Online banking: Renaming rules for payee names

When you download or import transactions, the names of payees in your downloaded transactions may not match the names of payees in QuickBooks. That means you need to go through and match each one with a payee in QuickBooks and that can burn a lot of time you could be doing something more useful. QuickBooks makes this a lot easier with renaming rules.

Watch a video on how renaming rules work >>

Renaming rules example

Say you’re a landscaper, and you’ve bought supplies from several locations of the Guzman’s Nursery. When you download or import transactions from your financial institution with the Downloaded Transactions window, the names under Downloaded Payees are GUZMAN’S NURSERY – 010 and GUZMAN’S NURSERY – 020 and so on. It clutters up the payee list and, with the all caps, it sounds like your payees are yelling at you. You can set up a rule so that any transaction with a downloaded payee with the text “GUZMAN” is renamed to the vendor “Guzman’s Nursery.”

Creating a new renaming rules

When you create a renaming rule, it applies to transactions currently listed on the Downloaded Transactions window or future transactions you will download.

There’s two ways to create a renaming rule. In either case, the first thing you do is choose Banking > Downloaded Transactions and download or import transactions from your financial institution. If QuickBooks recognizes a downloaded payee name that is the same as one of your vendors, it goes ahead and creates a renaming rule.

Note: After you create a renaming rule, you may find it’s too strict or maybe not enough. You can always edit a rule if you need to.

One way to create a renaming rule:

  1. On the Downloaded Transactions window, click the Payee column next to a Downloaded Payee you want to create a rule for.
  2. In the Payee columen select or enter the name you want to use for the downloaded payee. QuickBooks creates a new rule that renames the downloaded payee.
  3. If the account is not prefilled for you, select an account for the transaction.

Another way to create a new rule:

    1. On the Downloaded Transactions window, download or import transactions from your financial institution. If QuickBooks recognizes a downloaded payee name that is the same as one of your vendors, it goes ahead and creates a renaming rule.
    2. Click Renaming Rules at the top of the window.
    3. On the Renaming Rules windows, click the + button at the bottom of the window.
    4. Set up your rule. Think of your rule as an if/then sentence. “If this happens, then I want QuickBooks to do this.” Use the first line (the “If” line) to tell QuickBooks what text to look for in the downloaded payee name. So, for the first part of your sentence, pick an action and enter text.
      • begins with—Apply the rule to any downloaded payee that begins with the text you enter.
      • contains—Apply the rule to any downloaded payee that contains the text you enter.
      • ends with—Apply the rule to any downloaded payee that ends with the text you enter.
      • exactly matches—Apply the rule to any downloaded payee that exactly matches the text you enter.

      Note: The text you enter is not case-sensitive, so don’t worry about uppercase vs. lowercase.

    5. Use the second line (the “then” line) to tell QuickBooks what you want to do with transactions that meet the criteria of the first line.
      • rename to—Renames the downloaded payee to  a vendor name you select. If you don’t see the  vendor you want, you can just enter the name and QuickBooks will prompt you to set up the vendor.
      • don’t rename—The downloaded payee stays as it is and is not renamed. This is useful for transactions such as checks. The downloaded name is probably the word “Check” plus a number and you need to choose which payee that check actually went to. You can create a rule that if the downloaded payee name contains “check” then don’t rename it. Then you can choose the payee name manually for each check to make sure it’s correct. QuickBooks adds a default list of these “don’t rename” rules for checks, deposits, and withdrawals automatically.
    6. Click OK.

Editing a renaming rule

Once you create a rule, you can edit it to get make it work just the way you want.

  1. Open the rule you want to rename:
    • In the Downloaded Transactions window, select a downloaded payee that has the rule applied that you want to change. Then click the arrow next to the name, and click Edit Rule.
    • Click Renaming Rules. On the Renaming Rules windows, double-click the rule you want to edit or select it and click Edit.
  2. Change the rule, and click OK. (For details, see the previous section on creating a new rule.)

So that’s what you need to use renaming rules. If you want to see all of this in action, watch our video on renaming rules and Add Multiple.

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About Shelly King

Shelly King works for Intuit as a member of the QuickBooks for Mac team. She’s the Managing Editor for Little Square and its main contributor. Shelly grew up in the South until 1994 when the Internet called her to Silicon Valley. She’s done a lot on the web ever since. Little Square was her idea. Yep, it’s all her fault. See all of Shelly's articles

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