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

James Peterson lyle at austin.rr.com
Fri Feb 21 13:27:54 EST 2020

This second QIF file illustrates the original problem I had --
it simply "Failed" with no errors or warnings or messages 
of any kind (that I can find).  Adding the debug print to 
print each transaction as it is processed in qif-to-gnc.scm
showed it was a transaction with no category listed.

So this QIF file, test2.QIF, picks up from the previous
test1 -- two accounts, checking and credit card, the same
payment from checking to the credit card, but now I actually
try to buy something with my $400.

First I spend $100 at Fry's for a Flash Drive, but give no
category at all.  So this is a simple transaction with no

Then I buy two CDs at Best Buy, using a split transaction.
The split transaction as a whole has a category (Music, as
a sub-category of Entertainment), but within the split, I
don't give an additional category, so you get the "S"
line with no information at all -- just S on a line by itself.

To really make it complicated, we have the two purchases
I thought I made (Beatles and Adele) (both without categories)
and then I remembered another Dr. Demento CD. Quicken, when it
does Split transactions, opens up a window for the Split with
30 lines (16 showing and you can scroll down for the next
14).  Each line has a Category (S), Memo (E), and Amount ($)
The Beatles was on line 1, the Adele on line 2, then two blank
lines and the Dr.Demento on line 5, so you have two entries
with no category, no memo, and $0.00 for the amount.

gnucash can't load this file at all, but I suspect that if
you fix the "Failed" on the import, the amounts would still
be all screwed up.

I don't know how to take screen shots on a Windows 10 system,
but the QIF files is all you should need.

I hope these test cases help.   Now I have to go back and try
to repair my quicken files.  One of the most maddening things
about Quicken is that there is no journal of what I've done.
If you are typing in January, but forget the new year, and enter
a transaction, it will immediately be sorted by date and 
disappear from view -- the view is still at the end of the 
account, but the just entered transaction is way back in 
January of the previous year.  And woe betide you if your
fat fingers mess up the year entirely and you don't even
know what year you typed -- the transaction is safely
sorted back into 2001 or someplace.  And everything is 
automatically updated, on disk, in memory.  There is no
undo, no trace of what you did.  I seem to have put the
wrong category into one of my previously missing categories
from back in 1985 and now I have accounts that should be
zeroed out and closed that have $-36K and $-7K balances
which I need to fix.  At least I can diff the QIF files
to see how they changed in the last few days.


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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