Automatic import of transfers often assigns wrong Transfer: <name>
I have PNC as our primary bank, and we have multiple checking accounts under our PNC umbrella account. Our workflow tends to involve transferring money from one account to the other fairly often. Some accounts rarely have any action, but 3-4 of them are used for transferring money between them as often as a few times a day.
I have noticed that when I import a batch of transactions for a particular account, it is not unusual for YNAB to have assigned the wrong "Transfer: <acct name>" in the Payee field. I have tracked this for a long time and finally decided to ask someone rather than assume this is and should be normal. Essentially, there is no rhyme or reason or pattern to it. It sometimes gets it right, and sometimes, not. Thank goodness the Memo line actually has the correct account (last four digits) in the text; this sometimes is the only way I can straighten it out.
Hi Jerry! gobuzzgo
Transactions are categorized/updated automatically based on the last transaction that imported with the same payee. For instance, let's say a transaction imports with the payee PNC and you change the payee to Transfer: A. The next PNC transaction imports, and it's automatically updated to Transfer: A, but it was actually Transfer: B, so you change it. The next PNC transaction will import as Transfer: B, and so on.
Manually entering those transfers ahead of time, like mamster mentioned, will let YNAB Match them to prevent the mix-up. :)
Enter the transfers manually, and then match them as they download. Compared to point-of-sale payees, transfer transactions are really hard to parse correctly.
Have you looked at your workflow to make sure there isn't a better way to do this? Fewer transfers between accounts is one of my favorite things about using YNAB.
Totally agree that the method of categorizing transfers based on the last one that occurred is a problem. It would be better for me if automatic categorization was a "toggle on or off" feature so that I can choose if I want it to happen automatically or categorize it myself. This "convenience" has caused me big reconciliation headaches in situations where I wasn't paying super close attention to which account the transfer got assigned. I have a very similar situation to the OP with multiple accounts and multiple credit cards with the same institution. Long time user here, and this is the only thing about YNAB I truly dislike.
Hey, Violet Dragon ! We recommend entering transfers and payments as soon as you know the date an amount. That way, YNAB doesn't have to guess (a) whether the transaction is a transfer, and (b) what the account on the other side of the transaction is.
And since YNAB doesn't have to guess, it can't get wrong.
In fact, we recommend entering all transactions as they happen, but for transfers and payments, it's really critical. The banks just don't give us enough information to automatically enter them when we import transactions.