Bulk apply payee on transactions

Hi, 

I've noticed that I can bulk apply a category to all transactions, but I cannot bulk apply a payee. When will this feature be available?

Thanks

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  • Hi Jeffrey Hunt !

    Thanks for reaching out here! While a bulk Edit > Payee option isn't available in the register, you can edit your existing payees with the Manage Payees feature, and it will apply all the payees (by the same name) in your register! 

    Access the Payee Management feature by either clicking the name of your Budget in the upper left-hand corner or double-clicking a transaction in the payee field and selecting "Manage Payees."

     

    Let me know how it goes!

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  • Thanks for your idea, but that assumes one payee per category, which is not the case. For instance, I may have 100 petrol categorised transactions, that need to be split across 5 different payees (service/petrol stations). You can see that applying bulk automated payee's based on category won't work. Also, when I budget, I'm budgeting by category not payee, as I could budget $1000/mth for petrol, but buy it at many different service/petrol/gas stations. I do not believe that a payee should be generic, as that is the role of the category.

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      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeffrey Hunt Jeffrey, what are you trying to achieve? I shop at a bunch of different grocery stores. Each time I make a transaction, I enter it using the appropriate payee (Safeway, Whole Foods, etc) and categorize it as Groceries. When the transactions later download from my bank, they're matched by amount. What's the situation in which you would need to bulk apply payees?

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    • I do not put transactions into YNAB manually. I import bank exports and then categorise them and apply the payee. I’m currently trying to get a picture of how my past has looked, so I can plan the future.  

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      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      @Jeffrey Hunt There are better tools for that, such as Mint and Personal Capital. YNAB is designed to put you in touch with your spending on a day-to-day basis. It works MUCH better if you enter transactions manually (I use manual entry AND download/import). It takes much less time and effort than you're imagining, especially if you have access to the YNAB phone app, and it will take care of this payee issue.

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      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeffrey Hunt Sorry for the confusion there, I think we may have missed each other on this point! I definitely agree, your payees shouldn't be generic (it's your categories that define that!). The manage payee feature will help clean up your payees, for example: Change one payee that is "BP #459847" to "BP", and all transactions with "BP #459847" will clean up the payee to be "BP".  You can also choose which category is the default for all transactions with"BP" as the payee! Of course, like mamster said, going back through your history and doing all this can be pretty tedious.

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  • Im also looking for this feature. When I import from a QIF file etc all the Payee's names come in as their Value (as ive switched the memo to go in the memo field), and so there isn't a consistent name for these payees at all. Would really appreciate being able to select all based on a keyword and change the payee name. 

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  • There are services that I have that would not be input manually. One example is food boxes, like Blue Apron, but there are many scenarios, and the amounts sometimes vary.   I can check each item and bulk assign it to a category but cannot bulk assign the payee.  It seems like a perfectly reasonable feature request to bulk edit this field, or really any of the main fields.  Please consider this request to allow bulk editing of more fields.

    BTW.  The response to switch to Mint isn't so great.  I actually switched to YNAB from Mint.  Also, considering you don't support Capital One and recently all my manual imports changed the payee to memo unexpectedly was a huge PITA.  I had to assign every payee manually, and bulk edit would have helped. Next time I will click "switch payee and memo," but I didn't know about the change, and it was a considerable import.  Since I have to import Capital One manually, I don't do it often.

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    • Lavender Case May I ask you to walk me through the steps that are leading to a bunch of badly-named payees in your account register?

      Here's how I would expect this to go:

      1. You import a file containing multiple Blue Apron transactions. The first time, you have to rename each one manually.
      2. YNAB learns from the way you renamed them, and the next time you import a file, YNAB renames those Blue Apron transactions automatically.

      If the issue you're having is #1, that definitely sounds like a feature request. If you've already renamed the transactions and they're not getting renamed on subsequent imports, though, that's something for tech support to take a look at. Just let me know!

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  • The Googles have led me to this thread when looking for a bulk apply Payee on multiple transactions. I'd like to add my use case here so YNAB knows why we're asking for this feature.

    I recently only understand the purpose of Payees outside of transferring money between accounts. I now can divide my Groceries category to different shops, my rent to different agents. I was thinking this will help give detail to my history, so that when I look at Reports, especially using YNAB Toolkit, I have more lenses to filter my expenses by.

    Thing is, years' worth of transactions entered manually do not have the Payee filled. I was thinking, 'yeah, they probably would have a bulk edit thingie for payess, because they have something similar for Categories, right?' Then lo and behold, they do not.

    So the payees will remain unfilled for now, and won't be used until I can bulk fill them, because I don't want inconsistency in my data.

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    • ba. trand Thanks for adding your perspective! If you have time, we'd appreciate it if you'd send us a Feature Request so the design team can see this. Thanks so much!

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      • ba. trand
      • batrand
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dela I just sent it! Hopefully we will have the feature in the future.

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  • I, too, came here hoping for a solution! I am in the process of reorganizing my accounts and transactions. I have a credit account that I didn't have in YNAB as a credit account, so every payment transaction I've made towards it lists the Payee as a generic Payee rather than a transfer. Now I am backtracking and adding this credit account in YNAB as an actual account and want to turn all of those transactions into transfers, and am finding that's not possible other than changing each transaction individually. What a pain! I'll go submit a feature request now!

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  • Thanks. But, that solution doesn’t help. I need to bulk update the payee and turn them into transfers. Right now you can only bulk update into new payees.

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    • Breanne Ah. ☹️ That's lame.

      Like 1
    • Ah yes - good point, Breanne ! Thanks for submitting a feature request - I can see how it would save you some time to edit those in bulk.

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  • <BUMP> on this feature request.  I have a bunch of old transactions that I'd like to clean up.  I either do it one at a time or leave it messy.  (I'll be leaving it messy. ;)  I would like to add my signature to the "please add bulk payee change" petition.  Here is what I'm trying to do, by the way:    I have 132 old gasoline purchases that are attributed to the wrong payee.  I can easily filter down to just those transactions.  I can select all 132 of them.  But then... no option to bulk change.

    Like 1
    • Hey Magenta Cello ! Would it work for you to use the Manage Payee feature to combine those in bulk or are there other transactions mixed in that you don't want to rename?

      Like 1
    • Marisa  Great question.  There are other transactions legitimately assigned to that same payee.  So I would be fixing one set of transactions by breaking another.  :-)

      Like 1
    • Magenta Cello Thanks for clarifying that! If you haven't already, would you be up for letting our product team know that you're looking for this option?

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    • Rachel Done, thanks!

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  • + 1 from me. I have the same scenario like @Magenta Cello

    Like 1
  • Since the start, I have been a YNAB subscriber, and this feature has been lacking ever since then.

    Scenario when bulk Importing transactions:

    After the bulk import, the service provider's description of where the transaction occurred lies in "Memo". It is typically a long description with many characters/numbers used by the institution that facilitated the transaction and not needed anywhere else.

    I then search for a uniform term in this long description, and up comes all the transactions specific to a service provider. Let's call it ACME.

    I now have a long list of transactions for ACME without a PAYEE description and uncategorised.

    We need a way to select all these transactions and amend the PAYEE description in bulk for all the transactions to be renamed to ACME and categorised in one go. The only option now is to amend the PAYEE description manually per transaction. 

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    • Hot Pink Grizzly I can see how bulk payee editing would be so helpful in this scenario - thanks for chiming in with these details! 

      In the interim, I wonder if it would be helpful to swap the memo and payee fields when doing File-Based Importing (check the section called Customizing Your Import). 

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