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FinanceWorksTM FAQs

 
 
What is FinanceWorks?
FinanceWorks is a powerful online tool for managing all of your finances in one convenient place. Developed by the same people that brought you Quicken® and QuickBooks, America’s leading personal financial management software, FinanceWorks was created to help individuals and families easily keep track of their finances, gain control of spending, develop budgets, set goals, and view their complete financial picture.
 
Is there a charge to use FinanceWorks?
No. FinanceWorks is a free benefit for Premier America Internet Banking users aimed to help you manage your finances more easily.
 
How do I find the FinanceWorks program?
To find FinanceWorks login to Internet Banking and select “Go to FinanceWorks” from the “View My Spending” box on the bottom right of the screen.
 
What will I have to do to begin using FinanceWorks?
Simply review and “Accept” the FinanceWorks™ Terms and Conditions. Then follow the instructions to get started. For a better understanding of how the program works and what it offers, first view the FinanceWorks™ Demo that is provided in Internet Banking.
 
Will all my Premier America accounts be pulled into FinanceWorks after I sign up?
All of your savings and loan accounts will automatically be pulled into FinanceWorks.
 
Adding Accounts
 
What is the purpose of the search box in the Accounts area on the left hand side of my screen? I see all my Premier America accounts. What other accounts can I add?
FinanceWorks maintains links with about 16,000+ other financial institutions in the United States. If you have accounts at any of these participating financial institutions, you can add them here. Start by typing your other financial institution’s name in the search box, and a wizard will walk you through the process.
 
I want to add my car loan which is held at another financial institution, but all I see are my checking and savings accounts. How do I add the car loan?
Most financial institutions allow you to add multiple kinds of accounts. The only accounts not allowed in FinanceWorks itself are tiered commercial loans or general ledger accounts. If you don’t see your car loan here, that’s because your secondary financial institution has opted not to make it available.
 
How much history is stored?
For your accounts at Premier America, 90 days of history are available immediately. When you add accounts at other financial institutions, up to 90 days of history are available immediately. The exact number of days depends on that financial institution. For all accounts, total stored history is 18 months.
 
Can I add accounts at investment firms?
Yes, there are some firms that you can add. Please note that with investment accounts, you won't be able to see every detail of your holdings in each security; you can only track some limited transactions and your balances.
 
 
My Wells Fargo or ING Direct account information doesn’t seem to be updating automatically. Why not?
Wells Fargo is unusual in that you must manually update your account information. Go to your Wells Fargo account, and click the link that says “Refresh this Account”. You’ll have to log in, then the information will update. Members wishing to add ING Direct accounts will need to first create a passcode on the ING Direct website. The passcode will then be entered when adding or updating the account in FinanceWorks.
 
I changed my Internet Banking password at my other bank/credit union. Do I need to change it in FinanceWorks?
Yes, you must change your Internet Banking password for each account held at the bank/credit union that you view in FinanceWorks. If you don’t, FinanceWorks can’t refresh that account information. Go to each account and click on the “Change Sign-in Information” link.
 
How does FinanceWorks handle Enhanced Login Security (also known as Multifactor Authentication) at my other financial institution?
It depends on the financial institution. FinanceWorks may display a security challenge screen after you enter your user ID and password. Either enter the one-time passcode or answer(s) to your challenge question(s).
 
How often is my account information from other financial institutions updated?
FinanceWorks obtains transactions nightly. The exact time varies daily. 
 
I see that my account information from my other financial institutions is not displaying my transactions from today in FinanceWorks. How do I view my most current transactions (from today)?
If you want to view transactions from today, click on “Refresh this Account”. All your accounts at that financial institution accessible by the same sign-in information will be updated at the same time. You can also click the Refresh button on the FinanceWorks Home page (under Accounts) to manually refresh all accounts.
 
Why are there transactions on my credit union/bank’s website that aren't in FinanceWorks yet?
There can be a one-day delay, depending on when your credit union/bank makes transactions available.
 
 
Can you explain Projected Balance to me? Are my reminders included in it?
With Projected Balance, you can enter upcoming transactions to see what you'd have left in an account if expenses or deposits scheduled through today would clear your financial institution immediately. Because reminders are also part of Upcoming Transactions, they are included in Projected Balance.
 
How is Projected Balance calculated? Can I edit it?
Projected Balance is calculated by taking your current balance and adding or subtracting any upcoming transactions you’ve entered. You can’t edit it per se, but you can change it simply by adding transactions.
 
How do I view my transactions?
Click on the account name hyperlink to view transactions for one specific account. Click the Transactions tab to view all transactions. You can also select your date range.
 
How do I categorize my MasterCard bill when I pay it from my checking account? It seems that that expense will get counted twice in my spending reports – once from my MasterCard account and once from my checking account.
You’re correct that FinanceWorks will double those expenses. To keep that from happening, you should categorize the checking account expense as “Transfer Out”. FinanceWorks will then exclude that expense from your spending reports.
 
If I return an item I purchased, how do I categorize the refund so my spending reports are accurate?
You should categorize the return as an expense, with the same category as the purchase. So if you bought a lawn mower and then returned it, by categorizing both the purchase and the refund as “lawn and garden” expense, they will cancel each other out in your spending reports.
 
How do I remove a duplicate transaction?
Click on the transaction you want to delete within the list of transactions for that account, and then click the Delete link at the top of that table.
 
I want to edit multiple transactions at once. I need to re-categorize my past Home Depot transactions to be “lawn and garden” instead of “household.”
If you change one transaction now to “lawn and garden”, all future expenses will be categorized the same. In addition, whenever you re-categorize a transaction, FinanceWorks asks if you want to re-categorize all past transactions to that payee.
To re-categorize multiple transactions at once, go to Trends, select your desired date range and check the boxes for the desired accounts. Below the pie chart, click the View by Payee radio button. In the table, click the Payee that you want to re-categorize, and select the new category from the dropdown. Click anywhere else on the page and then answer the prompt to keep your changes.
 
Can I download my transactions directly into Excel?
Not directly.  You download them first into .csv format, then import into Excel. When you use the download feature, it downloads all transactions in the selected date range, regardless of whether they’ve been previously downloaded.
 
Why do my internal account transfers show as expenses (i.e. payment to my Premier America credit card) and/or doubles my expenses? 
You’re correct that FinanceWorks will double those expenses.  To keep that from happening, you should categorize the checking account expense as “Transfer Out”.  FinanceWorks will then exclude that expense from your spending reports.
 
My payment ended up listed under insurance, rather than prompting to have me enter its category.  FinanceWorks does a fairly good job of recognizing the different transaction types or classifications within the budget, but why are some matched up in a strange manner?
FinanceWorks does try to automatically sort, and can be wrong sometimes. The good thing is that it learns from you, and becomes more accurate.
 
 
In FinanceWorks how do I turn off specific joint accounts (i.e., my childrens’ or parents’ accounts) from being included in my budget/spending totals? I see a tick box to remove from trends and an option to delete an account but it still appears in the left column of my accounts.
To prevent specific accounts from being included in your budget/spending totals you will need to delete them. Click the Accounts link from the top. You can delete accounts from this screen. The only adverse affect this will have is if you decide to add the account back to FinanceWorks you will only be able to import the last 90 days of history.
 
I have hidden some accounts (typically joint w/children or parent accounts) within Internet Banking to not appear on my account summary page. I don’t want FinanceWorks to add these hidden accounts.  What do I do?
Unfortunately FinanceWorks will not check to see if the account is hidden in Internet Banking. That being said, it will import all Internet Banking accounts. You may delete the accounts in FinanceWorks and they will no longer show there. Click the Accounts link from the top. You can delete accounts from this screen. Please note if you decide to add the account back to FinanceWorks you will only be able to import the last 90 days of history.
 
Why does it take so long when I am deleting accounts in FinanceWorks?
FinanceWorks can take up to a minute to delete each account.  This is a reported known bug and is currently being researched.
 
How do I delete accounts in FinanceWorks?
Click the Accounts link from the top. You can delete accounts from this screen. The only adverse affect this will have is if you decide to add the account back to FinanceWorks you will only be able to import the last 90 days of history.
 
Why doesn’t FinanceWorks accept decimals, at least when budgeting? I would like that level of accuracy.
FinanceWorks is a tool that was created to help individuals and families easily keep track of their finances, gain control of spending, develop budgets, set goals, and view their financial picture. FinanceWorks provides a simple overview of your finances and does not track decimals. When you need to make important financial decisions - with an exact accounting -please consult with your professional accountant and other financial advisors.
 
I don’t want to use FinanceWorks anymore. Can I unenroll myself?
Yes you should, because then FinanceWorks will stop trying to aggregate your information from all your financial institutions. Log into FinanceWorks and click the Alerts & Options link in the upper right then select the Profile tab. You can unenroll yourself from this screen.
 
 
How does FinanceWorks select the categories to display when I first click the Goals tab?
FinanceWorks selects your four most active categories. Any categories that are for fixed expenses, like Rent, are not selected. You can add and delete any categories you wish.
 
How is the average calculated?
FinanceWorks goes back three months from today’s date, and then starts at the first of that first month. It adds up spending for that category, and then divides by the number of months that actually had activity. “Target” would be a better way to think of this. 
 
What do the colors mean on the graphs?
       Black bar = today’s date
       Gray bar = how much you’ve spent in relation to your budget
       Green bar = amount remaining to spend
 
 
How is net worth calculated?
It takes into account all your accounts (both at your host financial institution as well as accounts at other financial institutions that you’ve set up to display in FinanceWorks), plus any Properties you’ve entered, such as your car and house.
 
Is there a limit to the number of properties I can add? Do they have to be actual properties?
There’s no limit. You can even have multiple properties of the same type, such as multiple cars. And they do not have to be actual properties. For instance, you can add a personal loan that’s not tracked in FinanceWorks.
 
 
Can you explain to me how to track my spending using the pie charts?
Yes, there are multiple pie charts you can look at. For instance, you can look at the spending for one account by going to that account and clicking the Pie Chart tab. However, it sounds like you want to track your spending across all accounts. On the Home tab, you’ll see a pie chart for your spending in the period you selected. To drill down, click on the Trends tab at the top. This displays the same pie chart; however, in this view, you can click on a “piece” of the pie, then click View Transactions on the table below for that category and look at the details for that spending.
 
How do I see a year’s worth of data in my spending report?
The answer depends on how long you have been using FinanceWorks.
If less than 9 months: When you first started using FinanceWorks, up to 90 days of your account history displayed immediately. In order to get a year’s worth of spending report data, you must use FinanceWorks for an additional nine months. Remember that some of the accounts you added at other financial institutions may not have started off with 90 days, so it may take longer to build up to a year’s worth of data for them.
If greater than 9 months: Go to the Trends tab. You can drag the start and finish dates of the adjustable bar across the top of the screen and set the start date to a year ago. A pre-set list of date options can also be chosen from the dropdown menu.
 
Can I add my own spending categories?
Yes. Simply click on the + Add link next to the word Category wherever you see it.
 
I don’t understand how the spending totals are calculated. Can you explain those to me?
The totals are based on which accounts you have selected (check the boxes next to the desired accounts on the left hand side of the Home screen) and which timeframe you have chosen (use the slide bars across the top or choose a pre-set time from the dropdown menu).
 
 
I saw an onscreen ad yesterday in FinanceWorks for a special promotion, but today I don’t see it. How can I get that information?
Some of our promotions rotate, so you don’t see every advertisement every day. Please contact a Member Services Specialist at 800-772-4000 to get that information.
 
 
I see this Reminder section – can I pay my bills through FinanceWorks?
Yes, click on the Make Payments link under Other Tools to access Bill Pay. The Reminder section in FinanceWorks is a great way to remind you to set up or pay those bills! This list builds based on past transactions. You can delete reminders for payments that FinanceWorks thought were regular payments. And you can add your own bill reminders.
 
Can I set up bill payments here?
Yes, click on the Make Payments link under Other Tools to access Bill Pay.
 
There are reminders that I didn’t add. Why are they there?
FinanceWorks creates reminders for you based on past transactions that have been occurring regularly. If an existing reminder isn’t needed, you can delete it.
 
 
How does FinanceWorks help me with my taxes?
FinanceWorks helps you prepare for taxes in two ways.  Tax Watch is available to you throughout the year, and a link to TurboTax Online Banking is available from December 15 to April 16. 
 
How does Tax Watch help me prepare for taxes?
Tax Watch by default displays your information on Charity/Donations and Childcare/Daycare, with all those transactions for this calendar year listed out already.  You can add additional categories by clicking on the Find More tab.  Keep in mind that the history in Tax Watch only goes back as far as your history in FinanceWorks.  So if you started using FinanceWorks partway through a tax year, the tax information in Tax Watch may be incomplete. Instructions at the bottom tell what you should and should not use this tool to track, mainly deductions for which you receive a tax form.
 
 
Is FinanceWorks protected and safe to use?
Yes. FinanceWorks and your personal information are protected and operate within secure Internet Banking. It only contains your personal data and any information you add to it. The information is stored within Internet Banking and not on your personal computer.
 
What are the recommended browsers?
Browsers that are officially supported include Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 and above, and Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and above. Currently, FinanceWorks doesn't officially support other modern browsers (like Chrome), but there is a good chance the page will work well. Note: FinanceWorks does not support Internet Explorer 6.0+ (some display issues may occur).
 
It seems like it takes a long time to access FinanceWorks through Internet Banking. Why?
If this was your very first time logging into FinanceWorks, it is slow because it’s compiling all of your account information. If it’s been awhile since you logged in, it will take awhile to compile the transactions that occurred since your last login. We recommend you log in about once a week to keep the login process fast.
 
I didn’t log out of FinanceWorks, but when I try to view my accounts, I get a timeout error. Why?
FinanceWorks will use the same timeout value as Internet Banking for a more consistent experience.
 
The banner that shows what I “spent in the last 30 days” in my Account Summary detail in Internet Banking does not match “Last 30 Days” on the FinanceWorks Home page.  Why?
This is a reported known bug and is being researched.
 
 
 
Should you have any additional questions please call a Member Services Specialist at 800-772-4000.
 
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Premier America Credit Union is committed to providing exceptional service to individuals and small businesses. We offer consumer, business and youth checking and savings accounts; business loans; investment services; high yields on certificates and money market accounts; homeowner's and auto insurance; home mortgages and auto loans; as well as MasterCard and Visa credit cards. Our members enjoy free services including internet banking, mobile banking, text banking, mobile apps and bill pay. We are proud to serve the communities of Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Valencia, Santa Monica, Westlake Village, and Woodland Hills, California as well as Houston, Texas.