Quicken for Mac Hack

In a previous article we looked at a way to hack a QFX file (Quicken’s version of OFX) to trick Qucken for Mac into letting you import at file from a bank that doesn’t pay extra money to Quicken for Mac support. Here we are going to examine a few ways to automate that process.

Since OS X is based on a form of Unix you have access to many of the Unix command line tools. Specifically, OS X supports sed, which is a utility for manipulating text files. The following two sed commands will make the necessary replacements in a QFX file.

Here is a script that will make the changes to any number of files passed in on the command line. (Shown as an image to keep wordpress from mangling the code.)
You can download the script here: sed_script.txt

By using automator, you can make it so you have the ability to option click on a QFX file and tell Automator to make the necessary changes.

Here is an example of that that looks like in the automator application:


Once this is setup correctly, you should be able to option click on your QFX file and see the following menu item to Process QFX:

Automator option click

After seeing my original post, Matthew Ryan sent me the following email:

Mark – I wrote to you a couple weeks ago thanking you for your QFX for Mac article on your web site, and wondering if you had an automated solution. You were kind enough to send me a shell script that handles the task.

I took your script, and wrapped it up as an AppleScript that does the following:

1 – Uses your Unix command to edit the file with the WaMu ID.

2 – Launches Quicken and imports the QFX file.

3 – Automatically deletes the original QFX and converted version after the import.

I am attaching the AppleScript here for your review. If you have any comments or changes, feel free to make them. And if you wish to make this available for download on your site, I give you complete permission to do so with no restrictions.

Mac users have been screwed by Intuit for way too long, so I appreciate you effort in coming up with a solution to the issue. I’ve been using the AppleScript daily for a week now, and it’s really convenient. 🙂

— Matthew Ryan

You can download a zipped copy of his file here: QFX Convert You will probably need to tweak it to make it work on your system. Thanks Matthew!

Between the Automator method and Matthew’s Applescript, you should be able to create a solution that minimizes any extra steps to import QFX files.

A few readers have said they had problems getting this method to work with investment accounts.  It is possible that you’ll need the bank id numbers from a bank with an investment account option to make it work.  If anyone finds numbers that work, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Quicken for Mac Hack”

  1. I would recommend giving the option of using 1 of 4 different account types prior to change the intu.bid number. 1 for credit card, 1 for banking (checking/savings/etc), 1 for investments, and 1 for 401k.. perhaps if I can free up some spare time in the next few days I’ll send you a revised version of your download with these changes.

  2. As noted in the earlier article about this, investment accounts won’t work with this tip (at least not in a way that I’ve found). You can use a supported bank ID to modify your file once, but not a second time. But here’s something that worked for my Schwab Plan account (which unlike regular Schwab accounts doesn’t allow downloads for Macs).

    QIF Master is a shareware program mentioned in a Macworld article:


    It requires some first-time setup and may have some quirks to be found. But for me, at least, it’s a lifesaver. It will let me take the downloaded QFX file from my investment account and convert it to a QIF file that I can then import into Quicken.

    Much better than manually entering 20 transactions or more each month!

  3. The QFX Convert script has a bit of a defect, it has a hard coded path. This is my version:

    do shell script “cat ~/Desktop/Multi.QFX | sed -e ‘s/.*/3350/’ | sed -e ‘s/.*/5431/’ > ~/Desktop/Import.QFX”
    do shell script “open ~/Desktop/Import.QFX”
    sleep 30
    do shell script “rm ~/Desktop/{Multi,Import}.QFX”

  4. I had to add

    | sed -e ‘s/sharebuilder.com/etrade.com/’

    to the AppleScript get it to work.

  5. To get the Automator to work I had to use quotes around the $f and $f.bak.
    I also dropped the cat command.

    Here is the code I used in the “Run Shell Script” box in the Automator.

    for f in “$@”
    cp “$f” “$f.bak”
    sed -e ‘s/.*/9999/’ -e ‘s/.*/4513/’ -e ‘s/.*/9999/'”$f”
    rm “$f.bak”

    The are three lines in the do command above
    cp ….
    sed ….
    rm …

    Also I talked to some one at E*Trade and they support (i.e. paid Intuit) Quicken for Mac for the brokerage firm only. They do not support Quicken for the Mac for E*Trade Bank. The above hack takes care of this stupid incompatiblity at E*Trade and should help anyone one needing ID codes for an investment account.

  6. In my message above, the sed command (on one line) should be:

    sed -e ‘s/_INTU.BID_.*/_INTU.BID_9999/’ -e ‘s/_INTU.USERID_.*/_INTU.USERID_4513/’ -e ‘s/_FID_.*/_FID_9999/'”$f”

    Substitute the underscores with less than “” brackets.
    The website interpreted the brackets as html

  7. Hey! Need help here!

    Great articles – but they don’t help me 🙁

    I live in the UK and have a Mac and Quicken – believe it or not, this complicates everything more. I just need a simple program to manage all of my bank stuff which comes as Quicken files, I thought this would do the trick – but no.

    My problem is that I can’t set up a bank to download stuff from – a US one that is. I have to import everything manually, and when I make an account, and then go File > Import – there is nothing to import a Quicken file there… how do I do this?!


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