To make sure you get the most out of Quicken and to speed up entering transactions, Quicken helps fill in the Category field and clean up payee names automatically. How? Quicken follows certain rules.
How Quicken suggests categories:
For transactions you enter manually
When you enter a transaction, Quicken searches the Memorized Payee List and then the register for a transaction with a matching payee that was entered within the last year.
|If the search finds||Then Quicken|
|A memorized or QuickFill payee||Prefills the Category field with the category associated with the memorized payee|
|A split transaction with a matching payee||Asks you to edit the transaction if the amounts are different from the amounts for the memorized payee|
|A recognized payee name (Quicken checks a list of payees; see How Quicken suggests categories for transactions you update from your financial institution below.)||Automatically categorizes the transaction|
|No matching payee||Leaves the Category field blank|
If you'd like to use the category Quicken suggests, just record the transaction as you normally would. If you change the category, Quicken remembers your change. You can customize Quicken's register preferences to turn off this feature.
The list of recognized payees that Quicken uses to categorize your transactions is provided by infoUSA, Inc.(TM)
For transactions you download from your financial institution
When you download credit or charge card transactions from your financial institution, the data may include a merchant code for each transaction, which is mapped to a standard Quicken category. Quicken may or may not use that category, depending on the payee.
- First, matched payees and split transactions are categorized as described in the above section on manual transaction entry.
- If no matched payee is found, Quicken assigns a category to the new transaction based on the merchant code.
- When processing transactions that use Compare to Register (including those downloaded from a financial institution), Quicken checks for a category in the transaction during the Compare to Register process. If found, that category is put in the register.
- Quicken doesn't suggest categories for downloaded bank transactions with a payee such as VISA or MasterCard.
ATM transactions and transaction download service charges may be labeled EFT for electronic funds transfer.
You can edit transactions to change the category either before or after updating the register.
How Quicken suggests payee names:
When you download transactions from your financial institution, Quicken first compares the downloaded payee name with the renaming rules you've created (to see the list, choose Tools menu > Renaming Rules). If it doesn't find a match there, it then compares the downloaded payee name to its own database of standardized merchant names.
If the downloaded payee name:
- Matches one of your renaming rules
If the downloaded payee name matches one of your renaming rules the payee name that you specified in the renaming rule is substituted for the payee name that was downloaded from your financial institution.
If necessary, you can disable the processing of all renaming rules in your Downloaded Transactions preferences.
- Does not match one of your renaming rules
If the downloaded payee name does not match one of your renaming rules, Quicken then compares the downloaded payee name with its own database of standardized merchant names. If it finds a match, the payee name in the database is substituted for the payee name that was downloaded from your financial institution.
If necessary, you can disable the search of Quicken's database of merchant database in your Downloaded Transactions preferences.
- Does not match a merchant in Quicken's database of merchant names
If the downloaded payee matches neither a renaming rule nor a merchant in Quicken's database of merchant names, the downloaded payee name is entered into Quicken exactly as it was received from your financial institution.
Quicken has implemented Automatic Categorization Engine (ACE) functionality in an effort to make entering downloaded transactions easier and more uniform across multiple users. ACE learns and evolves based on user-modified data and, as such, may display different names than you would expect. For more information see this support article about ACE.