Because of the way banks store vendor names, QuickBooks has a feature to allow you to match up what the bank has on file as the name of a vendor to what you have as a name. This is, at the basic level, the renaming rules. You tell QuickBooks that when you see a name come from the bank, replace it with an existing name that is already in QuickBooks.
Most of my clients understand this, and even if they don’t, QuickBooks does this mostly in the background. However, the renaming rules allow for more flexibility than simply renaming one name to another. Take Verizon for example, which may download as “verizon wrls 10001 newyork” as the name. If I were to let QuickBooks do my renaming for me, it would rename the downloaded name into “Verizon Wireless” as my vendor name. However, if I also open up a second account for someone who is located in San Fransisco, their charge might show as “verizon wrls 70315 frisco”. Because this name is different I would have to tell QuickBooks what vendor this is, even though it is obvious that it’s Verizon.
You access the renaming rules by clicking the “Renaming Rules” link at the upper right of the online banking window. Over on the left side, you will see a list of all your QuickBooks names. When you select a name, you will then have the option of how QuickBooks matches the name. The available selections are “Begins with”, “Ends with”, “Contains”, and “Exactaly Matches”. After you make your selection, you then enter the text that will determine what QuickBooks matches with. By default, it will have any previously downloaded names.
For our Verizon example, I could setup a renaming rule that exactly matches “verizon wrls 70315 frisco”, but then if I ever got something from another state I would have to set it up again. This is where the other matching options are useful. For this vendor, I would select “Begins with” as my method and use “verizon wrls” as my matching value. This means that even if I were to download “verizon wrls 12345 someplace” it would still match and I would never have to setup Verizon again.
For some vendors, Begins with works, but for others it may not be the best selection. FedEx for example may download as “#3290 FED EX 93040-324-xx-3442″. The number at the beginning changes, so “Begins with” won’t work, but “Contains” would be great here. I could set my rule to “Contains” as the method and “FED EX” as the match. This would mean that no mater what the first or last numbers are, it would get renamed to FedEx on my vendor list.
By taking the time to setup vendors with the best matching methods, Online Banking will be faster, which allows you to focus more on what’s important; Running your business!