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Quicken 2006 QIF Import to Checking Account

Thursday, February 16th, 2006 · No Comments

quicken.gif I’ve used Quicken to manage my finances since as early as 1995 when I started college (though my current QDF file only dates back to late 2002 when I apparently started using it again). According to what I can find online, that must’ve been Quicken 3.0. Countless versions later, Quicken 2006 Deluxe is now the current version and the one I purchased on September 30, 2005, after having used Quicken 2003 Deluxe since July 1, 2003. How do I know these exact dates? I use Quicken.

The upgrade to Quicken 2006 was a very welcome upgrade from the earlier version — an actual search feature, improved user interface that makes viewing account listing much easier on the eyes, better reporting, smarter category management, the ability to schedule a paycheck to appear automatically in your register at a specified date, and more. The biggest pain, however, is the fact that as of Quicken 2005, Intuit no longer supports the QIF data format; they’ve moved to the more robust OFX format, which most financial institutions do support by now.

But what if your financial institution doesn’t?

That’s the case with our local bank, The Adirondack Trust, and they have no plans to support OFX. That’s also the case with PayPal, a giant company now owned by eBay; they, too, only support QIF download. So the problem with that is that I originally set up both these accounts as checking accounts.


The answer? Make it a cash account. QIF still supports import into cash accounts, so it just occurred to me this morning that I could create new cash accounts for Adirondack Trust and PayPal, export all the data from the existing checking accounts, then import the QIF file into the new cash accounts. In Quicken, go to File -> Import or File -> Export while viewing the accounts in question, and that’s all there is to it.

For all intents and purposes, checking accounts and cash accounts in Quicken are the same — both support categories or split categories, and “Spend” and “Receive” transactions (vs. “Payment” and “Deposit” in checking accounts). The only drawbacks in cash accounts are that there’s no column for check number (but you can leverage the “Ref” column in the cash account), and that you can’t generate checks from a cash account (which we don’t do via Quicken anyway; can you say online bill pay?).

So there you go. If your bank is stuck in the pre-2005 land of the QIFs, or if you have a PayPal account you want to synch with Quicken 2005 or later, just use the cash account type instead of checking. After doing the import into the new cash account, you may have to do some balance adjusting to make the totals match up, since any account-to-account transfers will not be reflected in the new cash account, but that’s a small price to pay for the beauty of getting the QIF import back in action.

There are tools out there that will supposedly convert your QIF file to OFX — something I did look into — but the free one (MT2OFX) never worked for me, despite the developer’s best effort to help me out, and I didn’t want to pay $49 for the other one (QIF to Excel to OFX Converter), simply because that’s more than I paid for my upgrade to Quicken 2006, so it seems silly to fork out another 50 bucks for something that should just work.

Tags: money