IB, Quicken, Downloading Transactions

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by stock_punter, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. jsmith


    Does Quicken automatically mark wash sales for you?
    Does it have an option so that it knows to skip wash sales
    since you have elected Mark-to-Market?
    #11     Nov 9, 2001
  2. I bought Quicken primarily to update my account with Interactive Brokers. However, I also wanted to use it for tracking my other investments with Canadian institutions, so when given the choice if US or Canadian location during installation I chose Canada. I was then unable to download from IB and kept getting an "unable to verify financial institution" message.

    So I uninstalled the program and re-installed, choosing US location. Same result. After several iterations of this process I finally disconvered that uninstalling the Canadian option still leaves a file that confuses the US installation and results in the inability to recognize IB.

    The solution is to delete the entire Quicken directory afer uninstalling the Canadian version and before installing as if you are in the US. Then it is possible to download your account details from IB.

    Now I have the ability to track my IB account using Quicken, but I am unable to use the features of the program tailored to Canadians. It all seems like a massively incompetent design decision to me, in these days of cross-border trade.

    I would not recommend this program to Canadians for tracking data from IB.
    #12     Nov 23, 2001
  3. Am I stupid, or is it really as labour intensive as it seems to record downloaded short sales and short covers in Quicken.

    This is the method I am using for a short sale. I highlight the downloaded transaction which brings up a data entry line in the Quicken registry. I go to the second column of this line and manually select "Short Sell Security" and them click on the "Accept" button. This then records the transaction in the Quicken registry. However, the transaction is not marked as "Accepted" in the downloaded transactions field, so I then have to delete it manually.

    Similar process for covering a short.

    This means you have to know which are the sell to open and sell to close transactions in the downloaded data. It is a bit of a pain in the ass.

    Am I doing this right? If not, can someone tell me a better way?

    If I am using the best way, I wish Def would have IB get together with Intuit to make the process more automated. It took me quite a while to work out how to do it at all. Based on my initial experience, Quicken is not very INTUITive.

    Def, could you also get IB to put pressure on Intuit regarding the problem I explained in a previous post that Canadians have using Quicken to download IB data. Tell them your Canadian clients are really upset about the limited functionality.
    #13     Nov 23, 2001
  4. IB's export to Quicken feature still does not work properly for me.

    It works best if you start from an empty Quicken account file, but even then there are problems (which I have pointed out to IB's technical support).

    Sometimes Quicken tells you that a corresponding buy is not available to match with a sell (which is incorrect)..

    Other times the ending portfolio values are incorrect, with Quicken showing a long position in a stock that should have been sold off.

    I do not recommend using IB's export to Quicken feature at this time until they get these problems solved -- and I know that solving this problem is possible, as I had never had these sort of problems downloading my Charles Schwab transactions into Quicken.

    -- Punter
    #14     Nov 23, 2001
  5. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    stock_punter: I agree. Quicken does not work that well. Here are the things I had to do to make it work:

    1. start with a clean account/register.
    2. quicken uses the order in which transactions are entered to determine matches with Buy's and sells. Make sure you OK trades in exactly the correct order. If you edits things in the middle of accepting trades, things will get messed up.
    3. Quicken will try to match transactions to existing transactions in your register. In particular with issue 2, be very careful to unmatch/re-create orders in exactly the order of your trades. Else Quicken will get confused when trying to match orders

    I'm seriously considering getting one of the applications that have been mentioned here on elite before. I check balances every day, so that I'll catch errors prior to having to create my tax return.
    #15     Nov 24, 2001
  6. Vikina, how so you handle short sales and short covers? Am I on the right track in my previous post? I don't see any other way as IB does not distinguish between regular buys and buys to cover a short and similarly for sells and short sales. Surely they and Quicken between them could work out something that is a bit more functional.

    Does anyone have any experience using MS Money for IB downloads? Is it any better.
    #16     Nov 24, 2001
  7. Catoosa


    I use Captools Global Investor software to download my IB execution file for each trading day. I have to edit the IB file to use the proper transaction codes for buys (BUY), sells (SLL), sell short (SLS), and buy to cover short sells (BYC). I use WordPad to edit/replace the IB transaction codes with the transaction codes used by Captools. The edit/replace takes only a few seconds by clicking on "replace all". However, I have to write down all of my short sell transactions each day in order to enter the proper transaction codes because IB uses the same transaction code for a "buy" as for "buy to cover" and the same code for a "sell" as for "sell short". I am sure I could make more trades in a day and also perhaps make more money (or loose less money) if I did not have to stop and hand record each short transaction. I have written IB several times about this problem and yet nothing has been done to correct the problem. If correcting this problem would allow the IB customers to make more trades in a day, IB would make more on commissions in a day (it looks like a no brainer to me). I hope other traders will put pressure on IB to correct this problem.

    As far as all of the other problems I read that others are having with their accounting software, I can say I have none of those problems with Captools. I import the IB execution file each day and my cash balance matches the IB cash balance for each day to the penny. I also use Captools to print out my IRS Schedule D Report for each tax year. Another great thing about Captools is the user can setup the import templates for almost any brokers execution file. I did not have to contact IB, any of my other brokers, or Captools to setup the import templates for any of my brokerage accounts. If one of my brokers changes an execution file format, I immediately change my template so I can import the new format.

    While Captools allows the user to customize to do about anything the user might want, the software is not cheap at $200 to $500 depending of which version. I paid $400 for the Global version. But, what is a mere $400? In this game we play, I loose that much and more in a few seconds!

    #17     Nov 25, 2001
  8. I have also written to IB management concerning their failure to distinguish between short and long transactions and the problems it causes. I have asked them to get together with the Quicken people to work out a solution.

    I have no problems getting Quicken to agree with my IB account so long as I am careful to distinguish between long and short transactions and handle the shorts manually rather than just accepting the transaction.

    However, I do sometimes get a message saying quicken does not agree with my account. This then produces an error message that will tell me for stock XYZ Quicken shows -200 shares and my broker shows 0 shares. Then there is a second line saying that for stock XYZ my broker shows -200 shares and Quicken shows 0 shares. I ignore this and it goes away when I close the short transaction. It does suggest I am not doing things quite right.

    I don't understand why IB does not put up more FAQs on its site to handle issues like how to use Quicken properly with their accounts. I am sure it would save them support staff time in the long run.
    #18     Nov 25, 2001
  9. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    I'm using Quicken 2001 (deluxe). It's true that Quicken doesn't even provide a short sale transaction, but if you enter a sell before the corresponding buy, quicken will assume that it's a short transaction (at least that how it works in Q 2001).

    So as long as you enter transactions in exactly the order you executed the trades it will be correct. If you enter the transactions out of order, Quicken will get confused and match transactions incorrectly. I have found no way to work around this problem other than deleting all effected transactions and re-importing them in order.
    #19     Nov 25, 2001
  10. Well IB management seems to listen. I got this reply to my feedback asking them to pressure Quicken to fix the problems Canadians have using the program and to identify shorts and covers in their statements in a way that will allow Quicken to process them automatically.

    "Thank you for you letter.
    Your points are very important to us.
    We'll see what we can do about Quicken and we will identify
    short sales and covers.
    With customers like yourself we can keep on getting better.
    Thanks, "

    On a Sunday no less, so it probably was someone in management rather than the regular technical support guys.
    #20     Nov 25, 2001