Toshl Finance Blog

Matching Transfers Between Financial Accounts

It matters to know which entry on your bank account is a regular expense or income and which is a transfer between your financial account. Expenses and incomes will be counted in the sums and budgets, while transfers won’t count in those sums (unless you filter out some accounts).

With transfers among your own accounts, just moving your money from one “bucket” to another, while it remains your money. So it shouldn’t count as an income or expense, it’s your internal financial movement.

A few examples of such transfers:

  • transfers between your own bank accounts
  • ATM withdrawals (transfer between a bank account and cash)
  • payment of your monthly credit card bill (transfer from bank account to credit card account)

Automatic transfer matching

Toshl will try to automatically detect transfers between financial accounts whenever the data about the transfer is available.

Typically, there will be an expense on account A and an income on account B. The expense and income will have the same, or at least similar amounts and dates. Toshl will check if the expense and income combination fit the criteria for a transfer and merge them into a transfer if it fits.

Example of a matched transfer between the Intesa Sanpaolo and N26 bank accounts.

If all the data is already there; expense and income parts, and it fits well enough, the transfer will be matched automatically. You don’t need to do anything.

Reviewing entries to match transfers

However, if the transfer detection system cannot be certain enough, it will send those potential transfers for you to review and confirm they are indeed transfers or not. Go to the Bank connections screen in the main menu and click Review entries.

If you already know which exact entry should be a transfer, you can also do this on the entry itself. Just click on it to open the details, then click “Make transfer“.

There can be several reasons why the entries cannot be detected completely automatically. For example, there can be several possible matches for transfers among your accounts and you’d need to choose which is the correct expense and income pair. It’s also possible that the expense or income part of the transfer on the other account is missing. In those cases, we help you fill in the data and create the other part automatically, so that the transfer can be created.

Transfers between different account types

The transfers can work a bit differently based on how the data is entered.

Transfer between two automatic accounts

Automatic accounts are connected to your bank / credit card / financial service and the data gets imported automatically. Because data is imported automatically, transfer matching should happen automatically as well. If it doesn’t, check Bank connections / Review entires or use the Make transfer option on entry details.

In some rare cases, a part of the transfer might be missing if the bank didn’t report it. E.g. income part of transfer not showing up on your credit card account when you pay for it. In such cases, Review entries will help you create the missing part, so the transfer can be created.

Transfers between an automatic and a manual account

A typical example of this is an ATM withdrawal. The transfer will be composed form an expense on the automatic account and an income on the manual account. The expense part will be imported automatically from your bank account. The income part on your cash account will need to be added manually.

Just find the expense on the bank account from which you made the cash withdrawal and tap on it to open details. Then choose “Make transfer” and match it with your Cash account. Toshl will automatically create the income part on the cash account and match them together into a transfer. Your ATM withdrawal will now be a transfer and will no longer count in the expense sum.

Transfers between two manual accounts

Manual accounts are any accounts where you track the incomes and expenses by entering them through the app. You should add the transfers manually there, no automatic matching can be done.

To add a transfer click “Add transfer” below the list of financial accounts.

There’s also a shortcut to make this quicker:

  • in the mobile app: drag the + button up and to the right until it changes to Add transfer, then release the button
  • in the web app: click the + button on the bottom right, like you would to add an expense. Then click the title on top of the form to change it into a transfer.

More details on how transfer matching works

Obviously, the match between the parts of transfer won’t always be perfect. There can be differences in amounts due to exchange rates and fees, transfers can take several days to get from one bank to another and so forth. Some allowances are thus made, enabling the transfers to be matched despite these differences.

  • Toshl tries to find potential matches for all entries that come from bank connections. The detection of matches happens after each update of the bank connections.
  • dates of the expense and incomes must be within 4 days between each other for automatic detection. When reviewing manually, the range for potential matches is expanded to 10 days.
  • the amount of income and expense must be within 5 % to match. It doesn’t matter if they are in different currencies, Toshl will check their converted values in your main currency to match.
  • if more than one potential match is found in the date range, the potential transfer is sent to Bank connections / Review entries and has to be manually reviewed
  • if the entry has been automatically categorized as “Transfer” or the category could not be determined (unsorted), it automatically gets sent to review
  • if a certain entry has not been detected as a transfer, but should have been, just click “Make transfer” on the entry and you can correct it there. Alternatively, you can also change the category to “Transfer” from the list of categories and it will be sent to review after the next update of the bank connections.

After matching all those transfers, Toshl monsters sometimes need to take a step outside.
Posted in Tips & Tricks, Tutorials