Importing from MS Money and resulting account balances

ianruth's Avatar


29 May, 2019 11:51 PM

I'm trying to set up, importing .qif files from MS Money. I have around 20 years of data, and over that time quite a few accounts (50+) which are related because you transfer funds from account to account. Some are bank, some investments, assets, loans.
The instructions in the knowledge base fro importing are very helpful and I have followed them carefully. However I find that very few accounts match current balances, so wonder what I'm missing here.
Is it necessary to import .qif for EACH MS Money account, otherwise they just won't balance?

The alternative I see is to just set up the accounts currently in use (with starting balances set as of now) , and forget trying to import the old data, leaving that historic data in MS Money

  1. 1 Posted by TonyRI on 30 May, 2019 12:09 AM

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    You can take a look at this KB article. There may be several reasons, but it's quite possible that the initial balances were not transferred over.

    I believe that a single file for all accounts is the preferred method, however some users have used a process by which each account is brought in separately. I can't help you with that, but others may chime in.

    The alternative I see is to just set up the accounts currently in use (with starting balances set as of now) , and forget trying to import the old data, leaving that historic data in MS Money

    That's what I did (but from Quicken)


    Tony (NOT from Moneydance Support)

  2. 2 Posted by TonyRI on 30 May, 2019 12:11 AM

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  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 30 May, 2019 06:45 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    This is the process for transferring data from a program that does not produce a single QIF file containing all your accounts but requires you to export one QIF file per account such as MS Money.

    IMPORTANT: Make sure you are running this build of Moneydance

    You need to use your old program to export your data in a QIF file type, one QIF file for each account, including any closed account that have transfers to any open accounts, re-open these accounts if necessary.

    Open one of the QIF files in a text editor. You are looking for the date format used in the file e.g. D25/03'2019 Day Month Year or D5/ 17'19 or D05/31/2017 Month Day Year etc. You will need this information later. If you get this wrong it will be apparent as the dates in Moneydance will be all over the place and you will need to start again creating a new data set.

    QIF files were never meant for transferring data from one program to another, but it’s all that is available, you will need to spend time cleaning thing up when import is complete.

    When you first start Moneydance it opens in the Welcome window click on “Create a new account set”. If you have opened Moneydance before create a new data set under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW.

    Select “Create New File” (Data Set) and click NEXT. Type in an Account Set Name (Data Set) and click NEXT. Change Primary Currency (base currency), if required. File Type, leave at “Standard Account set”, click FINISH.

    In the side bar (list on left) under BANK deleted the two default Bank accounts, highlighting them in turn and using ACCOUNT – DELETE ACCOUNT.

    Select one of your QIF account files, the one with the most transfers to other accounts.
    1. If in step 3 you don’t see the name of the account you are importing click CANCEL and setup the account. ACCOUNT – NEW ACCOUNT - select account type – NEXT – Enter the name of the account exactly as it appears in your old program under “Account Name” – OK.
    2. Drag and dropped the QIF file into the side bar (list on left).
    3. Waited for import window to appear, this can take a few minutes.
    IMPORTANT Checked all listed accounts are of the correct type and currency and changed if required. Find the name of the account you are importing in the list and highlight it.
    4. The “Date Format” should be set to the date format used in the QIF file not the date format you want to use in Moneydance. Select the correct Decimal Character. Do not tick “File was downloaded”.
    5. Click import and waited to account values to file in, again this can take some time.

    Account that have transfer within the QIF file you imported will be automatically created. Don’t worry that their balances are incorrect, as you import the other QIF account files thing will sort themselves out.

    Some accounts maybe hidden under the “+” at the bottom of the side bar, added them back.

    Repeat the process steps 1 to 5 for each QIF account file.

    Some QIF files don’t include initial account balances. If you think this is the case you can add initial balance to affected accounts as follows.
    Highlighting an account, then click ACCOUNT – EDIT ACCOUNT and add an Initial Balance.

    For investment accounts QIF file don’t always carry security prices other than buy sell prices, so investment account balances maybe wrong until you update with current security prices.

    Reminder are not included in QIF files.

    Any accounts that are inactive (closed) should be made inactive by highlighting the account in the side bar and clicking ACCOUNT – EDIT ACCOUNT and ticking the inactive box. To remove them from the side bar right click and select REMOVE FROM SIDE BAR.

    Now the real work starts to check balances and tidy thing up. This is especially true of investment accounts as not all action types are supported. But worth it in the end.

    For information on how to use Moneydance see

    Hope this helps

  4. 4 Posted by TonyRI on 30 May, 2019 10:20 AM

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    Thanks for the follow-up Derek!

  5. 5 Posted by ianruth on 03 Jun, 2019 09:12 AM

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    Thanks folks for your helpful comments.

    In the end I have decided not to worry about the last 20 years, but just start with the current accounts which exist.

    I have now got caught up with how investments transactions are done. I have set up an investment account for a company, and that is OK, but when a dividend is paid and the funds used to buy some more shares, I can't figure out how this transaction is done. SO, for example a dividend of 36.16 is paid by the company, and the funds could be used to buy 15 more shares at $2.33 per share, which will cost $34.95, leaving a remainder of $1.21 in the "cash account" for the company. How does one do this? Sorry this is so basic, but I have looked in all the knowledge base items, and drawn a blank.

  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 03 Jun, 2019 09:49 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    For this type of Dividend reinvestment you can use the following approach:

    1. Enter a Dividend transaction for 36.16 which will increase the Cash balance in the account

    2. Enter a Buy transaction for 15 shares @ 2.33.

    So you need to enter it as two transactions. The DivReinvest action type does not handle the transaction you have correctly.

  7. 7 Posted by ianruth on 04 Jun, 2019 02:45 AM

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    Thanks very much for this advice. I’m on my way now…..

  8. System closed this discussion on 03 Sep, 2019 02:50 AM.

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