Online banking HTML output to QIF, import to Grisbi

Had an issue in extracting info from our online banking facility into something a little more useful. I had decided on Grisbi (available for Linux and Windows®) as an appropriate tool to do what I was after. The challenge is how to get from my banking data into Grisbi.

Firstly I checked with the bank – "At the moment, we can’t transfer account information to popular accounting packages or spreadsheets. Although we haven’t got a definite date for introducing this facility, it has been scheduled for inclusion in our Online service and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available."

I’m not the sort of person to be foiled by that sort of response so embarked upon working out a reliable import routine – especially as the online statement is just an HTML table which can be imported into most spreadsheets with ease.

Grisbi supports the QIF format for importing data as well as a few others, so that was my target format. I came across a macro for Open Office Calc (there’s also a similar macro for Excel) that exports to the QIF format. So I tried a simple save of the transaction history of my online statement as an html file. This I then opened into oocalc and the transactions were imported, a few row and column deletes later to clean up the un-needed elements and I was left with a list of transactions ready to export.

After a little playing about with the CALC2QIF macro, I was able to get the columns sorted to the order that Grisbi expected (I actually did this using a new sheet, pulling in the data I wanted from the online source). A quick save to qif format later and import into Gribsi and I soon had 2 years worth of banking history imported, acurately too – there were no missing transactions – Brilliant!

So just thought I’d share that to encourage others to circumvent the brick wall that is the bank and do it the underground (but reliable) way – link a few tools together – enjoy.