I use Quicken to download transactions from my bank.
In this series, I will give you step by step instructions, including screenshots of how to download transactions from your bank. In this series, I am using Quicken Deluxe 2010*.
There are two options for downloading transactions. Quicken can do it for your automatically using “Web Connect”, if your banking institution allows the method.
The other option is to log into your checking account first using your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) and choose the option to download transactions. This is my preferred method and the one which I will be discussing today.
Since I download transactions more than once a month, and I often enter transactions manually, I do not want Quicken to automatically add my transactions to the register. I have tried this method in the past, and have ended up with duplicate entries. If you plan to download your transactions only once per month, say on the 5th of each month for the previous month, automatically adding the transactions would work fine for you.
First I want to prevent Quicken from automatically adding transactions to the register, so the settings must be changed.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Quicken Preferences:
As shown in the screenshot above, on the left menu bar under Select Preference type, click on Downloaded Transactions. Find Automatic Transaction Entry on the right side and underneath that you should see a checkbox and “Automatically add downloaded transactions to register”. Make sure that box is unchecked as shown.
Make the account you are downloading activity into the main focus. For example, I am updating my Wells Fargo personal checking account, so I want that to be the one in focus on the screen. I do this by going to the left hand menu and clicking once on the account name.
Log into your bank. I will show you how it works for me with Wells Fargo.
Once logged in my account, I click on my personal checking account, which takes me into the area where I can see all the transactions.
On the right hand side there is a link that says Download Activity. Click there.
Now you’ll come to a screen where you can select the days you want to download. I typically will overlap from when I downloaded the last time. I have downloaded exactly one date to the next and inevitably some transactions have come through that I miss. For example, let’s say I download transactions up to Saturday the 8th. The next time I download transactions I choose Saturday the 8th to the current date. But the last time I downloaded my activity, there was a transaction pending on the 7th that didn’t show up until later. And now I’ve missed that one transaction which can throw off my entire account.
Notice that I’ve selected the dates from and to, and I’ve also clicked Quicken 2005 for my format. If you are using an older version of Quicken, you may need to select Quicken 99 to 2004 to download a .qif file.
[You may also choose to downloaded your data in Comma Delimited which will allow you to work with it in Excel.]
Click on Download at the bottom right side of the screen.
Now a screen should pop up that looks like this:
You want to Open With Quicken Launcher, so click OK.
Next you may see this screen appear – make sure the buttons and boxes are checked as follows:
Next you will see this screen appear:
Don’t do anything, unless you do want to stop the update. In that case, click the button. Otherwise, just hang on and wait for the program to do its thing.
Once updating is complete, you should see transactions listed at the bottom of the screen. You can see on the tab that I have downloaded 27 transactions.
Note the status at the left hand side. I manually entered the two Recurring Transfers, so those are matches. I do not want to accept those, I want to delete them.
Click once to highlight the first transaction that needs to be deleted, click on Edit, and in the drop down menu that opens, click delete. Next take note that my mortgage is listed as new, but when I view my account details above, I see that I did in fact already enter the Mortgage manually at the beginning of the month. Quicken did not “match” the transactions for me, so I am deleting that transaction as well. Quicken will ask you if you really want to delete the downloaded transaction, say Yes. NOTE: Sometimes Quicken will “match” transactions that are not actually matches. I have seen Quicken “match” bills from the previous month and if I don’t catch it, I will end up deleting an entry that should be there. So make sure the “match” is truly a match.
The next “New” transaction is Zenni Optical, which I did not enter manually and so I click on Accept to allow it to go into the register.
Quicken didn’t know which category to put Zenni Optical into, so it asked me if I wanted to put it into a category now?
Click Yes and make your selection, or if you don’t like this message, click on “Don’t show this message again” to get rid of it forever. You can always change the category later, if you don’t want to do it now.
As you’re going through and accepting the transactions, pay attention to what Quicken is putting into the category and Memo. Quicken likes to assume you want to have typed in there what you did the last time. For example, when a purchase for QuikTrip comes up, Quicken assumes it is Auto:Fuel/Pathfinder. But it might not be my vehicle, it might be AJ’s vehicle, or Mr. A’s. If it is my vehicle that got this gasoline, I leave it, otherwise I remove the information until I am ready to apply it correctly.
Quicken also likes to assume you want to split your purchase exactly the same way you did last time. For example, almost every grocery store purchase is categorized into several areas, but just because I bought oil for the car last time, a newspaper and dog food, along with groceries, doesn’t mean this new transaction will be the same exact one.
In this case, I don’t have the receipts here with me, so I am going to click Edit Split, click OK and remove the splits. Here’s what the last split for Safeway looked like. The dollar amount is different, the categories are different. Click on Edit and Clear All to remove all categories, say Yes to “This will clear all the split lines. Continue?” Then click OK. Now click Accept.
Click Done at the bottom once you have all the transactions entered.
Do you use Quicken to download your transactions? How does your method differ from mine? Will you try downloading your transactions now that you see how it is done?