Finance Manual – Search

This is part of the manual for the Android Finance Application.

Finance Search

Finance includes a powerful search screen that enables you to find transactions by entering a variety of search criteria.

To start a search, press the search icon from the main screen.

Search Form

The search form, shown below, is used to enter search criteria.

Search

  1. Clear. Clears the form and resets all selection to their defaults.
  2. Accounts. Press the accounts entry box to select the accounts you wish to search for.
  3. Payees. Press the payees entry box to select the payees you wish to search for.
  4. Categories. Press the categories entry box to select the categories you wish to search for.
  5. Dates. Enter a ‘to’ or ‘from’ date to narrow the search.
  6. Amount. Enter a ‘to’ or ‘from’ amount to narrow the search.
  7. Cheque Number. Enter a cheque number to search for.  Alternatively, select ‘Has a cheque’ to find any transaction that has a cheque number.
  8. Memo. Enter some memo text to search for.  Alternatively, select ‘Has a memo’ to find any transaction that has a memo.
  9. Search. Press the search button to start a search

Multi-Select

The Account, Payee and Category search options are multi-select, as shown below:

Search-Filter

  1. Enter text in the filter to quickly find an item
  2. Press the cross to clear the filter
  3. Press the item to add it into the search.  Previously selected items will appear at the top of the list.
  4. Press OK to return to the search form

Search Results

The search results are presented as a list of transactions, as shown below:

You can view, delete and edit transactions from this screen. See the transactions section in the manual for more details on this.

Search Tips

Here are some useful search tips:

Clever Searching. The best way to search, and avoid many results, is to search on the unique aspects of the transaction. These will be date, amount, cheque number or some memo text. Accounts, Payees and Categories are, generally, not unique and will find many matches. You don’t need to enter all the fields in the search form, just fill in as much as is needed to narrow down the search to a manageable number of results.

Exclude Selection. Use this to exclude the selected items (Accounts, Payees or Categories). When selected, the search will ignore transactions in the selected items.

Multi-select Account, Payee and Category. Multi-select will find transactions that have ANY of the Accounts, Payees or Categories. This is known as an OR selection.

Multiple criteria. Entering multiple criteria will narrow down the search, as this acts as an AND search. e.g. entering an account and an amount will find transactions that have that account AND that amount. Note that whilst multi-select is an OR search within the category, it is an AND search across categories. For example, specifying accounts A1 and A2 with Payees P1 and P2, results in a search that translates to ‘Find all transactions that have an account A1 or A2 and have payees of P1 or P2’.

Date and Amount ranges. If you only enter the ‘to’ date or amount, then the search will find transactions with that exact date, or that exact amount. Furthermore, if you only specify the ‘from’ value then it will find transactions that are up to that date or amount. Specifying both the ‘from’ and ‘to’ amounts will find all transactions that are between those values (inclusive).

Negative Amounts. The search ignores negative amounts, as a transaction is both negative and positive, e.g. the same transaction can take money from an account (negative) and pay it to a payee (positive).

Wildcards in Cheque Number and Memo Searches. The cheque and memo searches perform a partial-match text search, a LIKE search in SQL terms. This means that you only need to enter part of the term to find a match. You can also include wildcards in the search using the percent (‘%’) and underscore (‘_’) characters. A percent character will match any number of characters and an underscore will match exactly one. You can use a single percent character to find all transactions that have a non-blank memo or cheque number.  This is the same as selecting the ‘Has a…’ checkbox.

Finally, it is worth noting that there is a hard-limit to the number of results returned. If your search reaches this limit, then a system message will be displayed.

Future Features

Export of results. We plan to have an option to export the search results.

Finer control of multi-select items. You will be able to individually specify whether Accounts, Payees and Categories are included or excluded.

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