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Importing Transactions to Improve Money Management

5/24/2011 in Money Management Tips
A great way to get started with ClearCheckbook money management is to import some of your old transactions into the site so you have a little bit of spending history available. We offer the importing of QIF, OFX and QFX files for free, and the addition of CSV files if you’re a premium member. Most banks, financial institutions and other money management software will allow you to export to one of those formats.

To import a file, click on the Tools link in the main navigation and then click on Import Transactions. You start by selecting your QIF, OFX, QFX or CSV file and loading the file. The next page lets you tell ClearCheckbook what fields from your imported file you would like matched to fields we recognize. We do our best to automatically assign all the fields, but depending on who generated the imported file, they could be different. Next, you have some options for the imported file, such as a date range, date format and whether or not to import all of these into a specific account. Once you’ve filled out all the information here, click the Import button.

After clicking the Import button, you’ll be taken to the Verify Imported Transactions page. This is where you can look over and verify all of your transactions before fully adding them to your transaction register. This is a good time to make sure the dates are formatted correctly and all of the fields matched up correctly. A common mistake is sometimes people match up a payee or memo field with the category field and end up importing hundreds of categories on accident.

If you’re a premium member, you can also use the “Check for Duplicates” function to see if any of the transactions you’re importing are already in your transaction register. On the Duplicate Transactions page, you can change a few filter options to make the duplication checking more strict or more relaxed. We’ll show you a list of all possible duplicates and you can choose to remove any of the duplicate imported transactions before they’re added to your register. Money management is difficult if you’ve got duplicate transactions!

The final step is to add the transactions to your register. You can add every transaction or just the ones you select. Before you fully import the transactions, you can select the “Mark these transactions as jived” checkbox if you want to let the system know that all of these transactions have cleared with your bank statement. If you want to start over, simply click the Delete All Imports button and you an start the process over.

Again, the Import functionality is a great tool to get started with money management, but after importing your initial transactions, the best thing to do is manually enter all of your transactions whenever you buy something or make a deposit. That way you have a better grasp on your finances and it makes money management easier.

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