Moneydance changing descriptions based on transaction amount

mann.welden's Avatar


12 Apr, 2018 09:27 PM

When I download QFX transactions from American Express and import, MD is changing the description (payee) for transactions to the payee from previous transactions that happen to be the same amount. Even when there is NO relationship whatever between the transactions other than the amount--the transaction IDs differ, the dates differ. See screenshot for an example.

I have seen this issue reported already, and closed after the user was told how to manually fix the munged transactions. I should not have to manually tell MD that a transaction with The Rolling Frame Repair is not a transaction with Ration and Dram Restaurant, just because they were for the same amount. Please tell me how to turn off this "feature," or acknowledge it as a bug and fix it.


  1. 1 Posted by mann.welden on 12 Apr, 2018 09:56 PM

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    CORRECTION: I have now seen about 20 more of these, and it doesn't seem to be based on the amount. It just seems that MD wants to assign charges to Ration and Dram, to AJC (the local newspaper), and to a couple of other payees without rhyme or reason.

    "Transaction as downloaded" has been absolutely correct for all of my transactions--it's very frustrating to have to set it BACK to this every time, when MD clearly downloaded correct data and then changed it for some reason.

  2. 2 Posted by sth on 13 Apr, 2018 12:58 AM

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    Right, it suggests a matching transaction to keep duplicates from happening. Or you can go with the downloaded data. Your choice of which one to confirm.

  3. 3 Posted by mann.welden on 16 Apr, 2018 03:22 PM

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    But there's nothing about the transactions that matches!

    It turns out I was wrong about the amount matching--I was confused by how
    the suggested transaction details and original transaction details are
    presented. So it's not the same amount, it's not the same date, it's not
    the same transaction ID, there's nothing I can see there that would suggest
    a transaction with, say, The Rolling Frame Repair Shop was *actually* a
    transaction with Ration and Dram Pub.

    And yes, I can manually reject the roughly 10 percent of transactions that
    MoneyDance is suggesting bogus corrections for, but since it is *never*
    fixing a problem when it makes these suggestions, it's pretty frustrating,
    and I'd like to just turn off the feature.

    Thanks for your patience while I rant!

  4. 4 Posted by Todd on 01 Jul, 2018 01:26 AM

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    Yes! I've been seeing a large number of these as well, and I know that at times I've accepted the match without realizing it's wrong. I get in a habit after accepting several correct matches in a row, and then suddenly I hit a completely unrelated payee. Several times I've caught myself accepting those, and have had to go back and correct it manually. Even more difficult at that point, the original downloaded details don't show up anymore (aren't stored anywhere I assume), so sometimes I have no idea what the correct payee was and needed to go back to my bank site to figure it out.

    I don't get why this happens... the payee shouldn't be changed unless there is a good reason, and in my examples I just don't see any correlation between what was downloaded and the match that is offered.

  5. 5 Posted by Todd on 01 Jul, 2018 01:45 AM

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    Here's a mismatch example which might provide a helpful detail:

    CHEVRON 1376778 <city name>
    PETSMART # 1278 <city name>
    (and no matching dates or amounts)

    I changed the numbers slightly and removed the city name just to avoid including specific location details in this public forum. But the only thing in common there is the ending "78" of the number and the city name. Any chance it is matching on that substring? If so, I'd say that rule needs to be tightened down (especially since my visa account includes the city at the end of every transaction).

  6. 6 Posted by Dan P on 05 Jul, 2018 04:50 PM

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    I also find this annoying. Just adding my support for a fix.

  7. 7 Posted by Todd on 08 Jul, 2018 12:18 AM

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    Another example: These two matched. Is it just because they contain the same substring "808"? Um, yeah, same area code.

    HOME MAID BAKERY 808-242

    I also had two other bogus matches today where the only thing I see in common is that they both contain my city name.

    And just when think it is doing a substring match, I hit this example which seems to have nothing in common:

    CONFIGIO 509-241
    Mint Mobile 844-646

    What could it possibly be matching on? The amounts aren't similar either. Can we get a response from Moneydance on this?

  8. 8 Posted by Todd on 26 Aug, 2018 05:28 AM

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    I continue to face this problem on every use of Moneydance. Always have. I find it frustrating that nobody from infinitekind has responded in any way.

  9. 9 Posted by zwayne on 31 Aug, 2018 12:49 AM

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    So what's the deal with this?? Four months after the first post and no response from the Moneydance team. This is INCREDIBLY IRKSOME!!!

  10. 10 Posted by jeff on 31 Aug, 2018 07:40 AM

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    sth told you what the solution was 4 months ago.

    The program learns over time how to categorize items. You have to teach it.

    When you confirm what category to give an item, either your own or that which your bank gives it, the program will remember this next time that same item appears.

    There is no a bug, it’s pure user error.

    IK staff are too polite to suggest this!

    Jeff – long term user

  11. 11 Posted by zwayne on 31 Aug, 2018 12:26 PM

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    Sorry, Jeff, but your answer suggests that you didn't read the entire thread and simply don't understand the problem.

    Moneydance will often assign a category to a downloaded transaction based on NO SIMILARITY to a previous one!

    One of MANY examples: I just downloaded a bunch of transactions. A VISA transaction appeared as "SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE" and assigned it to my Lawn & Garden category. Now I know my wife didn't spend $500 on seeds, so I went online to verify the transaction.

    NAME field of first transaction:

    NAME field of second transaction:

    So how did MD match the second transaction to a health care provider for $504.58 to my one and only transaction to Seed Savers made over 3 months ago for $13.95? How could it "learn" this? Heck, I wouldn't even care if it assigned the category wrong, but it also changed the description so I had to go on-line to figure out the transaction. (Actually four different ones in that download were completely messed up.)

    It's not "user error", it's a bug, and sth did not provide a "solution".

  12. 12 Posted by Todd on 18 Nov, 2018 01:58 AM

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    This problem continues to occur every session, so I refuse to just let this thread expire with no response. Another example:

    Totally different amounts and dates

    Perhaps it is doing a partial match on the city name, which is most unhelpful. Actually I saw a similar match in a different city, which makes me think the city is the cause. Most of my credit card purchases include the city so this causes a mismatch in a large number of cases.

    Can we get a response from Infinite Kind? It's frustrating to have no response at all after all these months.

  13. 13 Posted by zwayne on 18 Nov, 2018 03:05 PM

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    Concur with Todd as to the frustrating nature of this problem. It continues to cause too wasted time in fixing transactions.

    Does anyone see a difference in behavior between importing a QFX file and an online download into an account?

  14. 14 Posted by Dan P on 19 Nov, 2018 02:19 PM

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    Sorry, I have to join Todd and Zwayne. Whatever the matching algorithm is doing it's not helping or learning. I still have the problem too. As other's have suggested, I can find no method to the matches.

  15. 15 Posted by mhoggie on 19 Nov, 2018 04:06 PM

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    just a user,

    I just watch the proposed category closely and change or merge as needed. I broke my habit of just quickly confirming. I would guess 50% are good, others I change. It was much worst a couple of years ago. I think it would be helpful if IK would either explain the method of they use for category suggestions, or even better, add a table in the preferences where the user could define the method of category suggestion. They do offer an option where the user can limit or expand the number of days in history to help determine the suggestion, but I think it would be much better if you could limit by exact name or amount and the number of matching characters. That should be easy to program because all that you need to do is substitute the hard code with variables that control the category lookup feature and allow the users to change the value of the variables in the preferences. You could either take the MD default, or customize as you need. I can see users having different needs for category lookup suggestions.

  16. System closed this discussion on 18 Feb, 2019 04:10 PM.

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