Combine and Rename Payees is misbehaving

Quite often, when a transaction is downloaded from my bank, the name of the payee is given in some odd way that doesn't match previous versions of its name, so I use "combine and rename payees" to make all versions of the payee's name the same. For example, I might have a payee called "Good Foods Inc.", and a subsequent transaction with them arrives from the bank called "GFI". I click "Manage Payees" and check the boxes against both Good Foods Inc. and GFI, and type the name "Good Foods Inc." into the combined name box. Recently I've been finding that when I do this the change isn't registered. The transaction keeps the payee name that it arrived with from the bank. Eventually, after two or three tries, it seems to accept the change. Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong?

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  • Hi Navy Blue Leopard !

    I just tried to re-create that issue, but the Payees were combined and renamed as expected on my end.

    Let’s first have you try a few things – be sure to follow the links for instructions on how to accomplish each one if needed:

    First, try to use YNAB in another browser or a private window. Do you still see the issue? If not, you’ll want to go ahead and clear your cache — just so you know, you will lose certain information that your browser remembers, so you may have to reset logins, etc.

    If that doesn’t fix things, it usually means that a browser extension is causing problems. If you use any, go ahead and turn them off one at a time until you figure out which one is causing the problem. We’d love to know which one it is so that we can look into it. You can also contact the extension developer to let them know it caused this problem.

    If none of that works, the above steps will help narrow things down a bit, so thanks for giving them a try! :)

    • Faness  Hi Faness

      Thanks. I'll try those steps. It's going to be a little while before I can report back because the problem was fairly intermittent.

    • Navy Blue Leopard No worries and no rush! :)

      Whenever it happens to pop back up, just let us know!

  • This interface is HORRIBLE! I'm sorry. I just went through this very thing AGAIN. This has always been broken. PLEASE put this on your roadmap, YNAB.

    My exact example I just went through for the umpteemth time:

    1. I have a new pending transaction with payee: Thefarmersdog COM
    2. I know I already have ""
    3. I choose Manage Payees in the name field
    4. It takes me to this new name in the Manage Payees dialog
    5. I have the correct name just below it
    6. If I also select the correct name, it will suggest the new name which was preselected for me
    7. So... I have to uncheck them both. Check the correct name first and then check the new name.
    8. I now combine them to get the correct name.
    9. I do not have an option to choose the category at this point so I just choose Done
    10. I am now back at the transaction with the OLD name still chosen! ARGGGGG!!!
    11. I now have to type in the correct name which I had just previously combined.
    12. NOW I finally have to correct payee name!
    13. However, there is no category selected!
    14. I go back into the payees from the name field
    15. For some reason, it always defaults me to Alzheimer's Association near the beginning of my list
    16. I have to unselect Alzheimer's Association and then go find "" way down my list
    17. I check "" and select Groceries for the category and then select Done
    18. I now FINALLY have the correctly named payee and the correct category selected.
    19. I select Save. 
    20. Done.

    Did I says this interface is HORRIBLE?! Please FIX!


    Frustrated, long-time YNAB user

      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Oh, so THAT'S how you do it? lol.  I usually  give up before step 10.  I simply don't understand how it's supposed to work.  I also played around with "rules" based on name contains, etc. but that never works either.

      I just live with badly named payees, because I can never fix them.

      Like 1
    • Superbone Thanks for the detailed steps! Was the pending transaction in the section, or your register? There's a new layer to consider. There are improvements Payee Management I'd love to see as well and agree it isn't intuitive as it could be. I passed along this example!

      The most important piece of Manage Payees is that the rules you're creating are for future imports.

      In this scenario I'd try:

      1. Editing the transaction and selecting the preferred payee & category first
      2. Choose Manage Payees in the name field
      3. Brings you to the preferred payee
      4. Select the others to merge (this should eliminate the frustrating piece of 5-18)
      5. Click Combine
      6. The combined payee will have the options you select in step 1

      This way you handle the current, then the future and the next time the transactions import—you'll benefit from that work! That should save you some trouble.

    • Bruce I would too! Do you have an example of one you've tried or would like to get working? I'd be happy to help. We can chat via email too, if you'd prefer.

      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Thanks Nicole. I will try and remember to do it in that sequence next time. Order of operations appears to be the main issue here. Lots of room for improvement so that the onus isn't on the user to know the optimal order of operation. Plus, the Payee Management list is unwieldy without the ability to search the list. Also, a random payee should never be pre-selected.

      Like 2
    • Superbone I agree, Manage Payees definitely needs some love—that pre-selected payee has bitten me, too.

      Like 2
  • YNAB4 offered to apply the rule to existing transactions. That was a nice design.

    Like 1
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