[GNC-dev] [GNC] QIF file import failed -- but no errors or warnings

James Peterson lyle at austin.rr.com
Fri Feb 21 13:00:52 EST 2020

Okay, here's a couple simple test QIF files.

In test1, I have two accounts.  A Bank Checking account
that starts with an opening balance of $1000.  A credit
card account that starts with a $0 balance.

I pay $400 from the checking account to the credit card
account.  In the QIF file, since Quicken is doing double
entry bookkeeping, we see that as a debit of 400 for the 
checking account with the transfer account being the credit
card account. (Quicken doesn't really distinguish debits
and credits, but it's a -400 transaction, so a debit).

The credit card account has one transaction, the other
half of the double entry bookkeeping, which is a credit
(positive amount) of $400 from the checking account.

So simple.  Checking account still has $600 (Initial 
amount of $1000 minus the $400 to the credit card)
The credit card starts at $0 and gets $400 from the
checking account, so ending balance of $400.

What does gnucash do?

The Checking account only has $200, because it seems to
have done the $400 transfer twice (I suspect $400 from
the checking and another $400 to the credit card).

Somehow the credit card has a negative balance of $800.

And it introduced a non-existant "Equity" account, with
a retained earnings sub-account, for $1000.  I don't understand
what that is about.


On Fri, 2020-02-21 at 07:09 +0800, Christopher Lam wrote:
> Sorry to see you go.
> You have, in one swoop, uncovered 3 issues:
> 1. S field being empty is not processed correctly. It would still be nice if
> you could attach some screenshots from quicken, and a tiny qif.
> 2. Duplicated transactions. This happens because I think qif is not limited
> to 1 account. If it has more than 1 account and there are internal
> transactions, qif importer cannot reliably detect those because the
> specification, unlike ofx, does not have a unique transaction ID. Not sure
> whether KMyMoney handles this well. Again a small test case is still welcome
> to try fix this, including quicken screenshots.
> 3. Importing stock or multi currency transactions is difficult. The importer
> does try to handle it. Ditto test case and screenshots.
> Lastly someone else said gnuc 3.1 managed to import; may be worth trying?
> On Fri, 21 Feb 2020, 1:46 am James Peterson, <lyle at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> > I appreciate your responses to my postings -- you really helped
> > me find why gnucash did not like my particular QIF file.
> > 
> > But once I got past that, it's clear that gnucash is badly
> > mangling the meaning of the transactions I have.  I end up
> > with an overall balance of -2 million.  And my investment accounts
> > (like my IRA) with multiple mutual funds are particularly
> > mangled.  Plus treating categories as accounts makes it hard
> > to concentrate on just the account balances. And it seems that
> > when I write a check from my checking account to Discover
> > to cover my balance, it ends up being creditted twice, so 
> > instead of a zero balance, I end up knowing that I paid $518K
> > over the past 27 years.  While I want to be able to find that
> > out (maybe), it's not something I need to know all the time.
> > (I realize this is a problem of some kind with double entry
> > bookkeeping, but that means everything like this is probably
> > wrong.)
> > 
> > So gnucash does not look like a suitable replacement for 
> > my use of Quicken.  KMyMoney seems to be closer to being
> > correct, so I'm going to see if I can fix the problems I'm
> > running into with that, and see if that works better.
> > 
> > jim
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > On Thu, 2020-02-20 at 11:47 +0800, Christopher Lam wrote:
> > > Qif importer does have special handling for empty categories. Changing
> > this
> > > is likely to break things elsewhere though.
> > > 
> > > It would be useful to attach the minimal qif file from selective qif
> > export
> > > from quicken, and insert screenshots from quicken too. Maybe best file
> > bug
> > > in Bugzilla.
> > 
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