Every weekend it seems I have to sit down and look at my finances in Quicken 2015, and it takes forever to accept all of the transactions. One-by-one, I sit and click each of the transactions downloaded from the banks and credit unions where I store my money. It's a process that leaves me wishing Quicken 2015 had an SQL interface.

There is an Accept All button, but I want to make sure the transactions are getting tagged or Categorized properly.

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    Can you be a bit more specific about what "efficient" means for you? As keshlam notes in a comment, ultimately you'll need to look with human eyes at each category to see if it's right. Do you just want to enter/review the transactions in a more spreadsheet-like interface? – BrenBarn Dec 21 '14 at 2:01
  • By efficient I mean by not having to click the Accept button a million times to make sure everything falls into the correct category and has the correct tags. – leeand00 Dec 22 '14 at 13:17
  • Okay, but what do you want instead? You say you also don't want to use "Accept All". . . – BrenBarn Dec 22 '14 at 18:38
  • I'd be okay with clicking "Accept All" if all the transactions had the right category to begin with. – leeand00 Dec 22 '14 at 20:23
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    But you'll never be able to know that without looking at them. It can't magically know what category you intend each transaction to be in. Even with memorized payees, a transaction with a first-time payee can't be auto-categorized in an error-free way. – BrenBarn Dec 22 '14 at 20:34

If you enter the transactions as you execute them (and categorize them then), Quicken will attempt to Match downloaded transactions with ones already in the register.

"Memorized transactions" with known parties can also help.

My credit card downloads actually come with a rough categorization provided by the vendor; that may or may not be accurate enough to save you some work.

  • Do you mean typing the transactions in manually? I don't see that how would be more efficient. It seems like it would only add lots of manual labor, making the task even more cumbersome. – BrenBarn Dec 21 '14 at 1:28
  • Shrug. I started using accounting software long before download became an option, back when Quicken's big feature was supposed to be its ability to print checks (which I never used). I've never found a bit of typing a hardship; I use download as automatic reconcile rather than as primary data entry. If you really want full automation, I don't think it exists, because nobody but you knows how you want to categorize each transaction. – keshlam Dec 21 '14 at 1:42
  • That's true, but from the reference to SQL in the question, I understood it as wanting a way to input the categories in a more streamlined way than the cumbersome click-based interface in Quicken itself. – BrenBarn Dec 21 '14 at 2:00
  • Memorized transactions are the only answer I know of, outside of separating downloading the data and loading it into Quicken (if your bank will support that) so you can put some sort of massaging stage in the middle, or hoping that (as with my credit card) the bank puts in extra effort to add some categorization/tagging (which may not be what you're looking for). If someone has a better answer, please do post and I'll zap this one. – keshlam Dec 21 '14 at 2:05
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    I commented asking for clarification on the question, it's not totally clear what the OP really wants. – BrenBarn Dec 21 '14 at 2:18

You don't specify in which format are the files you're importing, but if it's .qif then qifqif provides a CLI interface to enter categories as fast as possible (by reusing categories used for similar past transactions).

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