Feature - Synchronize Manager with Bank Accounts

At present Manager can follow the reconcile process of Bank Accounts after manually logging on to your Bank and downloading the Bank transactions / statements for each account in say QIF format. You then import the data and reconcile using rules etc.

My question is will this synchronize process (Download and import) of the Bank Statements be considered for automation at any point? If so it will leave only the reconcile steps for processing saving a lot of time. I have discovered some businesses opt out from using Manager based on the absence of this feature.

Is there some way we can achieve this? Your thoughts…

In my opinion, this is the type of feature that would make Manager a large and unwieldy application. Imagine the complexity of being able to interact in real time with all the different banking software systems in the world. And think of the security risks if Manager could be manipulated by outside systems. It would be a criminal hacker’s delight.

I would never recommend that Manager be integrated with the banks or tax websites etc. As Tut says - its a hackers wetdream. The convenience you gain is not worth the security risks. If I was developing Manager, I would flat out refuse to implement such a feature as this could make the developer of Manager potentially liable for financial loss in the event of a hack, not to mention that you are weakening your bank and tax security for the sake of a small convenience gain!

So I seriously doubt that this would be implemented. I know that some accounting packages integrate with the tax websites as well as banking, but to me they are just asking on bended knees for trouble. I would actually consider leaving Manager if I was forced to put my banking details into the program! No sir!

Tell your clients that they are risking their finances by doing that. Hackers are getting smarter and smarter every year and there is big money involved in hacking nowadays. It will only be a matter of time before programs like Quickbooks are hacked into to obtain banking details etc. Especially now that they are predominantly online!

The main issue is that it’s not free and it’s impossible to do it in secure way right now.

Other accounting packages provide this feature by asking your username and password to your online banking portal, then passing these credentials to the third party company (usually Yodlee). Yodlee will then log into your Internet banking and download your bank statements in QIF (or whatever format) and then send them to accounting software vendor who will import them into your file. See? There is no magic. It’s a convoluted process.

Why Manager can’t offer this option? First of all, Yodlee charges money for this service. I think it’s $1 per bank account per month. So this means the cost would have to be passed onto users. Many people wouldn’t like it. And I don’t like it too. It’s a matter of principle.

Overall, I think bank feeds are very convenient. Manager will have bank feeds too but it really depends on banks how quickly they will start providing read-only API so Manager will be able to talk to the bank directly (without 3rd-party) and for free. Some smaller and progressive banks are already working on this so Manager will support these banks first. I think it will be exciting.

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I should have been clearer on this that the feature in my view was intended for the Cloud and Server editions. I would not expect payment for this service to be a problem given the responsibility involved in addition it would build a valuable distinction between the Desktop edition and the Server / Cloud editions. On the security side, this process has been in play for a number of years now, in our region at least. The data as you point out is read only and is only reporting historical transactions, not carrying out transactions so while very confidential the access to the bank will allow reporting only. I feel strongly that this offers great value for an already wonderful piece of Accounting Software. I guess for the faint hearted it could be a module either turned on or off… Wow, it may become a desktop edition feature too!

@compuit, my previous answer is still valid. I will add bank feeds to Manager when it’s possible to do them for free and securely.

I’m not interested in Yodlee integration which is what other accounting software vendors do. It’s expensive, insecure and not particularly reliable.

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Agree … I share that view, the service must be reliable and work as securely as possible. Basically I am in line with your thinking and look forward to this space if considered. Would there be any information we may be able to contribute towards this in the future because this is something that will need careful consideration. Whichever way us know. Cheers Michael.

Lubos do you think that it would ever be secure enough to do something like this. Maybe its because I work in the IT field, and I am far more aware of network breaches like Panama, Sony, Talk Talk and various other ones. I remain unconvinced that it would ever be safe to do this. I don’t think its a case of if more a matter of when Quickbooks and Yodlee start getting hacked if they haven’t already been so already.

Besides which my bank (and no doubt many others) now require the use of a FOB key as part of the two factor authentication. Although naturally this can be built into the accounting program.