Odd Accounting Question For Money 2004 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I am running Money 2004 on Windows 7 (64-bit).

    Lately, I have been charging most of my transactions to my Discover card and paying the balance off before the end of the billing period. There are two checking accounts listed in this money file, along the Discover card, and twice a month, I create several transfers in Bills & Deposits from each checking account to the Discover card.

    This works well, however, I have to manually enter new Discover charges to an existing transfer in Bills & Deposits, and it can be a headache at times trying to make sure all charges are accounted for before I make the transfer(s) online. Is there a way for Money 2004 to automatically assign Discover charges to a given scheduled transfer? Does any version of Money do this (or maybe Quicken)? If not, is there any type of software that can handle this chore? I hope I'm not confusing anyone here.



    Sunday, September 7, 2014 2:44 AM

All replies

  • Do you have a credit card account set up for Discover?  If so, all your Discover charges should be entered into that account.  Then, when you pay Discover you will do a transfer of funds from the checking accounts to the Discover account using the category "Credit Card Payment : Discover".  That way you don't need to put any category or transaction information into the transfer.

    If you set things up that way you can greatly simplify your data entry by downloading the Discover transactions from their web site.  You can do this as often as you like, - even daily.  Discover only offers .qfx downloads which Money won't import without some fiddling with the registry, but you can get around that limitation by:

      - set up a Credit Account called Discover, if you don't already have one

      - download your transactions from the Discover site in the .qfx format

      - change the file type of the downloaded file to .ofx (Ignore the warning from Windows)

      - open Money

      - double-click on the file to import the transactions into Money

    The first time you do this Money will ask which account to use.  Just select the Discover account.  After that, it will remember which account to use.

    Let us know if this helps or explain further if this doesn't answer your question.

    Bill Becker

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 4:00 AM
  • What I write here does not address the method that you describe, but you might find the method useful as an alternative:

    http://microsoftmoneyoffline.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/cal-learners-review-fidelity-401k-citi-card-and-vanguard-account-info/ has settings for use with PocketSense. What you would do is to download from Discover via PocketSense. You would manually change the payment to a transfer. Then when you process your OFX from your bank, it should be recognized as matching the transfer. I use that method with CitiCard, which I have set up to autopay my balance from checking.

    I don't schedule transactions in Money, and I don't think you can schedule a transfer in Money.

    Monday, September 8, 2014 12:49 AM
  • Cal,

    What you suggest also seems like a workable process.  A couple of clarifications:

      - I use Money Sunset US.  With that version, a "Transfer" is one choice available when setting up a new Scheduled Transaction.  I'm not sure if that choice is also available in other versions of Money.

      - In my reply to rustyfender04 I should have noted that when scheduling a bill which is a credit card payment, choosing the Special Category "Credit Card Payment : accountname" will actually schedule two transactions, - a payment from the checking account and a simultaneous credit to the credit card account.  This is, of course, exactly what you want.  Money comes out of the checking account (paid to the credit card company) and goes into the credit card account (where is shows up a a credit).  This means that any downloaded transactions from either the checking account or the credit card account will match with the transactions in Money.  These pairs of transactions are essentially single transfers from the checking account to the credit card account, but I believe that Money separates them so that downloads will reconcile properly.


    Bill Becker

    Monday, September 8, 2014 4:22 AM
  • I appreciate the replies.

    Bill, I don't know what the difference is between a transfer and a credit card payment since a transfer automatically enters the transaction into the debiting and crediting accounts just as the credit card method does. The Discover charges are paid from two checking accounts, and I have to keep each manually-entered Discover transaction separate with a special identifier (in the number column) so I will know which checking account to assign charges to (in the form of a scheduled transfer) in the Bills and Deposits section. Each time I charge an item, it is manually entered into the Discover account ledger, and at the same time, I edit an already scheduled transfer in Bills & Deposits with any new charges until I am ready to make the transfer online (usually in bi-monthly increments).

    Even if all Discover payments came from one checking account, I'd still have to manually keep track of Discover charges so I don't pay for the same transaction twice. Am I making sense? In other words, Money does not have a way of letting you know if a Discover transaction has been assigned to a specific checking account transfer or not. If you don't have some kind of way / method of keeping up with this, you may accidentally pay for the same transaction(s) twice.

    For what it's worth, the Discover card is issued by GE for Sam's Club.

    Cal, I'll have to spend some time with your posted link. It looks very technical at the moment.


    Friday, September 12, 2014 3:52 AM
  • Note edits in italics below

    I think that I have a better understanding of your process now.  After you make a Discover charge you want to be able to decide whether checking account "A" or "B" will pay it.  In that case, I think that what you are doing is the best you can do.  Money won't put downloaded transactions into a scheduled transaction.  It only puts downloaded transactions into an account.  A scheduled transaction is, after all, just a plan.

    If you always knew ahead of time which account was going to pay, you have another option.  You could just open a second Discover account and then use one Discover account for all charges to be paid from "A" and the other for all charges to be paid from "B".  In that case you can avoid almost all manual entry by downloading the transactions to each Discover account.  Then you can do a single transfer from each checking account to pay the current balance in the corresponding Discover account.

    In fact, you could simulate this by setting up two additional credit accounts in Money, - call then Discover A and Discover B.  Then the process would be:

      - download all Discover transactions to the actual Discover credit account which is now a temporary holding account (No more manual entry!)

      - go through the actual Discover account and transfer each transaction to the appropriate Discover A or Discover B account (To do this you need to "Accept" the transaction and then right click on it and select "Cut and Paste to Account...")

      - Look at the total due in the Discover A credit account and then transfer the appropriate total dollars from checking account A to the Discover A

      - Look at the total due in the Discover B credit account and then transfer the appropriate total dollars from checking account B to the Discover B

      - You can see that you are up-to-date when the balance due in all three Discover accounts is zero.

    This ensures that you don't miss or double-pay anything and keeps a record of which account paid for which transaction.

    Edit:  This process will work, but only if you download just any newtransactions from the Discover web site.  Since you will have transferred all old transactions out of Money's actual Discover account, if you then download "all transactions" from the Discover web site, Money will think that they are all new and will enter them again.  There may be a way around this.  Post back if you want to pursue it.

    As a further clarification (I hope!) of transfers vs credit card payments, you are correct that a credit card payment effects a transfer.  However, Money doesn't label it that way.  It creates two separate transactions, one labeled a "Withdrawal" from checking and the other labeled a "Credit" to the Credit account.  You can set up the scheduled Discover payments as either type..

    Bill Becker

    • Edited by Bill Becker Saturday, September 13, 2014 12:31 AM Corrections in italics
    Friday, September 12, 2014 2:52 PM