Linked Transfers - Excel


I’ve always wanted to be able to ‘link’ two transactions. Most notably, I like the idea for Transfers. I categorize all of my Transfers into “Transfer Out” (money leaves one account) and “Transfer In” (money arrives in another account). I used to use the tag “Match” next to each of the two when I found them both, which is useful when first reconciling, but after that, there is no way to see both transactions side by side, so if things get out of sync, going back through everything is a pain.
Note: This has been available on Google Sheets for a while, I finally got around to creating an Excel version as well.


The method I devised to link two transfers is to make the “Transfer Out” the “Master” (since technically it always happens first) that the “Transfer In” gets linked to. I generate a unique “key” based off the “Transfer Out” (a string of date, amount, description, institution and optionally Transaction ID), which gets entered in the “Transfer In” transaction on the Transactions sheet, using a drop-down menu, which makes it a part of that transaction. Once the two are linked this way, I then have a “Linked Transfers” sheet that shows a list of all linked (or unlinked) transfers.


  1. Download the Linked Transfers workbook.
  2. Follow these instructions. Note you won’t have to “Edit Link” and “Change Source” to get this sheet to work.
  3. Create a new column in your Transactions sheet called “Linked Transfers”. It should be somewhere to the right of your ‘Amount’ column.

Configure the Transfers sheet

Go to your “Linked Transfers” sheet and in cell M6 (you’ll need to expand the “Settings” section by clicking the “+” above column N) select which category you use for your “Transfer Out” transactions. In my case, I have a category called “Transfer Out” that I choose. If you don’t separate yours into “In” and “Out”, you could just select “Transfer” if that’s what you use.
In cell M9, select which category you use for your “Transfer In” transactions. In my case, I have a category called "Transfer In’ that I choose. If you don’t separate yours into “In” and “Out”, you could just select “Transfer” if that’s what you use. If your “Out” and “In” transactions are in the same category, the sheet will use positive and negative values to determine which is “Out” and which is “In”.

Optional Conditional Formatting Rules

I’ve stopped using this as it was a big performance hit. If you’re interested, you can see my recommendations on the Google Sheets version.

To Use

On your Transactions sheet, look for one of your “Transfer In” transactions. Click the dropdown in your new Linked Transfers column and you should see a list of “Transfer Out” transactions. Choose the one that matches the current transaction. That’s all! Go to your Linked Transfers sheet and you’ll see a list of “Transfer Out” transactions on the left side. The right side should now have one transaction linked to the one you chose on the left.

Keep doing this for all your transactions. By default, once you choose a “Transfer Out” from the dropdown, it will disappear from the list, making it easier to start at the top, and keep moving down through the list of transfer transactions. Note that a red ‘error’ triangle will appear in the cell as well, warning you that the value that you had chosen no longer exists in the data validation list. If this bothers you, you can change cell M3 on the Linked Transfers sheet to FALSE, so chosen items won’t be removed, and the red triangle won’t show up. In my experience, it’s best to leave it set to TRUE, at least until you get through your initial linking (having them filtered saves a LOT of scrolling). Then moving forward, since most new transfers will be at the top of the list, they won’t be hard to find, so changing to FALSE is up to you.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

There is a down side to using this. It is very processor intensive, and will slow down your template. I’m hoping someone with better spreadsheet skills than I might know how to make it more efficient.

This is great! One step closer to switch entirely over to Excel. For speed, what I’ve done is get rid of the validation and drop down and just go to the Transfer sheet and copy the link and then paste it into Transactions. I found that the hassle is worth the speed since I don’t do transfers so often.

Thanks, an options worth considering for those where the performance is just too terrible…

Thanks, @jpfieber, for porting this template— which has hundreds of Sheets downloads— to Microsoft Excel. Especially as MiE shuts down, there is much interest in this community and amongst our users for making more tools available in Sheets also available in Excel.

As part of the Tiller Builder Rewards Program , the Tiller team is excited to award you $200 for porting, supporting, and documenting this template for use by the Tiller community.



Are any of the other steps dependent on templates of mine that I haven’t converted to Excel yet? I’m still deciding which project to tackle next…

I don’t think so. I think it’s more on Tiller, manual accounts and splitting.
What I sometimes do is take a data dump from Google and paste into Excel where it’s missing.
-edit- I just went through my Google Sheets and I use your Paycheck Register and Tiller’s Bill Payment. Other than those two, I think the sheets I use is in Excel, so I’m going to see if I can do a Excel and Google run for the next couple of weeks and see how it goes.

@jpfieber I am not getting any “Transfer In” transactions and there is nothing in my Linked Transfers Column on the Transactions Sheet. Is there something I am missing?

You would need to assign ‘Transfer’ categories to the transactions that are transfers. You can either create one ‘Transfer’ category, or like I do, have one for money going out ‘Transfer Out’ and one for money coming in ‘Transfer In’. You then setup the “Settings” section in the Linked Transfers sheet to know which categories you are using. Once configured, at the end of the month you’ll likely have a transfer of money to your credit card company. The transaction of money leaving your checking account would be categorized at ‘Transfer’ or ‘Transfer Out’. You should then see another transaction from your credit card company showing the ‘payment’ money arriving in that account, which you would categorize as ‘Transfer’ or ‘Transfer In’. You should see the first transaction automatically on the “Transfer Out” side of the Linked Transfers sheet. On your Transactions sheet, you should click on the dropdown in the ‘Linked Transfers’ column of the credit card transaction and choose the one with the values that match that transaction. Go back to the Linked Transfers sheet, and you should now see the “Transfers In” side file in to complete the link.

Make sure the category of the transaction matches the “Transfer In” and “Transfer Out” categories and the Linked Transfers Column matches the one in the Transfer sheet. (Thos will be empty until you populate it). Also, verify that the value in A10 or so is set to True, so it will run the calculations. Als

@jpfieber @yossiea All I did was import the Linked Transfers Sheet and changed my Categories to match. Then I Created the Linked Transfers Column in Transaction Sheet. See Below. I dont have any drop downs in the Linked Transfers Column. Rows 24,25 & 41,42 are the linked transactions

You still need to setup the “Data Validation” on your Linked Transfers column so it shows the dropdowns which will contain what’s currently shown in column O of the Linked Transfers sheet. You then choose which of those to associate with each of the Transfer Out. Or you could do @yossiea 's method if you don’t want to setup the data validation and just copy the link from column O and then paste in the ‘Linked Transfers’ column on the Transactions sheet for the corresponding transaction.

Worked like a charm! Thanks!

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I love this tool! Any thoughts on what I would need to do to have two of these working at the same time but looking at two different types of transfers in and out? I tried but when I try to tie the xfers in to the xfer out, it shows me the other categories.

It might work if you unique transfer names for each, but you’d also have to have 2 columns on the Transfer sheet, each looking at the correct sheet to get the list of transfers to display.

That worked great but interesting that if the column is after column “z” in the transactions sheet, it doesn’t work.

Glad to hear it worked. Strange it would stop working at column z, my code in cell R8 looks across the entire first row for the column heading, shouldn’t care which column it is.

Yea and the strange thing is that is was column “AA”. I moved it to column “z” and it worked fine