Glossary –
Personal Finance Exchange Formats

There are competing standards for file formats in the world of personal and small business finance software, including some that are deprecated but still widely used. Here’s some definitions to help you assess your financial file conversion needs.

Quicken‘s proprietary variation of OFX. It is used by Quicken Web Connect and Quicken Direct Connect.

A new proprietary format used by Quicken and Quicken Essentials for Mac® to transfer entire Quicken databases. QXF contains much more detail about transactions and account history than QIF or QFX. However, it is not suitable for importing into existing accounts, and versions prior to 2015 do not contain investment accounts.

Quicken’s original interchange format. It is text based, although not easy to read. It is supported by just about all personal financial software applications other than Quicken Essentials. Quicken officially dropped support for import of QIF transaction data in 2005, and thereby made it somewhat more difficult to import QIF files. See wikipedia for more information.

QuickBooks’ proprietary variation of OFX. It is used by QuickBooks Web Connect and QuickBooks Direct Connect

This is is a text based format used by QuickBooks for importing and exporting lists and transactions.

Open standard for personal finance applications to receive new transactions from financial institutions. The format is XML based, and is readable, although difficult to understand. OFX is used by most financial applications other than Quicken® and QuickBooks®, but since the demise of Microsoft Money®, it is loosing support from major financial institutions. See ofx.net for more information.

CSV format is an text version of a spreadsheet, and can contain many different kinds of information. Many personal financial applications will import CSV files that have been created according to their data and format requirements.