# Max/Min amount criteria in autocat works backwards with negative numbers

Hi,
Say you have an Autocat rule that would assign to the “discretionary spend” category any transaction with “7-Eleven” on the description AND a MAX Amount of \$20… in this case a transaction from 7-Eleven for \$19 will match this criteria since 19 “is smaller” than the max amount of 20.

But this works backwards when the transactions have negative numbers (like CC transactions). In this same example but using negative numbers, logic would dictate to put -20 in the “MIN Amount” column (as opposed to the MAX amount on the previews example). This way a -19 transaction from 7-Eleven would match the criteria since -19 “is bigger” than the Min amount of -20.

But no! Autocat thinks that -20 is in fact larger than -19 where in fact, it is a smaller smaller. In autocat min/max rules logic: 19 is smaller than 20 BUT -19 is also smaller than -20

Can someone please comment on this, its driving me crazy.

@jorgeelizondom I just tested this in my spreadsheet. Your observation is correct. It looks like AutoCat uses the absolute value when processing the rules/criteria. @randy can you confirm.

Yes, @jorgeelizondom, what @warren said is correct. We use absolute values in the min/max/equals AutoCat comparisons. This felt like the most straightforward way of dealing with charge polarity.

One thing you might consider if you want to take polarity into account is adding an AutoCat polarity filter. For example, add a column to your AutoCat rules sheet called Amount Polarity then add either Positive or Negative to the relevant filters.

I’m glad to see that you are using the advanced Autocat filters!

Randy

Thank you @warren and @randy for clarifying… I was losing my mind over this and even started to doubt my elementary math teachers

Have a good day