Mind. Music. Muse.

Import Quicken QFX files into Excel

Let me guess: You are searching for a way to import QFX (typically used for financial programs like Quicken, QuickBooks, or Microsoft Money) into Excel, but have been frustrated because the only thing you seem to find is websites telling you to pay for a utility to do this conversion for you.

Well, I have good news: you can do this very easily yourself. It will cost you nothing, and you don’t need anything other than what is already on your computer.


I’ve recent moved away from using Quicken to do my bills, because I realized that I’m spending money every year for a program that lets me do pretty much what my credit union already provides online. I was spend a lot of time looking at my bills and reconciling accounts and realized something: I was putting all this effort into analyzing my spending after the fact, when what I wanted to do was proactively plan and forecast my spending.

So I dumped Quicken, and starting using Excel to do a forecast of the next 6 pay periods. Instead of spending hours figuring out where my money went and why, I can now easily see that my next pay periods would leave me with X dollars for discretionary spending.

But, sometimes it’s nice to be able to do some reporting. For instance, how much am I really spending on dining and groceries and gas? Time to import into Excel.


STEP 1: Go to your bank’s site and download your transactions. Every bank offers this capability today, so just specify the account(s) you want to download and the time period, and save the QFX file to your computer.

STEP 2: Unlike all those commercial companies that make it seem like QFX is a very difficult format to deal with, it really isn’t. It’s actually just a plain vanilla XML file that has a non-standard header!

STEP 3: Open the QFX file with a text editor. For Windows users, this will be Notepad. For Mac users, this is TextEdit.

STEP 4: You will see several lines of text, followed by a line that contains <OFX>. It will look something like this:



The <OFX> tag is the beginning of the actual XML data that Excel understands, so we just need to get rid of that no-xml info above it.

STEP 5: Replace EVERYTHING above the <OFX> line with this:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″ ?>

Now the start of your QFX file looks like this:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″ ?>

STEP 6: Save this as a new file, and change the extension from QFX to XML.

STEP 7: Open Excel, and then open your new file as an XML Table.

Ta-da! Simple, isn’t it?

You will have a bunch of columns and data that you probably don’t need, but if you are using Excel, I’m sure you know enough to delete the columns you don’t need, and change the number formats of the others to suit your needs.

7 Responses to Import Quicken QFX files into Excel

  • Too good to be true.
    I have followed the advice about converting QFX file to XML, then tried to open with Excel, only to have this pop-up:

    Problems during load
    Problems came up in the following areas during load:
    Strict Parse Error

  • Sorry to hear about your problems, Alex. Unfortunately, the QFX file format isn’t a standard: it’s proprietary to Quicken and the format is known to vary depending on the institution using it.

    There are a lot of things that will cause that error, but the most common are these:
    1. Illegal characters in the XML file,
    2. Text encoding within the XML file is incorrect,
    3. Mis-matched open and closing brackets and tags.

    Editing a text file with Notepad or TextEdit can easily introduce “invisible” characters and make the XML invalid. For example, hitting the TAB key or hitting Enter will add control codes to the text document… You don’t see them, but they are there. If you’ve copies the header text < ?xml version=”1.0? encoding=”ISO-8859-1? ?> from this website, and pasted it into your text file… THAT will also add control characters.

    If you pasted the text, or hit Enter or Tab while editing the file, I’d recommend trying it again and manually typing in the header text. Also, if you are using Notepad, try going to Save As… and then changing the “Encoding” from ANSI to UTF-8. Good luck!

  • I tried your header modification but it failed to import into Excel, apparently because Quicken’s format doesn’t “end” each text data entry with a terminator. For example, comment. The is missing. Before I write a macro to fix this problem (I hand added about 20 lines of terminators and it made it to the next un-terminated line), I thought I should inquire if there is another version of XML or encoding which might address the missing terminators for data lines. Please advise.

    • Being a programmer, my solution would be to either write a macro or create a small XML cleanup utility that would fix all the oddball issues with the QFX file. But the problem is that your bank may opt to change their format at any time… these QFX files are created programatically on their end and can change at any time.

      There are commercial XML cleanup tools out there, but I would be concerned that some automation may accidentally render some lines of data incorrect or incomplete… Probably better to write the wrapper yourself since you know exactly what the problem is! Good luck!

  • Hello, thank you for this post. I followed step 6 and when I opened in Excel a window opens up TEXT IMPORT WIZZARD Step 1 -3. What do I choose? Regards, Ellie

  • Hi Lonnie,

    I’ve just tried your conversion advice and suffered the same frustration as Alex (above). My first attempt to load the XML file into Excel produced the error message, “Strict Parse Error.” I threw that out, reloaded my QFX file to Notepad and followed your suggestion about typing in the new first line myself an changing the encoding to UTF-8. Same story. Deleted it all again, loaded a fresh copy, and did it all again–but this time when I typed in the text I deleted all spaces. I got just a little bit further in that Excel now prompted me to choose how I wanted to open the file. I chose “As an XML table” and was rewarded with a new error message, which now said, “XML Parse Error” (at least it wasn’t strict!) with the following information added:

    Error Code: -1072896763
    URL: C:/Users/James etc.
    Reason: A name contained an invalid character.
    Line: 1
    Column: 13
    File Offset: 12

    The character at position 13 of line 1 is “=” and if that’s invalid, it looks like I’m up the creek. I don’t know what a file offset is, much less what to do with it.

    I’d be most grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

    Best regards,

    James Louder

    P.S. For what it’s worth I’m running Windows 7 Home and Office 2007 Professional.
    P.P.S. Copying the first line from your page and deleting the spaces produced an identical result. At no time did I hit Tab or Enter, so I’m fairly confident that I haven’t introduced any invisible rogue characters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>