Problems with QIF import for checking account - category matching seems horribly designed

Andrew Sackville-West andrew at
Fri Dec 30 05:46:11 EST 2005

please reply to the list.

Mr.Gandhavadi, B wrote:
> I have the same problem.
> I have Microsoft Money file with my accounts in my C drive Linux partition.
> I can't import the info/files into GnuCash.

you must export your transactions from ms money to  .qif format. Gnucash 
cannot read microsoft money proprietart acccount formats, but can read 
either qif or ofx information. Make ms money eport to thoseo formats and 
you can import into gnucash just fine.

> I am terribly disappointed that I still have to depend on Microsoft Money

you do not have to depend on ms money, you just have to make msmoney 
export your transactions, or since its nearly the new year, set up dummy 
transactions to summarize 2005 and start fresh for 2006.

> I think the problem is in the program, GnuCash and the vendor of Suse Linux,
> also agrees with me.

good for them. ;)

> Please forward this to all the programmers of Gnucash.

just did that.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Andrew Sackville-West" <andrew at>
> To: <rburgess at>
> Cc: <gnucash-user at>
> Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2005 12:47 PM
> Subject: Re: Problems with QIF import for checking account - category
> matching seems horribly designed
>>In response to your previous email: the qif importer handles split
>>transactions very well. I routinely import multiple transactions with
>>upto 20 splits each (payroll... weeee) with no problems at all. In fact,
>>its so painless that I get annoyed that I have to surf my directory tree
>>to find the import file. the rest of it is so painless as to be a
>>non-event for me. ymmv.
>>Randy Burgess wrote:
>>>I should clarify that I use the import process primarily to reconcile
>>>checking - not to import totally new transactions.
>>how do you mean? there is a reconcile feature in the program that works
>>fine. are you using it to import transactions from your bank? I'm
>>confused by this, details would help.
>>>As I remember the old process, if you identified a transaction as a
>>>"dupe," the dupe expense account was used - thus there was no wiping out
>>>of this info when importing checking account transactions. That appears
>>>to be gone now.
>>If the importer sees what it "thinks" is a duplicate transaction, and
>>you mark it as a dupe, then it doesn't import that dupe as you obviously
>>don't need two copies of the same transaction. I can't imagine how old
>>the last version you used was, but it must have been creaky. my
>>understanding, from lurking on -devel is that the qif importer hasn't
>>changed AT ALL for many years.
>>>>For one reason or another I haven't used the QIF import function in
>>>>about a year. Today I just made my first try at importing a QIF for my
>>>>checking account, and to my dismay the functionality has been altered
>>>>to effectively make it useless -  unless there's some clever trick I'm
>>>>missing. (This is Gnucash 1.8.11 on Gentoo.)
>>I'm using 1.8.11 on debian (mostly cause I'm too lazy to upgrade to
>>1.8.12), and qif works flawlessly.
>>>>Here's the problem: The import wizard forces you to match categories
>>>>before it proceeds to actually do the import. The idea seems to be
>>>>that it will remember the matches and automate this process the next
>>>>time around.
>>yes. when you bring in a transaction from qif it theoretically has an
>>expense "Category". that expense category has to be matched up to an
>>expense "Account" in gnucash, unless you are creating a new expense
>>account, which it can also do. Once the categories and accounts are
>>mapped, you don't have to do it again, unless something changes.
>>>>But why does it need to match categories like this in the first place?
>>>>It didn't used to, back in previous versions (whatever I was using a
>>>>year ago).
>>as I said, that must have been REALLY old.
>>>>Obviously this process can't handle splits, of which I have many. It
>>>>can't handle the fact that for many of my payees, I have more than one
>>>>category depending on the nature of the expense.
>>see above. are you possible using a malformed qif file?
>>>>So basically the import is more trouble than it's worth. And I haven't
>>>>found any options to get around the problem.
>>that's a matter of opinion. I suspect there maybe something
>>fundamentally wrong with what you are doing and if we can fix that, the
>>rest should work great. please provide specific details about what you
>>are doing. include, if you could, a snippet of the qif you are importing
>>as that could help. obviously strip/modify any personally identifiable
>>>gnucash-user mailing list
>>>gnucash-user at
>>gnucash-user mailing list
>>gnucash-user at

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