Downloading account info - why?


S

Steve

I suspect that my use of checks and credit cards is at least average
in terms of number of transactions, plus several investment
transactions per month. I enter Quicken data quarterly, so I'm
entering 3 months of info each time, and reconciling 3 months of bank
statements.

This process takes maybe a couple hours each quarter, and it's done
without any automatic downloading of data from banks or brokerages
(checks, credit card and investment transactions are entered
manually). Not sure I understand why auto-downloading is such a big
deal, except that it's sorta cool to be able to do it. The tradeoff
appears to be an impossible level of program complexity and various PC
problems. Perhaps I'm missing something?
 
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T

Tim Phelps

Steve said:
transactions per month. I enter Quicken data quarterly
... (manually).
I enter it more frequently (like weekly or sometimes daily) because I like
to see what's happening. It makes good sense, I think, to check on financial
accounts regularly anyway.
Not sure I understand why auto-downloading is
such a big deal.
It saves time, finger work and decreases the probability of mistakes.
 
J

Jim Lipsey

Bernie said:
I'm glad you're happy with your approach, although it isn't apparent to
me what value you're getting from the system. The way we use Quicken it
IS our checking account register, our savings account register, and also
provides a credit card register. We don't keep paper copies of any of
those. Transactions are entered at least several times a week unless
we're traveling. Bills are also entered and scheduled as we receive
them, so that Quicken can alert me when something needs to be paid and I
can manage cash flow.

All that being said, the reason for downloading banking, investment and
credit card transaction are to be sure that I've entered everything, to
avoid or identify surprises, and to reduce reconciliation time to a few
minutes.

Bernie
My approach is even a little more casual. I rarely enter anything
manually, but rather rely on online updates twice a week to do data
entry. Most transactions are from my check card, so I keep receipts in
my wallet and compare them when accepting the transaction (I've become a
big check card fan, and use it whenever I can in lieu of cash, mainly
because it makes tracking expenses easier and requires fewer trips to
the ATM). The rest are online bill payments and hand-written checks,
which I verify with the photocopies provided by my bank at the end of
the month.
 
M

Marty

Somewhere around Mon, 25 Aug 2003 17:08:39 -0700, while reading
alt.comp.software.financial.quicken, I think I thought I saw this post from
Steve said:
I suspect that my use of checks and credit cards is at least average
in terms of number of transactions, plus several investment
transactions per month. I enter Quicken data quarterly, so I'm
entering 3 months of info each time, and reconciling 3 months of bank
statements.

This process takes maybe a couple hours each quarter, and it's done
without any automatic downloading of data from banks or brokerages
(checks, credit card and investment transactions are entered
manually). Not sure I understand why auto-downloading is such a big
deal, except that it's sorta cool to be able to do it. The tradeoff
appears to be an impossible level of program complexity and various PC
problems. Perhaps I'm missing something?
Besides a couple of hours each quarter, you're missing most of the point of
using Quicken - always having up to date information, alerts to remind you
if you have an important bill due (or anything else), plenty of time to take
care of any mistakes (not to mention catching them while you still remember
what it was all about). I use it 2 to 3 times per week, so I'm not
surprised by any transactions, and I know what they are without looking them
up. I don't even bother keeping my check register up to date.
 
T

The Michael

This process takes maybe a couple hours each quarter, and it's done
without any automatic downloading of data from banks or brokerages
(checks, credit card and investment transactions are entered
manually). Not sure I understand why auto-downloading is such a big
deal, except that it's sorta cool to be able to do it. The tradeoff
appears to be an impossible level of program complexity and various PC
problems. Perhaps I'm missing something?
If it takes you a couple of hours to both enter and reconcile a quarter's worth of
data, you could get along without Quicken and not miss too much.
 
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S

Steve

The Michael said:
If it takes you a couple of hours to both enter and reconcile a quarter's worth of
data, you could get along without Quicken and not miss too much.
Could be, although I've been using it for 10+ years. Why should it
necessarily take so much longer to enter a quarter's worth of data?
 
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