Feature request: Imported bank statements > inter-account transfers



Can you please add a way to directly assign transactions from imported bank statements to another account (ie Paypal, cash on hand). The current process is error prone and time consuming, since you have to manually go through the imported list and handle each transaction twice.

Ideally the transaction should be handled exactly as a direct expense transaction, so that I can assign the transaction immediately as a transfer from account ABC to account XYZ. The functionality is already there (ie inter-account transfer) but is not exposed to the end user directly. A checkbox to swap between the two types works as well (sort of like the discount checkbox is handled, when checked it adds a column to an invoice for example).

If you get it to work with a bank rule as well, that would be golden :wink:

Thank you


You can use a “interaccount transfer” account. You will make a payment from account A to this new account and a receipt to account B from this new account as well.


It’s not the same thing. I still have to manually edit out the transactions when being imported. I’ve settled for an “Inter-account transfers” equity account in the meantime, but it’s still two steps per transaction. Paypal works because you import that statement as well, but for cash it’s extra unnecessary steps that can be ommited if the feature is added.


That is because there are two transactions. An inter account transfer is not a single transaction, even when within the same institution. (And often, they are not.)

This topic has been discussed many, many times in the forum, with extensive explanations and examples of why this cannot work. Please search to find those if you are interested in more information.


You can as explained by @Davide " You can use a “inter account transfer” account. You will make a payment from account A to this new account and a receipt to account B from this new account as well.

No you don’t. Let’s assume Bank A has funds being transferred to Bank B
Bank A’s imported statement’s payment would have a bank rule to be posted to “clearing account”
Bank B’s imported statement’s receipt would have a bank rule to be posted to “clearing account”

Read this edited extract:
If you use imported statements entry then you need to process the Bank Rule via a clearing account.
Bank Transfers are two separate accountings transactions not a single transaction.
1.Bank A: Spend Money - Credit Bank A and Debit ???
2.Bank B: Receive Money - Debit Bank B and Credit ???

The Inter Account Transfer tab feature in Manager allows you to truncate that to a single entry - Credit Bank A and Debit Bank B. However, when importing bank statements and using Bank Rules, the processing of the two transactions is still required because (rightfully) Manager’s Bank Rules prevents any allocation directly between bank accounts otherwise you would have duplicate transactions as demonstrated below.

If you substituted the ??? for the opposing Bank you would now have:
1.Bank A: Spend Money - Credit Bank A and Debit Bank B
2.Bank B: Receive Money - Debit Bank B and Credit Bank A

The Bank A account now has two credit entries and the Bank B account now has two debit entries - hence the duplication. So to use Import Bank Statement you just need in the Bank Rule to post the opposing debit/credit entry to a clearing account, where the contra will cancel themselves out.
1.Bank A Spend Money - Credit Bank A and Debit Clearing Account
2.Bank B Receive Money - Debit Bank B and Credit Clearing Account

The Clearing Account can be created as either a Current Asset or Current Liability but not an Equity account.


That’s how I got it working for now. I’ve read the documentation, but consider this:
I import a bank statement with 10 cash widthrawals. Those 10 cash widthdrawals were transfered to the cash account. I can’t set up a bank rule to get those recognized automatically, which is why I’m asking for this feature. And no, it’s not the same as assigning those to a clearing account, then manually adding a transaction from that account to the cash account. The feature request is for: “is this an inter-account transfer?” if yes > select the account to transfer to. if no, use the existing transaction editing fields.

I understand how the inter-account transfer works, what I don’t understand is why I can’t set up a bank rule to create an inter-account transfer. Double entry should be taken care of by the inter-account transfer, no? Duplicate transactions would not be imported when importing the “second” bank statement, no?


Because, when you import the statement, you only have one of the two transactions. The other leg has to come from a different bank account, either via import or manual entry. Depending on how the inter account transfer is executed, this could take many days. An example is when you mail a cheque to pay off a credit card. This is entered as an inter account transfer, but it might take 2 weeks before everything clears.


Wouldn’t things be made easier if when activating the inter account transfer tab a system account for transfers is also created?


That would result in an unnecessary account for many users, with no way to get rid of it. Many would probably wonder what it was for. Meanwhile, it does not seem unreasonable to expect those who import bank statements to set things up to accommodate their own practices. Some might like to use a clearing account. Others might like to manually exclude inter account transfers. An automatic system account forces you to do things one way. A one-time account creation doesn’t seem like a large burden.


A one time account isn’t a large burden, and neither is adding the feature (which by the look of it a few people want).

This is what I (and others) want to do:

  1. Import the bank statement
  2. Use a bank rule to tag “CASH WIDTHDRAWAL” and set up the inter-account transfer to the cash account assigned (it’s not "one leg of the transaction, that breaks double entry accounting, it is in fact both legs of the transaction right there: a debit to one account and a credit to a different one).
  3. Tick the tagged transactions and process them. Finished.

What you want to do:

  1. Import the bank statement
  2. Use a bank rule to tag “CASH WIDTHDRAWAL” and assign it to the clearing account.
  3. Tick the tagged transactions and process them.
  4. Manually add transactions to transfer the already transferred money to the cash account (because in your case, double entry isn’t applied to the two “affected accounts”, but instead applied to a third account that now shows a positive balance).

Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, it’s the documented scenario (of a clearing account) that actually “breaks” the double entry and only contains “one leg of the transaction”, not the requested feature. As a reminder, the functionality requested is already implemented in manager (it’s the inter-account transfer we are talking about), it’s just not exposed to the user in a user-friendly manner, and does not break the double entry (debit one, credit another). A clearing account simply adds an extra manual step into the equation. I understand that it “doesn’t seem like a large burden”, but processing a few hundred transactions turns from a 10 second job of simply ticking the highlighted transactions into a 2 hour job of copy/pasting dates, descriptions and sums. That (to me) is a large burden.


@deZillium, you are missing my points, possibly because of duplication of the term account. I was not speaking of two legs of a transaction in terms of double-entry accounting, but rather of two different bank accounts. If you want to think about double-entry accounting, and imported receipt (as an example) is already two postings: a debit to the bank account and a credit to some other account, such as Accounts receivable. It is this second account you are identifying with a bank rule. There is no second bank account involved.

When you make an inter account transfer, you have two completely separate bank accounts involved, and you have no information during import for the second one. Yet, in addition to the two account postings for the origin account, you also would need two postings for the destination account, for a total of four database entries. There simply is not adequate information in an imported statement to determine which other bank account is involved.

This may seem trivial to you. I assure you its more complex than you seem to think.


Let me help with the complexity: When processing a transaction with a bank rule, the destination account can be manually selected. Complexity problem solved!

I cannot select another cash or bank account as the destination, which is exactly my point (with all due respect, it is you that is missing the point).

If you need 4 database entries for inter-account transfers, you are doing something extremely wrong and this needs to be fixed now before it blows up 5 years down the line. A single transaction (on ANY account) is a 2 database entry: A debit (or credit) from the source account and a credit (or debit) to the destination account. Double entry is still applied (source entry + destination entry)


I hope I got my point across. This is a legitimate feature request. Just because everyone else is doing it the “X way”, does NOT mean that the “X way” is correct. It is one thing I’ve learned from my job watching “enterprise IT persons” cowboy-ing together “enterprise” solutions.


There is no need to shout. Your point and request has been made by previous posters

They key problem is that if you import a statement from two banks accounts with transfer between them, then the import will double up the debit and credit in your scenario ie Importing a statement from bank account one will create a debit in one account and a credit in the second account. Importing a statement from the second account will create another debit in account one and another credit in account two

Admittedly, if the inter-account transfer is to or from a cash account there will be no second importation as cash accounts do not generally have statements to import


No. As it currently works manager recognizes already imported / present transactions.

I handle inter account transfers by making the transfer first and then importing the bank statement and it always says something like 5 transactions in the bank statement 4 to be imported one is already present.

I can post a screenshot of that once I have a transaction like that.


This is me shouting: I AM SHOUTING
This is my capilizing for emphasis (ie as I said above “let me put it into capital letters”): THIS IS AN EMPHASIS

Joking aside, exactly what @novica said. Already imported transactions are automatically excluded, so that’s not the “barrier to entry” for this feature request. Neither is the “unknown destination account” (it will be handled exactly the same as an expense account). Any other strawmen that we need to take apart? :smile: