August 22, 2008

Quickening – Not Just for Immortals

As I mentioned yesterday, I had looked around for a new small business accounting package and had finally settled on Quicken. But the hunt didn’t stop there 🙂

Now that I had settled on Quicken, I needed a way to transfer my years of accumulated data in MS Money over to Quicken. Money exports transactions in QIF format but Quicken doesn’t support QIF for transferring data in to all accounts anymore – it only supports QIF for certain types of accounts. Additionally, when I tried to bring Money data in via QIF, I discovered that Quicken displayed the dates incorrectly 🙁

That was when I came across this page, which details how to use the Quicken Data Converter to transfer your Money data over to Quicken. I thought my troubles were over then, for sure. But that was not the case either :p

The Quicken Data Converter did transfer over everything almost flawlessly – there were a few extra transactions in one account but that I believe was the extent of the errors. However, there was one issue which made the whole transfer useless for me – the data transfer utility did not understand multi-currency! It simply took all the transactions to be in US dollars and this created a huge mess since some of my accounts were in Rupees and the final balances were way off.

There was no way to fix the data conversion either since it would automatically create a new company file when transferring in the data and I could not create a set of accounts (with the appropriate currency set up initially) to receive the transferred data. And once an account is created, you can’t change the currency for it in Quicken either.

So what I ended up doing was resort to a rather convoluted procedure. I created a new set of accounts with the right currencies and then exported the transferred in data as QIF files and then imported them back into the right currency accounts. (I later realized that I could probably have dispensed with the exporting and importing and simply copied the transactions over to the new account internally but hey, it did the same job either way …) This did get the transactions into the right currencies but inter-account transfers still had to be manually corrected to account for exchange rate fluctuations. However, that was rather minor given that I did manage to get all my data from Money into Quicken finally 🙂