“Other Asset and Loan Setup”
“Financial Inventory Reports”
“Existing Quicken Users”
“Checking and Savings Setup”
“Credit Card Activity”
“Home and Mortgage Setup ”
“Credit Card Activity”
“Historical Expense Input”
“Year to Date Income/Expense Input”
“Year to Date Income/Expense Input 2”
“Credit Card Setup”
“Financial Inventory Reports”
“Home and Mortgage Setup”
“Financial Inventory Reports 2”
“Other Income and Rental Income”
“Business Setup 2”
“Historical Expense Input”
“Credit Card Activity”
“Paycheck Setup 2”
“Home and Mortgage Setup 2”
“Business Overview 2”
“Investment Balances 2”
“Paycheck Setup 3”
“Rental and Mortgage Setup”
“Checking and Savings Setup”'
“Investment Accounts Setup”
“Home and Mortgage Setup”
“Reconciling Quicken and Bank Statement”
Weeks 3, 4, & 5 (CD # 2):
“Asset Allocation Guide”
Weeks 6 & 7 (CD # 3):
"Investment Statement/Quicken Reconciliation"
“Be Smart About Your Target”
“Plan Cash Flow”
“Monitoring and Rebalancing”
“Investment Statement. Quicken Reconciliation”
“Investment Statement/Quicken Reconciliation”
"Computer System Requirements"
“Helpful Hint 11-10”
“Using Quicken Registers”
“Converting Quicken data from Mac to Windows”
“Virtual PC on a Mac”
Question: (Reference: Investing- Week 6, "Investment Statement/Quicken Reconciliation", HH 6-2 through 6-4.)
"Helpful Hint 6-3 instructs me to use the Cash Transferred In or Out selection in order to align my investment account cash balance with my Quicken file. Even though this process worked for my non-IRA accounts, when I try this with my IRA a "Tax Year" box shows up on the window and our transaction isn't accepted. What do I do now?"
Another option than the one outlined in HH 6-2 through 6-4 for reconciling a cash difference is as follows;
You can update a cash balance of an investment account by going to the Account Bar in the Investing Center on the left hand side of Quicken Home, and select the investment account you want to reconcile.
- Once you see the particular account show up on your screen, click the Transactions tab at the top of the account window.
- At the very top of your screen, choose Investing >Investing Activities>Update Cash balance.
- In the Cash balance for this account field, enter the new ending cash balance.
- In the Adjust balance as of field, enter the date on which you want this adjustment to take effect. Click OK.
Follow the steps outlined on Helpful Hint 6-4 to verify that the above procedures have eliminated any differences in your cash balances between Quicken and your investment statements.
Question: (Reference: "Computer System Requirements", Book, page vii)"Your materials indicate that the Program works only on a Windows-based operating system, but can it be adapted to work with a Mac?"
Unfortunately, there are significant differences between Quicken's Mac version and Quicken Deluxe for Windows. For example, the planning section of Windows version doesn't even appear in the Mac version.
Because I've written the CD's to lead a TEN WEEKS user screen by screen through using all the features of Quicken Deluxe for Windows, the differences would make it frustrating - at best - to use the TEN WEEKS CD's as a guide in using Quicken for Mac.
Here are my suggestions if you own a Mac;
1) Buy the book and use it as a way to examine your core relationship with yourself and money. Many of the Worksheets are not tied to Quicken work.
2) As a component of the first point you would also benefit from the 230 pages of Money Attention Pages. Take a look at the MAP Table of Contents on the "About the Book" page, under "A Comprehensive Financial Reference Guide" section. Quicken is not required to benefit from these resource sheets.
3) Use the TEN WEEKS CD's to at least set up Quicken for Mac up through Week 3. Even though you won't be able to complete the 'Planner' sessions, you can at least use Quicken to help you manage your day to day finances and establish a budget. Hopefully, Intuit will add the 'Planner' to their new Mac version next year and then you'll be all set!
4) Use the PC at your local library or borrow a friend's to complete TEN WEEKS. Even though this is an inconvenience, it will save you the money of buying another computer.
5) Buy a used Windows-based system. I found a used Compaq Deskpro at www.affordablecomputers.com for $149. Even if you have to add a keyboard and monitor, you'd probably have less than $250 invested. If at all possible, I'd encourage you to just buy a desktop or a cheap laptop (from $359 on up at the same web site) and have what you need to finish TEN WEEKS in the comfort of your own home. If you can save $100 per month over the next 3 months, you can purchase a second system and finish the program. Until then - go as far as you can with reading the book.
6) Consider the purchase of Virtual PC – a software program that allows Mac users to run Windows-based software on their machines. Keep in mind the following, however, if you decide to pursue this alternative;
- Buy Virtual PC that includes the Windows operating system – otherwise you’ll delay the successful installation of the software. Depending on the version of Microsoft’s operating system (Windows 98 to XP Professional), the price of Virtual PC will vary greatly. The basic Virtual PC program runs about $99, but adding Windows XP for Home will increase the price to over $200. Quicken Deluxe 2004 or 2005 for Windows will run on Windows 98, as will the TEN WEEKS instructional CD’s.
- Make sure your Mac’s system attributes matches the hardware requirements of Virtual PC. In order to run Virtual PC you will need at least a G3 processor running at a speed of at least 500 mhz. If you own a Powerbook laptop or E Mac running a G4 processor, you should have no problems using Virtual PC . However, if you own a G5, you will have problems running Virtual PC. Microsoft is working on a fix for this problem, and should have one released later in 2004.
So, you can see, you may have problems if your machine is underpowered, or overpowered!
- If you’re not a “computer whiz” consider the cost of hiring a computer technician in getting everything to work right. At $75-$100/hour you may have been able to buy a new PC in the $600 range.
- You may have trouble getting your MAC’s internet connections to work with Virtual PC. The instructions provided with the software are insufficient. I recommend you go to Microsoft’s MAC web page (www.microsoft.com/mac) and navigate to the Virtual PC support page. From that page, download detailed instructions on configuring the link for the Microsoft operating system internet access.
I do hope one of these options will work for you. I have had people who have just purchased the book and done nothing more than read it and filled out a few manual financial worksheets. Their response has been that it has changed the way they deal with money - even without any computer work.
The ultimate benefit to TEN WEEKS, however, is to develop a daily or weekly conversation with your money that helps you to see how your Authentic life is unfolding. A computer is critical in this process so that you can actually resolve your mind's legitimate financial questions. Only then are you able to reclaim that precious life energy that is so easily lost to "drunken, monkey-mind"!
#Q003-04 Question: (Reference: Wks 1-2 CD –“Other Asset and Loan Setup”)
“I could not find any reference to Life Insurance on the 2004 Quicken (program). I noticed Prudential has reduced our totals (because of the payment of a dividend) and would like to keep track. Please help.”
Quicken doesn’t give detail instruction about setting up life insurance as an asset. This could be because most people own term insurance, which doesn’t accumulate any monetary value - commonly known as “Cash Surrender Value”.
Please follow these Quicken input screens if you own a life insurance policy with Cash Surrender Value (CSV). By setting the policy up as an investment account, you will be able to record increases to CSV (through the payment of a portion of your premiums) and decreases to CSV (through the payment of cash dividends to you):
From Quicken Home
Investment and Retirement Accounts
Type in the name of your policy here
Single Mutual Fund
“ABCD Life Insurance CSV” – type in name of your policy again
Tax Deferred? Yes
Security – CSV (Stands for “Cash Surrender Value”)
Enter dollar value divided by $1
Buy – Shares Bought
Enter CSV before current dividend divided by $1 for # of shares
Price Paid = $1/share
Total Cost should = CSV before dividend
Transaction Date – Date of Dividend
Memo: “Life Insurance Dividend”
Record Proceeds? – Where dividend was deposited
Number of Shares – Dividend divided by $1
Price Received - $1
Total Sale – Should agree with total of dividend
“ Market Value” and “Cost Basis” in “Holdings Section” should = Current CSV of Policy
These procedures summarize both the setup of the Cash Surrender Value of your life insurance policies as well as the accounting for the receipt of life insurance dividends.
Remember, life insurance dividends are not taxed as income, since they are, technically, a return of your premium payments.
You can keep the CSV of your life insurance policies current by assigning a portion of your insurance premium payments to this account in a ‘shares bought’ transaction. The portion of your premiums that don’t increase Cash Surrender Value, should be categorized as “Life Insurance Premiums”. Reinvested dividends can be entered as a “Dividend – Stock Dividend” transaction.
Interest paid on accumulated dividends should not be entered as a transaction in this investment account. Those interest payments should simply be coded to an “interest income” category when they are deposited to one of your cash accounts. The reason for this is that such interest payments are taxable, whereas most other transactions related to these policies is non-taxable.
Question: (Reference: “Helpful Hint 11-10”– Section 4 CD)
“Does your book help in teaching me to truncate a file to contain, say, just the last 3 years (that need to be available for tax audit) from a multi-year “Joint Finances” file?
In order to make your file more manageable, from Quicken Home;
Date Range: Specify the beginning date from which you want to keep data available in your active Quicken file. I suggest you set that date so that you have at least 4 years of data available, in the event you need to print out transaction reports for an IRS audit.
Before you run this feature, however, keep the following in mind;
1) Reconcile all your accounts first. All un reconciled transactions will come into the current file, even if they are outside your date range.
2) Don’t be concerned that your investment account history will be lost. All history is retained in these accounts through the “Year-end copy” process.
3) Specify a file name and location where you can access this new file.
4) If you are unsure about whether or not the converted file will be usable, simply select ‘old file’ for your current file to use at the end of the process. Then open your ‘new file’ and see if it is usable. If it is, go ahead and use this data file for your day to day operations. If it is not, go back and finish your reconciliation and then run the process again.
This process should drastically reduce your file size and increase the ease of managing your Quicken data file.
Question: (Reference: “Week 6 CD – “Investment Research”)
When I click on “investment research” from the “Investing Activities” tab, I don’t see the same screen that you show on the CD. What do I do?
When you select “Investment Research”, you most likely will not see the nice yellow screen that is shown on the CD – surprise, Quicken changed this intermediary step, as well as a host of other items in this section! Follow the following instructions in navigating these changes from what you will see on the TEN WEEKS CD’s:
- At Quicken.com’s Mutual Fund Finder page, type in the symbol for one of your holdings you want to analyze. Remember to select a stock, or a stock mutual fund – the training in this session makes much more sense for stocks than bonds.
- Now proceed with the CD instructions to identify the holdings for this particular fund.
Question: (Reference: “Week 5 CD – “Morningstar Profile”)
After getting to the page that shows my mutual fund, I don’t see many of the same screens that are on the TEN WEEKS CD. What do I do?
As noted in Q005-04, Quicken changed the format of their web site after the release of the TEN WEEKS CD, so please follow the steps outlined below in compensating for these changes;
- Type in the symbol (or have Quicken search for your fund’s symbol) for the fund you want to analyze.
- On the left-hand side of the screen Select “Compare Funds”
- Select the top 3 competitors and then right click on the screen and print out the names of those competitors.
- Under “Choose the Information to Display” select “Evaluator” and then select Compare
- Now proceed through the 4 numbered steps, printing out the information as requested on the CD. Certain information will not be available for the “category average”, so simply use the middle competitor’s data (the 2nd of the 3 which you chose) in your comparative analysis when asked for such values.
You won’t be able to select the years of analysis to perform until you get to the “Cost of Ownership” section.
- In this “Cost of Ownership” Section, under “Expected Annual Return”, select the asset class from the list that is closest to that of the fund or security which you are analyzing. For example, if you are analyzing a US Large Company Growth Fund, select “Large Cap Stocks” as the appropriate return classification.
- Once you change the input boxes, select “Recalculate”.
While we’re making updates and changes:
- When Completing Page 242 of the book, please correct the reference to Week 6 Appendix B, by changing “Appendix B” to “MAP 6-2”. This MAP is found on page 242 of the book.
- Helpful Hint 6-9 refers to “bar graphs” which Quicken has since removed from their reports. Simply compare your fund to statistics provided for the 2nd of your 3 competitors to answer these questions.
Question: (Reference Week 6 TEN WEEKS CD, “Asset Allocation Guide”)
The model portfolios shown in Quicken differ from those shown on my TEN WEEKS CD – does this matter?
Even though the changes made by Quicken after the release of the TEN WEEKS CD’s will not materially distort your portfolio analysis, follow this step if you want to update your TEN WEEKS materials in light of these updated model portfolios;
- Print out the following Table 3 update and cut and paste it over the Table 3 printed on page 254 of your TEN WEEKS Guidebook.
Question: (Reference Week 6 TEN WEEKS CD, “Be Smart About Your Target”)
In the Risk Tolerance information that I printed out, the first example shows a range of return of -.6%. Is that correct?
No – this is a Quicken typo – it should be –6%%.
Question: (Reference Week 6 TEN WEEKS CD, “Plan Cash Flow”)
In the Asset Allocation pie chart Quicken shows a “target percentage expected return” and you instruct me to reduce that by 1% in accordance with Table 3. Since I’ve updated Table 3 with information from Quicken’s new model portfolios, do I still need to adjust this rate of return down by 1% as instructed in the CD?
No. The “target percentage expected return” values reflected in Quicken currently are more conservative than they were at the time TEN WEEKS was released. You can use the targeted return percentages as they are shown.
Question: (Reference Week 6 TEN WEEKS CD, “Monitoring and Rebalancing”)
I understand your instructions about rebalancing, but what happens when I periodically add money to these accounts – how should I allocate those additional contributions?
Contributions of new monies to accounts should be handled on one of two ways;
1) Made in such a way that the actual holdings at the date of the investment are
brought as close in alignment to the target allocations. This approach works well for larger investments that are made sporadically during the year.
For example, if I have a target allocation of 50% stocks and 50% bonds and my actual allocation shows stocks at 40% and bonds at 60%, then I would allocate my new investment in such a way as to bring the actual balances back to the 50/50 mix.
2) Invest monies in accordance with the targeted allocation that was established initially. This approach works better for periodic investments to retirement accounts. Then, at the end of the year, the rebalancing process can be used to bring the portfolio back into alignment with the Targets.
Following the example outlined in step 1, this approach would simply add new monies based on the initial target allocation of 50/50. At the end of the year, the account would be rebalanced for any actual changes from that target because of market value changes in the account.
Question: (Reference: Wks 1-2 CD; “Investment Balances” & Wk 6 CD “Investment Statement. Quicken Reconciliation”)
What is the easiest way to adjust the cash balance in Quicken to match that on my month-end investment statements?
Answer: Select the account for which you have a month-end (or quarter-end) statement from the Account Bar on the left hand side of Quicken Home;
- Select “Transactions”
- Select “Cash Balance” in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
- Enter the ending date on the statement
- Enter the Cash Balance in the account at that date
- Select Done.
Verify that this balance is reflected in the Summary tab of this account by:
- Changing the “as of” date in the upper right hand corner to that on your statement.
- Verifying that the “Cash” amount in the Holding section matches that of your statement.
Question: (Reference Week 1-2 CD – “Financial Inventory Reports”)
My budget report shows so many transfers from the “to” and “from” accounts that my “overall total” values don’t mean anything – how do I fix this so I can use this budget report?
Follow these steps and I think you’ll end up with an easy-to use Budget Report!
a. From Quicken Home select – Cash Flow – Budget
b. In Setup – select Copy Current – Create budget – name this Budget with the Scenarios that you are integrating, or if you aren’t integrating scenarios it would be AS IS with today’s date.
c. Options –Select Separate View
d. Click on Each tab, - Income/Expense/Savings and then select “Choose Categories”
e. Select “Mark All” and the OK
f. Select “Summary” and “Budget Report”
g. In the Budget Report – date range – select “Last Month”
h. Select “customize” in the upper right hand corner of the report.
i. Under ‘accounts’ select “Mark All”
j. Under ‘categories’ unclick the items that are distorting your budget; These will include;
Opening Balance Adjustment Accounts
Investment Account Reconciliation Accounts
Market Value Adjustment accounts
And any other accounts in your ‘actual column’ that don’t correlate to your budget columns in terms of actual cash flows.
k. All boxes should be checked in the next two tabs – Classes and Category Groups.
l. Under Advanced – Select Transfers – Include All
Subcategories – Show all
Categories – Include All
m. Finally review your report and see if it makes more sense now!
n. If there are variances that exist because you have forgotten to enter an item in your “budget” column that actually occurred in cash flow – go back to the budget input section of Quicken and enter a value for the period of time reflected in your budget report.
Question: (Reference Week 3 CD, “Investments”)
I find that Quicken’s planner doesn’t accept my current 401k/IRA contributions properly. When I run a Plan Results graph and click on the current year for a Plan Summary Report, my contributions are properly accounted for. Help!
I’ve asked Quicken’s programmers about this problem and they promise a fix for this with the 2005 Program – in the meantime, follow these procedures to “patch” the problem for now;
In the Planner assumption section, under “Investments”;
If an investment account is not showing as “Your Retirement” or “Your Spouse’s Retirement” and it should be;
- Return to Quicken Home
- Double click on the investment in the Investing Center
- Select Summary
- “Tax Deferred” – simply say “Yes” if it is a retirement account, or “No” if it isn’t.
- Verify that your input is correct by viewing “Edit account details” in that same section.
- Return to the Planning Assumptions Input Section.
- In the second section of the Investments screen in the Planner you have the opportunity to indicate your contributions to your accounts. Currently Quicken does not recognize the allowable contributions indicated in MAP 8-14. Please enter your current contributions, along with the contribution that your Employer is
making In the third input screen of this second section, please note that contributions made by an employer, irregardless of your contribution, are entered in the bottom half of that screen – matching contributions are entered in the top half.
- After inputting your contributions, return to the Plan Results Graph and double click on a the next year after your current input – if you are working in 2004 in your current Planner input, select 2005. See if the “Employer Contributions” in the Income section is correct. That same amount should show up in the Expense section and the Portfolio Value Section as well.
- Are your contributions properly reflected? Verify that your salary deferrals show up in all 3 sections of the Plan Summary Report.
- If they are not correct, return to the Investment Section of the Planning Assumption Screen and setup a new account called “Employee Deferral Adjustment”.
- Not held at a financial institution
- Enter the amount you currently are deferring into your retirement plan as “an amount that increases each year”
- Enter the amount that is needed to adjust what did not show up in your review of your Plan Summary report in the last step.
- Do not duplicate the Employer matching or contribution, if those amounts were correct in your prior step.
- Now go back to the Plan Results graph and review next year’s Plan Summary Report. If the total contributions to your “Tax Deferred Savings” is still not correct, please enter this amount as a contribution to a new savings account entitled “Quicken Retirement Error Adjustment” and make a note in the “Action Items” or “What I Want to Do” section of your AMG Binder to watch for a Quicken correction of this problem
The above adjustments will still leave income taxes overstated by the amount of the last adjustment times your marginal tax bracket. Until a patch is provided by Quicken, it is best to leave the plan conservatively projected, however, so this impact will not be taken into consideration until that time.
- Once the patch is provided, these adjustment accounts can be eliminated.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1& 2 – “Existing Quicken Users.”)
I’ve been using Quicken for years and have hundreds of accounts that I no longer use. I’m afraid of deleting everything, though. What should I do?
1. Follow the steps outlined below to save your current data file and then open up your current account and do some “cleanup.” If you need your historical data, you can always go back and open your saved file.
- File; Backup As; c:\pretenweeks
- “File successfully backed up.”
- File – Open
- Select file in use before “pretenweeks” file created.
- Review Account Bar on left side of Quicken Home Menu.
- Delete Accounts that you haven’t used in the last 24 months.
- If there are accounts that you used in the past that still show up and you don’t want to include them in your current Quicken work, simply “Hide” these accounts – by clicking on the “hide accounts” box in the “Manage Accounts” section.
2. Setup 2 new accounts – set them up as liabilities.
- “Opening Balance Adjustments”
- “Investment Account Reconciliation”
Hide in “Manage Quicken Accounts” section.
Use these accounts to adjust asset, liability, and investment balances to correct opening balances – if needed.
Question: (Reference: Checking and Savings Setup – Week 1- 2 CD)
Should I download my bank account information? On page 69 of the book you discourage using electronic downloads for bank information.
As outlined in the book, downloaded bank transactions tend to confuse the checking account registers since items are posted in the register as they clear the bank rather than in the order that they are originally transacted. As long as you use the Automatic method for reconciling the account, you should be fine.
The main advantage of setting up all your checking, credit card, and investment accounts for download is that you will face less of an emotional barrier to keeping your Quicken accounts current. Just knowing that the dollar amounts have been updated to your registers, many times makes all the difference in taking the few minutes to properly categorize those transactions and prepare the on-line reconciliation reports.
Based on my experience, therefore, I would encourage you to use downloads for all your checking accounts.
When you download transactions from your checking account Quicken you will see them listed at the bottom of your check register. Some transactions will be labeled as “Match” and some as “New”. I recommend that you delete all the “match” transactions and “accept all” of the new transactions.
“Match” transactions usually fall into one of the following categories;
- Items paid with Quicken Bill Pay or another electronic bill payment service.
- Scheduled transactions such as loan payments
It’s better to delete these downloaded ‘match’ entries, since they have not been properly categorized, while the other input items noted above are already properly recorded in the proper Quicken categories and accounts.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1& 2 CD – “Credit Card Activity”)
Sometimes I charge items for my business on my credit card or write a check for business expenses. How should I handle that in Quicken?
Business charges to personal credit card statements should be treated as follows;
1. If you are accounting for business transactions in Quickbooks or another Quicken data file (Group Three Business – Helpful Hint 2-21) follow these steps;
1. Assign to “Due From/To ____________(name of business)”
2. Setup as an Asset in Quicken Guided Setup (From “Home” – “Tools”)
3. Not a Financial Account.
4. Opening Balance – zero.
2. If you are using Qucken’s pre-assigned business categories and are using the Group One or Two Guidelines for tracking your business activity (Helpful Hint 2-21) then you can simply select one of those categories for your business purchase.
Remember that if you need to allocate one bill between your business and personal categories, simply use the “split” screen.
Question: (Weeks 1-2 CD – “Home and Mortgage Setup”)
I’m still not sure what number I should enter in the “purchase price” input box. Help!
If you are entering your home information in Quicken for the first time refer to the Guidebook, page78 and enter the value you calculated as the “Total Tax Cost of Current Home” in the “purchase price” input box.
If you already have your home information entered in Quicken and it reflects the actual market value of the home, simply – enter the “Total Tax Cost of Current Home” value mentioned above as follows;
- From your home’s account register select Overview.
- Edit Account Details
- Comments – enter the value with a note that this represents the Total Tax Cost as of a certain date.
- In the ‘description’ field, note “See Tax Cost Memo” as a reminder to verify that you will have no taxable gain on the sale of the home.
Remember – sales of residences after May 5, 1997 which do not result in a gain on sale of more than $250,000 ($500,000 if both Husband and Wife own and occupy the residence), will be tax-free. The cost entries we are making simply allow you to verify that these gain limits are not being exceeded.
Also note that the Improvements requested on page 78 can be estimated.
Q018 – 04
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1 & 2 CD – “Getting Started”)
I’m not sure when to start my Quicken input? Should I start at the beginning of this calendar year, at the first of the current month, or when?
If you are beginning the TEN WEEKS Program within 2 months of the first of the calendar year, I recommend you enter your beginning information as of the last day of the prior year. For example, if you purchased TEN WEEKS on February 20, 2004, then enter investment account, mortgage, and cash balances in Quicken as of 12-31-03.
When it comes time to input your actual income and expense items, do so from the beginning of the year. If you decide to download financial transactions and 90 days or more of transactions appear, go ahead and accept them all. By using Quicken’s report date ranges, you can easily exclude the items that you don’t want to consider.
If, however, you have begun the Program in the middle of the year, gather your documents as of the month end prior to your current month. For example, if you started the Program on July 10th, gather your documents as of May 31st. In this manner you can start with actual June 1 balances and work on completing a full-month of data input for the month of June.
- Later on in the Weeks 1 & 2 CD session, “Year-to-Date Income/Expense Input”, you will have the opportunity to summarize prior transactions in the current year. It’s always best to take the time and enter all your transactions into Quicken directly. The second best option is to summarize your transactions as outlined in Helpful Hint 2-32a.
- If summarizing manually and there are more than 29 categories – complete those 29 categories for all months of input first. Then go back and do each month’s remaining category inputs. This will prevent having to retype all the category assignments in the split transaction screen.
- Expenses are input as – (red)
- Income items are input as positive numbers – black.
- Monthly summaries allow current year comparison reports to be relevant and give you an idea of how you are doing comparative to last year.
At a minimum, however, if you have at least 3 months of downloaded historical transactions that is properly categorized, you can simply use that information in setting up your current year budget.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD; “Credit Card Activity”)
Question: I can’t seem to get my credit card account, which I’ve downloaded, to reconcile. What is the problem?
Your problem could be due to the fact that when you started your Quicken input you entered the ending balance of your credit card statement. Verify the amount of your first payment after that beginning balance. Most likely, the payment is different that the opening balance. To correct this;
- Go to the payment on the credit card in your check register where the payment was made.
- In the category box, select “Split”
- Determine the amount of the beginning credit card balance and assign that amount of the payment to the credit card liability account.
- Categorize the remainder of the payment to the “Opening Balance Adjustment” account which you I tell you how to establish in Q014-04.
This, most likely, will solve your problem.
Question (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD – “Historical Expenses”)
When I go to setup my budget, I’m unsure what date ranges I should use. I’ve also printed up a budget report and it makes absolutely no sense to me. Help!
Depending on how much historical activity is in Quicken, choose up to a full year of transactions. Let me explain;
If I only have 3 months of historical downloaded activity properly categorized in Quicken then I would choose that 3 month period of time to enter the ‘from’ and ‘to’ boxes that appear once I select the “create budget” tab in the Budget Setup section.
On the other hand, if I have a full-year of properly categorized transactions, I would use the prior year’s dates.
Under “select budget method”, choose the “Average amounts” – monthly, if your historical transactions are for less than a full year. If you have a full-year’s worth of transactions, you can select “monthly detail” to have your prior year’s monthly transactions show up as the starting point of your current year budget.
Under “Categories” I recommend that you “Mark All” so you don’t inadvertently omit certain income and expense items.
When you print up your first budget report, focus on the categories that have a large “difference” item in the last column. If there are accounts and categories that are distorting your true cash flows, simply follow the guidelines of Q012-04 in removing those from your report. (An example will be the cash inflows and outflows out of your credit card and bank accounts – all these transactions have been properly accounted for in Quicken already and shouldn’t be included in this report again). This will solve the problem of a difference that is due to an amount in the first column (actual activity) but not in the second column – budget activity.
For differences that result from values showing in the middle column but not in the first column, print out the report and circle these differences. If there are true cash flow items such as a loan payment or a budgeted transfer to savings that you forgot to include in your budget, simply return to your budget input screens and add those values. Then refresh your current budget report and you should see the variance disappear.
If you follow the above instructions you can disregard the instructions in the “Year-to-Date” Income and Expense session of the Week 1-2 CD about de-selecting accounts and categories in the budget input screens.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD Business Overview)
I have a small business and I use Quickbooks (or another business accounting program) to account for the financial activity. Im not sure how I am supposed to integrate that information into my personal Quicken accounts?
Helpful Hint 2-21 describes a "Group Three" business that has a more complicated financial structure that is difficult to account for in Quicken. Helpful Hint 2-24 indicates that monthly updates should be made to Quicken to reflect the business financial statements that have been generated in Quickbooks.
Follow these steps in updating your Quicken accounts with your Quickbooks (or accountant-prepared or other financial program) financial statements Letters in parenthesis refer to the sample financial statements included after the explanation;
- Print up most recent months financial statements for the business entity Profit and Loss Statement (A) as well as Balance Sheet.(B) (I recommend entering these two monthly financial statements for each month of the current year).
- If you have not done so already, setup an income category for your business income;
- Quicken Home
- Category List
- New Name "Business Income - ___________" (name of business)
- Group Other Income
- Tax Assignment Same place that it appeared on your most recent tax return from drop down menu.
- If you have not done so already, setup an asset account for your business;
- Quicken Home
- Account List
- Add Account Not held at a financial institution
- Property and Debt
- Name "________________" (Name of Business)
- Statement Date and Balance "Equity" or "Capital" Value from Balance Sheet as of the last day of the prior calendar year.(AA)
Note: Remember if you are a partial owner in this business only enter your share of the total equity. If you are a partner in a partnership or limited liability company, enter your year-end capital account balance as well as your share of the prior year profit or loss in this "Balance" input field.
- Enter the first month in the Calendar Year financial information and then repeat this process for each remaining month of the current year.
- Select the Asset Account for your business from the Account list on the left-hand side of your Quicken Home Menu.
- Select the Register Tab at the Top of the Screen
- Enter the ending date of the Profit and Loss Statement in the Date Column
- Under Payee enter the name of your business
- Enter any profit for the month in the "increase" column and any loss for the month in the "decrease" column (C)
- Under category select the "Business Income - _________" (name of your business) account you set up earlier .
- Select "Enter".
- Next enter any cash distributions (D) from the company as a deposit in the account where those monies were deposited, and categorize the distribution as "Investment in _____________(name of business)".
- Finally, enter any capital contributions youve made to the business during the course of the month by locating the checks or other cash transfers in your respective checking or cash registers and categorizing such transactions as transfers to "________________"(Name of your business). (In the example below, Ginger made no such contributions hence no reference letter).
- Verify that the "Equity"(E) totals on your Company Balance Sheet at the end of the month, agrees with the " ___________"(name of your company)" account in Quicken.
Follows is an example of this using Gingers business "Nurse Network" had she been keeping her books in Quickbooks.
| Nurse Network
Balance Sheet (B)
December 31, 2003
|Cash In Bank
| Total Current Assets
| Total Fixed Assets
|| $ 250
| Total Current Liabilities
|YTD Profit (Loss)
| Total Equity
|Total Liabilities and Equity
|** Total Equity from 12-31-2003 Balance Sheet
Assets = Liabilities + Equity
Assets minus Liabilities = Financial Net Worth or Equity
| Nurse Network
Statement of Income (A)
Period: January 1, 2004 through January 31, 2004
| Gross Sales
| Office Expense
| Internet Fees
| Total Operating Expenses
|Net Operating Income (Loss)
Question: (Reference- CD # 1 "Historical Expense Input")
Ive downloaded 3 months of financial transactions into Quicken from bank accounts, credit card statements, and investment accounts. Ive also made sure that each of the transactions have been properly categorized. Im still a bit confused how to use this information to create my initial budget.
- From Quicken Home
- Cash Flow
- Create Budget
- In the date range boxes enter the dates for which youve entered accurate financial data into Quicken.
- Under Budget Method If youve entered a full years worth of actual transactions, use the monthly detail method otherwise use "average amounts"
- Select Categories Mark All
- Setup Rename name this Budget so it relates to your Authentic Money Guide completion. For example, if this is your first budget based on historical transactions call this your AS IS Historical Budget # 1. Later on in the Program when you have made Scenario Changes to Your Authentic Money Guide, you will update your budget report and indicate which scenario #s youve included in the budget "Authentic Budget Scenarios 1-5" is an example.
- Now review your budget entries and follow the CD instructions for modifying your historical budget. Be careful about making significant changes to spending before we go through that process very consciously in Weeks Three and Four of the TEN WEEKS Program.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD "Year to Date Income/Expense Input")
Helpful Hint 2-32a confuses me. Rather than entering summary transactions to bring my year-to-date activity current, wouldnt it just be easier to enter the transactions manually into Quicken?
Depending on the volume of transactions that remain to be entered into Quicken and the work that youve done in summarizing your historical expenses on pages 69-70 of the Guidebook, it may be easier for you to sit down with your checkbook and credit card statements and enter the missing transactions manually item by item.
The one advantage of entering your transactions in detail, will be the ease of reconciling your bank and credit card accounts. If you enter monthly summaries, as outlined in the Week One and Two "Year to Date Income/Expense" CD Session, you may have some difficulty in identifying items which may not have cleared the bank or credit card company. This should not be a problem if your income and expense summaries are over 90 days old because of your downloaded transactions.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1 & 2 CD "Getting Started")
What can I expect if I commit to this process of setting my finances up in Quicken? Will it pay off in terms of time-savings from how I manage my finances now?
The process (journey) of getting your personal finances accurately setup and managed in Quicken is time-consuming. There are no shortcuts to this process. There is, however, a huge payoff in terms of the practical day to day management of your finances once this is all setup. The following are what you should expect;
- Pay most of your bills automatically through on-line bill payment.
- Pay the rest of your bills with Quicken Bill-Pay in no more than _ hour per month.
- Reconcile your credit card, investment accounts, and checking accounts in a matter of minutes with the automatic reconciliation tool.
- Know exactly where your documents are and be able to retrieve needed information easily and quickly.
- Track your actual alignment with your Authentic Budget on a daily basis. For example, if it is the 20th of the month, Quicken shows 20/30 of your budget amount for that month if you print up a budget report on that day.
- Easily evaluate financial options and in a few minutes understand the financial impact of one choice over another using the Quicken Planner and What If Event Analysis tool.
With practice, using the financial management features of Quicken will get easier and easier. This is what I refer to in Section 4 of the Guidebook as learning to use the "calculator" functions of the Program.
The real challenge what will take real practice and disciple is using the Programs "mirror" function. Developing a conversation with money at the soul level is the biggest benefit of learning to give money our complete, undivided attention. Pausing to notice grounding helps us truly develop a relationship with money where we move beyond financial efficiency to money serving our Authentic life.
So, I encourage you to do the hard work and not give up. The payoff is huge!
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD Paycheck Setup)
I take money out of a business that I account for with Quickbooks. These paychecks do not have withholding or social security taxes withheld but are just "draws" from the company profit. Should I set these up as a paycheck in Quicken?
Even though these deposits seem like paychecks in the sense that they are a return for the work that you do, they should not be entered in Quicken in the "Paycheck Setup" section.
Please refer to page 85 of the Guidebook and read the 4 points under the section "Income Information". Next, review Q021-04 which gives a comprehensive example of how to account for a business that you manage with Quickbooks or that you receive bookkeeper or accountant prepared financial reports from.
These "draws" are simply distributions from the business that reduce your investment in that business. Since Q021-04 provides a way to account for the actual profit or loss, treating these distributions as a reduction to your investment in the business is the most accurate way to categorize the deposit.
Paychecks in Quicken only are deposits which have taxes withheld. If you own a Corporation, such payments to you will reduce your company profit and will not distort the procedures outlined at Q021-04.
Question: (Weeks 1-2 CD "Year to Date Income/Expense Input")
When I download information from my investments, the interest and dividends are posted to different income accounts than I used in my budget. Should I change the entries in my budget categories to match these actual categories?
Yes since the downloads are automatic, it makes more sense to adjust your budgeted income categories to match the downloaded categories. It is also important to categorize additions to or withdrawals from your investment accounts as changes in the investment account balances, rather than as interest or dividends. These cash transfers should show up in the TO or FROM sections of your cash flow and budget reports.
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD; "Credit Card Setup")
What happens when my credit card isnt on Quickens list?
Please call your credit card company and see if they are setup for Quicken downloads. If they are, have them walk you through the setup process so you can easily download your transactions. If they arent, consider setting up a Quicken credit card by following the link at Quicken home under "Quicken Services."
Question: (Reference: Weeks 1-2 CD "Financial Inventory Reports")
What do I do with uncategorized items in my financial reports?
Once you see the "uncategorized" category in your report, simply double click on that item and a list will open up with all the transactions that comprise that total. Double click on the individual items in that list and when you get back to the original input screen, assign a category to that transaction.
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD "Home and Mortgage Setup")
What happens when Im setting up my mortgage and the calculated Quicken payment doesnt match that of my statement?
Verify that current escrow payments are entered properly, as well as beginning loan balance, date and interest rate. Also verify that the term or length of the loan is input accurately.
It is important that Quickens calculations match that of the statement so the amortization schedule in Quicken and the related scheduled transaction input is accurate each month.
Its easy to adjust your loan values by going to Quicken Home;
Property and Debt
You can also make extra payments from this screen or adjust your payment if your escrow amounts change.
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD “ Home and Mortgage Setup”)
What happens to house cost (tax) basis when it is acquired in death?
In the case of a spousal transfer, see MAP 10-14, page 670. Generally, the surviving spouse gets a step-up of ½ of the fair market value of the property at the date of the spouse’s death. In the event of inherited property, your tax basis will be the fair market value of the property at the date of death of the grantor. If you received the asset as a gift while the donor was living, then your tax cost will be what the donor paid for the property plus any improvements they made to the property before they transferred the property to you..
In all cases, subsequent improvements add to your tax basis, and any unreported gains from house sales prior to May, 1997, reduce your tax basis.
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD; "Business Overview")
When does it make sense to simply setup business checking accounts, assets, liabilities and income/expense accounts right in Quicken?
See Helpful Hint 2-21. Generally Group One businesses are best to treat in this manner, since the transactions are limited and they dont "overwhelm" the personal transactions.
Most businesses, however, have a monthly profit and loss and balance sheet generated by either Quickbooks or an accountant. In those cases, it is important NOT to enter any of these accounts or categories directly into Quicken, but rather to follow the procedures outlined in Q021-04
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD; "Financial Inventory Reports")
Why doesnt the fair market value of my house show up on my month end Net Worth Statement?
Review the input date for your initial fair market value input. You can do this by selecting your house in the Account list on the left hand side of the Quicken Home screen. Once you select the asset, make sure you click on the "Register" tab at the top of the screen.
Most likely this date is after the date of your printed Net Worth statement. To fix this, simply change the date of the "adjustment" entry in the register for the house.
This same procedure can easily be used to correct similar problems with other assets.
Question: (Reference: Guidebook, Pages 86-90; Wk 1-2 CD; "Business Overview"; Wk 3 CD; "Other Income and Rental Income")
Weve entered a value for our business in Quicken that is the same as our business checking account. Should I be concerned about pages 86-90 of the book?
It is important to complete Pages 86-90 and establish a "going concern value" for your business if;
a. You are depending on the sale of your business to fund a future financial goal, such as retirement and the value you expect to receive is different than the value that you currently see in your Quicken accounts.
For example, if I own a business that I think will provide $100,000 in cash flow when I retire and sell the business, then Id better go through the worksheets to see if that is realistic. Its much better to find out that a more realistic number might be $50,000 now then later when I no longer have the time to pursue other ways of increasing retirement assets.
Be careful, however, about "double-dipping." If, for example, you have the option of selling your business income stream or continuing to receive residual payments make sure that you choose one or the other. If you do choose to receive the ongoing income stream, only include the value of your cash and net accounts receivable (what people owe you) as a Quicken business value. Well enter your estimated future income stream as a business income item in the Quicken Planner Salaries section.
Question: (Reference: Week 1-2 CD; "Business Setup")
My business is construction-related. Oftentimes we have jobs that start in one month and go for several months. If I record all my expenses in the month that I pay them for a particular job, and the income only when I receive it my monthly financial statements dont accurately reflect true profit. How do I fix this?
Even though this is a question for your accountant, most of the problem can be solved by creating a couple of new accounts in your company financial statement. The first is "Construction Work in Process" and the second is "Construction Advances". The first account is an Asset account and the second a liability account.
Job expenses that relate to a job that spans more than one month should be coded to the first account ideally there should be such an account for every distinct job. Monies that are advanced for jobs that are not yet complete should be posted to the second account the liability account.
When a job is completed the costs associated with that job in the "Construction Work In Process" account should be reclassified to "Construction Job Costs" an expense account, and the payments received that had been posted to "Construction Advances" should be recategorized as "Construction Income" an income account.
In this manner, income and expenses are grouped in the proper period. The above procedures represent "completed contract" accounting. Ask your accountant if you are on the "percentage of completion" method that method involves a couple more steps.
It is critical to keep business monthly financial information as accurate as possible remember your Quicken reports are only as accurate as the "weakest link."
End Q033-04 2
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD "Investment Accounts Setup" and Wk. 6 CD "Investment Statement/Quicken Reconciliation")
I have an annuity that sends me statements every quarter. I dont have the ability to download those transactions into Quicken. How do I get Quicken to agree with these statements?
As outlined on Helpful Hint 6-2, setup a new account entitled "Investment Account Reconciliation". In the "Manage Accounts" section of the Account List section, make sure to "Hide" this account in Quicken.
Once this account is established, simply go to that register, and enter the date of the annuity statement. If the annuity has increased since the last statement, calculate the adjustment needed and enter that as a decrease in the "Investment Account Reconciliation" register. Click OK and then view the register of the Annuity statement. The balance in that account should agree.
Remember that transactions during the quarter, such as premium payments or loans from the annuity, should all be categorized to the Annuity investment account. Withdrawals from the annuity, should be categorized as Income items since they will be taxable to the extent they exceed your investment in the annuity.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Historical Expense Input")
My budget reports are distorted. It seems that Ive entered some actual transactions in certain categories and comparable budget values in others. Some values dont even show up in my budget report. How can I make sure that everything is reflected?
Go back to the budget setup screen and select "Copy Current"
Name your new budget AS IS All Categories
Click on each of the tabs at the top of the screen (Select Separate View under Options) one at a time
Click on the Choose Accounts or Choose Categories Box in each section
Select "Mark All"
Now, all of your categories and accounts will be reflected on your Budget Report. Take this opportunity to align actual with budget input. If, for example, you have actual contributions posted to a category called Charitable Giving and your budget is under a category Contributions go back to your budget and move the projected expenses to "Charitable Giving."
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Credit Card Activity")
We use one credit card to pay for personal and business bills how do I account for this when my business books are summarized in Quickbooks?
What you need to do is set up a "Due From" account that will be used to capture all of these credit card transactions in your Quicken accounts. Since youve already recorded the charges as business expenses in Quickbooks and entered your net business income into Quicken, you dont want to enter those expenses again. When you download the credit card transactions into Quicken you have to categorize all these charges to this new "Due From (name of your business) account.
Go to Tools
This Account is Not Held at a Financial Institution
Name this Account Due From (name of your business)
Bypass the opening balance entries
Now, go back into your credit card register and change the category assignment for all business-related charges to this new account.
When the company writes you a check and you deposit it into Quicken, assign this same category (Due From
) to the deposit. This will cause this account to zero out and not distort your Quicken entries.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Paycheck Setup")
My paycheck changes every pay period because Im paid hourly. How do I deal with this in Quicken?
In Guided Setup, choose "Paychecks"
Enter your 1st paycheck in "Add Paycheck"
The next time you have a paycheck to enter, simply return to this Add Paycheck screen, and click "Edit" on your paycheck shown in the list.
Select "Edit the Current Paycheck and Enter it Into the Register"
This will allow you to enter the next paycheck. Make sure that you change the date and verify that the net paycheck agrees with your deposit.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Home and Mortgage Setup")
Ive calculated my correct "tax cost" for my home. How do I get it into Quicken?
One option is to ;
Go back to Quicken Guided Setup and select Property and Debt
Enter your home and select "Delete".
Then re-enter your home with the updated information.
This Other Option Works as Well, as long as you remember to input the correct tax cost information in the Planner and in Quicken when you sell your home
Property and Debt
Property and Debt Accounts
Select your residence
Click on the Overview Tab
Click on "Edit Account Details"
Description See Notes for Tax Cost
Comments - Enter the new Tax Cost in this input field.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Business Overview")
My wife and I have several small businesses. How do we track those items of income and expense when there are relatively few transactions.
It sounds like you have a Group One Business as described in HH 2-22.
See Helpful Hint 2-26 for 2 options of entering expenses.
I recommend that expenses for each separate business venture be setup as a subcategory of the business expense group. For example, if you have a real estate sales business you could setup an Expense called RE SALES Expenses, and then setup subcategories for Office Supplies, Travel, etc.
Make sure that all of these categories are linked to the proper line of your tax return by reviewing how that expense was treated in your prior year return.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Investment Balances")
What happens when I do my investment statement downloads and my security holdings are incorrect?
First of all, I recommend that you do your cleanup work as of the end of the prior calendar year, so if you are completing the TEN WEEKS Program in 2004, go back to your December 31, 2003 statement to reconcile with Quicken.
- First of all, locate the holdings section on your investment statement. This will list out each of your individual mutual funds, stocks, or bonds.
- Next, see if you can locate those holdings in your Quicken investment account, by selecting the "Transactions" tab at the top of your screen.
- If you can locate your investment, highlight it and select "Edit".
- Verify that the purchase information that you see agrees with the investment purchase confirmation statement which you received when you bought the security. MAKE SURE YOU FILE ALL SECURITY PURCHASE CONFIRMATIONS IN THE "INVESTMENTS SECTION OF YOUR MY DOCUMENTS BINDER. Click Done when youve entered the correct purchase date and cost information.
- Click on the Summary Tab at top of this Investment Accounts screen.
- Select "Value" in the Show Box and as of select "December 31, 2003" assuming you are working the TEN WEEKS Program in 2004.
- See if your security is listed correctly in the Holdings Section. If there is a large discrepancy between cost and current value, you just made need to change the quote/price to a different decimal of 10 (i.e., 10 vs. 100 or 1 vs. 10)
- If this corrects your holding, repeat this process for each of the other holdings shown on your year-end statement.
- If you cant adjust the downloaded transactions to reflect actual holdings, just delete those downloaded transactions and enter the purchase information by returning to "Transactions" and selecting "Enter Transactions". Under "Enter Transaction" select the type of transaction that fits what action you took when you bought that particular security, and follow the on-screen instructions to enter the information from your Purchase Confirmation statement.
- Once your investment holdings agree with your statement, adjust any cash or money market balance in Quicken to agree with your statement by returning to "Transactions", "Enter Transactions" and selecting "Cash Transferred In" or "Cash Transferred Out". For example, if Quicken shows you with $1,000 of cash and your statement shows $3,000 select "Cash Transferred in for $2,000" and select "Investment Account Reconciliation" as the Transfer Account. This account should have been established in your Week 2 Work. If it isnt simply go to Quicken Home; "Tools"; "Account List"; "Add Account"; "Liability" not held at a financial institution with no beginning balance. In the "Manage Accounts" Section, scroll down and select this account and click "Hide in Quicken" then return to your investment account and select this as the Transfer Account.
- Repeat this process for each of your accounts until the Year-End Statement agrees.
- When you download investment information and Quicken brings you to a Placeholder Entry simply select "Cancel". Take a moment to review your holdings and make sure they are still correct. You may need to change the "Quote/Price" field.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Investment Balances")
What happens when I buy a bond and I pay accrued interest? How does Quicken account for this and how do I treat this transaction for tax purposes?
First of all, when you purchase a bond in the "Enter Transactions" section of Quickens investment accounts, there should be a box for "Accrued Interest". Accrued interest is simply the interest you have to pay for because the bond earned it before you purchased the bond, and your next interest payment will include that prior interest.
For tax purposes, assuming you own the bond in a taxable vs. tax-deferred account, you can offset the interest income that you receive by any accrued interest that you paid for that reported interest. For this reason, it is important to follow these steps in accounting for your accrued interest;
- Keep all bond purchase confirmations in youre my Documents binder. At the end of the year, make a copy of them and place them in your tax file or give them to your accountant who prepares your taxes. Claim any accrued interest as an offset to your interest income, on Schedule B of your tax return. Report the entire amount of interest from your 1099 form and right under it, write "accrued interest" with brackets around the amount of accrued interest included in the prior interest income number. The net of the two numbers correctly reports your taxable income.
- When a bond is sold, remove the purchase confirmation from youre my Documents binder and place it in your tax file. Place the related sales confirmation statement in the tax file as well.
- When you purchase a new bond, place the purchase confirmation in youre my Dcoments binder.
How does Quicken handle the accrued interest? It treats this purchase as a "Miscellaneous Expense". Theres no good way to change this classification, especially if you accept downloaded transactions. Technically, this accrued interest is an asset and should increase the value of your holdings until the time the accrued interest is used to offset the reported interest from that bond but most investment statements and Quicken dont account for it properly.
If you follow the above procedures, most accrued interest transactions will net themselves out fairly quickly. When that wont happen is in the case of the purchase of a compound bond. Compound bonds pay all their interest at maturity, so if I buy a 6% 10 year compound bond for $10,000 all the interest will be reported in year 10 when I get the full $17,908. The $7,908 of interest will all show up in year 10, even though I earned it over the entire 10 year period.
If you want to keep track of this, I recommend that once a year you calculate what interest you earned, select the particular account you hold that security in Quicken, select Reinvest Income Reinvested and the amount of the accrued interest that is reported to you for tax purposes. If you hold the bond in an IRA or other tax-deferred account, there will be no current tax due.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD; "Paycheck Setup")
How do I handle pay advances that are taken out of my paycheck in Quicken?
When paychecks change from pay period to pay period, because of items such as hours worked or payroll advances, youll need to return to;
- Quicken Guided Setup
- Select your paycheck from the list
- Edit Edit the Current Paycheck
- Date enter the date from your current paycheck
- Change the items that are different from your prior check
- For Advance paybacks, in the "After Tax Deduction" section select"Employer Loan Repayment"
- In the "Account" Tab enter "Payroll Advances" This will be an income account.
- Then enter the amount of the advance payback.
Verify that your paystubs net and that in Quicken matches, and then select "Enter"
When you categorize the deposit that represents the advance payment, code it to the "Payroll Advances" income account.
Between the advance and repayment, this account should zero itself out over the course of a month.
Question: (Reference; Wk 1-2 CD; "Rental and Mortgage Setup")
Whats the best way to enter real estate transactions into Quicken such as the purchase of a rental or piece of land?
- From Quicken Home, go to "Tools"
- Account List
- Add Account
- This Account is Not Held at a Financial Institution
- If it is a rental house select House if a piece of land select Asset.
- Name the Rental Property
- Enter the acquisition date, current price, and current value.
- If you borrowed money in connection with the purchase of the property, go ahead and ask Quicken to establish the associated loan.
Once youve finished setting up the loan, enter the other purchase transactions from the settlement sheet within the register for that asset as a split transaction. Remember, closing costs generally increase the cost basis of your investment except for payments for interest, taxes, utilities which will be categorized as "Rental Expenses __________ (name of property)".
Question: (Reference: Wk 3 CD; "Living Expenses")
In the Planner section of Quicken, "Living Expenses" is it OK to enter "Rough Estimate" rather than Category Detail?
Yes as long as you have a printed list (Current Budget Report with expenses coded "LE" "Living Expenses" as outlined in the CD Instructions) of what comprises that "Rough Estimate" number otherwise youll soon have expenses that are not accounted for or possibly accounted for twice in this section.
Question: (Reference: Wk 3 CD; "Report Analysis")
My Initial Plan Results Graph makes no sense it shows me running out of money within 6 years what do I do?
From Your Most Recent "As Is" Budget and Net Worth Reports, check off all the items on those reports as you see the financial information being entered in the Planner. Add any items that you missed and delete any duplications as instructed in Helpful Hints 3-12 through 3-14.
If the above step doesnt correct your Plan Results Graph and make it look more reasonable, then study the first full-years Plan Summary Report to see what doesnt make sense and correct any discovered errors in the Planning Assumption section of the Planner.
Question: (Reference: Wk 1-2 CD: "Checking and Savings Setup")
When I enter data into the Guided Setup section of Quicken and later want to change some values, I find it difficult to do so using the "Edit" feature. Is there a solution to this problem?
Sometimes you can edit details by accessing the account information through the "Property and Debt" or "Investing Center" sections, but generally you have to simply delete the account and re-enter the correct information.
This is the reason I emphasize gathering all your historical documents that fill up the MY DOCUMENTS Binder before beginning your Quicken input. It is also critical that all the 9 types of financial documents listed on page 64 of the Book are included in the monthly divider sections of the AMG Binder as soon as they arrive. The more accurate your original entry into Quicken is, the less time you will spend fighting with corrections!
Question: (Reference: "Using Quicken Registers")
Sometimes I enter a transaction into one of my registers, only to find that the target category did not change with my input. For example, when I last paid my credit card bill from my checking account, the payment didnt show up in the credit card register. What can I do to correct this?
For some strange reason, sometimes category assignments dont "take" in Quicken. When you notice this happening take the following steps;
In the register category input field
Enter the account that hasnt been accepting the entry
Enter the amount of the transaction
Verify that the date is correct
You should hear the familiar ca-ching cash register sound- indicating that the transaction was posted. Now go to the other accounts register and verify that your entry was properly posted.
#Q048-04 (Reference: "Computer System Requirements"; Guidebook, Page vii)
How do I convert my data file from Quicken for Mac to Quicken for Windows?
Answer provided by Quicken Support;
Title Converting data from Quicken for Mac to Quicken for Windows
KB ID#: 5198
Categories: File Management/Conversion
Most data in a Quicken for Mac file can be converted for use with Quicken for Windows. This multi-step procedure involves preparing your Macintosh® data file, exporting the data, importing it into Quicken for Windows, and then rectifying any discrepancies due to duplicated transactions or data that was not included.
The following components of your Quicken for Mac data file will convert to Quicken for Windows:
- Online account information is not included and must be re-enabled in Quicken for Windows if you intend to continue using online services.
- Investment accounts that were reconciled must be re-reconciled in Quicken for Windows.
- Mutual Fund accounts will become Investment accounts containing a single mutual fund.
The following components of your Quicken for Mac data file will not convert to Quicken for Windows:
Accounts: Online account information.
Securities: Unused securities and all price histories.
- The liability register will be included but the associated amortization schedule will not.
Reminders, scheduled transactions, memorized (QuickFill) transactions or the Calendar:
- Memorized transactions do not convert but can be rebuilt, based on your imported transactions.
- Most information entered into add-on programs such, as Emergency Records Organizer and Debt Reduction Planner will be included.
Memorized reports or graphs, or any change to the default settings of the program, will be included.
Your Macintosh computer must be able to recognize PC-formatted disks. Some programs from Apple® that allow this are PC Exchange®, File Exchange®, and the Apple® File Exchange® Control Panel. For further assistance with this, refer to the documentation for your computer, the documentation for these software products, or visit Apple's Web site.
Before beginning the conversion process, you must verify your date and time settings, and then restart your Macintosh computer if you make any changes.
For Mac® OS 9:
- From the Apple menu, choose Control Panels.
- Open the Date & Time Control Panel.
- Click the Date Format button.
- Verify that the Region option is set to U.S.
- Under the Short Date section, select the Show Century option unless you are converting to Quicken 98 for Windows. When you choose Show Century, the Region will change from US to Custom.
- Click OK in the Date Format window, and then close the Date & Time Control Panel.
- Restart your Macintosh.
For Mac® OS X or higher:
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
- Double-click the International icon.
- Click the Date tab, and then select the Show century checkbox. When you select Show Century, the Region will change from US to Custom.
- Close the International window, and then restart your Macintosh.
Prepare your Quicken for Mac data for conversion:
- From the Quicken for Mac Lists menu, select Accounts. Verify that the Show Hidden Accounts box is selected.
- Rename any account names, security names, categories, classes, and account description fields to comply with these guidelines:
- Names cannot contain special characters such as *, &, <, />, %, #, @, :, $, ~, ^, or }.
- Categories and Accounts cannot have the same name. For example, if you have a category and an account both named Petty Cash, you must rename one of them.
- An account cannot be named Cash. If an account is named Cash, rename it to Cash Account or something else.
- Edit any transactions in your register affected by the following:
- Category and Class fields cannot contain more than 29 characters.
- Transactions cannot contain more than 30 split lines. If your transactions have more than 30 split lines, create new transactions to accommodate the excess split lines.
- Make sure that all online transactions have been accepted into the register, and that the Download Transactions window contains no outstanding transactions.
- Delete all pending online payments.
- From the List menu, select Securities. All securities should have an uppercase ticker symbol associated with them. If a security does not have a symbol associated with it, its price history will not be exported.
- Reindex the data file by pressing Command + Option + B on the keyboard at the same time.
- Save a copy of your file, and then open the copy:
- From the File menu, choose Save a Copy.
- In the Save a Copy window, you can specify a specific date range to be included in the file. To include uncleared transactions dated prior to the specified date range, select Include prior uncleared transactions.
- Click OK.
- In the Save window, specify Desktop as the location, enter a unique name for this file (such as Conversion Copy), and then click Save.
- From the File menu, choose Open, and then open the new copy (Conversion Copy) from the Desktop.
- Print your account list for use in comparing balances after the data is imported into Quicken for Windows:
- From the Lists menu, select Accounts to open the Account list.
- Select Print Accounts from the File menu, and then click the Print button.
Create a QIF (Quicken Interchange Format) file for import into Quicken for Windows:
- In the copy that was created of your file (Conversion Copy), choose Export from the File menu.
- Full Export will be selected in the Export Window. This option will convert all accounts, categories, and transactions to Quicken for Windows. If you want to export only part of your file, select the Custom Export option, and then specify what to include in the export.
- Note: In some versions of Quicken for Mac, the option to export online payees is available, but should not be selected because they cannot be imported into Quicken for Windows.
- Click the Export button.
- In the Save window, name the file Export.qif and save it. For the file to be properly recognized when importing it into Quicken for Windows, it must contain the extension .qif after the filename.
- Insert a PC-formatted floppy disk in the Macintosh's disk drive and copy the Export.qif file to it.
On your computer running Microsoft® Windows®, before opening Quicken for Windows, check your date and time settings:
- Click the Microsoft® Windows® Start menu, choose Settings, and then choose Control Panel.
- Double-click the Date/Time control panel.
- Verify that the correct Time Zone is selected, and then click OK.
- Double-click the Regional Settings control panel.
- On the Date tab, verify that the Short date style and Long date style are set to four digit years (yyyy), and then click OK.
Create a Quicken for Windows file (if you have not already):
- In Quicken for Windows, choose New from the File menu.
- Click OK to create a new file instead of a new account.
- Name the file using eight characters or less, and containing no blank spaces, and then click OK. This will be your new Quicken data file, so name it accordingly.
- Complete the Create New Account Wizard, using all the default settings. In Quicken 2003, click Exit Setup in the Guided Setup window.
Note: If you are prompted to choose a financial institution, type None in the Financial Institution field, and then click Next.
Import the Macintosh QIF file:
- Click the File menu, point to Import, and then select QIF file. (In Quicken 98 for Windows, click File, point to File Operations, and then select Import.)
- Click Browse and locate the Export.qif file on your floppy disk. (In Quicken 98 for Windows, click Find File to locate the file on your floppy disk.)
- In the QIF Import window, select Transactions, Account List, Security list, Category list, and Special Handling for Transfers.
After your file imports:
- For each banking account in Quicken for Windows 2001 and later, it will be necessary to Accept All transactions in the Compare to Register screen. The Compare to Register screen will be in each banking account register. After accepting the transactions, click Done.
- Compare the account balances in your Quicken for Windows file to the balances on the list you printed from Quicken for Mac. If the account balances in your Quicken for Windows differ from those in your Quicken for Mac file, you must find the discrepancy and manually enter or edit the transactions.
- The most common causes of a discrepancy between account balances are transfers to other accounts within split transactions that have become duplicated. The original split transaction appears with the correct amount, but the transfer component of the transaction is reflected in a completely separate, new transaction.
- This new transaction generates a duplicate of the transfer amount contained in the original transaction, thus causing your account balance to be incorrect. To correct this, isolate and delete the duplicate transfer transactions and reenter the transfer category into the original split transaction.
- If your file seems as though it is missing data that should have been included, create a new Quicken file and import items individually.
- Rebuild the Memorized Transaction list by holding down the Shift key on your keyboard and selecting Memorized Transactions from the Cash Flow menu. (In Quicken for Windows 2002, 2001, or 2000, hold down Shift and select Memorized Transactions from the Banking menu. In Quicken for Windows 98 or 99, hold down Shift and select Memorized Transactions from the Lists menu.)
- Re-enable your accounts for online services, if applicable:
- Open the account register, select Enable your Quicken account from the top, and then follow the onscreen instructions.
- After your accounts are enabled, complete an online session. Because of the change of platform (Macintosh to Windows), every transaction available online from your financial institution will be downloaded in your first online session.
- The number of transactions downloaded varies. Some financial institutions have 60 to 90 days of transaction history available, while others may have up to one year of transaction history. The downloaded transactions should match those already in your register, and in Quicken for Windows 2001 and later, will need to be processed in the Compare to Register screen.
- Your Online Payee list may be populated by the downloaded transactions. Any missing payees will need to be manually entered.
- Recreate any loans and budgets.
Q049-04 (Reference: Computer System Requirements)
Question: Ive decided to install Virtual PC on my Mac (Im running a Mac G-4 machine) so that I can work the TEN WEEKS Program using Quicken Deluxe 2004 or 2005 for Windows. Now that I have the program how do I go about installing it and making everything work?
First of all, set aside about 3 hours its a bit more complicated than if you had just purchased a brand new computer and its sitting in a box in your office. The reason for this is that this "new computer" needs to communicate with your MAC and gain access to the internet, print documents, etc. If you follow these instructions, however, you will succeed and benefit from others learning curve!
- First I recommend you "clean up" your Macs operating system to avoid glitches in the installation of Virtual PC.
Follow these steps;
- Choose Applications
- Disk Utility (not idisk utility)
- Select drive Macintosh hard drive
- First Aid
- Repair Disk Permissions
- This will make sure your Mac settings are all clean before you start.
- If this First Aid process hasnt been done before, it will take some time.
- You will see a message that indicates the process is complete.
- Please verify that your Mac hardware requirements are compatible with Virtual PC by reading page 16 of the "Getting Started Guide" for Virtual PC for Mac vs. 6.1
- Begin installing Virtual PC
- Insert the 1st Virtual PC disk in you Mac.
- Drag the Virtual PC 6 icon into the Applications menu.
- Open the file from the Applications menu.
- Name- should be entered already
- Administrator Password Please enter your password that you used when you setup the machine initially. If you didnt enter one initially, just hit return twice.
- Continue through the on-screen installation instructions.
- "Install from the Virtual PC CD" select this installation option.
- The serial number is the first number on the sleeve not the product key.
- Select a Memory Setting; Leave at least 20% of your available memory for "headroom" but increase the memory to 80% of your available memory.
- Undo drives: This relates to the new emulated hard drive you are creating leave the default NO.
- Select a PC Name leave the name the default - Windows XP Home or whatever your Windows operating system is.
- Select Install
- Windows XP Home not running
- Enter Start Up
- Eventually youll arrive at your Windows Operating System setup
- Enter your Product Key from your Virtual PC CD Sleeve.
- Computer Name: Name your Windows "computer" a name that identifies it as your PC.
- Be patient this will take several minutes.
- Checking internet connectivity:
- Skip this internet setup right now. Well come back to this later.
- Thank You!
- Windows will take several minutes to finish its setup process.
- Once you see the Start icon at the lower left of your screen, you know that your Windows Computer is operational!
- "The Virtual PC Start Menu has been added to your dock" click OK.
- Next: Lets enable Windows to "see" your Macs internet connection;
- Shut down windows.
- Click on Virtual PC Menu
- Select Preferences
- Click on Scripting
- Select "Show Scripts Menu"
- Click OK
- Click on Scripts Menu and Select
- Networking Type
- Click OK when it says " This script is a troubleshooting tool, and should generally only re run when instructed to do so by Microsoft."
- Click Change on the screen where it says "The PC (pc name) is currently configured to use Shared Packet Networking. Would you like to change the networking setting?"
- Select Shared Sockets Networking
- Click OK
- Then Done
- Start up Windows and check of Internet connectivity by clicking on the Internet Explorer Icon.
Now you should have Virtual PC up and running complete with access to your MACs internet connection.
- Follow the instructions on page 21 of the Virtual PC installation booklet to configure your printer for Windows. If possible, reinstall the drivers for your printer by inserting your printers installation disk - just like you were installing the printer for the first time but do so from within Windows.
- Now insert your Quicken Deluxe for Windows disk into your Mac while you are inside Windows and once the installation is complete, insert your Ten Weeks CD # 1. To move between Quicken and the TEN WEEKS CD, simply pause the TEN WEEKS CD and click on the Quicken icon at the bottom of the Windows screen.
- When you exit Windows, select the option to keep the settings current rather than shutting down the software completely this will save you a lot of time the next time youre ready to use a Windows based program.
You have definitely made huge progress in grounding if youve succeeded with converting your MAC into a 2 operating system machine and are now running Quicken for Windows!!
Now, write Inuit (www.intuit.com) and tell them how disappointed you are that they wont upgrade Quicken for Mac so its comparable to their Windows version!
If you run into problems contact Microsofts technical support line at 1-800-936-5700. You shouldnt be charged anything for their help since this is an installation question related to Virtual PC but even if you are, its $35 well-spent.
Q050-04 (Reference: CD# 1 Bank Reconciliation Steps)
Question: Im having trouble reconciling my checking account between Quicken and my bank statement. I am using the manual reconciliation process since Im not downloading my bank information into Quicken. What can I do?
It is likely that when you set up your Checking account in Quicken you entered the statement balance from your latest bank statement. There are several ways your Quicken accounts could disagree with your bank statement because of transactions youve entered since that time. Ill review those potential variances, with a recommendation of what to do to correct the problem, below;
- Your bank balance had accounted for certain checks that you manually entered into your Quicken checking account register. To fix this problem I recommend that you;
- Add up the total of all the checks that youve entered which had already been deducted from your prior ending bank statement balance. Add that number to the "Opening Balance" field in step 1 of the reconciliation process.
- Place a check mark by those items as being cleared in the second reconciliation screen.
- Your bank balance had accounted for certain deposits that you manually entered into your Quicken checking account register. To fix this problem I recommend that you;
- Add up the total of all the deposits that youve entered which had already been added to your prior ending bank statement balance. Subtract that number from the "Opening Balance" field in Step 1 of the reconciliation process.
- Place a check mark by these deposits as being cleared in the second reconciliation screen.
- Electronic services such as Quicken Bill Pay have been linked to a different checking account in Quicken, and arent properly reflected in the register of the account you are trying to reconcile. To fix this problem I recommend that you;
- From within the register for the checking account you are attempting to reconcile, select "Overview".
- Select "Change Online Services"
- Select "Online Payment"
- Once you have activated this account, go to your bill pay service and test to see that the payments are being posted to the correct checking account.
- Open the checking account where the electronic payments had been erroneously posted.
- Under "Report" Select "Register Report" Print
- Open the checking account register for the account your are trying to reconcile. Make sure that all of the items listed on the "Register Report" you just printed are entered into the proper checking account. Place a check mark by each item as you enter it into the proper account.
- Return to the reconciliation screens and place a check mark by each of these items youve just entered that have cleared the bank.
- Now your account should reconcile print up the reconciliation reports.
- Now go back and delete the duplicated checking account by selecting "Overview" in that accounts register, and then "Delete Account" - Yes.
Now your checking account should reconcile.
If it still doesnt;
- Compare your bank statements to your Quicken register entries. Place a checkmark by each item on your bank statement that you see in your Quicken register. Correct any items that dont match. This process will ensure your Quicken register reconciles to your bank statement.
End FAQ Q050-04
Specific questions that pertain to your particular financial situation can not be answered in this venue. I recommend you make a list of those questions and continue on through the completion of TEN WEEKS. Questions not crossed off your list by then can be addressed by a TEN WEEKS ADVISOR or another CFP® professional.