Problem Importing Data

David Moffett's Avatar

David Moffett

29 Oct, 2020 05:41 PM

I'm a long time Quicken user. We switched to Apple ten years ago, but the Mac version of Quicken was terrible, so I've been using Parallels and Windows to run PC programs. I now have a new iMac desktop and wish to keep everything "Apple." Finding a good replacement for Quicken is difficult, but I was looking for a simple non-cloud based software program so chose to try MoneyDance. I've installed it and tried to import my Quicken files via .QIF format. The first time, the accounts were ALL messed up with transactions missing and balances WAY off. I have data from 1992, so there is just too much data to have to pick through transactions line-by-line to find errors. I deleted everything and started over. Now I get "Error reading file: java.lang.NullPointerException." I have no idea what that means, nor how to fix it. There are many discussions on the subject, but no real concrete suggestions on how to fix it. This software seems to be the format, layout, and usability that I'm looking for if I can just get started. In 2018 you were "working on" a fix. Have you fixed this? Are you still working on it? What do I do?

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 29 Oct, 2020 06:29 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi David

    If you are not already running 2021(2008) then update at

    Then see if these notes help.

    You need to use Quicken to export your data in a QIF file type. Ensure any closed account that have transfers to any open accounts are included in the QIF file, re-open these accounts if necessary. Export everything Quicken export will allow.

    Open the QIF file 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.

    NOTE: If you have accounts with currencies that are not in your base currency (foreign currencies) perform the steps under NOTE 1 before importing your QIF file as follows.

    Drag and dropped the QIF file into the Side Bar (list on left).
    Wait for the Analyzing data window to close, this can take a few minutes. Nothing may appear to happen until the Import window opens.

    IMPORTANT: Checked all listed accounts are of the correct type and currency and changed if required.

    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.

    Click Import and wait, the process can take some time. Again, nothing may appear to be happening until the process is complete, indicated by the Merging data window closing.

    Some or all of the accounts maybe hidden in the Side Bar, list on left. To make accounts visible click the “+” at the bottom of the Side Bar, then Advanced, then OK.
    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.

    You can also click the “+” button at the bottom of the Side Bar, click Advance then use the Advance window to determine which items are visible in the Side Bar.

    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.

    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

    Note 1: This section only applies if you have accounts with currencies that are not in your base currency. For these currencies ensure “Show on summary page” box is ticked under TOOLS – CURRENCIES – highlight subject currency and double click – EDIT.
    Note: QIF file do not contain exchange rates. To overcome this QIF file shortcoming the Currency/Security History window must have current and dated exchange rates filled in which cover the date range of transactions in non-base currency account. As well as manually adding exchange rates you can import CSV exchange rate files downloaded from sites on the web. Use IMPORT button in the Currency/Security History window. If you have investment account their balances will probably be incorrect. This is due to the fact that the currency set in the security history windows will be in the Moneydance base currency. You can change to the correct security currency and provided exchange rates exist the values will be converted. As you do this re-calculation occurs, but I think the results should to be correct. No guarantees the section will work correctly.

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by David Moffett on 30 Oct, 2020 12:01 AM

    David Moffett's Avatar

    Thanks for your help. I got everything transferred, but almost everything
    is wrong. For most accounts, there are two. One with the name I gave it,
    plus another with the same name plus the suffix "X." I'm sure these just
    need to be merged somehow, but the method is not apparent. The opening
    balance may be an issue in some places, but mostly it's just multiple
    accounts with different balances that have no resemblance to reality. I do
    like this software, but don't have much time to mess around with it.

    I'm beginning to think I should just go back to Quicken and make it easy on


  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 30 Oct, 2020 01:05 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    There are two very common reasons for AccountX accounts with Quicken.

    The first as you have said is the initial balance. This is because of the way Quicken creates this

    The second is that Quicken allows you to create transactions that allow you to draw on the account itself for the funds i.e. it creates money out of nowhere.

    Moneydance is based on accounting rules, and just arbitrarily creating money is just not on. Money has to come from somewhere it must be accounted for. With Moneydance money either needs to come from another account or from a category. This is the basics of Double Entry accounting.

  4. 4 Posted by David Moffett on 30 Oct, 2020 05:03 PM

    David Moffett's Avatar

    Unfortunately, that doesn't explain the problems I'm having. Withdrawing
    cash or depositing income from work or dividends isn't creating money
    arbitrarily. All my entries have a source or a target category. Not sure
    what is wrong. I'm going down the register as I have time, and looking for
    errors. Have found a few and can't figure out why they weren't included in
    the original account. One problem may be the way Moneydance handles split
    transactions. I've had some splits going from a payroll entry to an IRA
    just entered in another fake account in some cases, but not in others.
    Doesn't make sense.

    Oh well. Will keep whacking away at it in hopes of finding some common
    error that explains it.


  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 30 Oct, 2020 07:51 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    My experience with Quicken QIF transfers is that splits work fine in bank accounts. and also if transactions have categories then that also works correctly.

    You may have to look at some of the transactions within the QIF file to see if that provides any clues.

  6. 6 Posted by dtd on 30 Oct, 2020 11:17 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    another user who did exactly what you are trying to with 35 years of Quicken data early this year.

    First, look at the ACCOUNTX accounts, sometimes that have only one or two entries, and that will be indicative. (And thus easy to eliminate by adjusting the one or two entries.)

    If the ACCOUNTX has a lot of entries, examine why. Sounds like you can figure that out.

    Here's an entry I wrote as to a "quick fix"to your current issues, which DOES NOT ADDRESS the overall problem, but shows it can be fixed, or you can live with the issue.

    From Feb 8, 2020
    The quickest "well, I believe it will work out" is to make a few changes in MD:

    1) IMPORT 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 no sense other than forcing MD to match Quicken)
    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 may expose some other things to write about in the small but growing book]

    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.

  7. 7 Posted by dtd on 30 Oct, 2020 11:20 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    If you want way TMI, you can search for a thread with the word vicissitudes in it.

    It was an exploration in itself, so there is a lot of "no that's wrong... this seems right" but it examines the issue with QIF and how it is imported, and limitations.

    The post I just entered is post 66 from that thread, and is sort of the "let's just do this and live with it" post.

  8. System closed this discussion on 29 Jan, 2021 11:30 PM.

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