How to automate categorization based on rules?

catlccatlc Member Posts: 1

Quickbooks has an excellent function inwhich you can auto-categorize transactions based on rules, such as transaction CONTAINS "GoDaddy" and/or "hosting" etc... (for example)

How to do this with Wave?

If not available I will be EXTREMELY disappointed in Wave

edited August 30, 2018 in Wave Features


  • SophiaSophia Member Posts: 147 ✭✭

    Hi @catlc auto-categorization is something our product team is looking into, but it is not currently available and I don't have a timeline to provide right now.

  • nadworksnadworks Member Posts: 31 ✭✭

    I think your suggested categorisation is very poor and borderline ridiculous.

    • My regular (and consistent) donations/membership payments to the Green Party come up as "entertainment" (I guess it's the word "Party") = stupid!
    • My home gas supplier "Atlantic Gas" keeps being listed as "vehicle fuel" (assuming gas is petrol) = not here in the UK!
    • And the obvious ones like "Post Office" is auto-categorised as "clothes"** = WHAT?**
    • "Pure Gym" is not going into "Gym, Sports & Recreation" = Why not? It couldn't be more obvious!!!

    I could go on and on...

    So somehow the built-in logic is completely bonkers, and consistent corrects have no impact on future such transaction. I think after all these years, the supposedly helpful auto-categorisation needs to get fixed. Even Microsoft got rid of the not-so-helpful animated paperclip in Word.

  • ThatGuyThatGuy Member Posts: 1

    I registered to say that poor categorization is THE single reason I left Wave and am now paying $20/month for a better solution.

  • bpistonebpistone Member Posts: 2

    I've used Mint for years and it's a simple checkbox when you select the transaction. I'm a first time Wave user and do not want to spend time categorizing more than once. Going to Quickbooks if the feature is unavailable.

  • bpistonebpistone Member Posts: 2

    I've used Mint for years and it's a simple checkbox when you select the transaction. I'm a first time Wave user and do not want to spend time categorizing more than once. Going to Quickbooks if the feature is unavailable.

  • rwall88rwall88 Member Posts: 11

    Please Copy Quickbooks and allow me to create auto categorization rules as described by @Catic in the original post. This is one of the most important features of an accounting software. Second only to Auto download transactions, Which Wave does very well. I am trying out wave coming from Quickbooks but this missing feature is absolutely critical. @Sophia Please try to get us a timeline on this.

    edited March 29, 2018
  • billysalbillysal Member Posts: 4

    Damn! I've just spent ages getting my accounts set up in Wave, having seen it as a free alternative to Xero... but not being able to automate categorisation is a big problem. I naively assumed it would work the same as Xero, but I guess you get what you pay for. If we could get an idea of when or if this feature will be added that would be great, as I'd rather not have to switch software halfway through the year. Other than that it's a great piece of software, and for free it's amazing.


  • waveuser789waveuser789 Member Posts: 1

    Waves great and does a tonne for free, however, auto-categorisation is a given in every financial application out there. We're coming over from QB, i just presumed this feature was fixed from a year ago when we asked for it and you said it was coming one day, but I'm not sure I can cope having to input the same bills and outgoings over and over again for eternity, you get my point :). I presume it's a big thing to do in the system or maybe you don't want to for some reason? either way a huge +1 for this feature. and keep up the great work.

  • GlasgowBrokerGlasgowBroker Member Posts: 1

    Just today been setting up a new Wave account in lieu of switching over from QB. Having stumbled across this thread however, the lack of auto-categorisation means I will be going back to Quickbooks, or another alternative.

    This feature is paramount. Nobody should have to spend hours manually categorising each transaction, when the technology is there to make it automated.

    As a poster has mentioned above, the existing default categorisation is hopeless. An overdraft fee being suggested as 'Meals and Entertainment', is just one example.

    This really is such a big disappointment, as, this aside, I have been very impressed with the Wave interface and ease of use.

  • LaurelLaurel Member Posts: 2

    Oh dear. I've just set up waveapps and love the usability but the thought of duplicating the categorisation every month might just be a deal breaker.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @Laurel.

    I'm not sure what you mean by that. Categorization has to be done manually in Wave. We are looking at features to automate this to a point, but I don't have anything concrete I can share right now.

  • EveeEvee Member Posts: 2

    Seeing that this issue has not been resolved in a long time I will be leaving Wave. I do not have the time to reset each transaction manually when it often and ridiculously miscategorizes them. I might as well go back to my spreadsheet if I have to be that hands on. Super disappointing. Otherwise great product.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @Evee.

    There is no automated categorization in Wave at all. I'm unsure what the original poster's issue was, but categorization isn't automated. It's something we're looking into, but there is no automation there for now.

  • clcclc Member Posts: 1

    @Alexia You're kidding, right? If you're saying you don't have some kind of categorization going on then your product has developed a mind of its own. My experience is the same as other posters: sometimes it seems as though Wave is trying to categorize through some twisted logic, and other times it picks a default category and runs with it for a while.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @clc.

    I apologize for the confusion. I did more digging on this matter. While Wave itself has very little in the way of auto-categorization (we do auto-categorize transfers), the third-party bank data provider we use for the bank connection system does auto-categorize transactions.

    Because of this, some transactions imported through bank connections will be categorized automatically, and you are absolutely right in saying that the categorization rules aren't clear, or don't always make sense. We do want to do better with respect to automation in Wave, and we do recognize that our data provider's categorization can be frustrating. Our goal is always to make the lives of our users easier and less stressful, and we do see that the categorization from bank connections are affecting some Wavers negatively.

  • hawthorne78hawthorne78 Member Posts: 1

    Yeah, the lack of auto-categorization is a deal breaker. Time killer to do manually. Nice platform aside from that.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm sorry to hear that, @hawthorne87.

    Can you tell me what you would expect from auto-categorization options? Would you be looking for rules that you'd establish yourself, or something truly automated?

  • beatbeat Member Posts: 1

    @Alexia if Wave can add rules for categorisation then it would be up there with the rest of them, Xero, QB etc. That is the principle reason I stopped using Wave. I agree with all the frustrated comments on this post. The current automated categorisation sucks big time. Program in some rules, in the same way Xero does and you've got yourself a top product. You will notice new customers signing up in waves ;)

  • SromanoSromano Member Posts: 1

    @Alexia I was a software product manager for a long time so I understand the challenges of implementing new features, especially ones such as this. Let me help with providing a use case for you that hopefully you can pass on to your product team and they can use to put in a new feature (which should have a priority as critical)

    When reviewing transactions coming over from bank feeds, it is important from an accounting standpoint that each transaction is assigned a category and often times a Vendor. Currently in the system we have to go into each transaction and manually assign the category and vendor. For many companies, we will have many transactions (sometimes hundreds a month) from the same vendor and they will always fall into the same category. Other systems allow the user to create rules so that whenever a transaction comes in from a bank feed with the same details (Charge from Description) the system will automatically assign these transactions to a category and Vendor.

    For example, in the screenshot attached you will see a lot of transactions from Ferguson, a vendor I use frequently. If I was able to implement a rule that any charge from this company was auto assigned to a specific Vendor and category this would save hours a week if not more.

    Hopefully this helps. In addition, as far as assigning a vendor goes, it would be nice if we could assign the vendor to transactions in Bulk like we can the category and tax. This should be relatively simple enhancement to implement. Simply add the additional attribute of Vendor to the bulk editing options in the drop down. Please let me know if I can provide any other information that would be helpful.

    If you need a solid product manager, I can help with that too :wink:

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @Sromano!

    Thank you so much for the detailed feedback! I don't have much detail to give about our upcoming automated categorization feature, so I can't speak to how it'll work or how much control you'll have over the automation just yet. With that said, I'll make sure to forward your feedback to our product team!

    And hey, if you're looking to join the team, we're always hiring for a bunch of different positions. You can keep an eye on them here. Toronto's a good city to live in, I can't recommend it enough!

  • webytedigitalwebytedigital Member Posts: 1

    +1 for me that this feature is critical. I couldn't leave xero and start using wave without a proper categorization rule system.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for joining in the discussion, @webytedigital. As mentioned previously, it's coming! I don't have a timeline just yet, but our engineers are working tirelessly!

  • noxigennoxigen Member Posts: 9

    +1 again (we've been asking for this feature for years through various mediums). Wave is a great product but the ability to create customized and automated bank rules should be a core feature by now.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for adding your voice to this discussion, @noxigen!

  • weldnoteweldnote Member Posts: 4

    +1 for the categorization. I have recently dabbled on another software called Buxfer, and they handle this in a simple way (for the user at least), yet it works very effectively

    You define a set of conditions and a set of responses.

    Condition A - Description of transaction (contains / does not contain / is exactly / starts with) and then type in the text that you want to be flagged.

    Response A - Categorize transaction as (options: Sales, Software Purchases, Vehicle fuel, etc).

    With that software you could add more conditions (with an "And/Or" option in the middle).

    Due to this, I went away from Wave for business expense management, and tried Buxfer, but unfortunately due to the tax laws in my country, I could not use them, because of the way they handled their invoices towards my business.

    I do like using Wave, even if it was paid, it would be a contender, but this is a much needed function

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for your feedback and your suggestion, @weldnote!

    As mentioned above, we are working on our own auto-categorization system and we're very excited to be able to show it off. It isn't quite ready yet, however. I don't have an exact timeline or details to offer at this time, but I can promise we have cool things in the works.

  • mattschildsmattschilds Member Posts: 4

    Is there a way to turn off the existing auto categorization when importing from my bank? It is wrong 75% of the time and makes it hard for me to find the new bank entries.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, @mattschilds,

    There is no “off-button” for our auto-categorization feature. You'll have to categorize them manually. You can sort your Transactions page to only see a specific bank account to make that process easier.

    The good news is that our auto-categorization system learns as you recategorize transactions. The more you do, the better Wave will get at correctly categorizing transactions moving forward to save you time in the long run.

  • mattschildsmattschilds Member Posts: 4

    That isn't an issue. Things get put into categories automatically so I can't just filter to uncategorized. I tend to deal with a lot of detail where it would be nice to just see the "new" stuff by being able to use that filter. The way it is now I have to look at a lot of transactions multiple times to be sure they are correctly categorized.

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    That's excellent feedback, @mattschilds. I'll pass it along to the product team immediately!

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