Help with OFX in Gnucash
dbreiser at me.com
Tue Jul 10 10:03:44 EDT 2012
On Jul 10, 2012, at 3:31 AM, Ngewi Fet wrote:
> Thanks for the clarifications Dave.
> On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 6:12 AM, David Reiser <dbreiser at me.com> wrote:
>> On Jul 9, 2012, at 6:02 PM, Ngewi Fet wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> I have a question about OFX which I am implementing for Gnucash Mobile for
>> Android and
>> I need help from anyone more experienced with OFX.
>> I'm not sure it matters to gnucash, but your <ACCTTYPE> tags are
> Will fix.
>> I export the transactions from the app as bank statement transactions. In
>> OFX, this means the
>> accounts which the user creates in the app are treated as bank accounts.
>> Bank accounts
>> do not have any names defined in the OFX schema, only bank ID and account
>> ID. Gnucash on
>> the other hand supports descriptive account names and so forth. I also see
>> that there are "Cash Accounts" in Gnucash,
>> but I cannot find any analogous accounts in the OFX standard. Am I missing
>> something here?
>> You're not missing anything. Outside of the investment account handling,
>> OFX has no concept of cash accounts. There are cash withdrawals, ATM
>> deposits and withdrawals, Point Of Sale debits and credits, and general
>> debits and credits. OFX is constructed from the viewpoint of a customer's
>> interactions with various accounts at a financial institution. So money
>> either enters or leaves a given account. Gnucash has a means to let you
>> specify the gnucash account that is the second split of the transaction
>> reported by the bank in the OFX file, but OFX doesn't handle double entry
>> transactions internally. OFX also doesn't handle split transactions at all.
> Ok. Good to know.
>> When importing the OFX file with transactions into Gnucash, it always asks
>> you to create a new account
>> into which to import the transactions. It correctly identifies that there
>> are multiple accounts and requires you to create an account in Gnucash
>> (or select an existing one) into which to import the transactions from the
>> account for each of the accounts from the file.
>> Ideally, I would like Gnucash to simply create the corresponding new
>> accounts to those defined the exported OFX and import the transactions for
>> each of the accounts accordingly. Is this possible?
>> I don't think it is possible the way you describe it. Will any new account
>> always be created at the root level of your gnucash account hierarchy? If
>> not, will they always have the same parent at some other point in the tree?
>> (seems unlikely to me that such an assumption would please many users). In
>> any event, doing automatic account creation would require a change to
>> gnucash itself.
> I was thinking more of like the accounts are created at the root level.
> Subsequent imports will realize that the account has the same ID and then
> just import the transactions directly into that account.
> But now that you mention it, I am beginning to think many-a-user will not
> be happy about this. Maybe I'll just let the user specify where to put the
> It will be less automatic than I hoped, but gives more control to the user.
>> Does anyone know how I can best export OFX so that Gnucash automatically
>> picks up both
>> the accounts and the transactions within those accounts? Thanks.
>> One of the problems is that OFX's notion of accounts does not include the
>> concept of another account being the other half of a double entry system.
>> To OFX, there is only one account at a time, and one or more transactions
>> affecting that account. Transfers affect two OFX accounts at a time, but I
>> don't think you want to make every transaction a transfer.
>> Attached is a sample file produced by the OFX exporter at the moment.
>> gnucash-devel mailing list
>> gnucash-devel at gnucash.org
>> One other thing to consider is that once you've assigned an FITID, a
>> gnucash user won't be able to use a download from their bank to
>> clear/reconcile transactions in the desktop file. Since an FITID exists,
>> and download from a bank results in those transactions being duplicated in
>> gnucash because they'll certainly have different FITIDs from the bank than
>> they will from your app.
> So will it be better if I eliminate the transaction IDs (FITID) in order to
> allow for reconciling transactions in Gnucash with other external accounts?
> This will make the OFX produced invalid, though, as I think an FITID tag is
> I guess the bigger question is how many people will use it like this, so
> the decision becomes a trade-off between validity and practicality.
I don't think the importer will accept transactions without an FITID. You'll have to try it, but I think libofx eliminates both unknown tags and invalid transactions.
>> Dave Reiser
>> dbreiser at me.com
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