Switching from Quicken, long data history, balances don't match

bdaniel's Avatar


10 Feb, 2016 08:15 AM


I'm trying to migrate from Quicken 2013 Premier, and I am getting strange results.

The first time I tried it, I exported only through the end of 2015 (into a single .QIF file, per instructions). I followed the instructions:

... to the letter. I started looking at accounts, and they seemed to mostly match on balances, where in a few cases they did not, but it was easy to find a few duplicate transactions and merge them.

So I started over, deciding to take the data up to the present date in. This did not go well at all.

The first several accounts I went though had problems that were relatively easy to fix. However, when I came to my Cash account, I found it nearly impossible. Through painstaking register comparisons, I found at least half a dozen transactions in the MondeyDance side that did not exist on the Quicken side. They seemed to be mis-categorized transfers from another account.

I am curious as to why, when I first tried it but cut things off at the end of the year, accounts were in better shape than when I next tried it. I'm not having much success.

  1. 1 Posted by Ben Spencer on 10 Feb, 2016 01:55 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    Is it possible you had a category called "Cash" as well as an account called "Cash"? QIF files are inherently ambiguous, they do not include unique ids for all the accounts and categories only their names. If you had two with the same name that would cause the behavior you have described.

    Ben Spencer
    Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by bdaniel on 10 Feb, 2016 02:42 PM

    bdaniel's Avatar

    Seems unlikely, in that the cash account I'm referring to is called "Cash X" and there's another one called "Cash Y". The entries I found that were in Cash X in Moneydance but not in Quicken were all transfers from a credit card account.

    Maybe it would help if I found an example and looked for that same transaction in the credit card register in Quicken. Maybe there is an explanation to be found.

    But mostly, my curiosity was in why the Cash X balance seemed to be fine when I limited the export from Quicken to 12/31/15, instead of 2/9/16.

  3. 3 Posted by Ben Spencer on 10 Feb, 2016 02:59 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    I can only imagine that the transactions that a throwing off your Cash X balance predate 12/31/15.

    I agree with your course of action. The answer will be found by finding an example incorrect transaction in Moneydance and locating the same transaction in Quicken.

    Ben Spencer
    Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by bdaniel on 11 Feb, 2016 03:15 AM

    bdaniel's Avatar


    Here's what I've found:

    9/14/2001: There is a transaction in an old checking account that, in Quicken, is tagged with the category "Misc Expense:Financial Out:Bank Charges". In MoneyDance, the category is showing up as a transfer to "Cash X".

    I found it in the QIF file (prior to import). It comes across looking like this:
     D9/14' 1
     PMonthly Service Fee Reversal
     L[Cash X]

    So... Clearly, the QIF export from Quicken is messing things up. Any advice on how to get a better export from Quicken, then?

  5. 5 Posted by bdaniel on 12 Feb, 2016 06:19 AM

    bdaniel's Avatar

    Hm. I figured out a way to use Excel to identify the mis-matches, so I could look them up in Quicken and fix them in MoneyDance.

    However, the method that I used relies on the amount being correct, and I found a case where the amount in the report I got out of MoneyDance doesn't have the correct sign.

    The transaction is one where I received $9 Cash, and yet it shows a value of -$9 in the report. In Quicken's report, it shows it as +$9.

    There are quite a lot of these. Why does MoneyDance's report show the values as negative when they should be positive?

  6. 6 Posted by bdaniel on 12 Feb, 2016 06:37 AM

    bdaniel's Avatar

    This is a disaster. I'm noticing so many of my accounts have completely different balances in MoneyDance than what they had in Quicken.

    I am about ready to give up.

  7. 7 Posted by Ben Spencer on 12 Feb, 2016 01:45 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    Transfers from Quicken when the data set is very large often requite a fair amount of manual correction post import into Moneydance. This us usual due to the limitations of the QIF file format. Th QIF file was never really intended to be used for doing this but it the only option for getting data out of Quicken. I think in your case it may be that the amount of work is prohibitive to transferring your data. It might be worth considering just transferring the last 1 year of data rather than the entire history.

    Ben Spencer
    Infinite Kind Support

  8. 8 Posted by bdaniel on 14 Feb, 2016 03:45 AM

    bdaniel's Avatar

    Ugh. The nearly 20 year history is valuable to me. At the very least, the last few years, and change in the last few years is what helps me budget for the coming years.

    I am more likely to go back to the end of 2012, enter balance-reconciling transactions, and then try to find all the glitches from 2013 to 2015. It's doubtlessly some work, but less work than fixing everything from the last 20 years.

    One thing I'm noticing, though. When I do the first pass, with "Import Account Info Only", I notice that some transactions get imported at that time, such as five transactions in one of my bank accounts. What's going on there?

  9. 9 Posted by Ben Spencer on 15 Feb, 2016 03:30 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    You shouldn't be seeing transactions when importing with the "Import Account Info Only" option enabled. Would you be willing to attach the sample QIF file for our developers to take a look

    Ben Spencer
    Infinite Kind Support

  10. 10 Posted by bdaniel on 15 Feb, 2016 05:26 PM

    bdaniel's Avatar


    I have to say at this point that I'm going another direction. You have a competitor who's software read the same QIF file with much better results. I'll get back to you if I read a dead-end on that alternative.

  11. Ben Spencer closed this discussion on 15 Feb, 2016 07:36 PM.

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