Connect Bank Accounts - transactions automatically imported

What is the possibility to add a feature that connect your bank and credit cards automatically. With such a feature where your bank accounts is connected, transactions appear automatically in your bookkeeping system (information is drawn from your bank), thus no more piles of receipts to key in or the need to export and import data to Manager.

Wave Accounting / Wave Apps have this automatic functionality.

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All these companies are using bank aggregators such as Yodlee and it’s not a free service. I think generally it costs $1 per bank account per month.

Could Manager have that too? Technically yes but then users would have to pay for it and now Manager couldn’t claim to be 100% free as there are now “paid” add-ons. I don’t want to go down this path. If feature cannot be put into Manager for free, it won’t be put in at all. Eventually banks will start supporting some open standard and such a feature could be added at no cost but this is likely still a few years away.

As for how Wave Accounting does it for free. They pay for it with money they raise from investors. If investors are happy to subsidize bank feeds then you might as well take advantage of it while it lasts. However I want to believe there is more to a good accounting software than just bank feeds.

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Dear @lubos

Thank you for your reply.

I think gnucash have this option ans it is still free…

They use Aqbanking and OFXdirectconnect

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I just did a quick search for this - I was wondering how gnucash would manage it, since as far as I’m aware that is a desktop application.

Looks like some banks provide a direct feed. Perhaps there is a way for Manager to take advantage of this after all - only @lubos can say for certain.

Here’s the relevant link: https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/OFX_Direct_Connect_Bank_Settings

There is some information at the very bottom of that page, Re: connection settings. I haven’t tested it.

I never tested the function with Gnucash since there’s a bug with the wizard and i cannot clic on next…

BUT i am testing the free version of WAVE accounting and they offer this feature completely for free and it works perfectly. I don’t see why it would not be possible to do it with Manager.

I really like Manager and i am not too enthusiast about using WAVE because i like to be able to work locally. So this feature would be most appreciated!!!

That seems promising. I will need to look into this.

They offer it for free but it’s not really free. They are using Yodlee to facilitate bank feeds and last time I checked, Yodlee is charging $1 per bank account per month. Even if they get volume discounts from Yodlee, it still costs money and someone has to pay for it. If it’s not you, then you ought to ask, who is paying on your behalf, why, how long will they keep paying and most importantly what happens when they stop paying.

Yes i am aware that maybe they see it as an investment and when they have enough people using it they will probably making it a paid only feature so a lot of people will subscribe instead of moving all they’re accounting in another software. That’s what they’re doing right now with the budget feature…They removed it from they unpaid version…

Anyway i will stick with manager because i like the software, i can use it locally and most of all i trust the fact that it will stay free!

Dear @lubos

Thank you for your reply. Do you know which South African Banks supply free banking feeds?

@Meester currently even if bank supports free bank feeds, Manager doesn’t implement them. I do want to look into OFX direct connect very soon. This would allow Manager to support bank feeds for at least few banks which implement the standard.

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Dear @lubos

Did you have any time looking into OFX direct connect, yet?

Hi @lubos, the new PSD2 directive is also very very interesting.

https://www.evry.com/en/news/articles/psd2-the-directive-that-will-change-banking-as-we-know-it/

Dear @lubos

Do you have any feedback regardering OFX Direct, that would allow Manager to support bank feeds?

Yes I agree too, It will be great to have that feature.
Regards

Dear @lubos

Do have any feedback regarding OFX Direct or even PSD2, that would allow Manager to support bank feeds?

The issue is that none of the banks in Australia support OFX Direct as far as I know.

I don’t mind implementing this but I will need access to some OFX Direct endpoint. If you can help with that, feel free to email me to lubos@manager.io

what does “access to some OFX Direct endpoint” mean to us guys who are not techies? i need to understand to determine if there is anything i could do that would help this effort.

I guess, to design and test a software feature the programmer is going to need access to a Bank feed which uses OFX. As the programmer is in Australia where apparently no banks use this method he would need access to an overseas bank feed, probably from a resident in a country where a bank uses that communication method.

There are over 300 organisations which support this format. Probably worth checking if Citibank in Australia does

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I came to conclusion that OFX is probably dead protocol.

Bank feeds are typically facilitated by screen scrapping which is not clean way but it works without asking bank to support anything.

WaveAccounting provides bank feeds by paying 3rd-party bank aggregator Yodlee. You can see how unsustainable it is when someone is paying for your bank feeds. There are also security implications where you have to share your banking credentials with Yodlee - which is certainly against your bank rules.

The only way to have free bank feeds which work with all the banks is to simply use web-browser automation tool which will do clicking on your behalf.

I just released such a tool which can assist to download bank statement from online banking site and upload it to Manager in automated way. You have to write macro to obtain bank statement from your bank but once macro is written, it will save a lot of time.

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Hi Lubos, direct bank feeds are available now from all major banks without a third party like Yodlee. Can you work out if it is possible now to integrate in Manager. I use MAC, so web browser automation is also difficult. You can make it available for anybody who is willing to pay extra fee.