Expand Tag Capabilities

jkosa's Avatar


11 Feb, 2020 08:18 PM

I've been a Quicken user for years and am converting to Moneydance. I don't know if there are many people who use Tags, but it would be great if you could add more robust handling of Tags in the future - namely a way to mark them as inactive. Here's why:

My list of tags gets bigger every year because I create a tag for each trip I go on and a tag for each year of medical/dental expenses. So, when I enter new transactions and want to tag them, I'm presented with a ton of tags that I don't need. It makes data entry of new xans much more cumbersome. I don't want to use Find/Replace to remove a tag from every past transaction in order pare down the list for entering future xans. I am considering creating different categories for these things, which would then allow me to mark them inactive once the trip or year have gone past. But that presents a different issue in reporting (see next paragraph). Plus, I think it is desirable to have Categories for the "broad" cut and Tags for "refined" organization.

I want to be able to generate a report of all transactions that use a certain tag, such as "2019 Medical Expenses" . I use this type of report 5-7 times per year to determine how much money to request as a reimbursement from my HSA savings account or how much money was spent on a trip. In my experimentation so far, it is possible, but not great since I cannot get a report that shows the reimbursements received so far at the top (income) and the expenses incurred so far (expenses). Charges (expenses) to pay for a Rx or co-pay are made on credit cards and from my checking account. Reimbursements (income) are transfers from either my HSA Investment account or my FSA Asset account. I've tried several report types that allow me to filter by Tag and none seem to give me the income transactions detailed & summed at the top and the expense transactions detailed & summed at the bottom. I tried using a report that filters based on the Category (thinking I'd just create more categories instead of tags); however a category filter means that my reimbursements don't show up on the report since they are recorded as transfers from my HSA & FSA accounts into my checking account - the "category" field contains the name of the account, not the category named "Medical".

Perhaps the 2nd part of this post is a reporting feature request, not a tag request, but I'll wait to do more work with reports before I post a thread titled "reporting enhancement request" :)

Appreciate you considering a feature request to expand Tags so they can be made inactive!

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 11 Feb, 2020 08:33 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    In general I do not think Moneydance users are using tags like that. For expenses for a certain time period the usual approach in Moneydance is to use an Income and Expense report with a particular date range and the category you are interested in as parameters for the report.

    The second part of your requests sounds like you want to move funds from one account to another but also have it show up as income. Moneydance has been designed using accounting rules and this would break the most basic accounting rule, so this I do not see happening.

    There is approach that achieves the goal and also follows accounting rules. In brief you do not transfer from one account to another, instead in the account the money is to come from you do your payment type transaction but you create a category for drawdowns and use that as the category. In the account the money is going to you enter a deposit transactions selecting the category you want for the funds. This way satisfies accounting rules and should also meet your goal.

  2. 2 Posted by jkosa on 11 Feb, 2020 09:19 PM

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    Thanks for the input dwg. My recall of 2 accounting classes in 1988 has been creeping back in as I'm doing this conversion and I might consider the double entry method for medical expenses and reimbursements from other accounts. More work but maybe worth it. I did find the "Tax Date" functionality (so medical bills paid in January for December expenses) helpful for searching by date. Also, the Transactions Report and Cash Flow, Detailed reports that will filter by my tags both show me the data I need, just not summarized as nicely as the Income & Expenses, Detailed report.

    Either way, having the capability to make a tag inactive seems like it could be useful for all the other reasons people might tag stuff. Not counting my annual tags for HSA reimbursable expenses, I still have 15+ tags for trips or major house projects that are no longer needed for entering future transactions so they are clutter in the list. But I wouldn't delete those tags since they help me recall and plan for a future trip's or a future redecorating project's approx cost.

    If anyone else would like to have a way to make tags inactive, chime in here so the product dev team can determine if it is a worthwhile enhancement :)

  3. 3 Posted by dtd on 12 Feb, 2020 09:22 PM

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    I no longer do anything like this, but just through I'd throw out what I did when I used tags (I rarely use them now)

    If I had a tag like "2015 Medical Expenses" and knew I'd never use it again, I would change the tag into a subcategory. (This worked for me because almost all my tags were year, or trip based.

    So, I'd end up with a new subcategory like Medical Expenses:2015, which would then match with Medical Expenses:2014, which I'd done a year before. (Or Trip:2015 Europe)

    That way my tags didn't pile up. [What do I do now? Start with the subcategory in the first place...)

    In a very odd sense, it makes a tag "inactive", by retiring it. In MD, if I were still doing this, I would use the find/replace extension, using "remove tag" and adding a category/subcategory during a batch change operation.

  4. 4 Posted by davidvernonlong on 18 Mar, 2020 02:28 AM

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    The only report I can see is the Tag Summary Report. It would help to have a Tag Detail Report. I am not sure the idea of using sub categories would work for me, as I would like to see the tag transactions reports across all categories. Maybe one of the extensions would give me this functionality. Please advise.
    Also, it would be good to set up the tags outside of entering the transaction, and then select the tag in the transaction, to avoid typos etc generating multiple tags, in the same ways categories work.

  5. 5 Posted by dtd on 20 Mar, 2020 03:53 AM

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    I'm unable to help you at this point - maybe someone from MD will weigh in.

  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 20 Mar, 2020 04:45 AM

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    Where Tags are used in Moneydance reports is a bit like a filter. You will see in reports like the Income and Expense reports there is a section on "Filter by Tag" which will take the basic specification you have defined for the report and then just further limit the data to the transactions that meet the filter criteria.

  7. 7 Posted by goofybuilder on 09 May, 2020 04:07 PM

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    I converted from quicken rental property just recently, I use TAGS all the time, each expense or Income is Tagged, if its home, business or a rental property. At the end of the year I run a report Based on the TAG, this breaks down each property or business. I was able to do this in Quicken and after playing around with Money Dance a few times I was able to create reports and save them for each TAG. Scroll down to the Graphs & Reports on the left hand side of the screen, ignore the TAG summary report, go to the Transaction Filter report, in there you will be able to create a report based on your TAGS and have it set for the past Fiscal year ( if you want a yearly report at tax time) this way come January 1st you know how you did for the past year. you can set it up for current year to date or monthly, what ever you prefer, just change the filter with the EDIT button up top of the page. you can also do the same with Graphs, which I find very helpful visually.

  8. System closed this discussion on 08 Aug, 2020 04:10 PM.

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