QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds

Written by Charlie Russell

One of the areas that needs improvement in QuickBooks is how they deal with online banking  – importing transactions from your bank to add and reconcile your bank accounts with your QuickBooks file. With QuickBooks 2014, Intuit has made quite a few changes that is moving this in the right direction. Let’s take a look at the new QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds feature.

Note that this is not a tutorial on how to use the feature, I’m just giving you an overview of the changes.

Bank Feeds vs. Online Banking

Let’s get a one thing straight here – what do they mean by “bank feeds” and how is that different from “online banking”?

Intuit found that there was some confusion regarding terminology here. They’ve had “online banking” as a feature in QuickBooks for many years – as in, the ability to download transactions from your bank or credit card to see what transactions have cleared, match transactions from the bank with transactions in your QB file, add transactions that you haven’t entered in QuickBooks yet, and to see the current account balance.

If you ask a group of QuickBooks users if they use “online banking”, a good majority will probably say “yes”. However, if you look at how many people actually use the “online banking” feature in QuickBooks you’ll find that instead, only about 15% of QuickBooks desktop users actually use the feature that you find in your QuickBooks menu. That is because the term “online banking” is confusing, people that say that they are using this are also thinking about logging in to their bank accounts online (outside of QuickBooks) to view statements, make payments, pay bills, and more. Activities that aren’t limited just to what you do in QuickBooks.

So, Intuit decided to rename this feature to be “Bank Feeds”, to differentiate it from the more expansive definition of “online banking”. Instead of selecting Banking and then Online Banking as you do in QuickBooks 2013, now you will select Banking and then Bank Feeds in QuickBooks 2014.

Only 15% Use Bank Feeds?

Do you use the QuickBooks online banking or bank feeds feature? I’ll be honest – even though I’ve been using QuickBooks for my business accounting since 2005, and I immerse myself in the details of how to use QuickBooks every year, I haven’t been using this feature. And, I’m not alone. Why don’t people use the feature?

Intuit did some research and compared the feature in QuickBooks with other products, such as Mint, Quicken, QuickBooks Online and Xero. They looked at these three areas:

  • Connectivity: How hard is it to initiate a connection to your account and is there an additional fee for that?
  • Usability: Is the feature easy to use? Is the user interface easy to work with?
  • Automation: How much of the chore of reconciling your online bank account with your QuickBooks file can be dealt with automatically so you don’t have to work through all the details?

Intuit’s research showed them that the Online Banking feature was far behind what is found in these other products.  So, with QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds, they worked to improve the user experience in the QuickBooks desktop product in each of these three areas.

QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds

To use the new Bank Feeds feature you need to enable it in your Preferences.

QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds Preferences

In QuickBooks 2013 we had Side by Side Mode and Register Mode. Now we have Classic Mode, which is the same as the old Register Mode that has been around for years, and Express Mode. Is this just a renaming of “Side by Side” to “Express”? Well, not really. Express Mode is essentially the Side by Side Mode with an improved user interface and better “rules”. When you dig down, you’ll see the old side by side mode is still working underneath.

Let’s take a look at how Intuit is addressing each of these three areas with the QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feeds feature. Note that this is not a tutorial on every aspect of the new feature – for detailed help you’ll want to look at the upcoming book QuickBooks 2014 In Depth by Laura Madeira.


The first thing you have to do is to connect your QuickBooks accounts with your bank or credit card accounts.

QuickBooks 2013

In QuickBooks 2013 you had two ways to connect – Direct Connect and Web Connect.

QuickBooks 2013 Connecivity

Web Connect is usually free – you download a file from your bank website and then “open” that file to apply the records to your QuickBooks file. This is a time-consuming manual task that is inconvenient. Many banks offer this file, but not all.

Direct Connect is simpler – once you connect your online bank/card account to QuickBooks you can easily transfer the information without having to log in through a separate browser and manually download a file. The problem is that this usually is not free and some banks don’t offer this option.

QuickBooks 2014

Is this improved in QuickBooks 2014? Well, there are a few improvements, but at this time they aren’t all that significant. The setup process has been reorganized and leads you through the steps. I’m not showing all of the steps that you’ll take – the big difference here is that after you select your bank you’ll see this screen IF your bank offers a Direct Connect option.

QuickBooks 2014 Bank Feed Connectivity

So, has Intuit improved the Connectivity aspect of Bank Feeds? Looking at the R1 release, I would have to say “not a whole bunch”.  It is much easier to get bank information in a product like Mint or Quicken than it is here.

HOWEVER, this is an area that Intuit is investing time in, and I expect that you’ll see some big changes here in the near future. We’ll have to see what they can do!


How easy is it to use Bank Feeds? This is an area where Intuit has made a lot of improvements.

QuickBooks 2013

Let’s start by looking at the “Side by Side” mode in QuickBooks 2013. First you open the Online Banking Center, where you see the summary information on your accounts.

QuickBooks 2013 Online Banking Center

If I want to work with one of the accounts, I click on it in the list in Items Received, and I see the list of transactions on the left. You have to click on an individual transaction to open the window on the right (which is a bit crowded) to be able to see the transaction detail on the right.

Transaction Detail in QuickBooks 2013

You also can click the Add Multiple button in the prior window to get a list of transactions to work with. This is a bit faster to work with when you have a lot of transactions, but you can’t easily do “splits” or other actions from this list.

QuickBooks 2013 Add Multiple Transactions

QuickBooks 2014

Now let’s look at how this has changed in QuickBooks 2014. Here’s the Bank Feeds window, which uses fonts and colors in the standard fashion that we expect in the newer user interface. This is clean and easy to read – I particularly like the improvement in the bank account list on the left side.

QuickBooks 2014 Online Banking Center

Click on the Transaction List button and you see a list of all of the transactions that are waiting for you to look at. You can easily apply different actions to each transaction, you can click on the colored bar at the top to filter the list by different status types. This is an easier screen to work with than the older “side by side” screen, and because you have the “action” list on the right side it is easier to work with than the “add multiple transactions” list from before.

QuickBooks 2014 Transaction List

It is important to note that you haven’t lost any of the features of the “side by side” approach from before. The transactions list view is a layer added on top of the side by side feature, providing you with additional capabilities and an easy way to work with a lot of transactions quickly. If you select the Add More Details option from the Action list, you will see the underlying screen that is essentially the detail view of the old side by side approach.

QuickBooks 2014 Add More Details


This is another area where Intuit has been working on adding improvements. It is important that the Bank Feeds feature save you as much time as possible, and the best way to do this is for the program to automatically classify transactions for you. QuickBooks does this by creating “rules”. In addition to applying rules that you create, if the program can create new rules for you based on your actions, the speed of the system improves dramatically the more that you use it.

QuickBooks 2013

QuickBooks 2013 had very simple rules, just a way to search the downloaded name for certain values and then renaming the transaction to a particular vendor.

QuickBooks 2013 Rules

QuickBooks 2014

Here’s the rules feature in QuickBooks 2014. In addition to being able to classify the name, you can set the category for the rule as well. This is a big improvement. As you go through the transaction list and name/categorize transactions, QuickBooks will learn from your actions and will create rules of its own.

QuickBooks 2014 Rules

What Do I Think?

I remember the hullabaloo that people raised back when QuickBooks 2009 dropped the register mode and added the first iteration of side by side mode. It was one of the largest mass rejections of a new QuickBooks feature that I’ve ever seen. Intuit did fix the product, AND they restored the old register mode to satisfy people who wanted to use that method. So I get nervous when Intuit makes changes in this feature. Fortunately, this time I think that Intuit is on the right track and this is going to be a feature that I’ll want to use myself.

I talked about the three areas that Intuit focused on:

  • Connectivity: This hasn’t improved dramatically in the R1 release. However, there should be some great improvements coming here as Intuit continues to develop the new Bank Feeds feature. They’ve shown us that they are working hard to update the entire feature, I expect that they’ll focus their attention in this area.
  • Usability: Yes, they have greatly improved this aspect of the product. They have updated the user interface to make it fit the overall scheme, they have simplified the workflow, they have made it easier to accomplish your tasks in fewer steps.
  • Automation: There are advances here as well. Renaming rules are greatly improved – but there is more that they can do. I also believe that they are going to work on improving this area of the program in upcoming releases.

As I’ve said all along, don’t use the R1 release if you can avoid it. There are a few problems that have shown up in my initial testing, as I would expect in an R1 release. I haven’t seen anything that damages my files or posts incorrectly, but there are a couple of places where the program crashed.

All in all, this is a great improvement and I’m expecting great things in upcoming updates.

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page

About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. Charlie can be reached at [email protected]

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • One of the advantages that QBO Downloaded Transactions over Bank Feeds is the fact that once you set up the banking connection, you don’t ever have to enter password or pin again. I was hoping they’d do same for desktop. Maybe that will change!

    • MB, in talking with Intuit folks about this, there is a lot more work being done on Bank Feeds for future revisions. They want to bring up ALL THREE of the areas to be top notch when compared to other products.

  • MB – ‘and the QBO’ will download automatically (overnight) and the new QB-2014 won’t do that (at present either), but I am like “Charlie”, I think that Intuit is ‘committed’ to make this functionality work, and work as well as it does in QBO.

    As such the natural tendency of their new ‘Harmony’ efforts across platforms is that the QB-desktop version of on-line banking should become ‘even more like’ the QBO version than visa versa.


    • I think that it is unlikely that the desktop product will do an automatic overnight download (specifically), because the desktop product isn’t really suitable for that kind of off line update. Heck, the computer that has the database is very likely to not even be turned on overnight! That is one advantage to something like QBO. But there are other aspects of the QBO bank feed management that could be brought in.

  • I don’t really see any advantages to doing this within the QB browser vs the bank online with an outside browser. Hopefully they aren’t changing that by disabling the use of the outside browser to download a QBO file.

    I download QBO or CSV and when I download a CSV is the QBO isn’t available I then turn the CSV into a QBO and I am done.

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – there are many more issues that need to be addressed like allowing more than on AP or AR file in one journal entry? There are so many more issues and improvements that could be made over the Banking function

    • Due, for those people who work with QB on a regular basis, who are accounting professionals, the differences might not be as significant. For people who are end users and who don’t do this often, the improvements are going to be more significant. And, moving forward, some of the changes coming up should make the connectivity part much easier.

      The majority of what I’m showing here are changes that improve how you work with the data once it is loaded. In fact, in my examples here, what I did WAS to download the QBO file and open it. All of the significant changes here so far are changes to the process to what you do AFTER the transactions are acquired, no matter which method you use.

      Yes, there are a lot of things that they can work on that we all want, but I do believe that the effort put in here will be of value to many people.

  • Three cheers for this change and for Charlie’s detailed article.

    There is a simple reason why Intuit is moving now. COMPETITION = XERO. An Intuit employee admitted this applied to the new CPA practice manager and we now see it applies here as well. I told top Intuit executives that QuickBooks desktop needed an automated bank feed option in 2005. They said it was a great idea, but did not move until they had to buy Mint in 2009 ($170 million, which killed Quicken Online). They also waited until 2013 for QuickBooks. NUTS! This is because Xero is growing users 100% to 500% a year. QBO only got about 75% of the 800,000 users that QB desktop recently lost. You also now have the free Wave at the low end, growing far faster than Mint, though neither will catch Xero and bank partner Yodlee (40 million users). Intuit also lost $300 million when it dropped Digital Insights, a Yodlee competitor.

    QuickBooks desktop now has a “Keep QuickBooks running” option. Intuit can make this support automatic nightly bank and credit card feeds easily, but did not yet do so for Quickbooks desktop. 75% of Intuit development money is now going to the web, so QuickBooks desktop still has an annual development cycle, compared to three weeks for Xero.

    I still would rather go to the dentist than use QB Online, so I will keep quickly switching to Xero. My 0CPAs program also increasingly automates Xero. Doug Sleeter, Joe Woodward and Gary Boomer attended the recent Xero conference. Based on my many conversations there, there will be many more new U.S. Xero users this year. In two years, there should be many more Xero users than QBO users.

    • Thank you, Mike. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to go to Xerocon and meet you face-to-face, but I was sequestered down in Mountain View at the Intuit event.

      I don’t view the “Keep QuickBooks Running” option as a good one. In fact, more often than not, we tell clients to turn that feature off because of problems it can cause. Any time that you are working with an add-on product, for example, the first step in debugging a problem is to turn that feature off. AND Intuit Support commonly tells people to do that. Also, this kind of solution would require that you leave the computer on all the time – at least one that has the database – and for many users that isn’t a great solution.

      If Intuit streamlines the connectivity issue a bit more, you won’t really need that. It should be a simple task to tell the program to get your data every once in awhile. Daily updates of this sort aren’t that critical – who would go in to review the data EVERY day in most situations?

      I agree that Xero is a major contender in the marketplace, and that Intuit recognizes that they are their big competition. However, I am not going to bet against Intuit in this case, mainly because of their size and funding. It will be interesting to watch them, though!

    • I have one client left using Quickbooks Online while all the others have switched to Xero. I was “contented” not happy with QBO but it made my client happy up until last Friday.
      We had a big issue with the bank feeds. There were errors with the connection so I had to delete bank connection and reconnect it again. The investment account was synchronized with client’s personal account. I thought it was my mistake so I had to delete the connection and link the bank accounts again. Tried it thrice, and the investment account got screwed up again this time with the company’s checking account. Called QB support and tried it for another 5 times using different browsers, but to no avail. It was downloading transactions from different bank accounts. Finally, after hours of talk, they were blaming it on the Wellsfargo side. Wellsfargo portal worked just fine. What disappointed me was the lack of sense of ownership of QBO when it came to this issue. I’ve had so many client using Xero with Wellsfargo accounts but had no such issues.
      Toward the end, we wasted more than 3 hours combined talk time with QBO support, with Wellsfargo and even with my own client. I had no choice but to do manual entries for the said account. I really hope this client of mine decides to move to Xero!

  • Online banking is a very useful tool for me for working in my client’s books. It saves me a ton of time downloading as opposed to manual data entry. But it is not a user-friendly part of the program and I almost always use web connect. You are right, Charlie, I did not see a big change here, at least for what I use this tool for.

    On a side note, I am going to steal Mike Block’s line above. I agree, that I would rather go to the dentist than use QuickBooks Online. I have one client using this program and it is AWFUL!

    • Lynda (and Mike) – the Harmony release of QBO is much easier to work with, it will change the game for SOME people. Of course, it doesn’t fit all kinds of businesses, since it doesn’t have as wide a feature range.

  • Intuit/QuickBooks is missing one TIME SAVING AWESOME FEATURE.

    In Quicken when you download and then at end of month to reconcile the download ALREADY checked off items and when you reconcile 905 of teh time all items on left and right side of the screen are already checked off. in Quicken I can reconcile 3 accounts in under 2 minutes.

    in QuickBooks you still have to check mark everything on the screen that is on the statement. how 1989!!!

    They already do this for their other product, come on Quickbooks/intuit!!!!!

    • Hi David,

      I’m the QuickBooks Product Manager responsible for the new Bank Feeds design in QuickBooks 2014. I completely agree that we can do more to help clients reconcile their accounts faster and that we have some great examples of this in other Intuit products already. We are actively working on those enhancements right now, in fact, I’ll be at the Sleeter conference next week where I’ll be running a workshop to understand this problem in more detail and figure out some potential solutions.



      • Hi Alex,

        Keep up the good work those of us who use banking features will never retreat from using them.

        I am a QuickBooks user since 2005 and Bookkeeper for 20+ years. I won’t work with a company who uses QuickBooks without 100% automation with banking. (PS. at present I will never work with QBO-really lightweight bookkeeping- needs more punch & alot less end user clicking choices). Helping a friend set up Premier for Professionals tried not turning on classic mode for bank feeds. 1st issue when selecting to check-added bank memo the input box came in but not the ability to type in the box at the initial screen. 2nd issue never could figure out how to work on multiples and correctly save entries. (way too easy using select quick add feature on right to enter a uncategorized entry with blank vendor name) 3rd issue I could not figure out how delete 20 entries (en masse) from the “transactions” that are not needed. Looked up help-its suggestion was to find a button located under description, etc. but that did not exist at the transaction screen or the one before it. I am searching for this delete answer on the internet.

      • I have spent DAYS on the phone with QB support: can’t get 14 to SEND a direct check to Wells Fargo. It tells me it is “Too Late” but does not offer a later date – just goes into a never ending loop. 3 level two techs and still can’t pay a bill.

      • Hi Alex,

        We are QuickBooks 2014 users that depend on bank feeds for updating our 41 active bank accounts; however, we’ve since added new bank accounts, and can’t seem to get the new accounts connected. I have to force close QuickBooks after staring at a spinning wheel for 30 minutes.
        I set up a test set of books with a bank account and was able to get a connection to our bank within seconds.
        We’re desperate for a fix for our connectivity issue, as manually importing transactions for 41 accounts each day isn’t feasible. Are there any troubleshooting suggestions for QuickBooks 2014?

      • Hi Alex:

        I’m running Quickbooks Pro 2014 for Windows and having trouble downloading and writing checks through the bank feeds with Chase. Chase claims that nothing is wrong on their end. They said that I have to add EACH payee in their online payment system before my bank feeds/online check writing component will work in Quickbooks. That seems crazy! Others have told me that Intuit has not kept up with the level of security added with Chase’s coding. What is wrong here? My business is suffering. Will and upgrade to Pro 2016 help solve the issue? Thanks, Ted

        • Alex Blakey is no longer working at Intuit, sadly.

          The Chase bank feed setup should work fine with both 2014 and 2016. Sometimes there are glitches that are temporary, sometimes there are problems with a particular company file. Sounds like you are getting some bad info from Chase. You probably should work with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor who can log in to your system and show you how to work out the issues.

    • David,

      If you’ve downloaded everything via online banking, reconciliation is actually a snap! Just check the “Hide Transactions After Statement End Date,” then “Mark All,” and you’re done!! Not quite so quick if you’ve manually entered checks by date written, as you do have to individually check their status. But what I love about the desktop version is you can rearrange checks by check number. That’s how they’re usually listed somewhere on the bank statement, so checking them off is a simple matter. I always do checks first, verify that the checks balance matches the bank statement, then rearrange by date, and the rest goes very quickly. That’s not something available in QBO, which is one reason I’d rather have a tooth pulled as well =)

      Maybe I need to quit resisting Xero…

  • Actually, David, you can use that auto match when reonciling feature in Quicken in QuickBooks.

    I just showed a Seattle client how to check the box marked match already downloaded transactions already matched to transactions already entered in the QuickBooks desktop bank register.

    That reduced their time 90%.

    The box is right underneath the left side of deposit side of the reconcile window.

  • Thank you for this. I had been hating the Express Mode this year. So nice to turn it off and go back to clasic mode. Express mode doesn’t let you edit the memo’s and I use the memos to tell me what was that expense… i.e. This month I had two auto credit card charges from logmein.com. One for Cubby and one for Logmein Pro. But without being able to edit the memos I’d have no record of what each charge was for. Thank you!

      • I agree with you Evan. I do not like the “express mode” either. And the “classic” was antique. I want my 2012-13 Side by Side back.

        • I agree. There are so many bugs in the express mode the most annoying being that in a looong list of transactions, the screen will jump back to the top after a quick add. This is so annoying. Also, any changes you make to transactions will be lost if you do a quick add to another transaction. Adding a couple of months of transactions at a time is a nightmare!

          Express Mode also randomly checks transactions even when you have pressed the uncheck all making it impossible to “accept all” without looking at every transaction to make sure it is not randomly checked.

          I want my side-by-side back so I can make sure that every transaction ends up exactly where it is supposed t, so I can sort transactions and not get thrown back to the top, and so that I can add memos easily!

  • There are some critical missing features from the new “Renaming Rules” functionality. Hopefully someone from the QB team will notice this.

    Let’s take a typical transaction reported via direct connect from Chase Bank as an example.

    The “DOWNLOADED AS” string from the bank might say “ACH Payment 1234567 to TOY” for a business vehicle lease payment from Toyota Motor Credit. “1234567” is the serial number of the payment so that is unique and not useful – it will change with every individual transaction.

    Hence, one would want a renaming rule that says IF “Downloaded As” contains “ACH Payment” AND “Downloaded As” contains “to TOY” THEN rename the vendor to Toyota Motor Credit and classify the transaction as a vehicle lease payment. However, in the Renaming Rules dialog box it appears the only available operator is OR. Of course we cannot say “ACH Payment” OR “to TOY” because then all ACH payments would get renamed to Toyota. We need an AND operator (really we need a pulldown menu where we can select between AND and OR as we add qualifiers).

    An additional approach that would add even more power to the process would be recognizable wildcards, like ‘*’ and ‘?’, where ‘?’ represents individual characters and ‘*’ represents between zero and an infinite number of characters. So in our example above, the rule could say “Downloaded As” CONTAINS “ACH Payment * to TOY”, and the system would find the transaction no matter what the number was (or even if there wasn’t one). Likewise “ACH Payment ??????? to TOY” would find the transaction, but this time only if there was a seven-digit number (or any seven characters) between the word “Payment” and the word “to”.

    Using a mix of AND and OR operators, coupled with wildcards, would make the Renaming Rules feature extraordinarily powerful. Without them, about half the transactions that come in here do not benefit from that feature since there is no way to construct a proper Rule.

    • Thanks for the comment, Pete. I can’t say if THAT specific feature will be updated, but I do know that Intuit is looking to expand the capabilities of this feature, moving forward. They have a lot of plans and ideas, but I don’t know what the release timeframe is.

  • My firm uses Bank Fees for one of our bank accounts and loves the way it works. We have tried to set up our master account on bank feed, but we are unable to select that QB account due to the fact that we use that account with Intuit Bill Pay services. Does anyone know how to use an account for Bill Pay as well as online bank feeds to download daily transactions? We use the direct connect method. Thanks!

  • I added another AMEX card to the biz and was forced to transition from the old Direct Connect to the new sync system. Ick. I can no longer download the transactions and re-categorize them later, say, while I’m on an airplane with no internet connection. Oh no, they won’t even download until you go onto the AMEX site first and use their terrible user interface to categorize them.

    Why anyone thought that spreading your accounting tasks across two or three different applications and devices (desktop app, browser, mobile device) was a good idea was smoking something, and I want some. No, on second thought, I don’t.

    I guess all so they could roll out some new mobile app to take photos of receipts. No thanks, I like filing my paper receipts.

  • Hi Alex,
    I have a client that updated to QB pro 14. So it’s been about 3 months.

    I have to say I hate the new Banking Feed. I’ve been using QB since 1996 so I’ve used the banking feature since the “classic’ register. I loved the Side by Side. I could see if something was allocated correctly, it was easy to allocate those that weren’t and it was all right there. Clean in black and white.

    All the colors make it very confusing.

    I hope that a revision will bring back the side by side from the previous version as an option. Otherwise I’m not going to let my clients update until I really have no choice, or I’ll switch them altogether.


  • Thank you for the excellent update article. These sound like some good improvementes, but what we REALLY need is a decent tool for finding out which banks offer Direct Connect at no charge. Any new accounting client who decides to use QB Desktop wants this answer, and they’ll all happily sign up with a bank that offers this service. There used to be a website for it, but it’s defunct. Most clients are so confused by the Web Connect feature that I don’t bother recommending it, but they balk at paying $9.95 per month to download transactions. This makes them pick QB Online time and time again, despite my arguments at what a shadow of a program it is otherwise. If a bank advertised free Direct Connect, they’d have every single one of my desktop clients signing up for an account. Any suggestions?

    • Good point, Nancy! I don’t have a suggestion other than to bring this up with Intuit. If enough people comment on it, they may pay attention. It is interesting, Intuit is trying to bring the desktop product up to the level of functionality of the online product, and I thought that this was one of the things they would address, but it hasn’t happened yet.

      • Thanks for the response, Charlie. I’d love to “bring this up with Intuit”. Have you found any methods of bringing issues to their attention that are more or less effective?

        • It may be surprising to some people, but the “feedback” option in the Help menu can be effective IF a large number of people use it for the same topic. Intuit actually has a display in their offices that shows this kind of info, and they look at it. And, I think that by bringing it up in these articles that helps, because quite a few Intuit folks watch the comments here. Another option is to talk directly to the product managers – that can be tough to do normally, but a great way to see them is to come to one of the trade shows that Intuit exhibits at so you can meet them. The Sleeter Group offers Solutions14 this Fall, which would be a great opportunity for this.

          • I’ve been considering attending the Solutions conference; thanks for the feedback.

  • Nancy, you may find our product useful in this regard. LedgerSync allows you to download transactions, check images, and bank statements then import into your bookkeeping software…. Made for accountants to manage multiple clients….

  • Thank you for this website. I was having trouble with BankFeeds and couldn’t find a QuickBooks (QB) explanation for how it worked in 2014.

    You probably know that the Express Mode in QB 2014 had serious bugs that crashed QB … I think it sometimes required data rebuild. The crashes are fixed in R6 but it still have a long way to go.

    The biggest problem with what you are calling automation has to do with naming rules for credit cards. There is a “downloaded as” field and a separate “payee” field. Okay…that makes sense. But if you try to enter something in the payee field, QB has unpredictable behavior sometimes forcing you to setup a new payee when you weren’t even done typing. Entering the payee field can take a long, long time.

    It would be good if you could simply default the “payee” to be the “downloaded as field.”

    • We are also facing similar problem. Valuable information like the one in “Downloaded As” column simply gets lost when we “Add / Approve” transaction. When the values are smaller we may not want to add a new vendor everytime and in the absence of “Downloaded As” field we miss the relevant information based on which any particular chart of accounts was selected. We loose future reference details which is big draw back and quickbook needs to resolve it.

  • after many frustrating hours (days!) someone at Bank of America finally told me that the Direct Connect only works with their BUSINESS accounts, not any personal checking or credit card accounts. So frustrating after upgrading QB, and spending hours with both their tech support and the bank’s tech support. Now I have to decide if I want to change my bank accounts at B of A or switch banks altogether.

  • Likely this isn’t a feature on the top of their list to implement, but is there a way to locate previously matched transactions from the work flow direct connect express? For example, when you match and add transactions, and the somehow the match wasn’t right, is there a way to go back and find the previously imported transaction details?

  • I really like the bank feeds feature as well. We started using it in the 1st quarter of 2014. Initially we had a problem with rules (We had over 200 rules), but Intuit put out an update and it fixed our problem. It made my 2 of my 3rd party import programs obsolete. The problem I have is I can’t find out how to match up POs to the credit card charges that are imported There is an option to match transactions, but I can’t figure out how to do it with Purchase orders.

    Any clues?


  • Thanks for the article. Very informative. I have been using Quicken since 1988 and QuickBooks since it came out. I don’t understand why QB won’t let me import transactions from a spreadsheet. Or why I can’t transfer transactions from Quicken to QB. I don’t like having to change banks in order to use QB banks. Why don’t they make it simple by uploads from CSV files which banks provide for free. I’m sick of bank charges! Any chance this will be an option? And as long as I’m at it, why doesn’t QB include an amortization schedule like Quicken.

    • Chris, in my system I didn’t have to enter them again after the first time. I only have one bank to work with, I don’t know if this is a difference between different banks, or a problem in your particular file.

  • Can we give our bookkeeper Chase Direct Connect Access without giving her the ability to withdraw funds? I am getting conflicting answers on this depending on how I talk to at Chase. They told us that only signors can access direct connect but that is not true. The signor needs to set it up, then give the person a Security Code (via online banking) that they can use. This works but I just want to make sure she has no ability to withdraw funds via transfers, bill pay or online check writing. Any idea if this is possible?

  • So the issue I’m having is that my bank d/ls all the entries as Point of Sale Withdrawal, only occassionally including the payee name, so when it prompts me to save it as a rule, I am unable to b/c the rule reads, If descriptions CONTAINS Point of Sale Withdrawal, rename payee to SHOPRITE AND Categorize account to PERSONAL.
    Well, clearly I can’t accept that rule! Ack. Any idea on a workaround for this? Is this my bank’s error or a QB error? I’m so frustrated trying to get over six months’ worth of recs done!
    TIA for your assistance.

      • I was hoping it would come up with the name of the payee rather than a blanked POS Withdrawal notification or in addition to it – some of them it does, at least partially. For Home Depot it has POS W THE, and for others it has a little more info. I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at as it’s somewhat difficult to explain.
        Thanks so much for your prompt reply! Any way I could send you a screenshot? Might make it much easier to see it.

        • The bank is the one that creates the names of what are imported (or, the payment processor that the vendor uses), it isn’t being set by QuickBooks. All that QuickBooks can do is look at the info that comes in, and you have to set the rules based on what comes in.

  • Had a client with serious connectivity issues in QB15 over last few months. They talked with quickbooks paid support and end result is they were told there bank was too small. QB kept crashing every time they tried to login to the bank feed, even when trying to use web connect files. The transactions would download, but when you tried to access them, QB would crash. I switched their account in preferences from express mode to classic mode and the downloaded transactions started showing up immediately.

  • I’ve attempted to move from Desktop to QBO, but I had a BIG hangup today that relates to this. I started importing the transactions from my bank directly into QB Pro 2014, rather than downloading, saving, and then importing the transactions.

    That was really nice and smooth until today. I had several issues with my QB company file, and at some point, after matching a ton of transactions (spent about 5 hours doing it) to my register, I had to revert to an older backup.

    That backup file was then used to make the move to QBO. Now I find that I’m missing about 900 transactions that are sitting in the unmatched transactions of QB 2014, and appear nowhere in QBO.

    Because I started opening the bank account information and importing straight into QB without downloading, saving and importing, I have no .qbo files to dig out and re-import to QBOnline. What’s really bad is that my bank can only provide transactions up to 90 days in the past – getting me back only to the start of November.

    I’m now stuck, because I have no idea where the unmatched bank transactions “reside” in the Quickbooks folder tree and have no idea how to get those transactions out of the desktop version and imported into QBOnline.

    I would suggest that just for safety’s sake, everyone should manually download, save and import the qbo or csv files, so they can be used later as a backup, if there’s ever a problem. I may have to pay my CPA/Bookkeeper to manually enter 900 transactions from my bank statements because of this small oversight.

  • Hey Charlie, I emailed you back in July/ Aug 2014 trying to decide which Quick-books is best for me. I chose Quick-books Accountant and now I need payroll so can you help me decide again ? I’m a small business with only 3 client. Sherry Stevens

    • Hi Sherry – I just wanted to drop you a note that Charlie is on vacation for the next few weeks. He has been checking comments every so often, but it may take him a a little while to respond to you. Thanks for visiting the Sleeter Report!

      • Ok, thanks for letting me know Charlie on vacation. I sent him a invite to my Linkedin I hope he excepts. I’ll try to wait on him before making my decision on Provisor or just buy add payroll to Accountant Plus Sub . I’m worried my little bookkeeping company will not make it. -:((( -S

    • Sherry, I don’t work with payroll, so I don’t have a good recommendation. And, there are a lot of details that you have to watch out for with payroll, as different businesses have different needs.

      Intuit has multiple payroll products that many people use, each has different benefits and use cases. There also are other products out there, such as Zen Payroll, that are very good.

      • Charlie , thanks for replying to the above question. Is there a Quickbooks that offerers unlimited payroll and accounting for small bookkeeping companies? Should I become a provisor?

        • Intuit has several options for accountants, some I believe are a part of the ProAdvisor program. I never work with Payroll myself so I’m not really able to provide a good answer about that (and they seem to be changing things all the time). There are good reasons to become a ProAdvisor but I can’t say if that would be beneficial to you, without knowing a lot more about what you are trying to do.

  • I am office manager / bookkeeper for a small residential remodeling company, currently using QB for Contractors 2014 (single user). We don’t have the volume to justify paying for direct connect, so I have setup bank feeds to download web connect files. This works reasonably well (with one exception — see next paragraph) for financial institutions that provide web connect file (Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t — they only provide CSV download).

    The big white elephant in the room that Intuit ignores is if a company job costs materials and/or equipment rentals purchased via credit cards, there is no screen that allows the user to enter job cost info during the download process. You can only fill in expense information, not item information that is needed for job costing.

    If I have already manually entered the transaction properly job costed (using item tab), then during download QB will match to it. But there is NO WAY to access the item tab during the download process.

    So I end up having to manually enter the transactions first, using the item tab, then downloading and matching. I have spent a fair amount of time on the phone with QB Support, and they admit that it is not possible to use the item tab (instead of the expense tab) during the download process.

    Comments, anyone? Am I the only one who is frustrated with the lack of ability to enter job cost info during download?

  • How many bank accounts can be downloaded from bank website. Suppose we have 30 locations and each has a bank account, can I download all of them and do reconciliation in QB Enterprise version

    • That is a good question, Joy. I don’t have the answer, I’ll see if I can find out. I don’t know of a limit for direct connect bank feeds, but I’ve never had a situation where there were that many to contend with. You shouldn’t have any issue with the older download method, where you get a file from the bank and import it.

Leave a Comment