OFX - Select Account dialog is ambiguous

Benoit Grégoire bock@step.polymtl.ca
Wed, 18 Sep 2002 23:08:43 -0400

> I think the problem arises in how the Account ID is presented. From the
> .ofx file in question, in the <BANKACCTFROM> tag, there is a <BANKID>
> tag and a <ACCTID> tag. Both the <BANKID> and <ACCTID> are concatenated
> to produce the 'Account ID' in the "Select Account' dialog. From what I
> can see, the <BANKID> tag doesn't correspond to the bank's transit
> number or any other code I could find; the <ACCTID>, however, does
> correspond to the full bank account number (transit number plus account
> number). In all three cases, I could find the <ACCTID> number on my bank
> statement. This held true in the other .ofx files from my two other
> banks.
> Proposed resolution:
> 1) Change the words 'Account ID' to 'Online ID'.to correspond to the
> column in the list box


> 2) Add the message: 'Bank Account Number:' and set this equal to

The Account Matcher is part of the generic import infrastructure.  That key is 
computer-readable and might not always be an account number.  For OFx, it is 
generated by LibOFX and is <BANKID><BRANCHID><ACCTID> for a bank account, and 
<ACCTID><ACCTKEY> for a credit card account.  However, i could reverse the 
generation of this key by libofx to put the account id in front (ie: 
<ACCTID>/<BRANCHID>/<BANKID>).  However, i think that would be 
counter-intuitive, since we are used to reading numbers with the most 
significant bits at the end.  Perhaps a little better I could even prefix the 
IDs (ie: BANK:<BANKID>/BRANCH:<BRANCHID>/ACCT:<ACCTID>).  However, that would 
make a long line.   Which do you think would be best?

> 3) Add the message: 'This Bank Account Number should correspond to the
> account number on your bank statement'

Can't, because that module is generic.  And it might not be a bank account....

> 4) Add a column in the gnucash account list in the 'Select Account'
> dialog that corresponds to the 'Account Code' in the 'Edit Account'
> dialog (from Edit/Edit Account in main window) in the remote chance that
> someone has entered an account number in this field.

I've been told that field has a special meaning for accounting and is not for 
account identifier.  I am thus not convinced it would be a good move.

> Comments?

Keep sending them ;)

Benoit Grégoire
LibOFX http://step.polymtl.ca/~bock/libofx/