Importing Accounts from Quicken

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Importing Accounts from Quicken

It is possible to import a chart of accounts (including your tag or classes, if you use them for funds) from the program Quicken from Intuit, when you are setting up a new database for a new organization in ACCOUNTS.


It's important to understand that what Quicken calls "Accounts" are what ACCOUNTS (and traditional accounting) call Asset and Liability accounts. What Quicken calls "Categories" are what ACCOUNTS (and traditional accounting) call Revenue and Expense accounts. (I.e. Quicken treats them as separate types of entities; ACCOUNTS does not.) Also, Quicken allows you to hide accounts, but it always exports hidden accounts, and does not indicate that they are hidden in the export file. So as a result, they will always be imported.


Quicken doesn't have account numbering, but ACCOUNTS requires it. The imported accounts will be automatically numbered, within the 1000- or 10000-ranges as explained in Accounting Concepts. If you select 4-digit account numbers in the ACCOUNTS program's Startup Accounts window, the account numbers given to Quicken accounts will increase by 5's within each class of accounts (Asset / Liability / Fund / Revenue / Expense). If you select 5-digit account numbers, they will increase by 10's.


To import Quicken's accounts and categories into your chart of accounts in ACCOUNTS, you have to first export that information from Quicken. The following instructions have been tested to work in both the 2011 and 2014 versions of Quicken Home and Business. Hopefully other editions or years will follow similar steps - if yours is significantly different, please carefully write down the exact steps you had to use (in a format similar to what we have below) and email that to us, and we will incorporate it into these instructions.


1.Use the Quicken menu options File File Export QIF File.

2.On the window that comes up, check the checkboxes for "Account List" and "Category List". (If anything else comes up checked, like "Transaction", be sure to uncheck it.)

3.Ignore the fields for "Quicken Account to Export from" and "Include Transactions in Dates" - they are irrelevant.

4.Set your desired directory to export to an appropriate export filename (like ACCOUNTS.QIF) in the field at the top for "QIF File to Export to". You can use the Browse button there to select a directory for it to you into - it may be convenient to save it in the ACCOUNTS program's Data Directory.

5.Click OK.

6.If that export is successful, there will not be any further messages! It just goes back to whatever Quicken window you were on.


Having done this, you can use your exported file when you are on the ACCOUNTS program's Startup Accounts window, by checking the radio button options for "Import a Chart of Accounts exported from", and "Quicken". When you then click OK, you will be prompted to select an exported file.


The window for selecting that file will start out displaying whatever is in the program's Data Directory, which is why it would be convenient to export your Quicken file to there. However, you can navigate to any other directory where you saved the file, and select it from there.


After selecting the file and clicking OK, you will be asked whether you want to import exported Quicken Tags or Classes as equity/fund accounts. If you used tags or classes in Quicken for that purpose (identifying income and expenses on different funds), answer Yes to that question.


Next, just follow the prompts. After the import, you will be shown a text file containing messages about all of the issues that arose when importing your chart of accounts from Quicken, because of differing allowable field lengths, different concepts and capabilities in the two programs, etc. You will want to print that file out, and carefully work through each issue mentioned in it, in the Chart of Accounts window that will be displayed for you next in ACCOUNTS.


If you fail to print out that text file of messages, and need to get back to it, it is named ImportNotes.txt, and can be found in the program's Temp Directory by using the Tools Explore Temp Directory menu option on the main window. (In the window that comes up, just find that file and double-click on it to view it.)


Accounts used in Quicken for Fund Balances


Because Quicken isn't really designed for fund accounting, it has no standard way to track fund balances. Some users might set up sub-accounts of bank accounts for that purpose, and others might use some other types of asset or liability accounts to store their fund balances.


After importing the chart of accounts from Quicken into ACCOUNTS, you have to be sure to eliminate those extra accounts you were using in it to track fund balances, and set up real fund accounts in ACCOUNTS for them instead. Please see Funds and Fund Accounting in the Help topic on Accounting Concepts if you need to understand this better.


When you are then setting up your Opening Balances in ACCOUNTS, you need to make sure you give those fund accounts the right balances, that were stored elsewhere in your Quicken.


Helpful Reports


There is a report that may be particularly helpful when reviewing and finalizing the imported chart of accounts.


It is Reports Listing Revenue and Expense Accounts by Fund. This shows which Revenue and Expense accounts you have associated with which fund. Because the import cannot know which classes or tags you used with which accounts (assuming you were using classes or tags to represent funds), all imported Revenue and Expense accounts will initially be associated with a Fund / Equity accounts named "General Fund". So you will want to re-assign your desired funds to the accounts they belong with.


Note, however, that in Quicken, you can use the same Revenue or Expense account with different classes or tags at different times, thus implying that those revenues or expenses belong to different funds. In ACCOUNTS, to make things simpler and clearer, each Revenue or Expense account is associated with only one fund. So, you may need to split out any Revenue or Expense accounts that you used with multiple classes or tags in Quicken into multiple accounts in ACCOUNTS, and associate each one with a different fund.


You can also use the Maintenance Funds for Accounts menu option to associate funds with all Revenue and Expense accounts at once.


Note about Importing Transactions from Quicken


It would be wonderful if ACCOUNTS could also import past transaction details from Quicken. Quicken does have a way to export transactions to its own special QIF file format. Unfortunately, the concepts and organization in Quicken are so different from those in ACCOUNTS (particularly because of the use of classes in Quicken, and the fund accounting features in ACCOUNTS) that it would be almost impossible to match up and convert the transactions properly into ACCOUNTS.


Instead, what is recommended is to enter an Opening Balances transaction in ACCOUNTS, based on current balances from Quicken. Unfortunately, Quicken does not have a Trial Balance report, the usual report that you would derive your opening balances from in a bigger program like QuickBooks. You will have to work from reports such as Income and Expense by Category, and Accounts Balances, to try to determine what the appropriate opening figures are. (You will also have to somehow figure out the starting fund balances, which are not normally tracked in Quicken!) See the Help on Entering Opening Balances for more details on doing that.

This topic was last edited on Mar 23, 2023