Geek is Good

So my credit card company (or rather, the credit card company that issued the
corporate cards used for my wife’s business “upgraded”
their card access web site recently.

Already you can see where this is going.

I’m a little behind in my bookkeeping this month for various and sundry
reasons, but the other day I figured I had a good chance to catch up. Off
I went.

I use Microsoft Money (I mean, I’d have to – I was development lead for
version 3, after all). In the past the credit card site supported downloading
in Money’s “OFX” format and that worked great. The site “upgrade” appeared to
have removed that – perhaps something about market share?

No worries. Money also imports Quicken’s QIF file format, and that of course
was supported. Except for one thing …

Downloading the QIF, all the debits became credits, and the credits debits.

I called customer support, but since this was a technical issue someone would
call me back in 24-36 hours.

3 days later I decided to take matters into my own hands. (This is the “geek is
good” part). QIF is a text format, and I wrote a little sed script to reverse
the sense of all the transactions in a QIF File.

For those so inclined, here ’tis:


I have no idea what an “average” person would have done in a situation like

But wait, there’s more.

After I successfully downloaded everything with the correct sense, the account
still wouldn’t reconcile.

It turns out that if a transaction of the same amount to the same payee occurred
more than once on the same day, the “extra transactions” are excluded from the QIF download.
They’re still on the statement and on-line display – and of course my bill – they’re just not present
in the download. Apparently someone decided that “remove duplicates” was somehow
desirable in this case. (Hint: it’s not.)

So after fixing the download through geeky machinations, and hand-entering the
missing duplicate entries everything balanced at last.

Who know what’ll happen after the next “upgrade”.

[This post was created using a new email-to-blogpost technique. Any formatting
issues are probably the result of that. I’ll fix ’em. Eventually.]


  1. Dave Ball says:

    Hmmmm… batch editing a QIF using SED… I’d say that qualifies as super geeky! Or at least a little AWKward – bwah! Do you remember when we wrote scripts to combine media player playlist files?

  2. Hey, I’m STILL using a Perl script to combine m3u files. πŸ™‚