Not understanding the importing of Quicken transactions into MD

Tokend's Avatar


22 Mar, 2019 12:12 AM


Brand new MD 2017.10 user, Windows 7x64. I imported Quicken accounts-only into MD, then imported Quicken transactions into a single MD account. I expected to then have to import transactions for each remaining MD account. But, I found that ALL of my MD accounts were already populated with transactions, portfolio holdings, etc. I'm not sure whether to count my blessings and proceed, or whether to go ahead with successive transaction imports into remaining accounts.

Apologies for the wordy post. Feel free to skip the wordy version below.

Thanks, sincerely, for any guidance.



I am committed to converting my personal accounting from Quicken 2017 to MoneyDance 2017.10 (purchased & registered). Based on the many helpful comments from fellow MD users here, and the helpful articles in the MD KB, I've managed to port some 20 years worth of Quicken data into MD.

I think I'm in pretty good shape. That is, I think I am ready to correct balancing errors from the conversion, and to begin posting new transactions into MD.

But, before I do that, I wanted to mention a misunderstanding on my part, lest it reflect bigger problems ahead.

Here's what I've done so far:

I exported two QIF files from Quicken. The first was for everything except transactions. The second was for transactions only.

Then, I imported the first QIF file (everything but transactions) into MD as a New Account Set, From Another Program, Import Account Info Only.

Next, I created a blank Category in MD, so as to properly import transactions with their Quicken categories.

Next, I set initial balances in MD accounts, so as to reflect the proper balances after I import the transactions.

Finally, I imported the second QIF file (transactions only) into an existing an Existing MD account (a bank checking account), From Another Program, with the "Import Account Info Only" option cleared (not selected).

The categories and balances all came across fine in MD.

However, after importing the transactions into the one MD checking account, I expected to have to import the same transaction file for each of the remaining accounts. But, lo and behold, ALL MD accounts, including Banking and Investments, were already populated with transactions, portfolio holdings, etc.

Huh? It would seem that MD ignored my specification for importing into the one checking account, and imported everything into all accounts. If I'm correct about this, not only is it not a problem, but it has saved me a lot of work.

But, am I missing something? Wouldn't importing transactions for all the other accounts create a lot of duplicates and really screw things up? Or, would MD ignore the transactions already imported, and add to or enhance the data already present for these other accounts?

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 22 Mar, 2019 12:50 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    It depends on what is in the QIF file. If that file has multiple accounts in it then multiple accounts get populated, the importer will not selectively read just the transactions for one account.

    If it only has one account in it then it populates that one account however, if there are transfers between accounts then the transfers will get posted to both accounts.

    As the software is based on Double entry Accounting rules it must post both sides of every transaction it cannot just post one side of the transaction.

    It is not clear to me what is in the QIF file you are using.

  2. 2 Posted by Tokend on 22 Mar, 2019 01:10 AM

    Tokend's Avatar

    Ah, that would explain things. Thanks, dwg. Well, I was right about one thing--I didn't understand the process. : - )

    Yes, both of my Quicken exports were to <All accounts>. I see now: To import transactions for individual accounts into MD, I would have had to export transactions into individual QIF files, and then import them one by one into MD, right? Makes sense, now. Thank you for explaining.

    As is, balances are correct, but I've only spot-checked transactions.

    Given the way that I did populate MD, do you see any harm in proceeding as is, or is there anything to be gained by going back and exporting & importing individual QIF transaction files?

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 22 Mar, 2019 01:55 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    The approaches you can take fundamentally fall into the export all accounts to one QIF file or to export each account into its own QIF as you have surmised. All accounts in the the one file is the preferred approach as it helps to prevent duplicate transactions in your Moneydance data.

    Processing account by account either means a big cleanup at the end to deal with duplicates or using techniques during the import to prevent them occurring in the first place. But there are usage cases where you need to do things account by account or you simply have no choice.

    At the stage you are at I would go through and check all the accounts for correctness, make sure categories are correct etc, I see no need to do a re-import unless major problems are found.

  4. 4 Posted by Tokend on 22 Mar, 2019 02:09 AM

    Tokend's Avatar

    "At the stage you are at I would go through and check all the accounts for correctness, make sure categories are correct etc, I see no need to do a re-import unless major problems are found."

    Music to my ears! I've already spent a week getting things to this point, and I plan to run Quicken and MD in parallel for a while to make sure I've got MD down. So, having to spend another week before beginning parallel..., well, I am very glad not to have to do that.

    Thank you, again, for your help and clear explanations. Cheers!

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