Money 2004 bugs


D

Don Allen

I have just spent a rather unpleasant hour with Money 2004
doing a task that used to take me 15 minutes with Quicken
-- downloading and categorizing my MBNA credit card statement.

Problem 1: if you have multiple uncategorized transactions
in the download with exactly the same payee, when you enter
the category for the first, the other transactions don't
inherit this information. You have to enter it for each
(not so in Quicken).

Problem 2: sometimes when you display a transaction for
categorizing, the payee line is doubled, as is the line
with the accept and enter buttons.

Problem 3: Money ate one of my transactions. It just
disappeared into thin air. I know this because the balance
was correct when, after downloading the transactions, I
started categorizing and undoing Money's half-assed
attempts to match transactions, and when I finished, the
balance was incorrect. I had to pick through my paper
statement to find the missing transaction and re-enter it.

Question 1: I am damned if I can find a way to report Money
bugs on the Microsoft website (or other bugs, for that
matter). Can someone help me through this maze?

Question 2: Is there a way to turn off transaction matching
after a statement download? In my case, all transactions
except payments will not have a match, and Money's silly
attempts to match them invariably cause trouble.

Any ideas about the problems I mention above?

Thanks in advance --
/Don Allen
 
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S

SJCOHEN730

Subject: Money 2004 bugs
From: "Don Allen" (e-mail address removed)
Date: 6/27/2004 8:42 AM Eastern Standard Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>

I have just spent a rather unpleasant hour with Money 2004
doing a task that used to take me 15 minutes with Quicken
-- downloading and categorizing my MBNA credit card statement.

Problem 1: if you have multiple uncategorized transactions
in the download with exactly the same payee, when you enter
the category for the first, the other transactions don't
inherit this information. You have to enter it for each
(not so in Quicken).

Problem 2: sometimes when you display a transaction for
categorizing, the payee line is doubled, as is the line
with the accept and enter buttons.

Problem 3: Money ate one of my transactions. It just
disappeared into thin air. I know this because the balance
was correct when, after downloading the transactions, I
started categorizing and undoing Money's half-assed
attempts to match transactions, and when I finished, the
balance was incorrect. I had to pick through my paper
statement to find the missing transaction and re-enter it.

Question 1: I am damned if I can find a way to report Money
bugs on the Microsoft website (or other bugs, for that
matter). Can someone help me through this maze?

Question 2: Is there a way to turn off transaction matching
after a statement download? In my case, all transactions
except payments will not have a match, and Money's silly
attempts to match them invariably cause trouble.

Any ideas about the problems I mention above?

Thanks in advance --
/Don Allen
Don, Simply answer to your problem. Enter all your transactions manually and
you'll save lots of time at month end. Good luck. Steve
 
G

Guest

Don, Simply answer to your problem. Enter all your transactions manually and
you'll save lots of time at month end. Good luck. Steve
.
Thanks, but that's like suggesting that I can avoid car
problems by walking.

I pay everything I can with my credit card, to avoid having
to make trips to the ATM machine. I then pay my credit card
bill in full every month. So I generate a lot of
transactions, and I want them categorized, so I can keep
track of where the money's going. This has worked well for
years, using Quicken and a credit card that offered
downloadable statements. I decided to switch to Money
recently, because of bad reviews of Quicken 2004. The
ability to easily download and categorize (mostly
automatically) transactions is kind of a basic capability
and I need it to work without the kind of hassle I
encountered today. I find it hard to believe that Money is
incapable of this (though I do think I've encountered a
couple of bugs here, though the display bug is probably minor).

BTW, I've now been using Money for a couple of months and
my reaction to it is mixed. In general, though, I think
Microsoft has not paid as careful attention to the workflow
in the design of the user-interface. I find Quicken, in
general, easier to use in the sense of requiring fewer UI
gestures to accomplish equivalent tasks (with Quicken, you
frequently have the reaction "wow, they thought of that!",
whereas with Money you frequently have the reaction "why
didn't they think of this?" or "how the heck do I find my
way through this maze to do what I want?"). Yes, I'm used
to Quicken and that could be tainting my opinion, but I
don't think so (I'm an experienced UI designer myself).

/Don
 
D

Dick Watson

In general I agree with Steve's suggestion. Replying with something to the
effect of "not downloading transactions using Money is analogous to not
walking when you own a car" misses the point. I'd say it's more like not
using the car to drive to the end of the driveway to pick the newspaper up.
Entering transactions is fundamentally very simple. All of the problems the
banks and Money can inject with the whole downloaded transaction thing are
quite possibly not worth the hassle. This coming from someone who has
entered tens of thousands of them and does not download transaction data.

As to the UI of Money vs. Quicken, your preference for the Quicken UI is
less commonly reported here than the opposite. Who knows what that means.
Clearly Quicken has tried to be more specific (dumbed down?) and less
general and abstract in the UI design--some of us prefer the latter. But I'm
curious: if you prefer Quicken and are having such problems with Money, why
fight it?

Specific comments/answers follow inline.

Don Allen said:
Question 1: I am damned if I can find a way to report Money
bugs on the Microsoft website (or other bugs, for that
matter). Can someone help me through this maze?
Have you tried http://support.microsoft.com? If you are looking for
something like Bugzilla, forget it. You will have to open a support case and
spend a significant amount of energy and time selling your issue as a bug.
Be prepared with a testcase. Even if you get far enough that someone
concedes you might have found a real issue, don't hold your breath waiting
for it to be fixed.
Question 2: Is there a way to turn off transaction matching
after a statement download? In my case, all transactions
except payments will not have a match, and Money's silly
attempts to match them invariably cause trouble.
You might try setting the date match range (Tools|Options|Online
Service|Match transactions...) to a very short value.
 
C

Cal Learner-- MVP

In general I agree with Steve's suggestion. Replying with something to the
effect of "not downloading transactions using Money is analogous to not
walking when you own a car" misses the point. I'd say it's more like not
using the car to drive to the end of the driveway to pick the newspaper up.
Entering transactions is fundamentally very simple.
I think Steve's analogy is more apt, but we each have different
views.

Steve, Money normally starts remembering after experience.

Here are a few bits of info that may be useful in controlling how
Money handles payees:

Tools->Options->Editing->ConfirmNewPayees will give you the
option to not add a payee to the list that you are using one time
only.

To reduce the number of existing payees, go to
Accounts&Bills->Categories&Payees->Payees ; select a payee and
use Move to combine payees. This is better in most cases than
Delete.

Your downloaded transactions may come with some generic term where
the Payee should be. In Money 2003 the
Accounts&Bills->Categories&Payees->Payees->PreferredPayeeNames
shows how downloaded names are translated into Payees.


Also click on GoToPayeeRulesManager. Excluded Payee Names
identifies words and phrases that should be ignored from the payee
field (e.g., check, deposit). Add words that are generically added
by your bank. Unfortunately there are no wildcards, so check 334,
check 335, and check 336 will each be treated as potential new
payee names. Tools->Options->OnlineServices->ReplacePayeeNames may
be the solution to that.

Set Tools->Options->Online Services->ShowStandardizedPayeeNames to
combine payees that differ only by a number at the end. This may
work better after you have combined payees from previous downloads.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;829141&Product=mny
addresses some payee match problems.
 
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D

Donnie Peterson

I find that MONEY does remember. For example I often go to the coffeshop and
spend 3.96. (Coffee and a treat) When I enter this manually (If I spend
cash) I type in the name of the payee. (Moka House) By the time I get to
"Mo" It knows it is mokahouse and when I hit enter, it is catergozied (Food:
Coffe shop) and the correct amount appears.

Donnie
 
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