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When including transfers, reports include transfers even though they don't match the category

I want to do reports that show me a summary of transactions that belong to a specific list of categories. Unfortunately, when I tell a report to include transfers, it includes *all* transfers regardless of the category of the transfer. Is there a way to have the transaction filter apply to all transactions including transfers?
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Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Transfers don't have categories. Well, technically they shouldn't, although if you enter things in a specific order in Quicken Mac, you can create a transaction which has both a category and a transfer. But this is really a violation of accounting rules. Quicken originally allowed it because in prior years Quicken Mac couldn't show transfers in reports. The product manager has said they are working to entirely remove categories on transfers moving forward. (I have no idea how they'll deal with existing transactions like that which users have created.)

    So, that said, you're trying to do something Quicken can't do, because it's really a loophole in the first place. When you tell it to include all transfers or include transfer with accounts outside the report, it's going to include all such transfers, irrespective of the category(ies) you have selected. Interestingly, I found that if you try do do the same thing by limiting to only some Payee or Payees, Quicken does search for the selected Payee(s), and includes only the transfers involving those Payees. But it doesn't work with Categories, at least in any testing I did.

    I think your only alternative is to generate the report, export it to a CSV file, and then delete the transfers you don't want.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Transfers don't have categories. Well, technically they shouldn't, although if you enter things in a specific order in Quicken Mac, you can create a transaction which has both a category and a transfer. But this is really a violation of accounting rules. Quicken originally allowed it because in prior years Quicken Mac couldn't show transfers in reports. The product manager has said they are working to entirely remove categories on transfers moving forward. (I have no idea how they'll deal with existing transactions like that which users have created.)

    So, that said, you're trying to do something Quicken can't do, because it's really a loophole in the first place. When you tell it to include all transfers or include transfer with accounts outside the report, it's going to include all such transfers, irrespective of the category(ies) you have selected. Interestingly, I found that if you try do do the same thing by limiting to only some Payee or Payees, Quicken does search for the selected Payee(s), and includes only the transfers involving those Payees. But it doesn't work with Categories, at least in any testing I did.

    I think your only alternative is to generate the report, export it to a CSV file, and then delete the transfers you don't want.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Robert Lynch
    Robert Lynch Member ✭✭
    I stopped using transfers for many transaction types and assign the category I want for each side of the transaction (some cases different categories and one of them is a hidden category to exclude from reporting).

    I do this for tracking my automatic savings amounts I transfer -- I consider this as a reduction of my income for budgeting purposes as well as a few other types.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • Bart Hickman
    Bart Hickman Member ✭✭
    Transfers can't have categories? That seems like an arbitrary limitation. If some of my transfers go under the category of "Savings", I don't see why I shouldn't be able to mark them as such. This is something I could do back in the 90's on Quicken for Windows and reports worked just fine.

    I think there should be *some* way of categorizing transfers in reports. Whether it's by categorizing accounts (and then filter transfers based on the category of account) or using tags probably doesn't matter, but the feature is useful.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Transfers can't have categories? That seems like an arbitrary limitation.
    It isn't arbitrary.

    First off let's talk about why Quicken Essentials "allowed" it.  And because the new Quicken Mac was created from that code inherited that behavior.

    Quicken Essentials didn't have transfers, at least not in the "modern" sense of "linked transfers".
    Basically Quicken Essentials was doing exactly what @Robert Lynch is doing.  It each transaction had a category and you could put in something like Transfer for the category, but there wasn't a "link" between the two accounts.

    This is perfectly good accounting.  In the old double book accounting before computers existed you would literally have multiple books.  In one book you would have a withdraw and in the other a deposit.  You "balanced the books" by adding up all the totals of the books and as such one book's withdraw balanced out the other books deposit.  If you forgot to put in an entry, or put in the wrong amounts, the books wouldn't balance, and you knew you had a problem.

    With linked transfers you are putting in both "books/accounts" at the same time.  So you already have them "balanced".

    So if I run a report with both of those accounts the total will be as expected, where both of sides of the transfer balancing out the other side.

    So lets say in account run a report and a I have a withdraw if $100, that will be in the numbers totaled.
    Now say I allow having a category too on that same transaction that category is also going to be in the numbers that are totaled, and as such that one transaction will have been double counted.

    This is why you can't have this.

    I think there should be *some* way of categorizing transfers in reports. Whether it's by categorizing accounts (and then filter transfers based on the category of account) or using tags probably doesn't matter, but the feature is useful.

    As I noted in this other thread it seems that Quicken Mac is lacking some of the needed support for this.  Because you are right, there should be a way to filter by transfer.
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20175471

    BTW your idea to filter by tags probably would work even in the current Quicken Mac.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Transfers can't have categories? That seems like an arbitrary limitation. If some of my transfers go under the category of "Savings", I don't see why I shouldn't be able to mark them as such. This is something I could do back in the 90's on Quicken for Windows and reports worked just fine.

    I think there should be *some* way of categorizing transfers in reports. Whether it's by categorizing accounts (and then filter transfers based on the category of account) or using tags probably doesn't matter, but the feature is useful.
    If you set up your report to not include the savings account, then your report will show Transfer to Savings as an outflow of money.

    It might help if they implemented the interface used in budgets, where you can select Transfers In and Transfers Out by account. But the downside to that is for people with very many accounts, it's a lot to scroll through in a category list. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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