Import bank statements

To save time, you can import bank statement transactions instead of manually entering them.

Download your bank statement

Of course, you can only do this if your bank or other financial institution allows you to electronically export the statement first. Follow your bank’s procedures for defining and downloading a statement or transaction list. To limit redundant transactions, try to download a statement covering only the period since you last downloaded one. Manager will accept statements in these formats:

  • *.qif
  • *.ofx
  • *.qfx
  • *.qbo
  • *.sta
  • *.swi
  • *.940
  • *.iif
  • *.csv

If your bank does not offer one of the other formats, you may be able to import the statement into a spreadsheet program and convert it to *.csv format. If you import a *.csv file, Manager will recognize only the following columns, so delete all others:

  • Date (be sure the format matches your selection in the Settings tab)
  • Reference
  • Description
  • Amount

Note
The *.csv format is the least reliable, with no accepted standard for bank statements. Use it only if your bank offers none of the other options.

Import your bank statement

To import a bank statement into Manager, go to the Bank and Cash Accounts tab. At the bottom, click on the Import bank statement button:

You can also click on the Cleared balance figure for a specific bank account in the tab, then click Import bank statement:

Click Choose File to browse to the downloaded statement (or modified *.csv file) you want to import. Select the bank account for which you are importing the statement (this will be preselected if you initiated the import by clicking on the cleared balance for an account):

Click Next. Review the summary of transactions to be imported and press the Import button:

Note
Manager has the ability to recognize most duplicate transactions, based on type, date, and amount. In the import illustrated above, Manager does not recognize any duplicates and imports all transactions. However, if many transactions have already been imported, you might decide to go back to your bank’s portal and change parameters for the statement download.

After the import is complete, Manager returns you to the Bank and Cash Accounts tab. Here, you will see columns for Uncategorized Receipts and Uncategorized Payments:

Transactions in those columns have not yet been finally categorized, even though they may have been correctly identified by existing receipt and payment rules. They are temporarily posted to the Suspense account. Drill down by clicking on either figure. For illustration, the Uncategorized Receipts figure in this example yields:

Uncategorized transactions can be posted to appropriate accounts two ways:

  • By editing
  • By rule

Post by editing

Click the Edit button on the line for a transaction. Manually choose the posting account. Complete any other information you want to add to the transaction and click Update. Suppose the first receipt on the list in this example is recognized as a one-time receipt from a foreign customer unlikely to buy again.

That transaction is edited, adding the customer’s name and selecting the Sales income account. The transaction disappears from the Uncategorized Receipts list:

The process could be repeated until all transactions are categorized. But it might be advantageous for future statement imports to post by rule.

Post by rule

When similar transactions are expected in the future, receipt or payment rules can be defined to recognize and post them automatically. In this example, interest is expected to be earned on a deposit certificate at National Bank every month. So the New Receipt Rule button is clicked beside that entry. A rule is defined:

Similarly, rules are defined for the remaining transactions, all of which are expected to be repeated. These include rules for receipts from various customers posted to the Sales account, interest earned on a checking account posted to Interest received, reversal of a paper statement fee (offered as a promotion by the bank) posted to Bank charges, and one for contributions of working capital to the Retained earnings account by the owner.

After rules are defined, transactions recognized according to an existing rule have their tentative posting account listed in green. Tentative payers are also now listed, since those were defined in the rules:

If you are not satisfied with results of your rules, click the Edit Bank Rule button for an affected transaction and adjust the rule.

When all transactions have been tentatively posted to desired accounts, check boxes for those you want to update and click Batch Update. (In most situations, this will include only those recognized by rules, because any that were edited manually will no longer appear in the list.)

Note
Manager will not import payer or payee information from the bank statement, because completion of the Payer/Payee field requires designation of the payer/payee as a Customer, Supplier, or Other, and no bank statement contains that information. Therefore, payers/payees must be edited manually or, preferably, included in rules.

Caution
Bank statement imports have the potential to duplicate transactions already entered either manually or by prior import. They might also eliminate transactions erroneously as duplicates when dates and amounts are the same. (This could happen, for example, when a frequent customer buys the same thing several times in one day and some transactions are entered manually.)

Some import formats (or poor implementation of them by financial institutions) also have the potential for date ambiguities when transactions are limited to early in a month (days 1 - 12) or represent years with only two digits.

To minimize problems, thoroughly review imported transactions when the process is complete. Edit manually, if necessary. The bank statement import feature is meant to save time in data entry, not substitute for regular review and oversight.

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