At Iconis Group, we spend some time on Intuit’s community board reading questions from users about QuickBooks Online. One issue we see over and over again is working with downloaded transactions. We are going to try to debunk the top 5 issues we see over and over again.
#1 Bank Connection Issues
First of all, QuickBooks Online has a HUGE list of banks that they connect with. When you go to add an account, you’ll need to search for your banking institution. Some banks have several connections, so you need to carefully select the one that is right for you. I actually got the tip once from Intuit that you can copy and paste your normal login URL for your bank into the search field to quickly find your bank.
The next issue is when you get some crazy error after setting up the connection. One common issue is that you have a message in your online bank account that is preventing Intuit from pulling down transactions. Before doing anything else, log in to your bank to check and clear any messages. Intuit also provides this knowledge article about all the other errors you might see.
Finally, if you can’t find your bank – which might be common with smaller banks, you still have the option to import the transactions directly from a file that you get from the bank. When you are logged into your bank account, search for an area to download your activity or something that says QuickBooks or Quicken. You will want to download a file that has an .qbo, .qfx, or .ofx file extension. Some banks will even give you a chance to limit the dates that you want to include. Once you get the file, you can use the handy “Upload File” link in the Downloaded Transactions area of QuickBooks Online.
#2 Needing More Transactions After Initial Download
Here is the scenario. You sign up for QuickBooks Online and connect your bank. You are all excited to be able to automatically pull all these transactions into your accounting system. Once it has been downloaded, you start looking through everything and notice you’ve only got 60 days (or maybe even less)! Now what?!
Well, thanks to the feature I mentioned in #1, you can upload a file of all the transactions from your bank. To be fair, some banks might limit how far back you can go and you’ll have to take that up with them, but for most of us out there, this will work to get the transactions for the year that we are working on (or more)!
#3 Paypal Download Isn’t Working
I will say this now. Paypal and Downloaded Transactions do NOT work together. It is a serious issue I have and I really think it is more of a Paypal issue. Instead of recording each sale, bank fee, purchase, etc separately, Paypal likes to consolidate things. The biggest issue is if you have an invoice to a client for say $500 and the credit card fees are $5, Paypal will give you a transaction of $495. How do you match that up to anything??
When we were doing this for a client, we would have to enter this as a deposit (separately and then match it). The deposit would have two lines. The first went to Accounts Receivable and the second was a negative that went to the Bank Fees account. It was a total pain and not worth the effort!
I would suggest entering the transactions separately until Intuit and/or Paypal has created a better option for QuickBooks Online. It looks like Paypal has downloads for QuickBooks, but they are in .iff files which aren’t supported in QuickBooks Online. After a quick search, there is a service that connects two systems that are hard to connect called Zapier. It looks like they have some good solutions that might help, especially if you are a BIG Paypal seller/merchant.
#4 What Does “Cleared” Mean and How Does it Affect My Reconciliation?
When your bank is connected to QuickBooks Online, the transactions that you accept from this connection are marked with a “C” in QuickBooks Online. This means that they have cleared the bank. This does NOT mean that they have been reconciled. You’ll have to do this separately each month by clicking the “Gear” icon on the top left of your QuickBooks Online screen and clicking “Reconcile” under the “Tools” area.
Now, if at any time you have matched a download to a transaction and you didn’t want that to happen, then you can do a few things. The first option is on the transaction screen, you can click the “Online banking matches” link at the top of the screen. A pop-up will appear and you’ll have an option there to “Unmatch” the transaction. This will keep your transaction and keep your download, but will separate the link between the two.
The second option is to simply delete the transaction in QuickBooks Online. When you do this, the downloaded transaction just goes right back into the Unaccepted Transaction listing.
#5 Creating Duplicate Transactions
There are some things you need to know about how QuickBooks Online operates so that you can skip some of the common duplication issues. First, if you already have transactions that have been reconciled when setting up your bank feed, QuickBooks Online won’t see these transactions as potential matches. You’ll want to exclude the transactions that occurred from periods that have been reconciled to avoid duplication.
Second, I really don’t prefer the default view of showing all accounts when accepting transactions. Why, you may ask? Because it is really hard to spot transfers between accounts. Whether this is a simple transfer from checking to savings, or even a payment from your bank account to your credit card account. For that reason, I click on each account separately and review those transactions within each group. This way, I have a better understanding on how to code the transfers. Then, when I get to the other account, the transaction has already been entered, so I can use the match feature to match the downloaded transaction from the other account. I can’t tell you how many times I see the same transaction listed twice in each account of a transfer. It can be a huge pain to clean-up especially if either transaction has been reconciled.
Third, some people have issues matching up payments from customers. My best practice is to record the payment received once you get it in your hands. We actually have our clients do this in their own accounts – you can even do it on the iPhone or iPad App! Then, when we go to match the transactions and we can select the outstanding payments that haven’t been matched up to a transaction yet.
Finally, some people run into issues when coding the transactions and actually want to split out the separate charges that equal the total from the bank. This might not create a duplicate, but can just be confusing, so we’ll have to call this a BONUS TIP! There is a sneaky little button in the account drop-down field called “Split”. This lets you split the amounts into the fields you want.
That wraps up our answers to the Top 5 Downloaded Transactions Issues in QuickBooks Online. We definitely think that this area of QuickBooks Online is one of the best features, but we also know that it can be confusing when getting started. We hope our tips and work-arounds will help you and your business in your adventures with Downloaded Transactions.
What issues do you have with downloaded transactions? We can always help with one-on-one training or let us handle your bank feeds weekly! Connect with us to get a FREE 30 minute consultation.