QWin 2017: In/Out/What's Left - It is worthless to use....

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I just tried the In/Out/What's Left on the home page.  It is a worthless planning tool.  It should work in the following manner.  You should be able to select the accounts that it will use to track the "cash" that you want to be considered.  Second it should start with the amounts that you put in the annual view of the planning tool for projected income AND expenses.  As the month progresses it should track the income and expenses as they are recorded and track them against the amounts in the annual view of the budget for the month.  It could tell you if your are over or under your budget. 

Right now it is telling me I am going to have all of this "extra money" at the end of the month BUT in reality I will not.  It is only considering income and expenses that have actually occurred and is not taking in the fact that maybe the budget is showing more income and expenses for the rest of the month.

If it did this it would be a GREAT tool.  Adding a summary section that gives the YTD income and expenses VS what you have budgeted for the rest of the year, what is left for the year, how much you are over or under the budget as far as income and expenses, and what you cash balance would be at that time would be a great addition.

As it is now the tool is worthless unless you set up a Billing for EACH AND EVERY expenditure you want to plan for ahead of time which is pointless because if your budget is properly conceived and planned out all the needed information for this is right there!  Why set up a Billing for a planned ONE TIME expenditures or incomes when it is already in the budget?

I am using Quicken 2017 R4, on Windows 10 Pro desktop and an Alienware 17 R2 Laptop running Windows 10 Pro.
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Snowman

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Posted 1 month ago

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NotACPA, SuperUser

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If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself.
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Snowman

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Excuuuuuse me!  I find your comment in poor taste and just about as worthless as this In/Out/What's left tool.   There is no way for me to get this "tool" to give me any worthwhile information.  You pointed out that I could remove this tool and I already have BUT I thought that maybe I might be missing something or I could give some suggestions as to how to improve Quicken.  BTW I have been using Quicken since 2001 and it has had budgeting and cash flow reporting issues  since then.

I take it from your handle that you are not a CPA.  I have a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting with close to 40 years of experience.  For several of the non-profits that I have worked for we had to undergo yearly audits (to keep accredited) and we always past with flying colors.  I have operated my own businesses for the past 30 years and I have been responsible for more money in any single year that many see in a lifetime.

I know budgeting and cash flow inside and out and I can tell you that from a practical perspective this tool does neither very well. 
(Edited)
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AJ

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"Past" versus "Passed"
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JM, SuperUser

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I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?
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Snowman

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No it is not a real Cash Flow Tool and what I am talking about it not a budgeting tool.  I am talking about how to make it a real CASH FLOW TOOL.  No this In/Out tool does not give me a heads up on near term cash flow because it DOES NOT take into account income and expenses for lets say the rest of the month BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T happened yet. 

The use I describe IS NOT to monitor budget performance but to SHOW CASH FLOW and the moment the tool is looked at taking into account amounts already entered into the budget.  For example when set for spending the figure given for the end of March cash will be way too high because it does not take into account a large one time expenditure that will take place on the 23rd and IT IS IN THE BUDGET.  Why not make it optional to be able to use it in this way.  

For one checking account maybe it works better but when you have multiple accounts and a more complex setup it does not work at all.  FYI  you had better beware about the 30 day chart, I use it as well and it can and will give FALSE information because it will glitch and give bad data.  Removing it from the Home page and then putting it back fixes it BUT for the average user that could get them into trouble REAL FAST.
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QPW

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The one thing I don't like about it is how it selects the accounts.
I'm sure someone thought it was nice to make it "simple" by tying it to the accounts that you flagged as "Spending" and "Savings" (the account "Intent"), but that makes it too restrictive.

For instance people have mentioned that if they are using an investment account as their "income", it won't work for them.  And then when you look at the account bar it affect where it is there, which might be different than what you want in the "widget" on the Home tab.  Not to mention there isn't a "don't include this account".

There should be a way to just select the accounts you want.
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Snowman

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QPW,  you hit the nail on the head. 
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Snowman, you should take a breath and read JM's answer again. If you schedule transactions, the In/Out will show cash flow. You keep referencing budget items but In/Out does not look at the budget at all. In/Out takes transactions from the spending registers and transactions scheduled using spending accounts; that's cash flow by most definitions. QPW mentions the instance where investment accounts are used to pay bills; in those cases you should use the linked checking account feature to bring investment account cash transactions into In/Out.
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Snowman

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And THAT IS MY POINT, it should take into account what is in the budget BECAUSE THAT WILL EFFECT CASH FLOW!  I have tried everything JM suggested and this tool does not work because the data is WRONG.  It does give an erroneous figure for what my "cash" will be at the end of March because I have a ONE TIME LARGE expenditure near the end of March THAT THIS TOOL DOES NOT take into account but I DID when I took the time and effort to put that transaction in my budget.  I have many (100 or more) of these ONE TIME transactions scattered throughout the year with both income and expenses.  The number of these transactions varies from year to year but 100 would be a pretty good average for me.

Why should I have the schedule EACH AND EVERY transaction AGAIN when I have already accounted for these transactions IN MY BUDGET.  You create a BUDGET to predict you CASH FLOW for a period of time into the future.  The further out you go the less accurate they will become.  That is a given.  You do not SCHEDULE TRANSACTIONS to predict cash flow.  You schedule transactions to pick a point at which the transaction will take place and what account(s) will be involved, nothing more than that.

Businesses do not base their Cash Flow on "Scheduled Transactions" they base their cash flow on budgets.  They take their current cash balance and then plug the budget in to see where they will be at any given point in the future.  They then update the budgets as needed to reflect real world events.  How this insane idea that cash flow should be based solely on Scheduled Transactions is new age nonsense and wrong. 

I have worked in many businesses and have run my own business for 30+ years and we NEVER figure where we will be cash flow wise by what SCHEDULED TRANSACTIONS we have.  We have BUDGET BASED tools that give us this information as to what our CASH FLOW will be.
(Edited)
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mistertheplague

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@Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 
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Moneyman

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Microsoft Money was a far superior program.  I'd like to see Quicken have a usable cash flow tool.
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Snowman

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Yes I ignore them for the most part as well.  I use an Excel spreadsheet to get what I want.  I am just trying to get Quicken to make the software better.  Back in 1984 there was a program called Managing Your Money by Andrew Tobias.  It could do what I have suggested and more.   Mr. Tobias helped a company called MECA put together a very good financial tool.  Sadly MYM did not survive the coming of Windows.  I used Money concurrently with Quicken for a year and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better I had a feeling that MS would bail on the program, which they did a couple of years later.  You updated MYM every year and that update included updates to the current changes in the  tax laws etc. and gave the important dates for the coming tax year, something that Quicken was woefully lacking . 

One question, is the new Quicken (the company not the program) based in the US or India?
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mistertheplague

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and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better 
Due in large part to its configurability, MS Money's cash flow forecasting is in a league of its own. It's one of the reasons I use Money in addition to Quicken and keep my Money file current. Due to its lack of configurability, Quicken can't really be said to forecast cash flow in my opinion. Quicken's cash flow reporting is second to none, but that's not really what you're looking for. 
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And Quicken Inc. is headquartered in California, with satellite offices in Tucson and Bangalore, India.
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So I deposit my paycheck into three different accounts.  Main / Savings / Second Checking.  The In/Out/What's left tool uses the GROSS PAY amount for EXPECTED INCOME before taxes when I attempt to use all three deposit accounts in the PAYCHECK setup.  If I use just MAIN checking and SAVINGS it will use the NET amount from the paycheck setup.  

It would be nice to have an accurate CASH FLOW tool.

I have a page that I set up in my Quicken that has the In/Out/What's left  and the Projected Balances graph and the Bill and Income reminders.  I can't get all three to match each other. 

I had to enter a BILL REMINDER for CASH to try and more accurately forecast my CASH FLOW.

Why does the program use the GROSS PAY and not the NET PAY when I use two checking accounts.

If it put the TAXES in the OUT column that would be ok but it doesn't. 

Is this a BUG in the program or am I doing something wrong?

                                                                  
(Edited)
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mistertheplague

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I suggest you post your question as a separate thread in the main forum where all SUs are likely to see it.
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?
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QPW

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@Snowman, I guess then you are now even in minority.

I asked how Quicken would get your numbers for the "one offs" and mistertheplague gave examples of how MS Money did it in the forecaster.  Now that I see your posted report I see that it is completely different that what mistertheplague said.

Granted looking at the report you posted it seems like a lot easier to do that then the MS Forecaster.

The key thing to understand here is if knowing which accounts the money is coming from is important or not.

Quicken's budget numbers are not connected to accounts for the most part.
As such they can't be used for a question like "Will I have enough money on Dec 11, 2017 in my checking account to pay the bills?".  They can be used for a question like "Will I have enough money in the month of Dec 2017 in ANY account to pay my bills?"

My suggestion for using scheduled reminders was based on the requirement to know what account the spending was connected to.  If in fact the idea is to just adjust the budget numbers for "one offs" that is quite different.

In fact most of that already exists in the current budget system.
What I see that is missing has to do with bring the current balances of all the accounts into the picture.   But mind you even in that one would have to be careful that the budgeted categories don't include categories that are used in accounts that aren't included in this report.

I think filtering the budget by account, and being able to select what accounts to use in this report would pretty much be a requirement.  And in fact to make them consistent most likely there probably would have to be some kind of forced requirement that they are the same.
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Snowman

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"@Snowman, I guess then you are now even in minority" ?!???
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QPW

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As in there seems to be a group on here that are "leave it alone".
And other "make it like MS Money".
And yours "change it how I have said, not like either of the above".
And my group "I'm just trying to understand what people are actually asking for".  :-)
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Snowman

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Got it.   I am working on something that I hope will make it clearer.  Many of the "parts" are already in Quicken.  I think it is just a matter of putting them all together.  FTR I am not saying to change it per say but that it could be made to be better.  It is hard when you have some many people with so many experiences with so many different backgrounds that something that what may seem crystal clear to me may be as clear as mud to others.  It doesn't make it bad it just needs a better explanation or two or three to get there. 

When I get "If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself", I tend to take it the wrong way, as I think most people would.  Just as the author of that comment would have if I posted the very same comment on one of his ideas.

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@QPW:
I asked how Quicken would get your numbers for the "one offs" and mistertheplague gave examples of how MS Money did it in the forecaster.  Now that I see your posted report I see that it is completely different that what mistertheplague said.
That's my fault. What I reported was based on how I (and I suspect many/most users) would forecast one-offs using Money's cash flow tools. Like those many/most users I'm inventing, I often want to model the effects of significant variations on an otherwise relatively stable trend. In Snowman's case, at least as reflected in his DOS report, significant variations are the trend, and he's accounting for those variations by budgeting them.

Fine. No problem. In Money, he could enter them as One-Time Item transactions in his Budget Summary window. They'd be added to his advanced budget in the month/year he selected and reflected in his cash flow forecaster accordingly. He could also hide the transactions in his forecaster to see what the effect would be with no effect on his budget.

@Snowman, given how many times you've stated in underlined, bolded, and italicized all caps font that you don't like MS Money, don't use MS Money, etc. you have my condolences as the only actual Money user in this thread. :-)
(Edited)
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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Snowman...

Maybe I'm missing something...but I find the In/Out/What's Left to be extremely useful.  I have it set to MONTHLY (NOT the past 30 days) and it gives me a nice overview of what's been paid and what's been scheduled.  And as I'm retired, I know exactly if I am within my monthly retirement withdrawal.

Now, if you're talking Cash Flow, I added that view as well to my Home Page of In/Out/What's Left.  That gives me the actual cash flow of my money...so basically it does NOT take into consideration any charges to my credit card account I've made up to the closing date.  It just takes into consideration the actual credit card payment for the current month...just the way it's supposed to.

But what I don't understand is why you are trying to manipulate the In/Out/What's Left chart and make it a Budget chart.  That's what the Budget tool is for.  I'm pretty sure those two charts are different for a reason.

In/Out/What's Left ISN'T a budgeting tool.  It is an informational tool on what you've spent using your bank and credit card accounts.  It isn't used to determine whether you are over or under you budget for a particular category.  Once again, that's what the budget tool is for and budget reports.  

And to say YOU don't like In/Out/What's Left and  it's useless and how YOU want it to be doesn't work for me at all.  Therefore, you can't speak for every Quicken user...and I like it EXACTLY the way it is.

And I also think your disparaging attitude to the other superusers who were just trying to help you is absolutely reprehensible.  
(Edited)
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QPW

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This discussion isn't new.  And it is not surprising that it was brought by a former MS Money users, and basically the people for it are also MS Money users.

There have been certain key things that Quicken and MS Money have always done differently, and this is one of them.  (How the running balance should work was another).

Pretty much everything you have asked for is already in the budget system.  The main difference being that in Quicken predictions are made with reminders, and the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses.  Also the budget system is category based, not account based, which is the more likely case for a cash flow system.

In fact a lot of that went into the rewrite of the budget had to do with trying to please these different groups.  The result is a complicated budget system (one with more than its share of bugs).
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Snowman

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Don't count me as one of the MS Money users.  I tried it concurrently with Quicken for 1 year and found many of the same faults in it that Quicken had.

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mistertheplague

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the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses. 
Well, budget numbers and scheduled transactions. Either/or isn't as useful for cash flow forecasting, in my opinion.

I've hesitated to post the following in part because this is a Quicken forum, not a Money forum. However, it seems as though folks are talking past one another on this issue, so at the risk of being lumped in with the MS crowd, here's a representative use case in which Money's approach to cash flow forecasting is invaluable, at least to me.

The use case also illustrates, I think, the differences between how Money and Quicken handle near to long-term cash flow forecasting. (And yes, for the record, I'd love it if Quicken would allow Projected Balances to be Money-like).

Anyway, here's the real-life scenario:

We're currently house-hunting. My wife has champagne taste (except in husbands), so I want to know what effect a one-time cash-to-close expenditure and a certain monthly PITI payment will have on our cash flow by the end of 2022.

The date range is significant because I've also implemented an aggressive debt reduction plan (which I formulated in Quicken, by the way, in case Management is lurking), which pays off the loan in question by 3/2022. The question I want need an answer to is: by close of 2022, will our cash flow bend but not break? 

Using identical numbers and dates and including the two relevant accounts, checking and savings, I modeled the same scenario in Money's cash flow forecaster and Quicken's Projected Balances. The payee for the proposed one-time CTC expenditure is Title Company; the payee for the proposed mortgage payment is HomeBridge.

Here's what it looks like in Money's cash flow forecaster (the orange graph represents the combined balances): 



Here's what it looks like in Quicken's Projected Balances:



You could just look at the respective graphs and see the difference: because it incorporates our budget numbers as well as our scheduled transactions, Money projects our cash flow dipping steadily and then slowly climbing again after the debt reduction plan ends (I've actually modeled this out a lot farther, but clipped it here for simplicity). 

Quicken, on the other hand, which only incorporates scheduled transactions in its projections, correctly models the dip in savings after the CTC payment but has our checking account balance going to Pluto.

Projected ending balances on 12/31/2022: Money, $123,718.66; Quicken: $246,180.02. Although I much prefer Quicken's number, I'm obviously not going to pay it much heed. 

Finally, I should note that being able to incorporate budget items as well as scheduled transactions isn't only useful when modeling a large expense or an aggressive debt reduction plan. The above is a fairly untypical example of how I use Money's cash flow forecasting tool; more commonly, I use it for ho-hum monthly review.

It's flexibility and power come from allowing you to create a model based on your intended spending and income combined with your actual spending and income. I think this capability would be an invaluable addition to Quicken's already unparalleled cash flow reporting capabilities. 

Anyway, that's my opinion. Worth the price paid for it, as they say ... Thanks for listening. 
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QPW

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Personally I have no "direct" stake in this question.  I do use the projected balances, but I never look out at more than 30 days, and I'm only really interested in making sure I have enough money in my checking account at any given time, which it is "nice" for, but far from "necessary".  As for long term predictions I sort of look at the life time planner.  I have never used In/Out/What's left.

When I look at your projected balances plot from Quicken and see the checking account balance increase straight up it is clear to me what a long time Quicken user would tell you about that, if you want to make that kind of prediction you should have put in a scheduled reminder(s).

And on that score I think that a lot of the differences between the two could be "corrected" by just a few more options in the scheduled reminders.  Like for instance an automatic skip.  So that if a person is putting in a scheduled reminder for no other reason than to predict this kind of flow it will just skip when it gets hit.  Or maybe even better, just create a new class of reminders that are "predictions".  And allowing paycheck reminders to stop after a certain period of time like bill reminders will do.  And a more flexible setting of future reminder "overrides".  As in be able to not just change the next reminder value, but basically anyone of them in the future.

In fact looking at your MS Money "budget" numbers, they have basically nothing to do with Quicken's budget numbers.  No where in Quicken's budget do you specify an account for a "transaction".  Even in the budget reports, the accounts are only used as a filter.

The MS Money "budget" numbers much more resemble scheduled reminders.
Quicken's budget numbers are all based on categories, not accounts, and they are all for a month. Basically useless in this discussion.

It would be a big mistake to try to incorporate any of this with the Quicken budget.

Drop the term "budget" and change it to "XXXX type of reminder", and make them more flexible, and the graph a bit nicer, like including a "net calculation" plot, and then I think you would find a lot more "common ground".

BTW, I do wonder if people have thought about the Quicken developers track record for such requests?
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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I think about that track record a lot and it scares the hell out of me.
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Snowman

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;-)
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QPW

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And for the record I don't believe that a budget should be used as a cash flow system. They are different purposes, and it is the act of trying to merge the two that leads to all the complexity, for just a bit of "possible" information being entered more than once. 

In a budget I don't want to pin my spending on clothing to a given account.
I could careless which account pays for it.

In a cash flow system, I could careless about what categories it paid for, I want to know if if I have the right amount of money in each account at a given time.
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Snowman

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QPW, I think you may have misunderstood or I misstated something.  First I only used Money for a year concurrently with Quicken.  Never tried reminders in Money.  I don't use them in Quicken either because I use PayTrust to do this.

The only reason to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on timePERIOD.  The problem is that Intuit/Quicken saw that feature as a quick and dirty way to do other things and we are now stuck with that mess.

Your goal is to have enough money to pay all of your bills each month.  That is precisely what many others want as well even though their financial situations are more complex in nature as mine is.  I am only trying to get everyone to see what they think Quicken is telling them may not be the reality they think it is.  Many items in Quicken are given misleading labels.  One such example of this is on the budget widget on the home screen.  At the end of the current month is says that I will have "Savings" of $x at the end of the month.  That should be changed to "Ending Cash on Hand" not savings.  Savings implies that is money that is not needed when in fact it is needed in the future to pay other expenses which is why the budget needs to be involved. 

My income has never been a singular amount nor every two weeks or a month BUT I have endeavored to make sure that I have more money than expenditures.  You situation is much simpler and that is great and no I did not mean to imply that you where trying to say that is how everyone else should do it.  It is so simple that you can keep it in your head that is great too.

However I currently have 12 cash accounts, 10 credit card accounts, inflows and outflows to businesses, 4 investment accounts and 6 Property and Debt accounts.  One thing I do not have are any mortgages.  As you can see it would be insanity to try and keep all of THIS in my head, that is why I need a good financial program with the tools to do what you do, have more cash/savings than expenditures.  I really only want to make the program better, with 40 years of financial experience I think I know what I am talking about.

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Snowman

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QPW, I think you may have misunderstood or I misstated something.  First I only used Money for a year concurrently with Quicken.  Never tried reminders in Money.  I don't use them in Quicken either because I use PayTrust to do this.

The only reason to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on timePERIOD.  The problem is that Intuit/Quicken saw that feature as a quick and dirty way to do other things and we are now stuck with that mess.

Your goal is to have enough money to pay all of your bills each month.  That is precisely what many others want as well even though their financial situations are more complex in nature as mine is.  I am only trying to get everyone to see what they think Quicken is telling them may not be the reality they think it is.  Many items in Quicken are given misleading labels.  One such example of this is on the budget widget on the home screen.  At the end of the current month is says that I will have "Savings" of $x at the end of the month.  That should be changed to "Ending Cash on Hand" not savings.  Savings implies that is money that is not needed when in fact it is needed in the future to pay other expenses which is why the budget needs to be involved. 

My income has never been a singular amount nor every two weeks or a month BUT I have endeavored to make sure that I have more money than expenditures.  You situation is much simpler and that is great and no I did not mean to imply that you where trying to say that is how everyone else should do it.  It is so simple that you can keep it in your head that is great too.

However I currently have 12 cash accounts, 10 credit card accounts, inflows and outflows to businesses, 4 investment accounts and 6 Property and Debt accounts.  One thing I do not have are any mortgages.  As you can see it would be insanity to try and keep all of THIS in my head, that is why I need a good financial program with the tools to do what you do, have more cash/savings than expenditures.  I really only want to make the program better, with 40 years of financial experience I think I know what I am talking about.

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Snowman

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It did it again.  Anyone know why my comments are getting entered twice??
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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I get double posts twice when the page is slow and I click submit more than once or if I use the Back button to go back.
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Snowman

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Hmmm, maybe the mouse click setting?  I did not use the Back button and I have not changed the mouse setting, maybe slow page??  How do I go back to delete the duplicate as it will not let me do anything with it, not even edit.

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mistertheplague

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@QPW: Just a couple of technical clarifications, in case it changes your opinion of how difficult it might be for Quicken to include the functions I mentioned.

First thing is that the Money cash flow forecaster can draw its numbers from your advanced budget, but it doesn't have to. You can also set it to draw a categorical average from your historical income and expenses -- pretty much like the auto budgeting functions in both Quicken and Money can do. In the Money cash flow forecaster, you can change those numbers if you want.

Second thing is that within Money the assigning of accounts to categories is strictly a cash flow forecasting function, not a budgeting function. In fact, if you never used the cash flow tools you'd likely have little idea this account association was even happening.

In the Categories window, you can change the account associated with a certain category from the default (which is "last used" or "most used", I forget) to a specific account. But the tooltip makes it clear that the purpose of account association is for cash flow forecasting. 
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QPW

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"auto budgeting functions"

Are you referring to the fact that a reminder can be set to an estimate?  (If not what exact in Quicken are your referring to?)

Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?

On the categories and connecting them to accounts.
@Snowman is this how you are doing the "one offs"?
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mistertheplague

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Sorry, I may not be using the correct terminology. In Quicken, when you set up a new budget it will auto-populate each category with a number based on a historical average in that category. In Money, this is called the auto-budgeting function (I thought it was called the same in Q).
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mistertheplague

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Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?
Again, account-category association in Money is done in the Category List, independent of your budget.

This is the subcategory settings window for the budget item Entertainment : TV shown in my example upthread. The account association happens to be set to the default, Last Account Used, which is my checking account since that's where the bills get paid out of:



Other budget items -- Groceries for example -- will never have my checking account as Last Used because I always pay for groceries with a credit card. Since I only want to track two accounts in my Cash Flow Forecaster -- checking and savings -- I would change the account associated with Groceries to checking in that category's settings window. 

In the Cash Flow Forecaster settings window you choose how you want the forecaster to select an account for your budget item -- Last Used, Most Used, or User Selected:



"One-offs" -- income or expense -- can be displayed in the forecaster either by making them a scheduled transaction or by entering them directly in the forecaster itself.

The latter method has the disadvantage of immediately skewing your account register balance, since Money doesn't wait for the transaction date to affect a change in balance. 
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QPW

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"Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?

Again, account-category association in Money is done in the Category List, independent of your budget. "

I got that before, what I was confirming is when you select "Amounts from my current Advanced Budget", the way it knew what accounts were involved is be cause it gets a category/budget number from budget, and from that category it gets the account.

So the answer to my question seems to be yes.

Well here is what I think now.

Putting in the association with the category would be one or maybe just a few extra fields per category in the database.  That shouldn't affect anything.

The actual budget system isn't affected at all, assuming they currently have a way to pull categories/numbers out of it.  And if they don't (they should) and it would affect much.

So yes this could be implemented without mucking up anything currently in Quicken.

But I would also say this is a feature with a lot of moving parts.

It probably isn't quite as big of a project as says the whole budget system, but is clearly a much larger project than the Online Bill presentment system (I'm talking about Quicken the program part of that system).

So it is certainly not a project I would take lightly if I was Quicken Inc.
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mistertheplague

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what I was confirming is when you select "Amounts from my current Advanced Budget", the way it knew what accounts were involved is be cause it gets a category/budget number from budget, and from that category it gets the account.
Yes, that's correct. Thanks for your perspective ...
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Snowman

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@QPW,

No all of my transactions including the "one off" transactions are in my budget.  In November of each year I sit down go through my current budget and work on the next years budget.  I might note that the house may need painting, or one of cars will need a major service and so on.  Someone may have bought the rights to one of my images (I am a photographer) and that would be a large one time income item which is rare and would not be in my budget but would be a welcome surprise :-). 

Of course there are items that happen unexpectedly or I missed.  Over the 40 years that I have been doing this I have a cash figure that is a minimum that I try to always have available.  When I have to dip into that figure, my first goal after that is done is to build the "reserve" back up.

(Edited)
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Snowman

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Ok, I just noticed that parts of my discussion on this thread have been removed.  I would like to know who removed them and why.  QPW, gmalis1 and I were having a thoughtful, reasoned discussion on some items and I thought that it would benefit everyone to hear them.  There was nothing offensive in the discussion it was a healthy debate on some very important issues about Quicken.  Issues that Quicken should be listening to.

I see this as censorship of the highest order.  There were some good honest questions and answers exchanged but if you delete those opinions you have now made users afraid to speak their minds because there comments many be removed and that stifles the debate.  Now maybe if I had been contacted about this before it was done we could talk about it but I guess not.  I guess Quicken is truly afraid of a good healthy debate on the merit or demerits of Quicken.  I guess we can have any opinion that we want as LONG AS IT IS QUICKEN's.  How sad is that.  :=(
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Snowman

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Edgardo, thanks for the reply.  No it was not a different thread it was this one because I started it.  If the discussion between QPW and gmali1 are missing I suggest you talk to them and they can confirm they are in fact missing.
(Edited)
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Snowman- So for the second time in this thread I will suggest you take a breath. While "censorship of the highest order" has an infinitely small probability of being proved correct in this case, there is a more rational explanation that probably applies here. When a series of Comments under a Reply gets too long, the list is truncated and a "Previous" link is shown under the Reply. I'm pretty sure your "missing" comments can be "found" by clicking the link to expose them.
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Snowman

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I had clicked the "Previous" link before I made my comment and they were not there earlier.  Now when I click the Previous link they are there.  The first time I was using Microsoft Edge and the second time Internet Explorer.

I did not realize that Edge was running and I have removed it from my system.  If I offended anyone about my earlier comments I am truly sorry. 

Breath taken :-)
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thecreator, SuperUser

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Hi @ Snowman ,

I am using Firefox 52.0.1 version right now and nothing has been removed, but maybe hidden from View. You need to click View Previous to see the older parts of the thread.


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Snowman

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Thank, got it sorted.  Microsoft Edge has many strange features and it is very hard to get rid of it because it is such a part of Windows 10.  On the surface it looks like you are stuck with it but there is an easy way to get rid of it.  I went back in again with Edge and tried to click the "View Previous"  and it looked like it  worked but it did not.  I then opened Internet Explorer clicked on "View Previous" and there they were.  So it was another Gotcha in Edge.  I got rid of it by going to Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.  I just renamed Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe to AAAMicrosoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, rebooted and it was history. 

Thanks for the info though.

(Edited)
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Snowman

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Well here is my best stab at getting a decent cash balance report within what Quicken provides.  Let’s assume the date is March 15, 2017.  Current Cash is the cash amount as of the origin of the report in the Banking Accounts that you want to be considered as a part of the Current Cash balance.  Let’s say that figure is $25,000.

Now we subtract the balance due on all credit cards as of March 15, 2017.  The balance due on all credit cards is $5,000.  That gives us a Current Cash Balance figure of $20,000.  This assumes that all credit cards are paid off every month in full.  What about those who do not pay off their cards every month?  They need to then look at those overdue balances as a loan and figure in payments and interest in their budget.  Yes, I know that is a bit of work but to get a true idea of where you really are financially you need to do this.

Now to get a projected Ending Cash Balance you need to consider 4 things for both income and expenses.  First, the current month’s budget.  Second, actual transactions to date.  Third, the amount over or under budget you are.  Finally, amounts in the budget not yet received or spent.

For income items the current budget for March is $40,000.  Actual income transactions to date are $10,000 which leaves you -$30,000 under budget.  You then have $30,000 yet to be received. 

For expense items the current budget is $25,000.  Actual expenses to date are $30,000 putting you $10,000 over budget.  However, you have $10,000 in expenses not yet spent.

For an Ending Cash Balance for March you take $20,000 + $30,000-$10,000=$40,000 as you ending cash balance.  That $40,000 becomes the starting cash balance for April.  Budgeted income for April is $20,000 and budgeted expenses are $35,000 the estimated cash balance at the end of April would be $25,000. ($40,000+20,000-$35,000).  You can repeat this for all months remaining in the year and go forward as many years as you have put into the budget module of Quicken.

This is how you get a true cash balance forecast.  In Reports, you currently can get a report that will give the current balance of all the accounts (that you select to be a part of this) and a total owed on all of your credit cards (again that you select to be included.  Quicken can already provide the answer for what is your current cash balance. 

The budget can be extended years into the future so that is already in Quicken also.  The only part missing is figuring out the current month.  You can already create a report that shows income, expenses and how much over under budget you are and it should not be two hard to put it all together to get the Ending Cash Balance for the month. 

The data for this can be presented numerically in a table and in graph format.  You can add color so that deficit figures are in red and the rest in black. 

None of this requires taking into account "scheduled transactions" or billings or any of that.  Financial considerations for future events should come from the budget, that is what it is there for and nobody really needs to know or understand how all of this works.  They just create a budget and this report can be done for them.  The information will be far better than that from In/Out/What's left or Projected balances because they do not work with all of the information. 

No I know many do not bother with the budget.  Fine for you but there are many of us who take the time to plan out a well thought out budget and if it is not used to its fullest it is really just a waste of space.  What is the first thing any financial planner, or loan officer will ask you when you come to them.  They will ask you "What is your anticipated budget for....", not what are your scheduled transactions or billings.

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Snowman,
the EXPENSE (i.e., the "out")  is when the charge is made on your credit card.  That's simple accounting.  If you have a tax-related charge on 12/31/16, it's included on your 2016 taxes ... NOT your 2017 taxes (when you paid the card bill).

What you're claiming as "out" is actually a Cash Flow item ... NOT an Income/Expense item. 
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Snowman

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QPW,  Agreed about I think it is doable, do we want the present team working to fix it maybe and maybe not.  :-). 

I should have said Quicken should be for all potential personal financial situations and their users. 

NotACPA, I think we are in agreement about the out, it is a cash flow item and as I tried to point out the In/Out/What's left tool pretends to be that when it is not because it does not take into account future income and expense items that are in the budget which is a part of cash flow.    If you look where it is located in the Customize view it is under Planning; Budget, In/Out/What's left and so on.   It is not in the Banking Section.  For what it does it should be under the Banking section.  By being in the Planning section it is pretending to be a cash flow item taking into account future income and expenses from the budget which of course it does not.

gmalis1, no I do not expect Quicken to predict the future for me.  I would like a tool so that I can put in my relevant information and then let Quicken do the math for me.  Yes there are unexpected things and I have "funds" set aside for most of those unexpected things.  I learned most of this in college 40+  years ago.  With this tool you can see a bad trend coming and deal with it sooner rather than later.  My motto has always been under estimate income and over estimate expenses (Putting money away each month for those "unexpected" events). 

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and opinions.  I do not see Quicken acting on this any time soon.  :-(  They have their hands full with the R5 release.  I only want to see Quicken improve and maybe be a personal financial package for those of us the have a more complex situation too   :-)

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markus1957, SuperUser

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I'd just point out that your $35K monthly expense estimate is based on X number of scheduled transactions projected during the period. Any good budget is derived by categorizing scheduled transactions over the budget period or reserving part of a cash surplus for something like a vacation.

I'm not against Quicken constructing a report like you describe. Just don't mess with the In/Out and Projected Balances modules as they now exist. I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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I'd just point out that your $35K monthly expense estimate is based on X number of scheduled transactions projected during the period. Any good budget is derived by categorizing scheduled transactions over the budget period or reserving part of a cash surplus for something like a vacation.

I'm not against Quicken constructing a report like you describe. Just don't mess with the In/Out and Projected Balances modules as they now exist. I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into.
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Snowman

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No, the $35K is not based on any scheduled transactions.  It is a budget no scheduled transactions enter into it at all.  After all utility bills (electric, gas, etc.) are never the same so are impossible to "schedule".  The same for gas for your car, you do not have any scheduled transactions for them because they are different amounts on different days.  A well constructed budget is based in part on past experience and a seat of the pants feeling to produce the best number. 

That is where the In/Out/What's left starts to come apart.  Also you have no real control over what accounts that the tool is taking into account.  You can change what it includes or excludes but it does it globally when it should only do it for this tool. The selection of what accounts to use should be this the method used when customizing reports. 

I would prefer it not take into account my version of savings or cash surplus.  The In/Out/What's Left would use the savings/cash surplus cash and you could end up with nothing in the cash surplus account because the In/Out/What's left tool is telling you that you are OK cash wise BUT if the tool is tapped into that cash surplus account you may not be as well off as you think you are.

If it would show a beginning cash balance for each month add and subtract income/expenses to the current date than take into account the amounts budgeted for the month and if you are over or under that budget, coming up with an ending balance you would have what I am talking about.

I am confused by your closing statement "I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into."  My method takes all of that into account in a more realistic manner.  Again if you have budgeted properly the budget should have accommodations for all the little things that can't be scheduled but it CAN be budgeted for.  That is where I think we are looking at this differently.  For example I have a category for our house "Miscellaneous".  That it to cover those Gotcha expenses.  Some months I am way below the budget amount, (the difference rolling over to the next month), but there are months where we are over the budgeted amount..  Over the year it "averages" out.   For the record the effects of the flaws in the In/Out/What's left can be cumulative and in May 2017 it shows that I will have a much larger cash balance than I will actually have at the end of May.

Oh well, thanks for listening.  :-)