Amazing Quicken 2007 Feature -- But Need a Fix

I am using Quicken 2007 and just recently I discovered an amazing feature when I did a report on Spending by 'Itemized Categories'. Much to my surprise I found that all of my salary goes into a
Spending Category called 'Other Auto' -- yes, it is not even in the income side!
I checked the entire Category List and could not even find a category called 'Other Auto'. But, there is a Salary item for me under Income.
Further, my wife's salary is correctly categorised under Income.
First of all, what is happening as I find this (yet another) irritating Quicken feature. Secondly, could someone please tell me how this can be fixed.
It is not really that critical as I only use Quicken to track our charitable contributions, but if it putting things in strange places, the IRS may call ....
Any help will be appreciated.
tia jg
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We'll start with the first step.
This step is ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED if any progress is to be made.
Repeat after me ...
USER ERROR!!!
db
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wrote:

Thanks. USER ERROR, USER ERROR, USER ERROR ....
Hmmmm, that does not seem to work (just like muich of Quicken).
jg
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On Mon, 21 Sep 2009 18:52:30 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Found another interesting thing. If I do a 'Reports-> Graphs-> Spending by Category, I do not find my salary in the the pie or the numbers. (Pity there is no pie chart for income!)
But, if do Reports -> Spending -> Itemized Categories, bang! The salary is listed under 'Other Auto' in the expenses. The result is a huge surplus on the expense side .....
Any *real* suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
thanks jg
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The "Other xxxx" categories are pseudo-categories; it normally means you have categorized one or more transactions to a category that has subcategories. When a category has subcategories, Quicken tends to think of it as a group heading for those subcategories; when you assign the "group heading" category to a transaction, Quicken (usually) reassigns those transactions to the pseudo-category that is the name of the "group heading" preceded by "Other " - that pseudo-category is a subcategory of the "group heading".
As to why your salary would end up there, I'm not totally certain. But I would check a couple of things.
At one time, there was a problem with split transactions in investment accounts; don't know if that applies to your salary.
Another thing to look for is what Tax Line Item you have assigned to your salary; using a Tax Line item that is for "expenses" on a category that is for "income", has been known to cause Quicken to put the category in the wrong section of reports.

There's no pie chart for income in this report because the report is intended to be for "Spending ..."; and because mixing income and expenses in a pie chart would be awfully confusing. A graph for Income and Expenses, would most likely be a bar graph.
As to the "missing" Auto/Salary, it's possible that this report doesn't have the same problem as the Itemized Categories report ... but you might try selecting all the income categories for the Spending report and see if the Auto/Salary then shows up in the Expense section.

--

John Pollard




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wrote:
Thanks for the response.

Dead on -- it is a split transaction as the taxes, 401K, other pretax deductions, etc. are going to various cash accounts. Is this what you have in mind?

Checked it. (Category List followed by right click and edit on the item in the list. Looks okay. 'Group' is Income, 'Type' is Income and 'Tax Line Item' is W-2 Salary or wages, self. Now, here is the thing I noted -- my wife's properties are exactly the same -- i.e. she is also "self" and not "spouse" which is available in the pull down menu. Could this cause the problem?

Well, what I mean is that there could be a *separate* pie chart for Income: e.g. Main Job Self, Second Job Self, Main Job Spouse, Second Job Spouse, Armed Robbery, Extortion .... there are so many ways to make money. Would have been nice to to know if that slice of the pie was in the right place.

Sorry, I do not get this. When I do an Reprots -> Spending -> Itemized Categories ->, I get the Income part on top and the Expenses part in the bottom! Now, is this normal. Just hit me that there should be no income in an expenses report! This is the "bad" report.
More fun. I did two other things. I made a report of Spending by Category, and that is fine. Under Auto, I do NOT see the income!! I did a reprot on Income and Expense by Category, and, lo and behold, my salary is in the right place!!!
USER ERROR, my foot :-)
jg
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

So, do you have a category "Auto", and does it have subcategories, and have you assigned the category "Auto" to one or more of your transactions?
And while I'm thinking about it; how is your "Salary" category setup? This is "gross" salary, right? Does it have subcategories?

Most paycheck transactions are split transactions; but what I was thinking of was when the split transaction was recorded in an investment account ... in your case, when the salary was deposited in an investment account.

Try looking for any mis-assigned Tax Line Items.

You have to read carefully because the Quicken Reports menu uses the word "spending" as a menu choice and as the title of a couple of reports within that choice.
The "Itemized Categories" report is intended to show all categories, both income and expense.
The "Spending by Category" report is intended to be a report of "expenses": no income categories are selected, by default. I suggested you see what happened if you Customized the "Spending by Category" report to select the both the income and expense categories ... that would make it much more like the "Itemized Categories" report ... just without the individual transactions.

I can't tell from this description if you selected all categories for this report ... which would have produced the report I suggested above.
--

John Pollard



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My earlier post WAS a "real" suggestion. Until you get it thru your skull that it's YOUR error, and not Quicken's, you'll have a great deal of difficulty.
Further note that, you already stated that your wife's paycheck was set up properly ... but yours wasn't. That automatically indicates USER ERROR. Unless you're trying to claim that Q itself set up your paycheck.
Also your statement "Hmmmm, that does not seem to work (just like muich of Quicken)." reflects an "I'm right and the software's wrong" attitude. Such is not conducive to any sort of problem solving.
Your statement is, also, 180 degrees opposite of my experience (and that of anyone with an open mind). Quicken works extremely well. It's not perfect granted, but your statement merely reflects your self- important attitude, and not reality.
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wrote:

Wow! You do get something through, don't you. (Thickness may not be the variable, but material. Also, the stuff inside the skull plays a role.)

Certainly has worked in the past when I very young and came across something called bugs. I cannot remember what they are now ... old age takes it toll.

Wow! Nicely put.
jg
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wrote:

Run the expense report so that you can see the "other auto" category (John already explained how it got there). Now drill down (double click) on the category to see the actual details then drill own on one of the transactions so that you are brought back to register. Now you can see how your salary is coded. It could be the payee name was used for some "auto" expense and Q is remembering that transaction.
You will need to do a find on the payee or amount and then recategorize the piece hitting "auto". Then check your Memorized transaction list to see if you can find the transaction that it is using to categorize the paycheck. Also check your naming rules and other options.
Also how are you categorizing your transactions? Do you accept each one to make sure they are properly categorizing the expense & income or do you let it do it automatically or via "accept all"? This can also led to messy books.
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wrote:

That is how I found my Income transactions ...

Yes, I got to the register and saw the entry. Double clicking that brings up the Scheduled Transaction Form that came with Quicken. I did not set this up.

Do not understand this. The payee in me, right? And the payer is my beloved employer, right? I am totally lost with the 'recategorize the piece hitting "auto". And the next suggestion is utterly beyone me. I do not even know how to 'do a find on the payee'. Yes, I have a Scheduled Transation (memorized?) for the salary and it shows up in Quicken Home.

I never use "Accept All". I go through each one.
Thanks for the help, but much of it is beyond me.
But, I am only interested in one category ... Charity. I suppose I could just go back to pencil and paper. Just got used to the nice listing at the end of the year that Managing Your Money did not me.
Thanks again,
jg
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No, but you had to specify the information to be used in those transactions. I would also open the Scheduled transactions and verfiy that it is set up correctly. It might just be easiest to just delete the existing transaction and reenter it.

Q "remembers" the information from the last transaction. So when it sees your name as the payee it is picking up that old transaction that contains the Auto category. Select Tools>>Memorized Payee list. Look for your name as the payee and see what category the transaction is displaying.
To do a "find" look under Edit>>Find/Replace. Do a search on your name and recategorize the transactions in the Auto category to the correct income category.

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wrote:

Wiill try, but will not know till next month ..

I did find the salary deposits (searching by my employer's name), but there is no "Auto" there. The list does contain lines which show the pre-tax deductions going to the correct accounts and the nett salary going to the correct checking account. But, it does not have "Auto" anywhere. Under "Cat", I see just "--Split--".
Thanks for all the help.
jg
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I would just delete this memorized payee and let the memorized transaction in the salary wizard to take over. It's worth a shot.

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wrote:

Done! I will give this 10 more days. The test comes on 30 Sep.
jg
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Keep us posted.
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wrote:

Really!
But, first of thanks to Laura and John. It was John's persistent questions regarding categories and subcategories that helped to resolve the issue. Not solve, but resolve, as I sitll do not understand Q's behaviour.
Fixed it last weekend, but this has been a busy week.
As I am going be getting another source of income, I decided to set up the pay cheque. Just used the usual 'wizard' (default category is 'Salary') and made a fake transaction. Sure enough, it went to 'Other Auto' in the report. Thenhit up the idea of creating a subcategory under 'Salary'for the new job. The fake transaction now correctly landed up on the Income side!! So, I also made my old salary a subcategory of Income->Salary. Now, everything goes where it should on the report.
For good measure, I also created a subcategory for my wife's salary. Now, there are no real entries under 'Salary' other than two subcategories. It seems to work as far as the report is concerned.
Of course, I am no closer to knowing what is really going on.
Thanks to both of you.
jg
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wrote:

Sorry for not being clear on this earlier. Yes, I do have a 'top level' category called "Auto" and it has subcategories: the Quicken defaults such as Maintenance, Registration, Insurance, etc. and a couple I created. And, yes, I do have transactions in all of those categories. But, I did not create the subcategory "OtherAuto".

It is gross salary and it gets split between various others - taxes, 401K, etc. I set this up using the 'wizard', and it appears all right. I compared mine with my wife's and the various categories in the 'Edit Current Paycheck and Enter Into Register' forms (Base Salary, Benefit Allowance, Employee Contribution Transfer, taxes, etc.) have the same budget/spending categories. So does the entry for where the nett salary goes to -- the same checking account. And, it does get correctly entered into the checking register -- which is why I have not really noticed it going elsewhere.

Maybe ...
Thanks for all the advice. I am at the point of giving in. (Wife has been arguing for chucking it all into an accountants face for a while now :-) )
I created various reports and found them totally confusing as there is a lot of double counting -- credit card payments getting counted as expenses, which are already counted in the credit card register. I fooled around with the Categories tab under 'Customize' and it not entirely clear what is going where and shown where. Further, I could not save the Customize settings ....
Next year, I will just keep a sheet of paper and write down the charitable contributuions.
Thanks again.
jg
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There is no "Other Auto" category. This is for display purposes only. You put transactions to the high level account called Auto instead of one of the subaccounts.

I suspect that you wrote a check to yourself for auto expenses and the transactions coming in are seeing that memorized payee and not your memorized paycheck but that's just my guess.

BTDT...I found it easiest to create a "credit card" expense category. On the cc account all purchases get posted to the correct expense category. All payments are posted to the "credit card" category as a deposit/payment. On the bank account the payments to the credit card account are posted as payments to the "credit card" category. If everything lines up correctly, the "credit card" category will net to zero. You can also accomplish the same thing by using transfers to/from the credit card account and the bank account but I found that I ususally messed things up when transactions did not "match" so the 2 sided transactions worked better for me.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I know you didn't create "Other Auto"; Quicken "creates" it when you use "Auto" (a "top level" category) in transactions.
What happens if you create your own "Other Auto" category (you may have to use a slightly different spelling), and assign that to the transactions that are now categorized to "Auto"?

Like "maybe" you deposit your paycheck in an investment account? I don't recall which version(s) of Quicken had the problem, but Q2007 might have been one of them.
If you are depositing your paycheck in an investment account, what happens if you create a New (test) Quicken file with your paycheck setup - then try depositing a paycheck into an investment account and looking at the report; then deleting that paycheck transaction, and depositing the same paycheck transaction in a checking account and looking at the report. Have the same Auto categories setup.

Transfers in reports can be controlled at three levels.
High level control is found on the Advanced tab in the Customize dialog; there you can Exclude All transfers, if you like. [Excluding "Internal" transfers will eliminate just the "opening balance" and similar "balance adjustment" transactions.]
Mid-level control uses the list of categories on Categories tab in the Customize dialog. There you can eliminate the transfers into an account, and/or the transfers out of an account by selecting/deselecting the appropriate "account category" (at the end of the list, after the regular categories). If you want to make use of this customization, you should have "Include All" transfers selected on the Advanced tab of the Customize dialog.
Low-level control of transfers would be done on the "Tags" tab of the Customize dialog, or on the Categories or Payees tabs where you can include/exclude transactions based on text contained within the Category, Payee, or Memo fields. Including/Excluding based on "Tag" should be self explanatory. Including/Excluding based on all, or a portion, of the contents of the Category, Payee, or Memo fields is a bit more complex ... but it is covered in the Quicken Help which you can get to from one of those tabs by clicking the little yellow circle with the question mark in it - look for help on "matching". [Control at this level is applicable to the inclusion or exclusion of any type of transaction, not just "transfers".]

At the top of the report there is a report toolbar; one of the buttons on that toolbar should say, "Save Report". Are you saying that does not work?
--

John Pollard



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