Matching downloaded transactions in MD 2010

Noname's Avatar


10 Dec, 2009 02:35 PM

When MD 2010 thinks a downloaded transaction is a match it doesn't give me a way to override. I tried each of the selections it offered and none of them let me include the new downloaded transaction as a new transaction (it finds the earlier dated transaction and doesn't even show the new transaction date). This, of course, throws my balances off tremendously and now my accounts are out of balance as they are missing transactions.


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  1. 121 Posted by Shawn Willden on 29 Dec, 2009 06:37 PM

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    Yes, it's checked. And transactions are occasionally matched. I'd guess that on average about 50% of the time they're matched. Today was just particularly bad -- and I had been hoping that it would be fixed, since it's the new build!

  2. 122 Posted by Randy on 29 Dec, 2009 07:28 PM

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    Is the amount of the transaction you keyed in manually identical to the amount of the incoming transaction it should have matched?

    If it isn't, MD won't match it, regardless of how close everything else is. What you do if the amounts aren't the same is to go to the manual transaction and make the amount the same as the incoming transaction.

    Then when you go back to the incoming transaction. Their should now be an option to "merge" with the transaction you just changed (if it isn't visible, select the dropdown next to the "accept button" and choose it. Then press the Accept button, and the Match and Merge should be complete.

  3. 123 Posted by Shawn Willden on 29 Dec, 2009 07:33 PM

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    Yes, both the dates AND the amounts were identical, as I said in my first post.

  4. 124 Posted by Jerry Clement on 29 Dec, 2009 11:02 PM

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    Over on the mailing list, it was stated that "different file format" that had been talked >about between MD2008 and MD2010 wasn't actually implemented until build 725. >So, if you are now using 725 and don't have some type of backup of your old >MD2008 file, it appears you will run into trouble going back to MD2008.

    This was one of my peeves about Quicken...always changing the file format, every going back! Why can't the file format be OFX... export to OFX...or remain stable.

  5. 125 Posted by Noname on 29 Dec, 2009 11:06 PM

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    Jerry, in latest build 735 you can select MD2008 format under the "export" menu. You can then use your file in MD2008 product.

  6. 126 Posted by Jerry Clement on 29 Dec, 2009 11:27 PM

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    Missed that one, thanks.

    Jerry Clement
    Los Angeles CA
    "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul,
       can always count on the support of Paul."
                                 --George Bernard Shaw

    --- On Tue, 12/29/09, jbnyt <[email blocked]> wrote:

    From: jbnyt <[email blocked]>
    Subject: Re: Matching downloaded transactions in MD 2010 [Problems]
    To: [email blocked]
    Date: Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 3:06 PM

  7. 127 Posted by Randy on 29 Dec, 2009 11:56 PM

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    I am having a lot better than a 50% match to transactions that have the same amount. I even get suggested merges to transactions that are totally different, if the amount is the same.

    Are your manual transactions 'uncleared' status?

    Are you saying that their isn't even a merge choice for the correct manual transaction in the list of choices when you click the dropdown next to the accept button?

    If that is the case, their needs to be a bug put Trac in for that. If you let us know what the number is, at least some of us will vote for it.

  8. 128 Posted by Brian on 30 Dec, 2009 05:05 AM

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    NEW BUG IN 732:

    Downloaded transactions.
    Did not accept NEW transactions.
    Began reconcile.
    Unfortunately, it reconciled to the current balance, including unaccepted transactions.

    I really agree with some of the other folks, adding downloaded transactions directly to the register is problematic.

  9. 129 Posted by Randy on 30 Dec, 2009 01:34 PM

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    Brian the latest build is 735, you might want to update to that.

    Also, the newly downloaded transactions will affect your current balance in MD2010. However, a new balance is kept (press the balance button in the lower right to see all the balances). This new balance is called the "unconfirmed" balance, and is your current balance without newly downloaded transactions. It gets updated in real time as you accept a transaction. Their is another balance kept (can't remember the name of it) that is just the sum of your downloaded transactions. So it tracks more than it did in MD2008.

    The ability to export your MD2010 file to an MD2008 file was added in one of the latest builds, so you can always go back to MD2008 if you can't get comfortable with MD2010.

  10. 130 Posted by Roger Kellett on 30 Dec, 2009 02:39 PM

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    The 2010 transaction downloading is awful! The beauty of MD has always been simplicity and intuitiveness. This is missing the mark big time. I've spent an hour on it today... reminds me of quicken (and we all know it sucks)

    I deleted my 2008 version. Is there a still link where I can get a copy? 2010 is not useable.

  11. 131 Posted by Brian on 30 Dec, 2009 03:04 PM

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    @Randy - I guess if this isn't a bug, I'm trying to understand what the workflow is. I know transactions are downloaded directly to the register, and I'm semi OK with that, it just seems strange that you can do things like reconcile with transactions that aren't "accepted". I understand reconcile wouldn't be correct without these transactions since the downloaded on-line balance would be including them, but what's the purpose of accepting them at all if it doesn't matter in the download-reconcile workflow unless there is a missing match or a mis-match?

  12. 132 Posted by avp2 on 30 Dec, 2009 03:57 PM

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    I did not realize the bottom register balance was a button. Thanks for pointing it out; could be handy.

    BTW, some average cleared balances, say last 30 and 365 days, might also be handy; maybe for moving some money to savings or looking at interest received.

    I am also having some problems with the default color (dark grey, seems same as memo text, in my mac OS X 10.4.11 system) making the text hard to read in the matching setup. Be nice to have that color settable in the preferences or, at least. a half shade lighter.

  13. 133 Posted by Randy on 30 Dec, 2009 03:59 PM

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    @ Brian, I believe the acceptance process is to give you a chance to review the unconfirmed transactions to see if you agree with the proposed matches (if any), or give you the chance to change the description before it goes to a "confirmed" status, meaning that you have reviewed it. It is a way to correct mistakes the automatic matching algorithm makes, and to give a way to tell what you have looked at from what you haven't looked at.

    The accept button will only appear for those transactions you haven't reviewed yet. It will give you choices, the idea is to pick the best one and hit the button to accept it.

    Before you hit the accept button, you are supposed to be able to choose from anything on the list next to that button. On some transactions, I have gotten 2 or 3 "merge" choices, and 2 or 3 "change description" choices.

    If you have a manually keyed transaction somewhere else in the register that should have shown up as a "merge" choice in that list but didn't, DON'T ACCEPT IT until you first go to that manual transaction and make any corrections (most often the amount is off a little, or the date is considerably different), save your corrections, then go back to the transaction you were trying to accept. You should have a new choice, to "merge" with the manual transaction you just corrected. Hit the accept button, and the two become one, retaining the description, categories, and splits of the manual transaction.

    People sometimes define the word "reconcile" differently, but to me it means that the total of the transactions I have marked "cleared" equals the "ledger" balance sent from the bank (shown when you press the balance button in the register). It used to be that the only time you could actually "reconcile" was when you got a paper statement once a month from the bank, but now that all these transactions are downloaded (and the "ledger" balance is sent every time from the bank), I usually just reconcile every time I download. It only takes a few seconds, and saves having to wade through all that stuff at the end of the month.

  14. 134 Posted by John Selden on 30 Dec, 2009 04:09 PM

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    @Roger Kellett--

    Your post is really unhelpful. If you want to see improvements or receive assistance, you should give some specifics about the problems you're having, rather than just saying it is "awful" and "not useable."

    If you've read this thread, then you know that the developer has already implemented a huge number of changes to transaction matching in response to user input. You would also know that many people were having problems simply because they were using the incorrect build or did not understand how the product is working. In other words, your problems might actually be solvable if you explain what they are.

  15. 135 Posted by avp2 on 30 Dec, 2009 04:16 PM

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    Nice post Randy. I also do my matching, and reconcile, as you describe and it works pretty well.

  16. 136 Posted by Roger Kellett on 30 Dec, 2009 04:21 PM

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    I'll try to type really slow for John Seldon, so maybe this will be more "helpful". Moneydance (up until a few weeks ago) was an intuitive, easy to use application. The 2010 version is not, particularly where downloading and clearing bank transactions is concerned. I am not a developer so I do not know what is wrong with it. I just asked for a link to download a 2008 version so I can get back to work.

    John, there you go you flamed a helpless civilian that pays the freaking bills. What a man you are!

  17. 137 Posted by Randy on 30 Dec, 2009 04:53 PM

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    @ Roger Kellet,

    the download link for MD2008 is :

    If you find MD2008 more intuitive, you should definitely be there.

  18. 138 Posted by Shawn Willden on 30 Dec, 2009 04:58 PM

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    Okay, I think I understand how the new transaction matching system is supposed to work, and indeed it appears to work. My misunderstanding was in not realizing that by changing the pull-down next to the "Accept" button, I was picking which of the previous transactions to match with. I thought I was picking which values to substitute into the newly-created transaction -- which is exactly what the language used in the dropdown "Change description from XXX to YYY..." implies.

    Unlike Roger, I am a developer, and even though I think the new system now works for me, I still think it has a problem. The old approach was much more intuitive; it was obvious what the options were and what would be done. I think the new approach has some things going for it, but it needs to be more intuitively obvious.

    One key need is to improve the documentation. The "Using Online Banking" section of the Moneydance Help does not explain the process well at all. Among other issues, it refers to the "Import dialog" -- which from a developer's viewpoint is odd nomenclature (a dialog is a window that pops up, not a frame at the bottom) and from a user's perspective is meaningless. Also, it does not make clear exactly what one is doing when one picks a different item from the list.

    However, the fact is that if you expect your users to EVER read the documentation for a consumer product like Moneydance, you're making a mistake. The tool needs to either offer pop-up help or, even better, to make the process more intuitive so that no help is required.

    Here are my suggestions for making it more intuitive

    1. Change the language used in the drop-down. "Change description..." sounds like it's going to modify the description of the new transaction, not match it with a previous transaction.

    2. Add the matched transaction date to the text in the drop-down. That would make it clearer to me that the downloaded transaction is being connected to a specific, existing transaction. It would also make it easier to determine which of a relatively large list of possible matches is the right one.

    3. Add the downloaded transaction details to the "import dialog" (the pane at the bottom of the register). I think this would further make it obvious that we're matching.

    4. Highlight the matched transaction as the drop-down is changed. This may require scrolling the window around in the case of transactions that aren't currently visible, but I think that would be okay (requires some testing and experimentation). I'd go with a highlight which is clearly distinct from any other used in the register. Maybe something like the bright yellow used for future transactions, but different. Bright green or something (obviously, settable on the colors tab of the preferences dialog).

    In addition to that, I think some pop-up help would be a good idea. Perhaps just place a question mark in the import pane which the user can click to pop up a one or two-paragraph explanation of the process.

    I think with those changes (or similar), you could make the process sufficiently easy to understand that you wouldn't have to deal with complaints like mine, or Roger's.

    I'll let you know if I run into any further trouble with downloads, but I think that I understand how it works now, and suspect I won't have any more problems.

  19. 139 Posted by Shawn Willden on 30 Dec, 2009 05:06 PM

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    Oops, I just noticed something: When merging with another transaction, the language in the dropdown is "Merge with...", rather than "Change...", which is much better.

    Why, when the transaction is matched automatically, does the dropdown default to "Change..." when it has actually been merged? It seems like it would be clearer if it defaulted to the action that has been automatically suggested.

  20. 140 Posted by Randy on 30 Dec, 2009 05:21 PM

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    Lack of ANY documentation on this major change, is so sad, and is really one major source of all these frustrated users. Some wouldn't like the changes even after reading the documentation, but some don't like it just because they don't understand it, and don't really have any way to get help other than posting to this forum.

    It has been a moving target, which is hard to document, but they could have at least posted a "quick start" guide that would have helped tremendously, and would have been easier to update as the program evolves.

    The last I saw any comment from Moneydance on documentation, they plan to have something out roughly the end of the year. I hope they use the same calendar I do.

    I hope the developer sees your suggestions and will look into implementing some of them. He does seem to be very interested in doing things to make the process clearer.

  21. 141 Posted by Roger Kellett on 30 Dec, 2009 05:55 PM

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    Thank you Randy!

  22. 142 Posted by sgodfrey2000 on 30 Dec, 2009 10:26 PM

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    Just downloaded latest build. Ran side by side 2010 and 2008. the following are my current observations and personal views. In preferences under Network have Automatically Download in Background and Automatically Merge Downloaded Transactions turned off.

    Add "Quick hide/show button" for Side Bar.

    2080 did better job of matching to last used Category. 2010 suggested using default category. It did have the last used category as first possible choice. This needs to go back to the 2008 method. Also had a duplicate suggestion. Could not see any difference in spacing or spelling. 2010 is more time consuming to determine correct match. given this.

    No confirmation sound in 2010 when Accept is clicked. This needs to be added or made a preference. The confirmation sound is there when "Enter/Return" is used during entry of a transaction,

    Forced a mis-match by changing the amount for an ATM withdrawal. 2 major observations.

    1, 2010 once again suggested the category of Auto (default) where 2008 suggested the last used category.

    1. Since this was an ATM withdrawal, it is listed as Withdrawal Peachtree Hill on the bank site. So 2010 enters it is the register with this Description. But 2008 actually did an excellent match back to the last time this download happened to the Bank name "Wachovia". 2008 actually shows Repeat Payee: date, amount, wachovia, Category. 2010 shows 10 "Similar Payee" entries. But there are only 5 unique choices. One choice is duplicated 4 times. Due to this 2010 is difficult to use for matching transaction and more time consuming over 2008.

    I'll keep coming back and trying 2010 again periodically. But it is still not up to a level where I can use it.

    MY personal observations:

    1. 2008 UI is cleaner and more specific.
    2. 2008 does a better job of matching
    3. 2008 does a better job of suggesting alternatives when there is no match.
    4. 2008 matching is more productive for the user. 2010 causes more time usage for the user due to poor matching, suggestions, and duplicate entries.

    My personal view remains the same. I like the 2008 presentation a lot better where the downloaded transactions are in a separate window from the register. The register can be scanned easier with this presentation. Randy has given an excellent method of using 2 windows in 2010 to accomplish the same thing. But that takes up too much screen space.

  23. 143 Posted by Randy on 31 Dec, 2009 04:54 PM

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    @sgodfrey2000, good post.

    I agree that the group of suggested choices called "similar payee" definitely needs work. I get some choices there that are way off, nothing close.

    In the release notes for build 734, the developer states the following:

    "Bumped up (way up) the threshold for suggesting replacement description+category based on similar past transactions"

    I think he must have gone too far with that threshold, now we are getting a lot of totally unrelated choices, which we shouldn't have to wade through to find the right one.

  24. 144 Posted by sgodfrey2000 on 31 Dec, 2009 05:51 PM

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    Maybe "bumping up" has also caused the duplicates???? I don't mind MD making multiple suggestions, but the duplicates need to be eliminated.

  25. 145 Posted by Randy on 31 Dec, 2009 07:25 PM

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    I think it could have.

    Maybe he needs to put a "slider" control in the preferences, so we could adjust the amount of suggestions we get. On one end it would have "more suggestions" and on the other end "less suggestions". That way, each user could choose for themselves.

    Don't know how hard that would be, though..............

  26. 146 Posted by Pete Linley on 01 Jan, 2010 05:18 PM

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    Even when I check the match transactions box, my transactions don't
    match previously downloaded transactions and I have to manually
    allocate the correct name to each downloaded transaction. Very time
    consuming. Does it make any difference if I use QIF or OFX file
    format? Is either preferred generally?

    Sent from my iPhone

  27. 147 Posted by mike on 02 Jan, 2010 01:25 PM

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    I am still confused why MD2010 will attempt to download transactions more than once a day. Every bank I have as a client (US), still does batch runs on mainframes once a day to reconcile their transactions. This is also a limitation of the ACH function, which are also run in batch.

    I think the auto mode of MD should download once at open and then go to sleep until the next calendar day, or at least the next time the program is run.


  28. 148 Posted by john phillips on 03 Jan, 2010 06:08 PM

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    I moved from MSMoney2002 in April 2009 when i switched to mac from PC. I chose MD2008 as it was the most accurate importing my old data. Having got used to the import of bank data I now find that MD 2010 is like MS money! However after all the rebuilds 735 seems to be pretty good, and I have now downloaded fairly easily and accurately, maybe because I am used to the MSMoney design. However with all the posts I am still nervous of upgrading and am running both MD2008 and MD2010 trial. Can anyone tell me where 2010 exports the files to. I have exported in 2008 format to keep everything up to date but I can't find the file.

  29. 149 Posted by Noname on 03 Jan, 2010 07:25 PM

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    It does to "downloads" folder on my mac but I had to add the ".md" extension to the file inorder to get it to open in md2008.

  30. 150 Posted by avp2 on 03 Jan, 2010 08:14 PM

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    With build 735 on mac, MD does not set any default download path. You have to tell it where to put the file ("choose file") and what to name it; you have to enter a file name before it will activate the "save' button. In other words, it exports where you tell it to.

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