MoneyDance QIF Investment Import from Quicken is AWFUL

CJ's Avatar

CJ

15 Feb, 2020 07:33 PM

I updated my Quicken Account balances, reconciled all and exported all transactions, accounts, securities, categories, memorized payees to a new MoneyDance (MD) account. My bank accounts were mostly correct, with a few edits and deletion of duplicates. The investment part is quite another matter. Only 2 out of 26 investment accounts imported correctly. This is a VERY poor statistic for being promoted as an investment personal finance software.

1) I see it as a problem that MD does not recognize some of the Quicken (QKN) investment "Actions" and not reading them correctly. For example, it places "Buy" instead of the QKN "Shares Added" for transactions where no cash was involved, just moving shares. It adds the same amount in the transaction Amount AND as "Cash Balance". In reality, no cash changed hands, just moving some shares to another account.

2) I have investment brokerage accounts containing a mix of mutual funds, stocks and ETF's. NONE of my QKN brokerage /single security accounts used a linked Bank account. In QKN, the investment and cash transactions were in the same account. Now, I have multiple account names under BANK with some various transactions in each. It makes no sense. These are NOT bank accounts. Cash in/out should be handled in the brokerage. Otherwise that is double the number of accounts to reconcile each month. At my financial institution, there is one (1) money market type settlement account to run cash in/out from one account to another, NOT one for each account like what has happened in MD. In every case, I had a Cash Balance starting at 0, and the first security transaction imported (Buy/Added), my Cash Balance is a negative number in my investment register. Now my Balance at the bottom of the account is always in $-nnnn.

3) Unfortunately, QKN did not allow me to just export my active accounts, I had to transfer ALL the accounts, some which had 0 balance and were hidden. So now I have bank and investment accounts for junk.

These are just a few of the problems found. I do not think that MD is ready for prime time, especially for Investments. There was no code written to import investment accounts that did not have a linked bank cash account. No information was given in the KB articles that this was the case. When an investment account was created in QKN, you selected Investment, Brokerage or Single security per account. If it was a brokerage, you could select to link to a bank cash account OR handle it in the Brokerage register. MD does not handle one security per account well either. MD cannot convert handling the cash in the brokerage account at all.

I am extreme disappointed in MD, as I had hoped to have a viable QKN alternative. I have wasted days of time working with this software. I was able to import Bank accounts correctly and 2 investments correctly. MD seems OK if you have Bank type accounts/budgeting etc. Very simple transactions seem to import well. Once imported, the downloaded transactions seemed to be ok. But the financial institutions do not keep the data available for download for that long.

  1. 1 Posted by dantdavis on 15 Feb, 2020 07:46 PM

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    Just a user here who did this in the last couple of months.

    The points you make are valid, the defense by MD is that they use accounting principles whereas Quicken can create/destroy money. Secondly, the import of the QIF file is the only methodology available, and it's not the best.

    As you point out, MD does not directly support some of the Action steps used by Quicken, and as you also point out, most of the unsupported actions are tied to bank type actions vs investment type actions.

    That all said, at least for me, the two main problems were the creation of ACCOUNTX items where the "created/destroyed" money gets placed, and the cash balances of the investment accounts and any accounts which transacted with investment accounts.

    Security balances for me were correct, which would have been a deal breaker had they not been correct. So, basically, I had two major problems to alleviate, and I did so, though it took an inordinate amount of time - especially for 35 years of data.

    In your case, since you are obviously going down the exact same path I did, I recommend you check out "The Vicissitudes of Quicken to Moneydance" - it's VERY long, but for you it seems much of it might be pertinent if you haven't totally given up on this conversion.

    https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/discussions/switching-from-another-personal-finance-program/15012-the-vicissitudes-of-quicken-to-moneydance

    I recommend scanning through the 3 pages, and you will find a few truly pertinent messages among the question/answer/discovery posts.

  2. 2 Posted by CJ on 15 Feb, 2020 08:45 PM

    CJ's Avatar

    Thanks for the information. I have since created a new test account and downloaded all the available transactions from one of my financial institutions. After the download, the starting date was 8/31/2018, so I determined the cash balance from the Quicken account for the previous transaction and posted that as my MD Beginning Balance. The first transaction was then correct, but the second was now incorrect and going downward.

    What is disconcerting also is that the transactions for the same date are sorted differently, so it is difficult to track the cash balance. By 9/312018, the cash balance was off surplus of 440.52.

    There is no way I am going to mortgage 6 months of my life to try to reconcile this mess.

  3. 3 Posted by dantdavis on 15 Feb, 2020 09:01 PM

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    I totally understand. I almost gave up on this myself (it took about 40 hours total over six weeks for me), but I'm a puzzle solver, so it became an odd solitaire for me.

    Here is a proposal I made after the fact to make the accounts look "pretty" fairly quickly, but ultimately I was not satisfied with it:

    --------------------------

    user dwg: There are at least three places where you can make changes that impact your migration; in Quicken, in the QIF file and in Moneydance.

    dantdavis: The quickest "well, I believe it might work out" is to make a few changes in MD:

    1) IMPORT the "EVERYTHING" QIF FILE (details in many places)
    2) Hide and make inactive all ACCOUNTX creations (Account/Edit Account)
    3) Make the final balances for all crazy cash balances match quicken by changing the Initial Balances (Highlight each account, Use Account/Edit Account/Change Initial Balance) - yes, the values you enter will make absolutely no sense other than forcing MD to match Quicken on this current date)
    4) Your cash balances from day 1 through today will be totally wonky. Look it over, report if other things are wonky other than cash balances through time. This should make cash balances ON THIS DAY and going forward correct.
    **************************

    This isn't really a final solution, but it may make you look past some things that are wrong and let you see the things that are right (credit cards, security holdings, etc.)

    Then you can decide if you can live with the above - given you have a life, or now at least be able to see what you need to do further.

  4. 4 Posted by dantdavis on 15 Feb, 2020 09:04 PM

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    Given your concern about cash balances even on a day where transactions are rearranged, I doubt that historical totally wonky cash balances will work for you, as they did not for me. This was just a way to get historical items into MD, and then everything would work correctly moving forward.

    Also, given your recent test experience, even if you resolve the initial import, you will have to deal with resolving old import items with two years of "new" direct connect data - that will frustrate you further. It did me.

  5. 5 Posted by dantdavis on 15 Feb, 2020 09:16 PM

    dantdavis's Avatar

    As for the cash balance drift in your test account, I can't speak to that (maybe MD will weigh in), but I have found that OFX information from companies can often be bad. Even in Quicken, day to day, I have often had to "correct" info (like dividends/reinvestments) to make it work in Quicken. So, I have found similarly that MD can't do anything but the same bad input.

    When I correct it "day to day", I almost don't notice, but when two years show up, you have to find all the "incorrect" imports all over again, and try to fix them all at once.

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