OFX - Select Account dialog is ambiguous

John P. New gc@hazelden.ca
19 Sep 2002 09:15:11 -0400

On Wed, 2002-09-18 at 23:08, Benoit Gr=E9goire wrote:

> > 1) Change the words 'Account ID' to 'Online ID'.to correspond to the
> > column in the list box
> Done


> > 2) Add the message: 'Bank Account Number:' and set this equal to
> > <ACCTID>
> The Account Matcher is part of the generic import infrastructure.  That k=
ey is=20
> computer-readable and might not always be an account number.  For OFx, it=
> generated by LibOFX and is <BANKID><BRANCHID><ACCTID> for a bank account,=
> <ACCTID><ACCTKEY> for a credit card account.  However, i could reverse th=
> generation of this key by libofx to put the account id in front (ie:=20
> <ACCTID>/<BRANCHID>/<BANKID>).  However, i think that would be=20
> counter-intuitive, since we are used to reading numbers with the most=20
> significant bits at the end.  Perhaps a little better I could even prefix=
> IDs (ie: BANK:<BANKID>/BRANCH:<BRANCHID>/ACCT:<ACCTID>).  However, that w=
> make a long line.   Which do you think would be best?

Interesting... From the three banks, two chequing accounts and three
credit card accounts that I have, in all cases the <ACCTID> matches the
bank/credit card account numbers, and nowhere are any <BRANCHID> nor
<ACCTKEY> tags used. Could this be a Canadian bank standard? With three
out of Canada's big five banks represented here, it sounds like it might
be. Should we have a Canadian version of gnucash? (kidding, sort of)

Regardless, my original point (which I never made, because I started
talking about matching account numbers) was:

When the OFX module can't find a corresponding gnucash account (because
this is the first time an .ofx import has been performed), there is no
way to tell which .ofx file account matches with which gnucash account
(I thought there was - the OnlneID/<ACCT> number).

When there are more than one account in the .ofx file, it is impossible
to match them to the gnucash accounts without guessing. Even if the .ofx
file has only one account, the matching may not be obvious in the case
where you have downloaded several .ofx files before beginning to import

So there must be a way to match up the accounts. If not by
OnlineID/<ACCT> numbers, then the only other method I can see is to list
the .ofx file account transactions from the unknown .ofx file account so
the user can say, "These transactions are from my XYZ gnucash account"
and can pick the matching gnucash account.

So my recommendation (not knowing the OFX code) would be to deal with
unknown accounts one at a time: Find an unknown account, list the
corresponding .ofx file transactions, list the gnucash accounts and let
the user pick the match; Repeat until all unknown accounts have been
dealt with.

> > 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 accoun=
> > 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=
> account identifier.  I am thus not convinced it would be a good move.

I find it strange that there is no field for account number in the
account information dialog; seems kinda important to me! But this point
is moot anyway because of the above discussion.
> > Comments?
> Keep sending them ;)

I will.