Which import format should I choose?

brian.davies's Avatar


21 Jan, 2019 01:02 PM

My UK bank gives a confusing number of format choices to download data. I am offered Quicken 97, 98, 2000, 2001, 2002, MS money and MS Works. I wonder which is the most compatible with Moneydance?

  1. 1 Posted by jeff_l on 21 Jan, 2019 04:42 PM

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    I would go with MS Money which is usually an OFX file.

    If you set up your accounts in MD & include your sort code & a/c number, the OFX file will be imported to the correct account, which is quite a bonus over any other format.

    Jeff – fellow user

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Ethan on 21 Jan, 2019 05:41 PM

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    I'm not quite sure why they offer so many choices for Quicken, as the file format should be the same for most of those, and then they don't even list versions from the past 15 years. If the Quicken files are the QFX format, they should work just as well as the OFX format the above user suggested. If they are QIF format, those will still work, but are generally not as good as OFX or QFX.

    I'm not even sure what a MS Works file would be (maybe a spreadsheet compatible file?), so I'd avoid those.

    Infinite Kind Support

  3. 3 Posted by brian.davies on 21 Jan, 2019 06:05 PM

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    Thanks both. Interesting isn't it. I just did a test and they are all QIF downloads except Works which is CSV. I have messaged my bank asking them to explain.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Ethan on 21 Jan, 2019 08:04 PM

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    From the options, it sort of sounds like someone set this up in the early 2000s, and no one has updated the options since. MS Works hasn't existed for almost a decade at this point, for example. I'd go with the OFX format out of all your choices.

    Infinite Kind Support

  5. 5 Posted by brian.davies on 21 Jan, 2019 08:16 PM

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    Unfortunately that isn't a choice at the moment. I have messaged the bank to enquire why. For the moment i'll use the latest Quicken I think. I'll report back when the bank responds.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Ethan on 21 Jan, 2019 08:37 PM

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    Ah, I misunderstood. I thought the MS Money was an OFX file, but you said it was also QIF. I believe MS Money could read QIF files, but that is technically an incorrect designation, just as wrong as calling a CSV a MS Works file. Strange!

    QIF files should import fine. The only significant difference with what you're doing is that they won't have unique transaction IDs for your data. This means that every time you download a file that contains an already existing transaction, Moneydance will not be able to understand it has seen it before, and will reimport it. You will then have to merge those transactions with the existing ones in the confirmation process. This wouldn't have to be done with newer OFX or QFX formats.

    Infinite Kind Support

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 21 Jan, 2019 08:40 PM

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    Hi Ethan,

    Given what some bank programmers have done to QIF and OFX files in their efforts to stuff them intentionally or otherwise, nothing in this space surprises me :)


  8. 8 Posted by -Kevin N. on 21 Jan, 2019 09:15 PM

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    Hi Brian,

    As Ethan pointed out. should the QIF file format prove problematic with regards to allowing duplicate transactions, there is a free, third-party CSV Importer designed specifically for Moneydance that does a good job of preventing duplicates.

    If you're interested in trying it out, let me know and I'll dig up the link to the developer's website.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  9. 9 Posted by brian.davies on 21 Jan, 2019 09:19 PM

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    Hello Kevin. Thank you. I would be very interested as my Spanish bank only offers an excel file to download so a CSV importer would be very useful for that.

  10. 10 Posted by -Kevin N. on 21 Jan, 2019 09:29 PM

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    Hi Brian,

    Here is a link to the developer's website of the CSV Importer.
    There is a 'How to use it' link at the bottom of the page.

    If you need any help with it, I will try to lend a hand.

    I use it myself for my Home Depot Credit Card. There is a little bit of a learning curve but setting up a custom reader is a one-and-done process.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  11. 11 Posted by brian.davies on 22 Jan, 2019 06:30 AM

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    Thanks Kevin. I will play with that today.

  12. 12 Posted by brian.davies on 22 Jan, 2019 06:37 AM

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    I received a reply from my bank overnight concerning download formats. I won't bore you with their long, irrelevant template reply but I will copy my response. It is a UK bank:

    Thank you for your reply. MS Money was discontinued in 2009, Quicken stopped producing UK software in 2005, MS Works was discontinued in 2009 as was Lotus 123. The QIF format has been superseded by QFX and OFX which integrate with modern accounting software in a more intuitive way. Please read my original message again. I do not wish to connect my accounting software to the bank. I wish to download my data in a modern format. I would be grateful if you would pass this correspondence up to someone who can answer my question please.

    My question was why can't I get a QFX or OFX file download.

  13. 13 Posted by dwg on 22 Jan, 2019 06:40 AM

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    Ideally to give the widest compatibility with software they should provide CSV, QIF and OFX format

  14. 14 Posted by jeff_l on 22 Jan, 2019 07:12 AM

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    Hi Brian,

    Being in the UK myself, I am naturally interested in which Bank you have the misfortune of loaning your money to?

    It would be a shame to see go with Quicken, but before you leave, perhaps you can increase the knowledge pool here so that we can advise others to avoid this Bank like the plague.

    I use several UK Banks & all of them provide OFX. There are of course work rounds as Kevin has advised, one I can recommend particularly for UK banks is :-



  15. 15 Posted by brian.davies on 22 Jan, 2019 09:51 AM

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    Hi Jeff. Oh I won't be changing from Moneydance, The bank in question is First Direct. They are fine for me in all other respects so, like the good Remainer I am, I shan't be leaving but aiming to change from within. ;)

    Thank you for the link. That looks very interesting. With Kevin's link and yours I shall have plenty to try out this afternoon.

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