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How to change Cost Basis from FIFO to Average Cost for an investment account or security.

Average cost is not an option for Cost Basis in the "At your financial institution" dialog box. I believe this is the method used by my brokerage house and so my Q book values of securities are not matching those reported from the brokerage.
(Q Mac Canada Deluxe Version 5.11.0 Build 511.25626.100, macOS 10.14.3) 
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  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This remains a pretty significant limitation of Quicken Mac, in my opinion. I have a majority of my money in various mutual funds, all of which use Average Cost basis, so Quicken can't accurately report my gains and losses. I therefore only use the reports from my brokerages and never use Quicken data for calculating taxable returns. If Vanguard can calculate my Average Cost, Quicken should be able to do the same calculations; I'm hoping this will change in the future.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Ce KCe K Member
    jacobs
    I agree that this is a significant limitation and hope that a fix to align with both my brokerage's calculations and Revenue Canada's requirements to use Average Cost comes soon.
  • UKRUKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Are you guys saying that, unlike in Quicken for Windows, one cannot define a security as Security Type = Mutual Fund and then checkmark "Use Average Cost" (as shown in this picture)?
    If this feature really does not exist in Q Mac, it's time that it be kicked up to the programmers.
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Already exists as an IDEA thread.
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    (
    Canadian Q user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

  • John_in_NCJohn_in_NC SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did look again, and the average cost option is an option in the security detail. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wonder when that got slipped in and/or why so many have missed it.
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  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Just did some research and found this in the Release Notes for v5.9:
    • NEW - Added Cost Basis/Share and Account columns to the investment Portfolio View.

    Could this be a reference to the Average Cost Basis?

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  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    smayer97 said:
    Just did some research and found this in the Release Notes for v5.9:
    • NEW - Added Cost Basis/Share and Account columns to the investment Portfolio View.

    Could this be a reference to the Average Cost Basis?

    @smayer97 In a word, no. That change was exactly what it says: adding columns to the portfolio view.

    Now, back to this issue... I'm pretty confused. We're all right that in investment accounts, Quicken Mac only offers FIFO or LIFO, seen here:



    This has not changed from Quicken 2015 through the current Quicken 2019.

    On an individual security, there is that interesting checkbox John noted:



    This has also not changed from Quicken 2015 through the current Quicken 2019. Nothing has been slipped in recently. 

    What's confusing to me is what that checkbox means. It's sitting under a box for Back Load percentage; is it related to that, or completely unrelated and just for interface design? It's not clear if this controls the Cost Basis for sales of the security or not. There is no reference to the Security Details screen anywhere in Quicken Help that I can find, so there is no information about what anything on this screen does.  (sigh)

    I'm not sure why the cost basis would be set at the account level if it can also be set at the security level. My guess is that what we see on the security screen is not setting the cost basis for sales of the security. Importantly, I note that the Back Load and Use Average Cost box only shows up for mutual funds; it is not available for stocks or other types of securities. That makes me feel that this is not setting the cost basis for sales of the security.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Ce KCe K Member
    @jacobs
    Thank you for pointing out that the "Use average cost" box is not available for a Type of "Stock" on the Edit Security screen, nor is it available at the account level which only allows FIFO and LIFO. I would personally prefer the option at the account level, for setting the default for future securities.
    I've just changed my ETF to a Type of "Mutual Fund", and checked off the "Use average cost box". The cost basis has not changed with this setting, still not agreeing exactly with the brokerage (out by about $2.00). I'm wondering if I need to use the option to "Rebuild History", which makes me nervous. And also wondering if there's any impact of changing a security from Stock to Mutual Fund. 
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Quicken Sarah Can you provide any clarity, or find out, the answer to these questions in my post two above this one? In a nutshell, the Account setup screen shows only FIFO and LIFO options for cost basis in Quicken Mac, while the Security setup screen shows a "use average cost" checkbox -- but only for mutual funds and not for securities like stocks. So (1) Is it possible to use average cost basis for calculating gains and basis for securities in Quicken Mac, or are we restricted to FIFO or LIFO, and (2) what does that checkbox in the Security setup screen actually do?

    Secondarily, can you pass on to the team that does Help the there is no Help at all for creating a new security, and there is no documentation of the settings on this screen.

    Thanks!
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Quicken SarahQuicken Sarah Administrator, Moderator mod
    Hello @jacobs

    Apologies for the confusion and appreciate your reaching out!

    To confirm, FIFO and LIFO are the only available options for cost basis in Quicken Mac.

    In the Security set-up screen, the "Back Load %" box, in real-world terms, is for the Back-end load which refers to the money or fee a mutual fund charges to a client for withdrawing money. 

    More information on the Back-End Load is also available here.

    If the broker charges fees to withdraw money from Mutual Funds that are not lot-specific, the User would add the fee percent amount to the Back Load box and mark the Use Average Cost box to apply the fee automatically to money withdrawal transactions.

    Since this is a fee specific to Mutual Funds, it is the only security type in Quicken for Mac that has the Back Load and Use Average Cost selections available.

    I hope this helps to explain these options, but please let me know if there are any questions/concerns.

    I've also submitted a request for new Support and in-product Help articles to be created that explains these options and how to use them when adding securities in Quicken for Mac.

    Thanks again,

    Sarah
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Quicken Sarah thanks for the clarification, and shedding light on this side loop.

    So this brings us full circle to the answer as originally replied by @john_in_nc ... there is no way to change the cost basis to use average cost. 
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  • Stephen FisherStephen Fisher Member ✭✭✭
    @Quicken Sarah  Since the law in Canada requires that we use average cost as the cost basis, not LIFO or FIFO, don't you think that Quicken should fix that immediately for the Canadian version or at least issue a warning to CAN buyers that the software does not calculate our capital gains correctly?
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    And while US investors have a choice for cost basis, most people who invest in mutual funds with automatic reinvestments have select average cost basis with their brokers, so Quicken Mac calculates capital gains incorrectly for many US users as well.

    I understand the developers have a very long list of desired features, but I agree with Stephen (and others above and in other similar threads on this forum) that because of the large number of users affected, this seems a particularly odd omission not to have addressed over the past four years.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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