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Converting .csv files





Tony The Tiger
I use Quicken 2011 Deluxe to do my finances. I am a bit late on doing my taxes (I don't owe so there is no penalty). I have two brokerage accounts. One at ETrade and one at TDAmeritrade. Unfortunately, the ETrade account will not let me download my 2011 transactions into anything other than a .csv file. This is not legible by Quicken. They will only let me download the last 90 days of transactions into a Quicken friendly format. Neither ETrade tech support nor Intuit (Quicken's parent company) tech support knows how to convert a .csv file into a Quicken legible filetype. Is this possible?
SonLight
Quicken must have some sort of an import function, even if it doesn't happen to handle .csv format. I would think you could pull the .csv file into a spreadsheet, and then write it out in a format that Quicken would accept.

I believe Quicken's internal format is proprietary, which makes it impractical to interface with directly. If they cannot import any standard non-proprietary formats, I would make a note to find a reasonable program that will, preferably an open-source one.

If you check what formats quicken can import from and post it here, it should be straightforward to find a way to convert cvs to one of them. I hope you are able to file and get your refund soon.
Tony The Tiger
SonLight wrote:
Quicken must have some sort of an import function, even if it doesn't happen to handle .csv format. I would think you could pull the .csv file into a spreadsheet, and then write it out in a format that Quicken would accept.

I believe Quicken's internal format is proprietary, which makes it impractical to interface with directly. If they cannot import any standard non-proprietary formats, I would make a note to find a reasonable program that will, preferably an open-source one.

If you check what formats quicken can import from and post it here, it should be straightforward to find a way to convert cvs to one of them. I hope you are able to file and get your refund soon.

IIRC, it can import certain type of data in .csv file, but not the transaction detail that would be useful to me in the desired operations I was trying to perform.
SonLight
Sorry about not responding again sooner. I don't have any easy answers to the problem, and I hoped someone with knowledge of either the broker formats or quicken would reply.

I am assuming Quicken can import transactions in some simple text-based format, and that it can export transactions to the same format. it may be that the account number and other info is in a header record. I would suggest exporting some transactions, and seeing how they compare with the data from your brokers. The broker format should be documented somewhere, and Quicken should document its formats also.

You should be able to figure out how one format can be changed to the other. Perhaps you will have to manually insert the right header records and delete the incompatible ones, but that's ok because there are few of them. You may be able to see how to use a text editor to convert the detail records to the right format with search and replace operations. If not, you could post examples here (using sample data if necessary for privacy) and maybe someone can figure out how to do it with a script, using sed, regexes, or whatever. The worst case is that a specific program would need to be written to do the conversion. In that case it might not be worth it to save retyping the data, but on the other hand the program might be a nice practice for a student and might potentially be useful for many people if properly developed.
Tony The Tiger
SonLight wrote:
Sorry about not responding again sooner. I don't have any easy answers to the problem, and I hoped someone with knowledge of either the broker formats or quicken would reply.

I am assuming Quicken can import transactions in some simple text-based format, and that it can export transactions to the same format. it may be that the account number and other info is in a header record. I would suggest exporting some transactions, and seeing how they compare with the data from your brokers. The broker format should be documented somewhere, and Quicken should document its formats also.

You should be able to figure out how one format can be changed to the other. Perhaps you will have to manually insert the right header records and delete the incompatible ones, but that's ok because there are few of them. You may be able to see how to use a text editor to convert the detail records to the right format with search and replace operations. If not, you could post examples here (using sample data if necessary for privacy) and maybe someone can figure out how to do it with a script, using sed, regexes, or whatever. The worst case is that a specific program would need to be written to do the conversion. In that case it might not be worth it to save retyping the data, but on the other hand the program might be a nice practice for a student and might potentially be useful for many people if properly developed.


At this point, I have already done everything manually. I don't really think there is any easy conversion that is possible or someone would be able to tell me how to do it. The brokers especially would know about it because I am sure every tax season they get all kinds of people who have been delinquent on updating their software and need to download more than the previous 90 days in order to do their taxes using computer automation rather than manual calculations.
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