I don't get it, please help

So I was looking for a way to add CSV from my bank into excel without having to reformat the CSV each time to match my transaction tab columns in Excel. I searched on here and there one one solution referring to a Basic Blank CSV template that would assist with this process.

But of course, it only works in Google Sheets. So, I bit the bullet and started over with the console to use Google Sheets. There was this detailed process that is somewhat similar to starting with Excel.

Then you get to the steps to add-on Tiller Money Feeds. I stepped through getting started steps on the Spending Trends Sheet so I could install and log into the Tiller Money Feeds add-on. So it’s there. haven’t done anything with it beyond linking my one bank account.

Then I’m directed to this long article all about the Tiller Community Solutions, which from my initial quest is where I would find the Basic CSV Blank Basic Import template.

I looked for the Solutions area under the extension’s menu but didn’t see it. I stumbled across an area to search for The Community Solutions. It says it’s installed.

There are steps on how to access it, but I don’t see anything called Tiller Community Solutions. I read through the article a bit more and there’s references to the Tiller Money Feeds add-on which I already launched and logged into, but I don’t see anything to do with Tiller Community Solutions.

This has all been done to get one Blank template to assist with importing CSV data because Tiller’s aggregator, Yodlee, falls short (to put it nicely) with reliably filling in recent transactions into Excel for a supported bank.

By the way, you can go directly to Yodlee and setup a personal account for free and they have a very robust personal financial app called Money that’s free. It basically does and has many of the features Tiller has, just in an app form. I didn’t spend too much time there.

But even using them directly, there still a shortfall with them bringing in transaction data. Basically, I didn’t get transactions from them that were missing using Tiller as a go-between. Their layout and terminology is suspiciously close to what is on Tiller and so are the customizations and AutoCat abilities, just not in spreadsheet form.

Did I mention it’s free for personal use? But if you’re having trouble with transactions updating you won’t see too much difference, at least in my case, your result may vary.

They even have a CSV download feature that includes a “Status” column for cleared and pending transactions. As I said, I just dug around a little.

I don’t know much about the world of Data Aggregators, but if that’s your product, it should be obvious what should work 99.9% of the time.

If you’re McDonald’s and you have trouble making burgers because your vendor is not reliably sourcing beef to provide you with your core selling product, what should you do?

EXACTLY!

I’ve read all of your posts over the past week. Tiller seems to be causing you nothing but frustration. Maybe it’s not for you?

And there we have it.

If you don’t like it, leave.

That didn’t take long. My real question is why aren’t more people not frustrated with the basic functionality of getting data into Tiller?

I’ve not said Tiller itself is bad, I question their loyalty to this vendor. There’s I guess years of posts regarding this issue.

The number one priority should be finding a vendor or vendors to solve this problem.

If it can’t or is unable to be solved, then it’s fine, just drop it as a feature.

Spreadsheets are awesome, I wish I had more knowledge on how they work. Tiller has several brilliant users that know so much. And these people have made great strides on Tillers behalf.

But that such a disappointing response. You’ve read my posts you said.

I said I want Tiller to work and succeed. Did you read that??

Come on, you’re better than that.

The post that Tiller leadership made at the beginning of the year which highlights their focus on adding new aggregators should provide some confidence that they are working on improvements in that area. I personally value their underlying business model and hope that they continue to fund growth in a sustainable way. Buying and selling of these fintechs seems to be more the norm with investor returns taking top priority. I don’t see that so far with Tiller and I also know that I’ll always have access to my data and reports regardless of the path the company takes in the future. A quick search reveals that reportedly even Yodlee’s parent may be exploring a sale. The mentioned app doesn’t appear to be their core focus and for me personally, I’d rather spend the extra time setting up my own workflow with the tools in Tiller than be frustrated that an app forces me into their method and reports. There is definitely a learning curve to get things set-up but in my opinion it’s time well invested.

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I agree, there is a learning curve when starting a new app. Very steep for me. I love learning, but coding, or similar steps with spreadsheets is very nuanced and intimidating. But I do like the flexibility they offer.
Setting up a workflow focusing on what matters to me is something I’ve tried to achieve with my limited experience but decent research ability.
It is comforting to know with the type of app, our data stays regardless of what the company does. As I alluded to, a lot can be done with some of the current offerings and the amazing insights from other users. I totally agree with your viewpoint. Most times we just want products and services to work. And I tend to believe companies have a baseline for reliability, uptime, or whatever you want to call it. I hope to get better insight to my finances in a more productive way through Tillers community driven templates. The creators are amazing and take ownership of their creations. Thanks for your constructive feedback.

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I’m sorry to hear you’re off to a bumpy start. We do appreciate your feedback and want to get this working for you.

I’m on the Tiller support team and it looks like you’ve only had the chance to speak to our bot or the Community members. Our support team can help you troubleshoot account connection issues or just dive in a bit to see if there are any circumstances you’re running into with your subscription specifically.

We are working on improving our feeds as @KyleT shared. If you are still having trouble with finding the right tool to import via CSV let us know. There are a few different workflows outlined here, so I’m thinking you might have been looking into a few different tools in your search.

You can reach out to us via the chat window in the lower right corner of the Console at https://my.tillerhq.com/

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Morgan,

Thanks for reaching out. I’m hoping that getting with Tiller support can provide help, direction, and share some insight into plans for getting transactions truly working in near real-time for the vast majority of users.

I revisited all the “headlines” and marketing on Tiller’s site while logged out, and captured many screenshots of Tiller’s claim to eliminate the need for manual data entry and reliable daily data updates, and other similar claims. They are “absolute” claims on this being a selling point for both Google Sheets and Excel. I just wanted to make sure I did read things correctly.

That aside, I will say to you what I’ve posted; I’m not looking for faults with Tiller just to be picky, I want it to work. But Tiller needs to be more forthcoming about what it can reliably do on each platform, set expectations for “up-time” for capturing data daily, and it’s priorities and realistic capability towards truly eliminating the need for manual data entry.

As I also posted elsewhere, if it’s not possible or Tiller lacks the resources or plans to make that a reliable feature, that’s fine, just say so. Rather know the truth, than having a carrot dangled in front foolishly chasing it. Tiller would still have plenty of other things that would be great.

My days are upside down. I just happened to wake up briefly and saw your post. I know support has limited daytime hours, so I’ll have to try to reach them when I am awake during the day. I live crazy hours and my night is generally 9am-6pm central every day.

I appreciate your time. Have a great night…I mean day.

Thanks :sunglasses:

“That didn’t take long.” Seriously? I’ve replied sincerely to like half-a-dozen of your posts over the last week. Genuinely trying to be helpful. Trying to explain that the forum could help with some issues but not others (i.e., the issues connecting to your bank). And explaining how and why Tiller relies on its community. I’m genuinely sorry that Tiller isn’t working for you, but it is working for lots of people. And Tiller has repeatedly articulated that its top priority is adding another aggregator to address the bank connection issues as best they can. Still, when a product is not working for me, I stop paying for it. That’s all I meant to suggest. I hope you can get Tiller working for you if you stick with it.

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I had an over/under on how long before someone replied with a non-constructive comment. And a little side action on whether that reply would have a like it or leave it defense of Tiller.

Surprised you hit both so accurately. :sunglasses:

But, if you logged out and looked at Tiller’s website, what 3 things do they claim to solve?

Elimination of manual data entry, the flexibility of spreadsheets, and functionality whether using Google Sheets or Excel?

So, the last two may have some subjectivity, meaning you could say a vibrant community and no ads, or other such things.

The data aggregation is where they have a total responsibility to us users. They built The Foundation template to even have a product to use the data within. The other things are overwhelmingly reliant on the community.

So, their one responsibility to users, promoted by them, is the elimination of manual data entry and reliable, accurate daily transaction updates.

With so much discussion in the community about trouble to varying degrees with transaction data, would you say they’ve met that responsibility enough to lean on it as a top selling point?

As for the other features relying on the community, are most users paying Tiller for not selling your data and the privilege of some brilliant people doing the heavy lifting of creating and troubleshooting some amazing spreadsheets to meet Tiller’s claim of total customization?

If the creators want to do Tiller’s work on spreadsheets, that’s their call. We benefit from their skillset and do so with gratitude.

But I’m not the only one having issues with transactions. Not by a long shot. I appreciate your help in other areas. I just thought your comment was beneath you given the incredible amount of time you’ve spent since joining in Nov of '23 offering help to people like me and defending Tiller. Good for you.

That’s all I’m going to say to you about this, it’s not productive and doesn’t align with why I joined Tiller. To gain better financial health using the flexibility of spreadsheets that I’m not smart enough to build myself.

I apologize to you. My dry wit isn’t easy for many to digest. And I call things as I see them. Doesn’t mean I hate something because I point out a flaw with it. I just have a low tolerance for bs, especially corporate bs.

Ok. I think this conversation has reached its productive end, at least between you and me. Good luck to you.

@markv68 I’m a relatively new user and frustration was a HUGE part of my experience, especially with data aggregation. I came from Mint, which aggregated data, including pending data, in real-time. But, outside of the Mint world, once per day updates seems to be the standard. I’ve not found any budgeting site specifying how often financial data is updated.

My intuition is that the aggregation issue will not be fixed, so I accept that “it is what it is.” I’m sure data aggregators are expensive, so maybe it’s business decision, which is respectable. But, if Tiller finds an aggregator offering real-time updates, perhaps it could be marketed at a “premium” plan.

Best to all…

As I understand it, the aggregator is only part of the issue. The financial institutions themselves are a significant part of the issue. They don’t like the aggregators. The banks want to control their customers’ data, so they make it difficult for the aggregators to pull data and they limit how frequently aggregators can pull that data. I suspect Intuit, the multibillion dollar company behind Mint, had arrangements with financial institutions to make it easier to pull data (I’d love to know what their arrangement was with Goldman Sachs that made Mint the only platform that could pull Apple Card data.). All of this is why the Open Banking movement exists–so that financial institutions realize that it’s our data, not theirs.

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Just a side note - you might want to try that Apple Card connection again and write into us about any errors. I’ve seen some success with Apple Card lately and it isn’t in “beta” anymore. We should be able to escalate it if needed

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Thanks. I actually don’t have an Apple Card. I’ve just become accustomed to lots of people frustrated that Mint was the only place that had Apple Card transaction data. At one of Tiller’s competitors, it got to the point that they were encouraging people to contact Apple to free their data. Unsurprisingly, I don’t think that was a particularly successful strategy.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Apple Card support

@morgan and adding to this is the continued unreliable retrieval of data. I bit the bullet and started over with Tiller Foundation deleting my bank account and doing just the basics to get set up again. When I finally got to the point of refreshing my bank connection and waiting for a code and the data pull, I went to Tiller Money Feeds and clicked the “Fill” button, which was blue, and only 2 transactions loaded from the past week, not even the 8 or so I was able to download before. I don’t know what to make of this. I already put a ticket in early last week, but the email back and forth has been limited and no solution proposed.

I’ve been using various aggregators for at least 20 years. A core principle I use to keep my system working is: never do manual data import. if it needs manual import, use a different aggregator or a different financial institution. To me, it’s never worth the trouble, and one of the reasons I don’t get frustrated with the system. The old “doc, it hurts when I do this” - “don’t do that”.

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@rwa Makes sense. I don’t know too much about the world of aggregators, are they accessible to individuals, fee, how many are out there, do you need several to cover whatever group of institutions a person could have? Are they somewhat easy to use in spreadsheet, very subjective, I guess.

thanks

Hi @markv68,
On this specific point, I use Excel for Mac. I use a macOS app that copies/moves files around based on rules/criteria (called Hazel). I download CSV files from my usual sources, Hazel moves them to a specific location I’ve designated for my Tiller imports. When I’m ready to use the new file I usually rename the file for easier identification and replace the previous file of the same name (I just realized I could probably automate this part too). This sets the stage for my next set of work in Excel.

I’ve created Power Queries for each institution/CSV file to query the institution’s standard format, transform the data to the format I need for my Transactions sheet, and dump the results to a sheet in my spreadsheet (note each Power Query creates it’s own sheet/tab to hold the resulting data). I’ve got 7 different accounts (and therefore sheets/tabs) that get this treatment. With the queries built it’s fairly quick and easy:

  1. Download CSV file
  2. Rename file (if required)
  3. Refresh data in Excel to run the queries and retrieve the data (a few seconds)
  4. Copy the new transactions and insert them into Transactions
  5. Run AutoCat
  6. Clean up any remaining items in Transactions

Learning Power Query has been a process and I’ve been through several rounds of refinement, but it’s pretty dialed in now. As I learn new capabilities I re-visit the sheets to see if I can improve or better automate any steps. For instance, I want to explore the ability to combine the results of all the queries into a single import sheet to cut down some clutter and further consolidate the results.

It occurred to me, if you wanted to keep using Excel, but take advantage of the Google Sheet-based community add-on for CSV imports, nothing is keeping you from manually copying the resulting transactions from a Google Sheet and pasting the results into and Excel sheet. That may be a way to get some benefit of that Google Sheet without having to migrate out of Excel. Each platform has its advantages/disadvantages.

I’ve migrated several times over the years and tried several different services, so I understand how time-consuming the transitions can be. I finally decided I liked my own budget sheets the best, so I’ve use the pieces of Tiller and other services that fill in gaps or add other value for my own solution. I get good ideas and inspiration reading all the nerdy details of how other people think about and manage their budgets. Over time I’ve completely revamp parts of my sheets based on newer Excel formulas and techniques, and on how I see Tiller managing data on their templates.

Hopefully describing my process inspires others trying to use Excel. All the best on your journey to budget nirvana!

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