Automatic categories

Chris's Avatar


02 May, 2009 04:18 AM

I'm trying out the moneydance trial. I am currently a MSMoney user. In MSMoney, when i download transaction information for my amazon credit card, the program automatically guesses the categories. In MoneyDance, all the downloaded transactions where categorized as "ATM withdrawals".
Does MoneyDance have a similar function or setting?

  1. 1 Posted by John Selden on 07 May, 2009 05:03 PM

    John Selden's Avatar

    I'm not exactly sure about that. Transaction downloading in Moneydance is always sort of a mystery to me, but I pre-enter all my transactions anyway so this doesn't come up for me very often.

    I do know, however, that you can change the default category on a per-account basis. For example, on my personal credit card, I have "Personal" as the default category (from there, it is easy to select the proper sub-category), and on my business credit card, I have "Business" as the default category (again, I must then pick the proper sub-category). It's not perfect, but it makes it easier to fix the category. This feature is available under Account -> Edit Account.

    Note: the default category applies when you manually enter a transaction, and I have no idea if it will help you with downloaded transactions, but it is worth a shot.

  2. 2 Posted by Hans N. on 08 May, 2009 03:18 AM

    Hans N.'s Avatar

    When I download transactions, Moneydance does guess the Category. I don't know how it works, if it does it based on similar Descriptions or some other method, but sure enough I only had to edit two Categories today. One of them was guessed as Cash, but I changed it to split with another expense. The other was because the transaction wasn't for gas at a gas station.

    Do you have prior transactions with Amazon that are categorized as ATM Withdrawals? That's where I'd look first. Second place would be to see if ATM Withdrawal is set as the default Category for unknown transactions (Tools -> Edit Accounts, click the account and then the Edit button).

  3. 3 Posted by Brian Adler on 11 May, 2009 05:42 PM

    Brian Adler's Avatar

    Chris, "ATM withdrawals" is just the default setting. You will need to choose the categories you want. Over time, however, Moneydance will learn to guess categories based on past categorization of specific payees. It gets better and better over time.

  4. 4 Posted by forslund on 15 Jun, 2009 03:02 AM

    forslund's Avatar

    When importing transactions with QIF generated by MS Money, the category with the transaction is ignored and the default (ATM Withdrawal) is shown for each transaction. I then have to edit each imported transaction to correct to the category that is specified in the transaction. This is a nearly impossible task when there are a number of years to import. The suggestion to import the account info and then the transactions doesn't help.

  5. 5 Posted by Brian Adler on 21 Jun, 2009 06:31 AM

    Brian Adler's Avatar


    In our FAQ we have this knowledge base article that specifically addresses MSM:

    Does that help? It may be that the file exported from MSM does not contain the category information.

    If you want to privately share your QIF with us we can determine the cause (I certainly understand if you do not wish to do this).


    Brian Adler

  6. 6 Posted by quick2steve on 11 Sep, 2009 09:29 PM

    quick2steve's Avatar

    I have the same issue as Forslund, the categories do not import with the rest of the transaction from money. I have checked and the information is in the MSM qif file. In addition, the QIF file contains the person the transaction is related to, such as, steve, Laura, etc. I want that information to be put into the transaction tag of MD. I am currently a trial user and if I can get this working, I think all is good.

  7. 7 Posted by mark on 12 Sep, 2009 12:48 PM

    mark's Avatar

    This must be an issue with Money, not with MD. I just imported nearly 4000 transactions from a QIF file and the categories came over fine. Did you use the "File Source: From Another Program" option?

  8. 8 Posted by Ben Spencer on 12 Sep, 2009 01:13 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    Hi Steve

    I believe mark is on the right track here. There are two ways in which a qif file can be imported and this is determined by the File Source option on the import window. If you select "From a downloaded file" you are presented with a process that goes through each transaction one at a time and the system will attempt to match the transaction to existing one in the register. If the system has enough historical information it will attempt to automatically apply the correct category otherwise it will give the user the opportunity to manually categorise each transaction. If you set the file source to "From another program" Moneydance will import all the transactions in one go and use the category information in the qif file.


    Ben Spencer

  9. 9 Posted by quick2steve on 12 Sep, 2009 05:01 PM

    quick2steve's Avatar

    Mark and Ben you are both right, once I clicked from another program all worked! Thanks so much for your help!

  10. System closed this discussion on 28 Dec, 2017 05:30 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac