Quicken uses a proprietary data format (QDF) so to transfer data from Quicken to any other program you have to use Quicken itself to export the raw transactions to one (preferably) or more QIF files. Other programs can import these files including Moneydance.
It is recommended to download install and use Moneydance in trial mode to test drive the software and the importing of the data.
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 2021 to 2022) 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
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 creating 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. Later Builds of Moneydance may also include a Text Encoding dropdown, leave at default selection.
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.
IMPORTANT: When import is complete close and reopen Moneydance.
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. If this does not help, try closing and re-opening Moneydance.
Any accounts that are inactive (closed) should be made inactive. This will remove them from the Summary Page, two columns on the right, in the Account Section as well as from reports. There are two methods to accomplish this:
1. By highlighting the account in the Side Bar and clicking ACCOUNT – EDIT ACCOUNT and ticking the inactive box – OK.
2. Click TOOLS – ACCOUNTS and in the windows that opens double click on the Account Name and in the window that opens tick the inactive box - OK. In the list of Account names Accounts in lighter text are inactive. After making the required changes click DONE.
To remove Accounts 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.
On the Summary Page, two columns on right, if you have Investment Securities, they will be shown in a section STOCK PRICES. This may include securities in which you no longer have holdings. To remove these from the list double click on Security Name – EDIT and then untick SHOW ON SUMMARY PAGE box – OK - X
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.
Reminders 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.
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 under TOOLS – CURRENCIES - highlight subject currency and double click must have current and dated exchange rates filled in which cover the date range of transactions in non-base currency account. If your version of Quicken allows you to export a CSV file for a given currencies exchange rate this is the way to go. Use IMPORT button in Moneydance under the Currency/Security History window to import the exchange rates. If this route is not available you can manually add exchange rates or you can import CSV exchange rate files downloaded from sites on the web. 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 be correct. No guarantees the section will work correctly.
on 17 Aug, 2022 10:24 PM
I tried exporting my Quicken files and importing them to the trial version of money dance today. Every transaction from January 1, 2012 looks like it transferred correctly. The balance in moneydance is to the penny of the balance in my Quicken program.
So now that I know that moneydance can read the files in a QIF from Quicken I’m wondering if I should just wait till I get the new computer and download moneydance onto the new computer and then import my Quicken QIF files and start using money dance from there.
Needless to say, I am very thankful and excited that I did not lose any information.
Thank you so much for your suggestions!
It is pretty easy to move the Moneydance data between machines. I test Moneydance so I'm moving data files around regularly between machines and between Operating Systems.
This is just a personal opinion but you have migrated the data to Moneydance why not just continue to use Moneydance rather than going through the migration process again. You have actually done what is normally the hardest part and it sounds like it went very smoothly.
Also you are currently using a machine that you are very familiar with, which sounds like a good environment to get to know a new application program on.
on 18 Aug, 2022 12:00 AM
Thanks, I’ll think about that and how soon my new computer might arrive.
Maybe I’ll post an update when I’m up and running on the new computer.
Even all the new custom categories I had set up in quicken migrated.
The only thing that didn’t transfer I guess is my budget. But as long as I can easily find what I spent in each category each month that’s all I need.
There will be a learning curve working my way around moneydance but I think it will be a great program!
no idea when your computer arrives, an yes, things like budgets and reminders do not export to QIF.
Still, I'd think that just using moneydance will give you familiarity and such, so you can be "ready to go" when the new computer arrives (you just download moneydance again, and copy your datafile over to the new computer)
on 01 Oct, 2022 01:49 AM
It has been a while since I have communicated my progress with
transitioning to Moneydance from Quicken.
My new computer is finally up and running. (Although it is a real learning
curve for me to adjust to Windows 11 from Windows 7.)
This last month I used Moneydance exclusively. I have balanced my bank
statement and am learning to use it. I will be purchasing it in the near
*Question*: There is an option of checking for updates and available
extensions. If I am happy with the way everything is going, is there a
reason to check for updates?? and I am not sure what the extensions are and
if I need them.
Sometimes when all is going well -- just leave it alone. I've sometimes
had trouble with windows "updates" not always being helpful, and sometimes
even causing troubles.
At this point I am just so very thankful that moneydance was the perfect
fit for my bookkeepings needs and that all my quicken files transferred
Thank you to all of you who took the time to give me advice and answer my
questions. Hopefully, I will continue to learn more about all I can do in
moneydance to fine-tune my finances.
To answer your questions - windows usually doesn't hurt Moneydance when windows changes, so using what "will become" an older version is not usually an issue. Some people here still use Moneydance versions from up to a decade ago. [Mac is different, Mac kills older versions]
As for extensions - if you don't have them installed, then of course you don't need to upgrade. Personally, "Quote Loader" is essential for me to upload current stock prices, and I keep that updated, but my impression is that you are not using Moneydance for investments - mostly for checking/savings/credit cards - so you may not have a particular need for extensions.
So, bottom line - if you are happy, leave it alone. If a problem develops, consider where the problem is and if you need to upgrade something.
There is an option to check for Moneydance updates it is under the menu option File --> Preferences.
Personally I do not blindly apply every update to a production machine. I make a judgement based on what is in the update.
For extension you have to use the Extensions interface to see if there are any updates for installed extensions. With extensions just install the ones you need, what you need will become apparent over time.
Glad the transition from Quicken to Moneydance went so well.
In case you have not done so set you should take a look a setting up Moneydance’s auto backups.
Backups can be a live saver if you make a big mistake or you hit a problem with your computer, so a word on Moneydance’s backup types and how to restore a backup.
There are two types of Moneydance backup, manual and auto.
The default backup location can be found under HELP – SHOW ARCHIVE FOLDER. This location is on your hard drive. 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 or OneDrive in case your hard drive fails.
Manual backup. A manual backup can be made under FILE – BACKUP EXPORT. The automatic file naming convention is yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydancearchive
Automatic backup is set under FILE – 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 automatic file naming convention is yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive
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 – PASSWORDS can only be opened by Moneydance by entering your password after using FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP.
When you FILE– RESTORE FROM BACKUP you do not overwrite your existing 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-yyyymmdd.moneydance the date code taken from the backup file. As part of the restore process you will be given the option to change the name of the restored Data Set although you can’t use the name of a existing Data Set.
The default data set location can be found under HELP– SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. This location is on your hard drive and you should not move your data set, certainly not to a cloud server where due to the nature of the Data Set read/write features it could become corrupted. 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.
Available updates. Its worth setting the dropdown under FILES – PREFERENCES to CHECK FOR UPDATES: STABLE UPDATES ONLY initially then as you become more confident using Moneydance change the setting to CHECK FOR UPDATES: PREVIEW/BETA UPDATES. These setting don’t commit you to updating they just list information on an update when it becomes available. You still have to update manually. The list shows you bug fixes and feature add so you can decide if you want to update. If you do decide to update do a FILE – EXPORT BACKUP first so you can if you don’t like the update re-install the older build and if necessary RESTORE FROM BACKUP. Its good practise to store older builds in case you ever need them.
As for extensions you can install then, say one at a time, take a look to see if they would be useful and if not uninstall them. The only extension that has features that can change your Data Set is TOOLBOX. This extension give you clear warnings if you select a feature that can make changes to your Data Set to allow you to cancel the process. Toolbox can be very useful in sorting out problems but if your not sure about a feature you should always post for advice.
on 04 Oct, 2022 05:24 PM
Thanks to all of you. I am looking forward to enjoying Moneydance.
And yes, I basically use it for tracking our spending and balancing our checking account statement.
It’s also great for recordkeeping when income tax time comes. I like to be able to sort and see different spending from years past. So it is serving it’s purpose for me completely.
Blessings to each of you who took the time to help me out.
Sent from my iPad