Transactions Sheet and Optional Columns

According to the help article titled “Transactions Sheet Columns” (sorry, I’m not allowed to share links) there are three “optional automated data columns”: “Merchant Name*”, “Short Description”, and “Category Hint”. I tested these out on a new document (to force transactions to be refreshed) and ran into the following oddities:

  1. “Merchant Name*” does nothing, but “Merchant Name” does (despite the help article stating “Make sure to include the * in the column header”.
  2. The “Merchant Name” entries are often wrong (or at the very least inconsistent). Consider the following full descriptions:
  • GOOGLE* YouTube Videos yields a “Merchant Name” of “Google”
  • GOOGLE *YouTubePremium yields a “Merchant Name” of “Youtube Premium”.

The only difference being the space before the asterisk. Are these entries coming straight from Yodlee or does Tiller do it’s own pre-processing?

Thank you to anyone who can clear these two issues up!

Good questions about the our standard column headers

The optional columns you reference are mostly vestigial of earlier implementations of the feeds service. I’m hoping @tom or @brasten can chime in with some perspective on how the current backend code feeds those columns.

Hey, great questions!

Short answer is that column has always been unpredictable. That was the reason for the asterisk originally, to denote that it’s mostly experimental. It seems like the asterisk requirement doesn’t exist in the current versions of the product(1). That’s an oversight on our part.

The data does come directly from Yodlee so I have no good explanation for why it is different in these examples.


(1) the asterisk IS still required for sheets that still use the older “feedbot” version of the product (that does not use the add-on).