Reconnect Microsoft Money

Last updated Nov-2019

Microsoft Money: Arguably One of the Best Personal Accounting Packages... Ever

Quicken seemed to be the odds-on favorite to gain traction with many previous Money users. Quicken isn't a bad option, but it was a step backwards for most Money users. When the Money death bell rang at Microsoft, Intuit quickly began working on an improved import feature for Money users. After all, it's not every day that your chief competitor calls it quits. With the release of Quicken 2010, the full import functionality was (supposedly) implemented. I have never tested it myself, but I would guess that it (mostly) works as advertised, and switching to Quicken was likely a palatable option for many users. We also have the option of just starting from scratch, with a different finance package, but there won't be support for importing Money data. There are a few open-source and free options available as well, but (again) those do not import Money data directly, requiring instead that the user "export" the data and then "import" into the new software (which mostly doesn't work).

Perhaps it would be better to just dump Money and get it over with, going through the pain of a transition rather than implementing a fix. My opinion was (and still is) that keeping Money alive for as long as possible is a better option. Which of the new-breed software packages will thrive and grow, and which will bite the dust? I have no idea, but I do know that I don't want to be a guinea pig, or lose all my past data.

Microsoft offers Money Plus Deluxe Sunset as a free download. This is a final (free) edition of Money, but does not include any built-in online features. This is great for Money users, as it allows installation on new computers without having to worry about whether it can be "activated". Add the PocketSense script package, and you're all set for direct connect updates.

Note: Existing Money users should remove online connections for their accounts in the existing Money data file before installing the Sunset Edition. Users report that the Sunset edition does not allow online connections to be deleted. Use of alternate means of data import (such as the software provided on this site) may be more difficult to implement when accounts are still configured for online statements within Money.

Using the Back Door

Fool me once, shame on you...

Money has a useful import feature, providing a back-door path to gathering online updates. In its simplest implementation, the user goes to each of their financial institutions and downloads their latest transactions, subsequently importing the resulting files into Money. If you only have a single online account, this option wouldn't be too onerous. By no surprise, many of us have more than two or three accounts, and repeating the cycle over and over again each time we want to update would be less than satisfactory. Fortunately, we don't have to.

Thanks to OFX transaction servers, the dirty work can be done for you. I began looking into the option in late 2009 and, during a search, ran across TheFinanceBuff web site. His series, titled Replacing Money, presented a discussion of Python scripts that appeared to do what I wanted. The article consisted of a series of posts describing how he got started, the changes he had made, and some alternatives he had considered. As presented, the option required a few computer skills that many users probably weren't comfortable employing, but it looked promising. The scripts weren't exactly what I'd call "robust" in the way they handled downloads, errors, etc., so there was a clear opportunity to build upon an existing idea, while enhancing function.

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