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Free Accounting Software Forum - Importing Bank Statements

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I would like to see importing of bank statements


Hi Shane,

Thanks for asking.

At the moment you cannot import bank statements. But is it really that good? No doubt some massive software companies have told you with their persuasive marketing that you can save time by doing this. Well let's consider that.

Firstly you can always save time by doing a half baked job. As an accountant I cannot recommend saving time by reducing quality. You have to save time and improve quality.

Whilst I am not sure the reason for your question I know that a lot of people ask this question because they want the import to automate the transaction entry. However that is not the proper use of a bank statement import.

The correct use of a bank statement import is to assist with the bank reconciliation. Consider if you had 100 transactions in your cash account and 99 on your bank statement. Finding the one that is missing can be time consuming. But for most businesses using Free Accounting Software if you have 100 transactions on your bank reconciliation it's probably because you only reconcile your bank account once every 3 months. Guess what? You need to do it more often.

So bank statement import is not a substitute for entering transactions and does not actually save time in that way. Let me explain for the sales and purchases transactions separately.

On the sales side you would probably have to issue an invoice to get paid. You then check that you've received the money and if so issue a receipt to the customer to acknowledge receipt and provide the service. So what is left for the bank statement import? Nothing.

If your plan is to just record revenue for whatever money comes in the bank account then:
1. How do you check that you have received everything that is owing to you.
2. How do you differentiate your normal sales from sales of fixed assets or loan or equity cash received.

On the purchases side a good way to save time is to enter the payment at the time of making the payment. You then click email and send a remittance advice. It's a good idea to send a remittance advice.

This way you handle the paperwork just once and you have the invoice in front of you when recording the transaction.

The alternative bank statement import approach means you are not sending remittance advices and you don't have the paperwork in front of you when you are entering the transaction at the time of the import (unless you retrieve it and double handle it).

If you enter cash received and payments as you make them then the bank reconciliation will be as simple as entering the bank statement balance, clicking select all and then click reconcile.

Our payroll and payments service works similar to the above. You can fax us time sheets and invoices. We enter it and give you an EFT file. There's no need for a bank statement import because it's in the accounting system before the payment leaves the bank. We are using the accounting system to make the payment and it does not get more efficient than that!


Hi Glen,

I'm another new user (actually just doing a trial) and am keen to get a bank statement import feature like Shane.

Is there any import functionality to assist users with the time it takes to enter transactions manually ?

There is now an import csv transactions page.

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