All about OFX and Microsoft Money

Article ID: 212355 –   (  ) courtesy of Microsoft

This article describes the different online Statement types supported in Microsoft Money, and explains how to use them.

Description of an Active Statement

// An Active Statement is a file in the OFX (Open Financial Exchange) or OFC (Open Financial Connectivity) format. These files contain transaction information that Microsoft Money can automatically import from a financial institution’s Web site.

Note The OFC format is no longer supported in Money 2005 and newer versions of Money

For more information about importing an OFC file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

890400  (  ) The import of the .ofc file fails when you try to download and then import an Open Financial Connectivity (OFC) statement from your financial institution in Money 2005

By using the Money link or other appropriate option in the online banking area of the Web site, you can export an Active Statement directly to your Money file. Each financial institution’s Web site may appear slightly different.

There are actually two types of OFX transmissions: one-way OFX and two-way OFX. In one-way OFX, also known as “Active Statement,” transaction information is downloaded from the financial institution into Microsoft Money. In two-way OFX, also known as “Direct OFX,” the transmission may contain Online Banking, Bill Payment, and Message transfer information.

Account aggregation with MSN Money My Accounts

// MSN Money My Accounts uses an account aggregation service which pulls account information from financial institutions which would not normally provide two-way communication with Money. This service, which is provided by third-parties, collects account information and then puts it into a format which can then be imported into Money. Yodlee provides this service in Money 2005 and later versions as well as on the MSN Money Web site. The third parties collect information based upon your voluntarily providing online access credentials for an account or set of accounts. The service providers store these credentials in an encrypted format and then, on your behalf, logs into the financial institution and retrieves the appropriate account data. Once they have the account data, the providers pass this information to MSN Money My Accounts which can then shares the information with your Money file (after you have signed in using a Windows Live ID (Passport).

One-way OFX

// With one mouse click, one-way OFX (Active Statement) can download a bank, credit card, or brokerage statement directly from your financial institution’s Web site into Microsoft Money. When you click the Money button or other appropriate option on the Web site, Money starts and automatically receives the file that contains the transaction information. You can then reconcile these transactions and enter them in the Account Register in Money. Money can frequently categorize the transactions for budgeting and financial planning purposes – so that you no longer have to manually enter transactions!

Note In Microsoft Money 99 and earlier versions, if you initiate Active Statements outside Money, only statement download is supported.

Two-way OFX

// Unlike Active Statements, you initiate two-way OFX (Direct OFX) transmissions directly in Money. With Direct OFX, you can download a statement, as with Active Statement, but you can also transmit Electronic Payments (EPays) and Automatic Payments (APays) if your financial institution supports them.

With Direct OFX, you can send and receive messages to and from your financial institution, and, if supported, electronic transfers (XFRs).

For additional information about the different types of Direct OFX available in Money, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

173135  (  ) Money: Definitions of payment types available in Money

What happens when you import an Active Statement (.ofx or .ofc) file

// When you download or open a file that has an .ofx or .ofc extension, Money is notified that a file is ready for import. How Money reacts depends upon its current state.

Money is closed

// After Money identifies the correct account, it imports the statement from the Active Statement file. When Money is finished, you receive the following message:

The information has been received and will be imported the next time you run Money. Do you want to start Money now?

If you click Yes, Money opens the last Money data file that was used, and then starts the Update Account Register Wizard for the appropriate account.

Money is running

// Money becomes the foreground program, and starts the Update Account Register Wizard for the appropriate account.

How Active Statements are set up

// When Money opens an Active Statement file for the first time, Money updates the file to indicate that it is an Active Statement Online Banking file. You do not have to connect to the Microsoft server.

Money then prompts you to assign the account where you want to import the Active Statement. If you entered the account number when you created the account, Money automatically matches it at this point. (You can also select an existing account or create a new account.)

Note Money opens the last Money data file that was used. If this file is not the correct file, you must cancel the Choosing A Money Account dialog box, and open the correct Money data file.

Multiple account statements

// If the Active Statement file contains statements for multiple accounts, Money processes the wizard for each account sequentially, until all accounts have been entered. If Money does not recognize an account, it displays the Choosing A Money Account dialog box for each statement.

Problems during import

// Occasionally, Money may experience problems during import. Money may be in a state that requires attention before proceeding, or Money may not be able to import the file. For more information about how to troubleshoot, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

829143  (  ) How to troubleshoot problems with downloaded statements in Money

Update Account Wizard cannot start

// If Money is currently in a state in which it cannot start the Wizard, Money displays an error message that explains the problem. This problem can occur if a dialog box is open that you must close before Money can perform any other actions. You must close the dialog box that has focus in Money, and try to import the OFX file again.

Money stops responding

// After Money starts the Update Account Register Wizard, the statement information is available in the Money file. If Money stops responding during the process for any reason, you can click the Update Account Register button on the Statement tab to start the wizard again.

File is corrupted

// If the .ofx file is corrupted and Money cannot read it, Money displays one of the following error messages:

The file you attempted to import appears to be invalid or contains corrupt data.
There was a problem with the data received from your financial institution. If this problem persists, call the Customer Support number for your financial institution, listed on the Contact Information tab in the Online Banking area.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

179836  (  ) How to troubleshoot error messages when you import OFX statements into Money

Cancel during Wizard

// If you click Cancel after the Update Account Register Wizard has started, Money stores the statement. You can add the statement whenever you want. To do this, click the Read Statement button on the Statement tab. Or, in Money 2000 and later versions, click the Transactions to Read link in the list of accounts.


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