricts hourly rate choices, it probably isn't practical except for my current rate of \$180/hr. It just happens to work well with \$180/hr because there are 60 minutes in an hour.

Another problem with this is customers don't think of rates by the minute. I'd probably still write the hourly rate on the invoice, maybe in the comment section. I might try this and see how customers react.

FEATURE SUGGESTION

Make the Invoice HR/quantity field handle 1/3 and 2/3 without rounding errors.

I can think of a couple of ways to do this:

(1) Have Quicken Home & Business accept 5 decimals digits in the its invoice HR/quantity field:

If Quicken accepted 5 decimal digits in its Invoice HR/quantity field, the problem would go away because the Amount field already rounds to 2 decimal places.

.33333 hours x \$180/hr = \$59.9994, which the Amount field rounds to \$60.

Note that 4 decimal digits aren't enough: .3333 x \$180 = \$59.994, which the Amound field rounds to \$59.99.

OR

(2) Have a setting in Quicken Home & Business to "treat invoice quantities of .33 as 1/3 and .67 as 2/3"

With .33 in the HR/quantity invoice field, Quicken would divide the RATE by 3 instead of multiplying the rate by .33.

And with .67, Quicken would divide the RATE by 3 then multiply by 2 instead of multiplying the RATE by .67. And, of course, it'd have to cover x.33 and x.67 where x is a whole number.

Quicken would only have to test for x.33 and x.67 instead of redefining a database field to accept 5 decimal digits.

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Reviewed · Last Updated April 26

• Member ✭✭
edited May 16
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The feature I suggest is part of the free accounting software, GnuCash, which I'm testing now. Its invoice feature lets you enter hours with many decimal places and rounds exactly as I suggested in my original post. E.g., if I enter 2 hours and 20 minutes as 2.33333 hours @ \$180/hr, the total is displayed as the desired rounded answer, \$520.00, whereas Quicken P&B displays 2 hours and 20 minutes as 2.33 hours @ \$180/hr = \$419.40.

(Also, GnuCash allows extremely long descriptions in invoices, which I current break up into different entries in my Quicken Personal & Business invoices.)

• SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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(To see the complete text click on the date in the box above. It contains a link to the discussion.)

Please don't forget to vote on this Idea. Locate the big yellow box near the top of this webpage (or page 1 for long discussions) and click the "Up" triangle under the voting count.

Wait a moment for the vote count to be registered and updated before you continue.

And while we're all waiting for this change to be implemented, your workaround to use Minutes instead of fractional hours sound like the way to go, IMHO.

• SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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I suspect that there aren't enough users with your issue for the change you want to be financially feasible for Quicken.

In any event, while Quicken works as it does now, why not just bill by the minute: instead of charging \$180/hour, why not \$3/minute. Your rounding issue will disappear.

-JP

Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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