Amount of foreign currency not imported from QIF

Surprisingly, transfers between accounts with different currency are detected correctly when importing from QIF with latest Quicken. Most finance apps would not do that because currency and amount do not match. However, Quicken then pops up a dialog to ask for the target foreign currency amount instead of just using the value from QIF. The information (source and target value in different currencies) is all there in QIF, so why would Quicken drop some information and then query for it? Looks like good functionality but useless because it's incomplete.

Answers

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    In Quicken Subscription they took away almost all the processing of QIF imported transactions, no matching to existing transactions, no renaming rules, no picking the category from the payee name, but there is one exception and that is that transfer detection still is processed for some reason.  But note that transfer detection is done purely on the amount.  I doubt that it matches transfers where the amounts/currencies are different, but they might surprise me on that part.

    But what this sounds like is that your transactions have the category set to a transfer, as in [Other account] (you can edit the QIF file with a text editor to confirm).

    I think you will find that in fact there isn't any kind of matching to the existing transaction in the "Other account".  What you are describing is normal Quicken behavior for a transfer between two accounts with different currencies.  When a transfer like this is entered Quicken asks for the exchange rate so that it can calculate amount in the other account (and store that exchange rate).

    I think you will find that you end up with duplicate transactions as each side of that transfer is entered.

    Bottom line is that you are giving Quicken much to much credit for processing QIF imports.  Quicken Inc would have probably completely dropped QIF imports by now if it wasn't for the fact that there are just a few things like converting from another personal finance software that can only be done in QIF.  When they rewrote Quicken Mac they dropped it with exception of a one time import to create an account, which meant for such a kind of conversion.

    BTW there isn't any currency information in a QIF file, just numbers.  The currency comes from the account that the import is going into.
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  • reto
    reto Member
    Chris, thanks a lot for your comprehensive answer.

    I tried again, and importing the following simple QIF indeed results in a correct transfer between accounts with different currency (as linked transactions).

    !Account
    NCash - EUR
    TBank
    ^
    !Type:Bank
    D8/31'21
    T-85
    L[Cash - USD]
    ^
    !Account
    NCash - USD
    TBank
    ^
    !Type:Bank
    D8/31'21
    T100.00
    L[Cash - EUR]
    ^

    But, as I said, instead of using the "-85.00" from the QIF Quicken queries the amount. So support for QIF import of transfers between accounts with different currency seems to be there, but it is incomplete.

    Also, as has been discussed in this forum as well, QIF import of split transactions including transfers is not complete, as it converts the transfers into individual transactions. Quicken cannot even correctly import its own exported QIF files.

    It's a bummer that Quicken doesn't spend a little more effort into QIF import, as this is one common way for people to migrate from another application. I would actually consider moving to Quicken, but if I cannot successfully migrate my data this is unfortunately not an option for me.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    One of the main problems with QIF is that it was never standardized.  It was only meant to be a support tool, but once others saw it then started adopting it as a way to export/import transactions, and as they did so they threw in various (extensions).  Quicken won't support any of these.  But note that even Intuit did the same thing, they put in new investment keywords and such and never documented them.

    Here is example of a test file I exported from Quicken Subscription Windows US.
    !Option:AutoSwitch
    !Account
    NChecking
    TBank
    ^
    NChecking 2
    TBank
    ^
    NSavings
    TBank
    ^
    NCash Account
    TCash
    ^
    N401K
    T401(k)/403(b)
    ^
    NBrokerage
    TPort
    ^
    NBrokerage 2
    TPort
    ^
    NBrokerage 3
    TMutual
    ^
    NHSA
    TPort
    ^
    !Clear:AutoSwitch
    !Account
    NChecking 2
    TBank
    ^
    !Type:Bank 
    D9/10'21
    U100.00
    T100.00
    CX
    POpening Balance
    L[Checking 2]
    ^

    Checking2 is in UK pounds, and Cash Account is in Canadian dollars.
    And as you can see there isn't any currency indication in this export.  Your "Cash - USD" is somebodies idea on how this should have been "extended".

    As for getting a successful import when dealing with transfers the only way I have found to do that is by changing all the linked transfers to regular categories.  It does mean one can't jump back and forth between the two accounts using the Go To matching Transfer, but it is still double book accounting correct.

    See this webpage for details.
    http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/changetransfers.html

    Note in the case of foreign accounts (currencies other than what you set the home currency to), you will need to pre-create the accounts in that currency.
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  • reto
    reto Member
    I understand all you're saying, also that QIF doesn't have any notion of currency. What I failed to say is that I pre-created the "Cash - EUR" and "Cash - USD" accounts with the respective currency. With that Quicken actually realizes that the imported transfer transaction is between accounts with different currency and knows that the amounts must be different. It just fails to use the second amount from the QIF but instead brings up a dialog to query it. Quicken would just need to take the currencies from the pre-created accounts and the transfer amounts from QIF. I consider this a mere bug that could be fixed very easily, or be added as an optional functionality. But there's probably little chance to get such changes implemented.

    It is unfortunate that some industries just fail to come up with reasonable standards, making everybody's life harder.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yep, I think you are correct on all of those points.
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