[GNC] citibank card OFX download FITID problems?

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[GNC] citibank card OFX download FITID problems?

incoming-gnucash

I am using GnuCash 2.6.17 on Ubuntu 16.04, and I am having some
problems with importing OFX files from the citcard web download.  I'd
love it if I could solve the problem by upgrading to a newer gnucash
release, but I think the symptoms seem to point at the OFX file not
being quite right (I'd love to be proven wrong about that!)

I use the citibank web site every week or two to download an OFX file
with my credit card transactions.  OFX import works fine for me with
other banks, but I've had a small problem with citi for a year or two:
Occasionally, say once every other month or two, a transaction I see
on the web site (and which is present in the OFX file) does not show
up in the gnucash window for me to accept or match.  In the past few
weeks, citi has been making changes to their web site and possibly to
their OFX generating code, and this problem seems to be worse/more
frequent.  Figuring out what transaction(s) got lost and manually
entering them is of course annoying.

In addition, there is a new problem: The matching window often shows a
handful of transactions that I know have been downloaded before.
These at least automatically show the checkmark to match them, so
dealing with this problem isn't too bad.  

Is anyone else seeing this issue?  I think citi might be generating
incorrect FITIDs, as follows:

Looking at a freshly downloaded citi file with month-to-date
transactions, the FITIDS in the file look like this:

  $ egrep FITID file.OFX
  <FITID>20190207090001
  <FITID>20190208090002
  <FITID>20190208090003
  <FITID>20190208090004
  <FITID>20190208090005
  ...

So they appear to append the 8 character date to "09" and then a 4
digit intra-file serial number.  The date is the date of the charge
(which is earlier than the date the file shows as DTPOSTED).

I tried downloading an OFX from "last statement" rather than
month-to-date, and the exact same pattern is used.  I don't know what
the "09" is, maybe it is a software version number?

This naming convention seems safe enough if they generated a day worth
of transactions at a time, but they do not; transactions trickle in.
So sometimes a subsequent download will add transactions on a date
that already has downloaded transactions.  This is a problem because
the ordering does not seem to keep the first-to-be-downloaded
transactions first in subsequent downloads.

For example, if you download the month-to-date transactions, on say
the final date with any transactions, there might be just a single
transaction T1.  A day later you download, and an additional
transaction T2 might show up with the same date.  If that happens, if
the new transaction came first in the file, T2 would get the same
FITID that T1 had, ending in 0001, so T2 would incorrectly be ignored.
And T1 would get a new FITID ending in 0002 and would incorrectly show
up in the gnucash matching window (which a checkmark to match it).

I do not normally save my OFX files after I load them, so I can't
completely verify all this yet, but I tried googling and came up with
this year-old issue that might be related:

   https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7647910/citibank-qfx-file-problems-causing-quicken-to-erroneously-disregard-some-transactions

A few questions:

First, is there a way for me to somehow inspect the list of FITIDs that my
gnucash has seen before, and any meta data like when gnucash first
saw them?  If so, that would help me nail down cause of what I am
seeing better.  And possibly it could help me coming up with a
workaround if the citi file is indeed broken and staying broken for
the foreseeable future.

Next, any advice on workarounds better than deducing what
transaction(s) in the OFX file are being ignored and entering them
manually?

Finally, is this idea safe: I think I can save myself typing in the
transaction details for any hidden transactions by editing the OFX to
uniquify any new transaction that is hidden.  If the OFX file rules
allow, I could add a suffix like "2019021909xxxxforceload".  Or maybe
I should just edit the date to start with 1 instead of 2, i.e. change
"2019021909xxxx" to "1019021909xxxx", which seems safe in that it
won't collide with any future OFX download using that naming scheme.

Thanks.

--gary
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Re: [GNC] citibank card OFX download FITID problems?

David Carlson-4
gary,

I  suspect that you are right that their scheme for assigning FITID's to
transactions is faulty.  I have heard in the past on this maillist about
related problems with them or other banks where the reporter was trying
without success to get them to mend their ways.

I have had the luxury of never needing to delete old OFX files so I can go
back years and see what I imported and where from.  I am also lucky that
all my providers have produced compliant files.  I believe that they all
track the FITID's and always assign them permanently to each transaction so
that the same transaction downloaded a year later will have the same FITID
as originally downloaded.

That said, I do not have a recommendation for you about what is your best
course of action.  One possibility that you did not suggest would be to
download a companion QIF format import file at the same time as the OFX
file and import that right after importing the OFX file.  Hopefully, that
would bring in any transactions missed in the OFX import.  Of course, you
would have to watch the matching very closely.  Perhaps others have
additional suggestions.

David Carlson

On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 2:42 PM <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I am using GnuCash 2.6.17 on Ubuntu 16.04, and I am having some
> problems with importing OFX files from the citcard web download.  I'd
> love it if I could solve the problem by upgrading to a newer gnucash
> release, but I think the symptoms seem to point at the OFX file not
> being quite right (I'd love to be proven wrong about that!)
>
> I use the citibank web site every week or two to download an OFX file
> with my credit card transactions.  OFX import works fine for me with
> other banks, but I've had a small problem with citi for a year or two:
> Occasionally, say once every other month or two, a transaction I see
> on the web site (and which is present in the OFX file) does not show
> up in the gnucash window for me to accept or match.  In the past few
> weeks, citi has been making changes to their web site and possibly to
> their OFX generating code, and this problem seems to be worse/more
> frequent.  Figuring out what transaction(s) got lost and manually
> entering them is of course annoying.
>
> In addition, there is a new problem: The matching window often shows a
> handful of transactions that I know have been downloaded before.
> These at least automatically show the checkmark to match them, so
> dealing with this problem isn't too bad.
>
> Is anyone else seeing this issue?  I think citi might be generating
> incorrect FITIDs, as follows:
>
> Looking at a freshly downloaded citi file with month-to-date
> transactions, the FITIDS in the file look like this:
>
>   $ egrep FITID file.OFX
>   <FITID>20190207090001
>   <FITID>20190208090002
>   <FITID>20190208090003
>   <FITID>20190208090004
>   <FITID>20190208090005
>   ...
>
> So they appear to append the 8 character date to "09" and then a 4
> digit intra-file serial number.  The date is the date of the charge
> (which is earlier than the date the file shows as DTPOSTED).
>
> I tried downloading an OFX from "last statement" rather than
> month-to-date, and the exact same pattern is used.  I don't know what
> the "09" is, maybe it is a software version number?
>
> This naming convention seems safe enough if they generated a day worth
> of transactions at a time, but they do not; transactions trickle in.
> So sometimes a subsequent download will add transactions on a date
> that already has downloaded transactions.  This is a problem because
> the ordering does not seem to keep the first-to-be-downloaded
> transactions first in subsequent downloads.
>
> For example, if you download the month-to-date transactions, on say
> the final date with any transactions, there might be just a single
> transaction T1.  A day later you download, and an additional
> transaction T2 might show up with the same date.  If that happens, if
> the new transaction came first in the file, T2 would get the same
> FITID that T1 had, ending in 0001, so T2 would incorrectly be ignored.
> And T1 would get a new FITID ending in 0002 and would incorrectly show
> up in the gnucash matching window (which a checkmark to match it).
>
> I do not normally save my OFX files after I load them, so I can't
> completely verify all this yet, but I tried googling and came up with
> this year-old issue that might be related:
>
>
> https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7647910/citibank-qfx-file-problems-causing-quicken-to-erroneously-disregard-some-transactions
>
> A few questions:
>
> First, is there a way for me to somehow inspect the list of FITIDs that my
> gnucash has seen before, and any meta data like when gnucash first
> saw them?  If so, that would help me nail down cause of what I am
> seeing better.  And possibly it could help me coming up with a
> workaround if the citi file is indeed broken and staying broken for
> the foreseeable future.
>
> Next, any advice on workarounds better than deducing what
> transaction(s) in the OFX file are being ignored and entering them
> manually?
>
> Finally, is this idea safe: I think I can save myself typing in the
> transaction details for any hidden transactions by editing the OFX to
> uniquify any new transaction that is hidden.  If the OFX file rules
> allow, I could add a suffix like "2019021909xxxxforceload".  Or maybe
> I should just edit the date to start with 1 instead of 2, i.e. change
> "2019021909xxxx" to "1019021909xxxx", which seems safe in that it
> won't collide with any future OFX download using that naming scheme.
>
> Thanks.
>
> --gary
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To update your subscription preferences or to unsubscribe:
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
> If you are using Nabble or Gmane, please see
> https://wiki.gnucash.org/wiki/Mailing_Lists for more information.
> -----
> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
>
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