Importing old data


E

edlandau

So I've been using Quick since '98 but started a new file Jan 2005.
The Beginning ballance of my current file does not equal the ending
ballance of my old file... you think it would but for some reason it
does not ... it's like *way* off... I have no idea why Is there a
way I can just import the transactions from the old file... does it
make sense to do so? WOuld it mess-up my current ballance?

THanks
-Ed
 
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R

R. C. White

Hi, Ed.

You'll have to ask the guy who input the beginning balance! ;^}

So far as I know, a Quicken "file" does not have a "balance". Each of the
Accounts within the Quicken file has a balance. If there is only a single
Account, then I suppose that could be referred to as the balance of the
file, but that is not really the way to look at it.

Do you mean the beginning balance of your checking account? Or your
stockbroker's account? Or your loan balances? You said you've been using
"Quick"; do you mean Quicken? Or QuickBooks? Which version are you using
now?

Where did your new Quicken file get "The Beginning ballance of my current
file"? My guess is that YOU input the balance, either directly or as the
result of several entries. Where did you get the numbers you input? Did
the beginning balance take into account any outstanding checks or other
reconciling items as of the new file's start date?

Why did you start a new file? Did you start with post-2004 transactions, or
did you record some historical data, too? Did you simply re-create your old
file, with all its history, to clean out any deadwood?

Yes, you could load your old Quicken file, Export all transactions - or all
from one or more specific accounts, or for a specific period - and then
Import them into your new file. But I don't know if that would accomplish
what you want, because I don't know what you are trying to do.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)
 
E

edlandau

ok ok ok ... more info:

I've been using Quicken since '99 and now have 2007Pro.

In the past, I had problems with previous versions where I could not
order the transactions in my checking by check number. The numbers
would go in order but scrolling down more showed yet another series of
checks which should have been in the middle of the previous set. I
figured I'd start a new file... Fresh. I input the ballance of my
checking manually and it is currently reconciled with my paper
statement. The old file's last transaction was Oct 2005... and i
can't remember that far back... I reconcile monthly so it was a
surprise to me to see the balance on Oct 2005 in both files be so
different.

The only reason I want to import is that it would be nice to have the
data... what I should do is rename the accounts to it does not affect
my current checking account.

-Ed
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Ed.

Sorry to be so nosy about your finances, but we can't help if we don't know
what you're trying to do. If we know (a) where you are now and (c) where
you'd like to end up, we probably can help you with (b) how to get from (a)
to (c). ;^} But if we are confused about either (a) or (c), then we get
lost trying to figure out (b). :>(
In the past, I had problems with previous versions where I could not
order the transactions in my checking by check number.
In the checking register, click on the header of the column you want to sort
on. Click at the top of the Num column to sort by check number; click again
to toggle between ascending and descending. The small black triangle icon
tells us which is the current order. And recognize that you may have
entries with text (EFT, DEP, etc.) or nothing at all in this column, so they
will be sorted to the top or bottom of the list. By default, I think, check
registers are sorted by Date, so if your checks were written out of
numerical sequence, switching between Date and Num will change the listing.

Remember Y2K? And all the confusion and publicity before and after January
1, 2000? Intuit - and everybody else - had to adjust their programming,
especially for 2-digit year coding, which had worked since the dawn of the
computer age. For years surrounding Y2K, Quicken (and you) might have
recorded a date as "12/01/99" and that might have been interpreted as
"12/01/2099". That kind of situation could have caused some transactions to
have been recorded out of sequence - in the wrong century. Since you
started using Quicken in '99, you might have been caught up in that
confusion and some of your early transactions may need to be re-recorded
with the proper 4-digit dates.
figured I'd start a new file... Fresh. I input the ballance of my
checking manually and it is currently reconciled with my paper
statement. The old file's last transaction was Oct 2005
WHICH balance? WHICH statement? From the 10/31/05 bank statement? From
your checkbook? From your former Quicken file? The old file's last
transaction was on WHICH DAY in Oct 2005? The balance on Oct 1 is not
likely to be the same as on Oct 31 - or Oct 22.
I reconcile monthly so it was a
surprise to me to see the balance on Oct 2005 in both files be so
different.
We can't see the statement. You can, so YOU will have to look carefully to
identify the reconciling items. If a check you wrote in Sep 2005 didn't
clear until Nov 2005, your opening balance will need to be adjusted for
that.

It still is not clear to me whether you want your new Quicken file to start
as of 10/31/05, or 1/1/06, or at the beginning date of your former Quicken
file - or some other date. If you want it to start at the beginning, then
you will have to do something like: load your old Quicken file; use
Quicken's File | Export and send all your prior data to a QIF file; then
load your NEW Quicken file and use File | Import to bring in all that data.
You can choose to export/import data from only a specific time period, or
other selection.

But if your NEW file is to start with some recent date (11/1/05?), then why
would you Import prior data? Except possibly for previously-acquired assets
that you still have, such as a car, a home, or investments. If something
like that is your concern, please be more specific in your question.
The only reason I want to import is that it would be nice to have the
data... what I should do is rename the accounts to it does not affect
my current checking account.
You've lost me here. Is your current checking account NOT the same as the
one on 10/31/05?

Maybe all you really want to do is start a new Quicken File as of 11/1/05
(or some other recent date), while keeping the old file for historical
reference. To do that, just start a new Quicken File with a name like
ED2007, or rename the old one ED2005 and use ED again for the new one. Use
ED2007 for your current and continuing transactions; when you want to check
on something in the past, use File | Open to load ED2005 temporarily.

DO NOT trip over Quicken's terminology: A "file" may include only a single
checking "account", but it usually includes several asset and liability
"accounts" (checking, saving, auto, investment, loans, etc.), as well as
many income and expense "categories" (salary income, rent expense, and so
on). Quicken "accounts" continue indefinitely, year after year;
"categories" accumulate until the end of a year, then start over for the
next year. As a long-time Quicken user, I'm sure you know this, but it
helps to restate the obvious now and then, just to be sure that we are
speaking the same jargon.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)
 
A

Andrew

R. C. White said:
... "categories" accumulate until the end of a year, then start over for
the next year. .
R.C. - What does THAT mean? Haven't a clue what you mean by that. My
categories (eg: SEWER, TELEPHONE, CHESSCLUBDUES, etc.) are entities that
have numeric values assigned as I categorize expenses to them, and if I run
a report over multiple years, they certainly don't 'start over'. I must be
missing something?
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Andrew.

Thanks for catching that. I didn't word it very well. You are right:
Categories continue indefinitely, just like Accounts. That's why I can look
up today what I paid for my telephone bill back in 1998. And I can easily
get a total of all my telephone expenses for all the years that I've been
using Quicken, just by adjusting the dates in my report.

My accounting mindset was at work, I suppose. In pen-and-paper accounting,
we "close" the income and expense accounts each year by making "closing"
entries to reduce all their balances to zero. We put the net income (or
loss) into the Capital Account, which does carry over to the next year, just
like the Asset and Liability Accounts. Then the income and expense accounts
start over from zero for the new year.

Quicken doesn't actually zero out the Categories at year-end. But, by
default, it shows only the current year-to-date when we ask for an income
statement report, which produces the same result. If we want a different
result, we can Customize the report, or just change the period to be
included.

I hope this didn't confuse Ed, the OP - or any other reader.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)
 
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E

edlandau

Ok... Thanks for the details about the little triangles about the
columns to sort. I'm a little beyond that. The issue I was having,
is that when I ordered my checking account entries by Check number, I'd
get something like this: 10,11,12,19, 20, 21, ATM, ATM, ATM, ATM,
16, 17, 18, , , , , 13, 14, 15. That's just plain wrong.
I had data dating back to 1999 and a tool is useless if you can't rely
on it. I paid for tech support on this several times... tried
"cleaning" the data... exporting and re-importing... nothing seemed to
work... so, I started a new "file". By this, I mean that I upgraded to
Q2006Pro and did not point it to my old file. I therefore only have
transactions dating back to when I upgraded... sometime back in 2005.
I am now using Q2007Pro.

What I miss is being able to search for transactions prior to my
"migration". It would be nice to be able to search for all payments
to my phone company, as per your example below.

My fear is that importing the data may imported whatever data
corruption was present in the first place. Second, as I tried to
explain, if I point Quicken to the old QDF file I "was" using, and look
at my main checking account's ballance on the last transaction in the
register, is not equal to (by a long shot) the opening balance of the
first transacftion in my new QDF. I don't really care to reconcile
stuff that's year's old. I could go into the old QDF and apply an
adjustment transactions to bring the two in-line I guess... or I could
rename the account to OldCheckingAccount and import that. This way,
when I search for all transactions paid to my phone company, I'll look
at my current checking account as well as OldCHeckingAccount. Does that
make sense??

THis is not that big a deal... but I appreciate your responses !

-Ed
 
A

Andrew

R. C. White said:
Hi, Andrew.

Thanks for catching that. I didn't word it very well. You are right:
Categories continue indefinitely, just like Accounts. That's why I
can look up today what I paid for my telephone bill back in 1998. And I
can easily get a total of all my telephone expenses for all the
years that I've been using Quicken, just by adjusting the dates in my
report.
My accounting mindset was at work, I suppose. In pen-and-paper
accounting, we "close" the income and expense accounts each year by
making "closing" entries to reduce all their balances to zero. We
put the net income (or loss) into the Capital Account, which does
carry over to the next year, just like the Asset and Liability
Accounts. Then the income and expense accounts start over from zero
for the new year.
Quicken doesn't actually zero out the Categories at year-end. But, by
default, it shows only the current year-to-date when we ask for an
income statement report, which produces the same result. If we want
a different result, we can Customize the report, or just change the
period to be included.

I hope this didn't confuse Ed, the OP - or any other reader.

RC
Ah, ok R.C.! No problem-0. Yes, I remember that fun exercise when I took
the bookkeeping (did you know that's one of the only, if not only, words in
English that has 3 pairs of repeating letters adjasent to each other?) class
some years ago. "Adjusting" and "Closing" entries; brings back memories.

Thanks for the update as always.
 
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R

R. C. White

Hi, Ed.
rename the account to OldCheckingAccount and import that. This way,
when I search for all transactions paid to my phone company, I'll look
at my current checking account as well as OldCHeckingAccount. Does that
make sense??
Yes, it makes sense. But I don't think it will work as well as you hope. I
think a better strategy would be to leave the old transactions out of your
new Quicken file. Leave all the old data (OldCheckingAccount, as well as
any other Accounts in that file) where they are: in a separate Quicken
file. You might rename that file something like EdOld (holding EdOld.QDF
plus related EdOld.* files, of course). When you need to research old
transactions, click File | Open and browse to EdOld.qdf and click on it.
When you are done looking back, just File | Open your EdNew.qdf file and
click. You will never have the two files open at the same time, so you
won't be able to get a 5-year report covering 2002-2006, for example, but
you can see the two separate parts and add them together.

Presumably, you won't want to actually make any entries in the EdOld file.
It's only for historical reference. However, you might want to dig into it
and see if you can spot what is causing the error in the closing balance (as
of October 2005) in that checking account. It could be a weird transaction
that also is messing up the listing of your check numbers. Fixing one or
more errors could fix both problems. Once the EdOld file is "clean", you
could either import it into your EdNew file, or you could export from both
EdOld and EdNew and import them both into a new EdNOW file. ;<)

Good luck - and let us know if you learn what caused the old file to go
awry.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)
 

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