Migrating from QuickBooks Pro

Claes Harde's Avatar

Claes Harde

21 Nov, 2020 01:24 PM

Greetings,
I have been using 2016 Quickbooks Pro on my Macs. It no longer works under Big Sur. Heard good things about Moneydance. A few quick questions:
1. How do I import my data from Quickbooks?
2. I am using a iMac, and a MacBook. Will one license cover both devices?
3. I will be sharing the data between these two devices. I much prefer iCloud to Dropbox. Is that possible.
4. I may potentially want to be able to access the data from my iPad as well. Must I then use Dropbox?

Thank you

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 21 Nov, 2020 05:18 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    1. You cant. Quickbooks does not provide a export file that can be read by other personal finance apps.
    2. Yes
    3. Provided the devices are computers yes and not iOS devices, for which you must use Dropbox.
    4. Yes.

    Try it out for yourself.

    The downloaded version of Moneydance is a full working version with the only limit being a maximum of 100 manually entered transactions, with no time limit. Imported files from other financial programs and your bank have no limit on imports, provided that you do not confirm them. If you decided to purchase you are sent a key by email that unlocks the 100-manual transaction limit. If after testing with this free trial version you purchase and change your mind see the 90 day money back guaranty at https://infinitekind.com/refunds
    For the future Moneydance never sunsets the version it releases. So, you don’t have to upgrade. If you won’t to upgrade the next version is free (say 2017 to 2019) and from then on you get a 50% discount. All upgrades within a version are free.

    Make sure you are running this build of Moneydance https://infinitekind.com/preview
    For information on how to use Moneydance see https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/kb

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by dwg on 21 Nov, 2020 07:46 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    Over the years i have put the following note together from various responses seen.

    QuickBooks doesn't allow exporting to QIF. Only the Intuit Interchange Format (IIF) is supported.

    An IIF to QIF converter will not solve the problem either, as journal entries can't be exported in IIF format, only lists are exportable.

    A viable way to overcome this problem is to set up a journal report, to show all journal entries. Print the report using the "print to file" option. Set the file type to Excel before printing. Rename the extension of the resulting file from PRN to CSV.

    Use this XL2QIF Excel macro to convert to QIF. The Excel file may need to be reorganized to generate the appropriate format for the macro to work, such as separating cheque accounts from term deposits, etc. The above referenced Excel macro supports split transactions.

     It is likely to be a fair amount of work moving away from Quickbooks to any other software.

  3. 3 Posted by Claes Harde on 22 Nov, 2020 03:14 PM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Greetings,

    Thanks for the help.
    It certainly seems like trying to import Quickbooks data is more work than its worth. Too bad, I have 20 years of business and personal data.
    One of the main things I use accounting for is to compare income, expenses, net worth, etc. to the pervious year. Have not yet found a report for that in Moneydance, but I’m sure it's there someplace. I decided that for the time being I will (reluctantly) use Dropbox to store the data.
    When Moneydance does a backup, where do the files go?
    If Dropbox malfunctions can I restore from the backup, and where do the restored files end up?

    Other than that Im pretty pleased so far, it is certainly not as elegant as Quickbooks, not sure yet what functions I’m loosing in the transitions, but time will tell.

    Claes

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 22 Nov, 2020 04:45 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    For reports try income and expenses and income and expenses detailed.

    DO NOT store your Data Set in Dropbox or any other cloud server, it MUST remain on you hard drive to avoid corruption.

    There are to Moneydance backup types Manual – FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – EXPORT BACKUP and Auto backup set under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – PREFERENCES – BACKUP. To restore a backup you use FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – RESTORE FROM BACKUP. Backups have the extension “.moneydancearchive”
    Both types of backup can use Dropbox.

    Data sets and restored from backup data set default location can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER they have the extension “.moneydance”

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5 Posted by Claes Harde on 22 Nov, 2020 06:33 PM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Hi Derek,

    I loaded Moneydance on my MacBook Air. Set it to sync via Dropbox. Works fine, but I’m not sure it actually shares the files on Dropbox.(Any way to check?)
    Loaded the app on my iPhone, and that works fine, syncs right up.
    BUT. Loaded Moneydance on my iMac. Told it to sync via Drop box. All it gets is some test data that I experimented with earlier. It will not load the actual data.
    I tried then loading it on my MacBook Pro. Exactly the same thing.

    I know that Dropbox is a terrible application, but it should still work?
    Any suggestions on how to get these other computers to see the data?
    Is there a way to perhaps empty all data from Dropbox and then resync ?(I am not keeping anything else in Dropbox) Would I loose any data?

    If not, can I transfer the data files to the iCloud and access the data that way (I realize I will loose the iPhone connection, but that is less important)

    Thanks for your time

    Claes

  6. 6 Posted by derekkent23 on 22 Nov, 2020 08:29 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    I have been syncing between 3 Windows computer a Linux computer and 2 Android phones using Dropbox, works just great. First stated syncing via Dropbox back in 2017.

    Notes on syncing.

    You need to has a least a free Dropbox account and have installed Dropbox client on the computers to be synced.

    When you sync you have a primary computer and one or more secondary computers.
    The free Dropbox account only allows you to install Dropbox Client on three computers. If you need more than 3 then the extra computers can use Dropbox Connection where you don’t need to install Dropbox client.

    You don’t have to be online when Moneydance is running as changes are written to your local Dropbox folder. The next time you go online the changes will be synced.

    Make sure you have the same version/build of Moneydance on all computers.

    To reset syncing.

    1. If you have mobile devices use their setting menu to disconnect.
    2. Set primary computer “Sync Method” to “Don’t Sync” under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SYNCING, then click OK.
    3. On your primary computer use FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – EXPORT BACKUP to save a backup in case something goes wrong.
    4. If you have a one or more secondary computers on each click on HELP (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER to open a file explorer, close Moneydance and delete your second computers data sets “yourdatasetname.moneydance”.
    5. Assuming you have Dropbox client installed using your primary computer in the Dropbox folder copy the folder “.moneydancesync” to your hard drive then delete it from the Dropbox folder. Watch the Dropbox icon and wait till it states “Up to Date”. This can talk some time. Note on Mac “.moneydancesync” is hidden, try in your Finder window, typing CMD-Shift-G and then pasting ~/Dropbox/.moneydancesync/ into the box to unhide. If you can’t find “.monydancesync” you will need to sign into you Dropbox account and from here copy the folder “.moneydancesync” to your hard drive then delete it from Dropbox.
    6. If you have one or more secondary computers check that in the Dropbox Folder that the folder “.moneydancesync” has been automatically deleted. You need to give Dropbox a short time to complete this deletion.
    7. On your primary computer under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) - SYNCING, set your “Encryption Passphrase”, set “Sync Method” to “Dropbox Folder”, click OK.
    8. Wait for Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync” and its contents to be created. Check the Dropbox icon states “Up to Date”. This can take some time. From now on normal syncing is fast, no need to wait or check.
    9. If you don’t have one or more secondary computers skip to step 18.
    10. On each of your second computers wait until the same Dropbox folder appears, again watch the Dropbox icon this time on your secondary computers and wait till it states “Up to Date”.
    11. On each or your secondary computers starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set”.
    12. Select “Open Synced File” and use dropdown to select “Dropbox Folder” then click NEXT.
    13. You should see a search screen headed “Select a synced document to open”
    14. After a short search delay, it should then list your un-synced data set name used on your primary computer.
    15. Highlight your data set name and click NEXT.
    16. Enter the encryption password, the “Encryption Passphrase” you set on your primary computer under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SYNCING.
    17. Then click on FINISH. Wait for your data to be synced.
      You may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the second computers side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.
    18. You can also sync to mobile devices such as phones. The free app is available from Play Store, or Apple Store. The setup is as follows.
      On your phone once the Moneydance app is installed, open the app, then tap "Connect to Dropbox" or Dropbox icon.
    19. You'll be taken to Dropbox's website to give the Moneydance app permission to access your Dropbox.
      If you're already connected to Dropbox on your device, this may be done automatically
    20. If you have more than one file enabled to sync via Dropbox, choose the file you'd like to sync.
    21. Enter the Encryption Password (“Encryption Passphrase”) that you used to sync on your computers.
    22. It can take a long time to for the first sync to complete, perhaps leave overnight if necessary.

    You can now view, edit and add transaction to your Bank and credit card type accounts. You don’t get access to investment account reminders, reports etc. It’s just a simple method of adding transaction when you’re out and about.

    Perhaps also read https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data

    Hope this helps.

  7. 7 Posted by Claes Harde on 23 Nov, 2020 02:26 PM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Hi Derek,

    Thank you so much!
    Those were excellent instructions.
    You confirmed what I suspected that the key was to delete the Moneydance directory in Dropbox.
    After doing that it was easy sailing.
    Still not clear on the concept of primary vs. secondary computers. Since the data is shared are they not “equals”. In other words; I happened to initially set up Moneydance on a laptop. If for any reason that computer “goes away” will my desktop become the “primary”?

    Have a great day,
    Claes

  8. 8 Posted by derekkent23 on 23 Nov, 2020 05:03 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    No, the Primary and Secondary Data Sets are not exactly the same. For example, you can change the syncing method on a Primary computer but on a Secondary computer the sync method is fixed.
    If you were to lose both your Primary Data Set and your Primary Moneydance backup and only be left with either a Secondary Data Set or a Secondary Moneydance Backup there is a script that can be run to convert a Secondary to a Primary Data Set.

    Hope this helps

  9. 9 Posted by Claes Harde on 23 Nov, 2020 09:31 PM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Hi Derek,

    Now that is a problem!
    Let’s say I stop using the laptop (which happens to be the “Primary” computer).
    Maybe it breaks, or I just don’t want to use it.
    Am I now left with two “secondary” computers?
    I may never have a “primary” computer again?

    Is this a serious flaw in the programming, or am I missing something?

    For instance, I would like to make my desktop my “primary” computer.

    Thanks,
    Claes

  10. 10 Posted by dwg on 23 Nov, 2020 10:01 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    What you see is the nature of what are independent systems participating in a syncing/replication solution. I've worked with many such solutions over many years and none of them are designed to arbitrarily change the configuration, there is always a process that needs to be followed when performing a reconfiguration.

    The nature of the replication and the keys used are always determined by the system that initially sets up the replication, all other systems must therefore choose the same method, set the same keys etc. The other systems cannot just take control, this would be a form of computer anarchy, also because of the independent nature of the systems there is no computer to computer communications that would facilitate any sort of promotion/relegation type of system..

    When you want to or need to make changes you will need to follow a process. The exact process to follow depends on the change you want to make and the circumstance you find yourself in.

    For example if the primary system should fail and your most recent backup is from the primary system then that backup is a primary so you can change the sync settings with it, but if say the backup you have is from the secondary system then you follow a different procedure that converts this into a primary.

    None of it is hard but there are very clear procedures that need to be followed. With any syncing/replication solution there are quite a few moving parts so everything must be done right.

    Syncing is not something that you tinker with, you try to come up with the most suitable system to be the primary initially and then ensure that you have backups from all machines to provide the most complete restore capabilities possible.

  11. 11 Posted by derekkent23 on 23 Nov, 2020 10:09 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    As my last post, there is a simple script that can be run within Moneydance that converts a secondary data set to a primary data set. Run the script within your secondary desktop computer and it turns into the primary computer. As simple as that.

    Hope this helps

  12. 12 Posted by Claes Harde on 24 Nov, 2020 01:07 AM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Hi Derek,

    It must be a quite common situation that a computer is replaced for various reasons.
    That script sounds like the solution.
    Is it somewhere built into Moneydance? (It should be)
    If not, could you tell me where to find it

    Again, thanks for all your help
    Claes

  13. 13 Posted by derekkent23 on 24 Nov, 2020 08:19 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    Most user make sure they setup Moneydance’s Auto backup to save to cloud storage such as Dropbox. See note on backup below. So, if they lose their only computer or if syncing their primary computer, its simple to recover on another computer. In your case let’s say you lose your laptop. Simple on your desktop RESTORE FROM BACKUP and as you would expect the desktop is now your primary computer for that recovered data set. No script required. So, as you can see provided the Moneydance auto backup is used correctly it’s rare for a user to need the script.
    Moneydance 2019/2020 and 2021 have two methods for making a backup.
    In both cases you can select the backup location and as such it is good practice to set the location on a cloud server such as Dropbox, in case your hard drive fails. The Auto backup location can be found under HELP– SHOW BACKUP FOLDER.

    Manual backup. A manual backup can be made under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – BACKUP EXPORT. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydancearchive

    Automatic backup is set under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – PREFERENCES – BACKUPS. Auto backup makes a backup every time you close Moneydance. Moneydance only keep the last auto backup of the day, overwriting any previous auto backups for that day. You can set the number of backups to be kept. When this number is exceeded the oldest backup is deleted. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive

    When a backup is made, if you were syncing, the syncing method is set to don’t sync. This prevent syncing if you restore a backup. This can be important if the need for restoring a backup was related to syncing. Other backup methods such as making a copy of your data set want do this and can mean a restored data set will sync and your data set will be corrupted again.
    If you are syncing and using say Dropbox as a backup location don’t set your computers to use the exact same backup location. When you sync you have a primary computer and secondary computers. A primary data set is not the same as a secondary data set and hence neither are there backups. But as they use the same data set name it possible to get confused, one overwriting the other. A secondary data set can be identified by the fact that the syncing method cannot be changed. It is possible to convert a secondary data set to a primary data set but it means running a python script. Your password is not reset, you still need it to open a backup.

    It may also be possible to recover your data set as a last resort if you have been syncing.

    A moneydancearchive file is a compressed data set.
    The contents of a backup file is encrypted and provided you have set a password under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – PASSWORDS can only be opened by Moneydance by entering your password after using FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – RESTORE FROM BACKUP.

    When you FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – RESTORE FROM BACKUP you do not overwrite your existing data set. This is in case you later find you need access to your old data set. A new data set is created with the naming convention – from manual backup yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydance the date time code taken from the backup file - from auto backup yourdatasetname (plus at number) e.g. yourdatasetname 2.moneydance The default data set location can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. You can delete old data sets you no longer want. You can rename a restored data set with Moneydance closed as you would any other folder provided you retain “.moneydance” extension. A data set is a folder not a file containing other folders and files. When you open Moneydance it will open in the “Welcome to Moneydance” window with the data set name listed on the right.

    Instructions to convert a secondary to primary data set.
    To convert a secondary data set to a primary data set you need to run the attached script md_convert_secondary_to_primary_data_set.py in Moneydance 2019/2020 and 2021.
    With your data set open click WINDOW - SHOW MONEYBOT CONSOLE use OPEN SCRIPT to select the script and click RUN. Wait for the script to complete its run, it can take a minute. Close and reopen Moneydance. You should now be able to change the syncing method.

    Hope this helps.

  14. 14 Posted by Claes Harde on 24 Nov, 2020 02:18 PM

    Claes Harde's Avatar

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks, that is great information.

    Personally I think it should be an option under Preferences to promote a computer to become Master.
    As we keep updating computers this must be a very common issue.

    So in my particular case I want to promote my desktop iMac to Primary, and demote my laptop to Secondary.
    Which of the two methods do you recommend? (The script looks more attractive)
    I am not familiar with running Python scripts, do I copy the script to a particular destination?

    Regardless of method, once the desktop is promoted, what happens to the laptop? How do I demote it? Or do I just delete the data from that computer?

    Thanks,
    Claes

  15. 15 Posted by derekkent23 on 24 Nov, 2020 05:34 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    People when they have a new computer should copy there primary data set to the new computer.

    If you want to switch primary/secondary computers make a copy of your primary data set. Delete the primary and secondary data sets and Dropbox folder .moneydancesync. Put the copied of the primary data set in the moneydance default folder for data sets on the computer you want to be the primary computer. Then set up syncing on both computers.

    Hope this helps

  16. Melissa closed this discussion on 16 Feb, 2021 11:06 PM.

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