Bugs in Microsoft Money Conversion - Split transactions with Transfers and Tags

I’m looking to migrate from Microsoft Money to Quicken for Windows – and have run across an issue with the code that converts Microsoft Money files to Quicken. Specifically, when:

1) a transaction is a split transaction
2) the splits are transfers between accounts and
3) the splits have classes (i.e. tags)

the tags are removed from the transaction during the conversion. (I have over 25 years of data – and have over 20,000 transactions like this – so there’s no practical way to manually fix them.)

Any thoughts on a workaround? (Or, for the Quicken developers: any possibility of getting this issue fixed?)

Comments

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your chances of getting that issue addressed by developers is in the territory of one-in-a-million. 

    Tagging a group of transactions with a common trait is not too hard. How about sharing some specific examples and narrowing the scope down from the 20,000 total transactions. 
  • WBrimhall
    WBrimhall Member ✭✭
    “So… you’re telling me there’s a chance…”

    Here’s how I’m using them: For me, categories map to accounting terms (i.e. what the money was spent on, such as groceries or utilities) and tags are used for cash flow management (i.e. where the money should come from — such as monthly budget, vacation savings, etc.). In order for that to work, EVERY transaction in my spending accounts (i.e. checking and credit cards) has a tag — hence the large # of them. That means there’s really no way to just fix a subset of them.

    I’ve taken a look at doing a ‘global find and replace’ within Money before conversion — and the only way to do it is to make a copy of the tag in the ‘Memo’ field. Then, once imported into Quicken, do another find-and-replace to re-create the tags on the Quicken side. The downside to this approach is that I lose any existing contents of the Memo field. Right now, about 5,000 of these transactions have memo contents. Any other thoughts on solutions like this?

    Alternatively, is there any way to ‘edit’ a transaction via bulk import — rather than just having it create a new transaction? (For example, having a QIF import ‘add’ tags to transactions that already exist within Quicken?)
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    WBrimhall said:

    Alternatively, is there any way to ‘edit’ a transaction via bulk import — rather than just having it create a new transaction? (For example, having a QIF import ‘add’ tags to transactions that already exist within Quicken?)
    I fail to see how "‘edit’ a transaction via bulk import" is an different then search and replace or select select and replace.  But at any rate I don't even think that is available in a conversion between MS Money and Quicken doesn't it just do the conversion and you end up with all the transactions already in the registers?

    Quicken does have two different modes for downloading transactions.  One is automatic transactions entry mode where the transactions go directly into the register and have a status of New/New Match and there "review" process that you should use.  The other is when this mode is off and the transactions go into a Downloaded Transactions tab at the bottom of the register.  This mode is much more limited on what editing you can do than what can be done when the transactions are in the register.  The mode there is you select a transaction in the Downloaded Transactions tab and it shows the transaction in the register with the category/tag that it would have assigned and such (because transactions from the financial institution have neither).

    I wouldn't think the conversion from MS Money to Quicken goes through either of these processes.

    Then there is QIF importing.  Clearly it can have all the information like categories/tags in each transaction, but starting with Quicken Subscription the transactions go directly into the register without any attempt to match them.  Which in this case wouldn't matter since Quicken is terrible at such matching.  If one wanted to try that with a version of Quicken that does to the matching you could install Quicken 2013 (after removing Quicken Subscription).  You can find it by expanding the "If you are converting from Quicken 2004 through 2009" section in this document:
    Convert Data From an Earlier Version of Quicken (When to Use an Intermediate Version) | Quicken

    I predict a total mess if you try a QIF import.  Note another primary problem with Quicken's importing of QIF is that it is also terrible at match the transfers.  The only way I have ever got a full QIF export/import to work is by changing all the transfers to regular categories with my program ChangeTransfers:
    ChangeTransfers changes transfers in a QIF file to categories. - QuicknPerlWiz


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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    WBrimhall said:
    “So… you’re telling me there’s a chance…”
    In my opinion there isn't any chance especially when you consider your time frame of probably wanting it to happen within your lifetime.

    The conversion program was written by an ex Microsoft employee (I assume on a contract).  That person is long gone.  On top of that you are the first and only person to ask for this.  Quicken Inc isn't in the habit of expending a large amount of development time to satisfy one customer.
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  • WBrimhall
    WBrimhall Member ✭✭
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > I fail to see how "‘edit’ a transaction via bulk import" is any different then search and replace or select select and replace. 

    My thinking here is that -- if I use the Money --> Quicken converter, I'd be getting 98% of the conversion work done in a single step without losing any data or having to go through the QIF import process. All I would just need a way to 'bulk edit' those transfers where the tags were lost. The challenge is that the only real way (I know of) to import data (QIF) only works as a 'create' operation.

    Other database-oriented applications in other industries (JIRA comes to mind) have ways to provide a data file (in their case, a CSV) that can be used to bulk edit existing records -- as it's a lot easier that going through the UI to do it 1 record at a time. That's the process I'm thinking of -- but I don't see a way to do that in Quicken -- unless I'm missing something.

    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > Then there is QIF importing.

    I read through your detailed docs / posts on this. I've looked at this approach as well. While it DOES properly add the tags on transfers within splits, transfer matching is the big problem. As you've documented, you either get a bunch of duplicates you have to fix (I've got way too many for this to be viable) or you end up with the 'from' side being removed from the split and then added as a separate transaction when importing the 'to' side in the other account.


    > @WBrimhall said:
    > “So… you’re telling me there’s a chance…”
    Obscure pop culture reference. :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFTRwD85AQ4
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    q_lurker said:
    Your chances of getting that issue addressed by developers is in the territory of one-in-a-million. 
    WBrimhall said:

    > @WBrimhall said:
    > “So… you’re telling me there’s a chance…”
    Obscure pop culture reference. :-)
    Nice pop culture reference.
    But, I am telling you there is no chance.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just so I'm absolutely clear about what "ChangeTransfers" is all about.

    If you go back to the original double book accounting, long before computers, there was no way you could have "linked transfers".  Linked transfers are convenient, but they certainly aren't only "proper" way to record a transfer as far as accounting practices are concerned.

    Double book account simply relies on two offsetting entries for the "books to balance".

    Converting the "linked transfers" to regular categories avoids the whole issue with Quicken not being able to properly link them up.

    After the transactions are changed to regular categories and imported one could go back and try to change them back to linked transfers by doing search and replace, but first off I found that only to work with transfers in non investment accounts.  And second it is usually not worth it.

    So it would end up looking like this.
    Credit card account:

    Checking account:

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  • WBrimhall
    WBrimhall Member ✭✭
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > Converting the "linked transfers" to regular categories avoids the whole issue with Quicken not being able to properly link them up.

    Appreciate the added detail -- and it helps make it make more sense. I assume the only way to accomplish this is to export each account to QIF -- and then run some sort of script to edit the QIFs before importing them into Quicken... correct?

    (I'm thinking if I try to do it within Microsoft Money before converting it, I'd end up replacing the linked transfer from one account with a category -- which would then prevent me from creating the other end of the transfer in the other account...

    Similarly, it would seem difficult at that point to try and re-create the transfers within Quicken -- as you'd end up with duplicate transactions as you convert the category on each side to a transfer. Am I thinking about it the right way...?)
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I don't have any experience on MS Money's QIF exporter, but in Quicken I would just export everything into one QIF file and then use my program to change all the transfer categories.  It can be done account by account, but there isn't really any reason to take that slow approach.

    Note that my program does make an exception for "balance adjustments".  As in the open balance and such is still recorded as a transfer back into the same account not a regular category, because these aren't "linked" and as such don't cause any problems.

    WBrimhall said:
    Similarly, it would seem difficult at that point to try and re-create the transfers within Quicken -- as you'd end up with duplicate transactions as you convert the category on each side to a transfer. Am I thinking about it the right way...?)
    The reason the recreating does "somewhat" work is because Quicken has a "transfer match" guessing system that does work pretty good in a very limited context like changing one account's name from say xfrAccount to [Account].  And that is exactly why it fails on investment accounts, from what I see that transfer matching "guessing" isn't done for transfers to/from investment accounts.
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  • WBrimhall
    WBrimhall Member ✭✭
    Unfortunately, Money will only export one account at a time -- so it will take some time to get all ~50 accounts out. But -- you've answered my key question -- in that you need to make the change in the QIF file, not Money itself -- which makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have a chance to try it in the next week or so -- and I'll report back on how well it works...
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