Improving GnuCash Import Transaction Rules

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GnuCash can import Quicken OFX files that you can download from your bank or financial institution.  The software does it’s best to import your transactions correctly, but sometimes they are wrong.  Here’s an overview of your options and instructions how to update the import rules.

Interpreting GnuCash Import Options

There are 3 general import options that can be summarized as follows:

  • A – Add a transaction
    • GnuCash could not find a match – select this to add the transaction and apply to the account selected
  • U + R – Update and Reconciles a transaction
    • GnuCash found a match – select to update to the current account and reconcile
  • R – Reconcile a transaction
    • GnuCash already imported this before – select to reconcile the transaction

To import transactions, go to File – Import – Import OFX/QFX

Select the downloaded file.  Be sure to have the correct account open at the time so it know where to import the file.

Interpreting GnuCash Colors Codes

  • Green – If found a match and is ready to import with the account shown
  • Amber – Ready to import, but no match found
  • Red – Do not import

You need to review each transaction to see if the software is about to categorize the transaction correctly.  Even if it’s green, that does not necessarily mean the import rule is correct.  

How To Change An Import Rule

Double click on the text to the right of the import screen under the tab “Info”.  At this point a Select Account window will pop up.  Navigate to the correct account and then select it.  Not only will the transaction be imported as you wish, but the rule will be updated so that the next time is sees a transaction like this, it will try to match it to this rule.


Search Gnu Cash Wiki

For more information, search the Gnu Cash help files in the search form below


Each time you update the rules, the overall import process will improve.  It save you a lot of time by applying the correct account correctly (similar to categories) and saves you the hassle of editing transactions later.

2 thoughts on “Improving GnuCash Import Transaction Rules

    1. Glad I could help. There is a summary of these tips built into GnuCash. When you open the Import ofx/qfx window, just press the help button in the lower left and it will show all of the color options and actions available.

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