How to prepare Quicken 2007 for Mac for better QIF import to Moneydance

shiner03's Avatar


17 Mar, 2018 02:30 PM

Is there a way to prepare Quicken 2007 for Mac for a better QIF import to Moneydance? For example, I thought I read in the knowledge base to set all the initial register balances in Quicken, to zero. I tried the import last year to try out Moneydance and all the balances were way off. Is there now a better way to import?

Also, when I import, should I import to that existing data file from last year, or should I trash that and import to a new file?


  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 17 Mar, 2018 02:51 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Bob,

    From the Moneydance menu bar go to File > New... Give the new file a different name from the prior file. You can trash the old file if you want.

    What you might have read is that the initial balances that result from importing from Quicken will likely be zero. This is due to the fact that the QIF file generated from Quicken may or may not contain the initial balance data.

    Take a look through these Quicken-related, Moneydance KB articles for some insights into importing from Q.

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

  2. 2 Posted by dwg on 17 Mar, 2018 08:38 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow customer,

    I doubt that there is much you can do in Quicken to better prepare.

    What is in the QIF file is really just the raw transaction data,so while there is a reasonable amount of information it does not totally define everything.

    What I would suggest is a stages import process into moneydance. On the first past I suggest choosing the option to just import the account information. What this does is read the QIF file and from the information Moneydance sets up Accounts and Categories.

    Recall that I said the QIF file does not define everything, and one of the things it does not do is necessarily define the whether something is an account or a category, or if a category is an Income or Expense category. When you have done this initial setup is to time to make any corrections here, so check that accounts have been set up correctly and categories has been set up correctly. Notes that the names must appear exactly as they did in Quicken this is not the time to change anything in regard to this.

    Once you have the structure right then it is time to import the transactions themselves, firstly checking what date format is used in the QIF file and matching the date import option in Moneydance with this.

    As Kevin has said often there will not be an initial balance transaction in the QIF file so this is one of the first things to check after import and if necessary entering the correct amount into the initial balance field of the Account Info screen.

    While QIF is the best we have it is not problem free so now you need to check the accounts for problem, you could have duplicate entries you need to correct for one thing, the articles Kevin has pointed you out should help with some of the issues.

    Moving between different financial packages is always a migration exercise as such it will require an amount of work it is rarely clear sailing, if you just have Bank and credit card type transactions it is often fairly smooth, if you have investments you need to be prepared to do some work.

  3. 3 Posted by shiner03 on 17 Mar, 2018 10:28 PM

    shiner03's Avatar

    Thanks Kevin. Follow up Q:
    I guess I don’t get it. Every register/account in my quicken began with an opening balance of zero, so wouldn’t that import to money dance as a zero balance also?

  4. 4 Posted by -Kevin N. on 17 Mar, 2018 11:18 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Bob,

    Yours is indeed an extraordinary situation. Most accounts start with some initial balance. To have all of them starting a zero is unusual at best.

    So yes, you are correct. Each account should import into Moneydance not needing an initial balance entry on your part.

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

  5. 5 Posted by shiner03 on 21 Mar, 2018 04:23 PM

    shiner03's Avatar

    Thanks dwg. I have a follow up question though.

    I did like you suggested, importing the QIF and checked the box “Import Acct Info Only.” Now I’m ready to do the import again for the transactions, by NOT checking that box: “Import Acct Info Only.”

    So in Moneydance, I selected File->Import and selected my QIF file again, but in the next window that opens, “Import QIF File” I don’t know what to check. Do I Import To: Existing account, or New Account? The Existing account has a drop down menu next to it showing all my accounts. Certainly I don’t want to import all my transactions in only ONE of those accounts, right? I want to import my transactions into ALL my accounts (credit cards, checking, etc), right? But the other option to Import to - NEW ACCOUNT doesn’t seem to fit either because I don’t want to create another new data file account.

    Then the next choice is FILE SOURCE: - From A Downloaded File (could be the QIF??), or From Another Program? Which one should I choose?

    Too bad the User manual doesn’t have these details

  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 21 Mar, 2018 08:18 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm afraid you are relying on some long ago memories.

    If I recall correctly you use the Import into existing account option if you have a QIF of transactions without any other information in it, such as you may get from a bank download, which may not have any info regarding the account otherwise the Import into New account I believe takes the account info form the QIF file.

    In any case before proceeding I would take a backup of what you have with the structure in place so you could restore back to that point if needed.

    When the source of the data is another program always select the "From another program" option. If you do not do this information like categories will be completely ignored, this is good if a financial Institution decided to try and categorized transaction because they would always be wrong - there are no standards, but when coming from a program like Quicken where you have already categorized the transactions you want to bring over that data and the From another program options ensures that you do this, it also brings over things like the cleared status etc.

    FWIW New Account does not create a new data file, it would normally be expected to create a new account (like a new bank account etc) within the existing data file, however if the account already exists i.e. the name in the QIF file exactly matches an account/category name in the existing file I do not believe it creates a new account but rather uses the already existing account.

    New File is the command that creates a completely new data file.

  7. 7 Posted by shiner03 on 13 Apr, 2018 05:18 PM

    shiner03's Avatar

    Ok. Here are the the details that worked for importing Quicken 2007 for Mac into Moneydance (I suggest that this be put in an updated user manual:
    1. Quicken - File =>Export => to QIF
    2. Moneydance - Open
    3. See: 'Welcome to Moneydance' window (if opening Moneydance for the first time)
    4. Of the 3 options, click "Import File..."
    5. A window of your files will open for you to find and select (click: open) the exported QIF file.
    6. "Import QIF File" window will appear. It's very important that you select:
     a. "Import To: New Account"
     b. "File Source: From Another Program"
     c. Set: Date Format, Decimal Character, Currency Type
     d. CHECK the box: Import Account Info Only**
    ** This imports the structure of the QIF, such as Accounts and Categories, and NOT the transactions, which will import in the next import round. By checking the box "Import Account Info Only," streamlines the QIF import and minimizes import errors.
    7. Your QIF file may take a several minutes to import, depending on the size and complexity of the file being imported. At the very bottom of the Moeydance window, you will see "Loading" slowly blinking. The QIF is finished loading when you no longer see "Loading."
    8. Go through your Accounts and Categories to see that they have loaded correctly.

    Now it is time to import your Transactions
    1. In Moneydance: File => Import
    2. A window of your files will open for you to find and select (open) the same exported QIF file you used in step 5 above.
    3. "Import QIF File" window will appear again. Simply repeat the steps in step 6 above except for the last step d. Do NOT check the box: "Import Account Info Only"

  8. System closed this discussion on 13 Jul, 2018 05:20 PM.

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