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Automatically sync your bank's data with ledger

Project description

ledger-autosync is a program to pull down transactions from your bank and create ledger transactions for them. It is designed to only create transactions that are not already present in your ledger files (that is, it will deduplicate transactions). This should make it comparable to some of the automated synchronization features available in products like GnuCash, Mint, etc. In fact, ledger-autosync performs OFX import and synchronization better than all the alternatives I have seen.

News

v1.0.0

Versions of ledger-autosync before 1.0.0 printed the ofxid in a slightly incorrect position. This should not effect usage of the program, but if you would like to correct the error, see below for more details.

Features

  • supports ledger 3 and hledger
  • like ledger, ledger-autosync will never modify your files directly
  • interactive banking setup via ofxclient
  • multiple banks and accounts
  • support for non-US currencies
  • support for 401k and investment accounts
    • tracks investments by share, not dollar value
    • support for complex transaction types, including transfers, buys, sells, etc.
  • import of downloaded OFX files, for banks not supporting automatic download
  • import of downloaded CSV files from Paypal, Amazon and Mint
  • any CSV file can be supported via plugins

Platforms

ledger-autosync is developed on Linux with ledger 3 and python 3; it has been tested on Windows (although it will run slower) and should run on OS X. It requires ledger 3 or hledger, but it should run faster with ledger, because it will not need to start a command to check every transaction.

Quickstart

Installation

If you are on Debian or Ubuntu, an (older) version of ledger-autosync should be available for installation. Try:

$ sudo apt-get install ledger-autosync

If you use pip, you can install the latest released version:

$ pip install ledger-autosync

You can also install from source, if you have downloaded the source:

$ python setup.py install

You may need to install the following libraries (on debian/ubuntu):

$ sudo apt-get install libffi-dev libpython-dev libssl-dev libxml2-dev python-pip libxslt-dev

Running

Once you have ledger-autosync installed, you can download an OFX file from your bank and run ledger-autosync against it:

$ ledger-autosync download.ofx

This should print a number of transactions to stdout. If you add these transactions to your default ledger file (whatever is read when you run ledger without arguments), you should find that if you run ledger-autosync again, it should print no transactions. This is because of the deduplicating feature: only new transactions will be printed for insertion into your ledger files.

Using the ofx protocol for automatic download

ledger-autosync also supports using the OFX protocol to automatically connect to banks and download data. You can use the ofxclient program (which should have been installed with ledger-autosync) to set up banking:

$ ofxclient

When you have added your institution, quit ofxclient.

(At least one user has reported being signed up for a pay service by setting up OFX direct connect. Although this seems unusual, please be aware of this.)

Edit the generated ~/ofxclient.ini file. Change the description field of your accounts to the name used in ledger. Optionally, move the ~/ofxclient.ini file to your ~/.config directory.

Run:

ledger-autosync

This will download a maximum of 90 days previous activity from your accounts. The output will be in ledger format and printed to stdout. Add this output to your ledger file. When that is done, you can call:

ledger-autosync

again, and it should print nothing to stdout, because you already have those transactions in your ledger.

How it works

ledger-autosync stores a unique identifier as metadata with each transaction. (For OFX files, this is a unique ID provided by your institution for each transaction.) When syncing with your bank, it will check if the transaction exists by running the ledger or hledger command. If the transaction exists, it does nothing. If it does not exist, the transaction is printed to stdout.

ofxid/csvid metadata tag

ledger-autosync stores a metatag with every posting that it outputs to support deduplication. This metadata tag is either ofxid (for OFX imports) or csvid for CSV imports.

Pre-1.0.0 versions of ledger-autosync put this metadata tag in a slightly incorrect place, associating the metadata tag with the transaction itself, and not simply one posting. This should not effect the usage of ledger-autosync, but if you would like to correct your ledger files, there is a small python script fix_ofxid.py included with ledger-autosync. It can be run as:

python fix_ofxid.py <input file>

and will print a corrected file to stdout.

Syncing a CSV file

If you have a CSV file, you may also be able to import it using a recent (installed via source) version of ledger-autosync. ledger-autosync can currently process CSV files as provided by Paypal, Amazon, or Mint. You can process the CSV file as follows:

ledger-autosync /path/to/file.csv -a Assets:Paypal

With Amazon and Paypal CSV files, each row includes a unique identifier, so ledger-autosync will be able to deduplicate against any previously imported entries in your ledger files.

With Mint, a unique identifier based on the data in the row is generated and stored. If future downloads contain identical rows, they will be deduplicated. This method is probably not as robust as a method based on unique ids, but Mint does not provide a unique id, and it should be better than nothing. It is likely to generate false negatives: transactions that seem new, but are in fact old. It will not generate false positives: transactions that are not generated because they seem old.

If you are a developer, you should fine it easy enough to add a new CSV format to ledger-autosync. See, for example, the MintConverter class in the ledgerautosync/converter.py file in this repository. See below for how to add these as plugins.

Assertions

If you supply the --assertions flag, ledger-autosync will also print out valid ledger assertions based on your bank balances at the time of the sync. These otherwise empty transactions tell ledger that your balance should be something at a given time, and if not, ledger will fail with an error.

401k and investment accounts

If you have a 401k account, ledger-autosync can help you to track the state of it. You will need OFX files (or an OFX protocol connection as set up by ofxclient) provided by your 401k.

In general, your 401k account will consist of buy transactions, transfers and reinvestments. The type will be printed in the payee line after a colon (:)

The buy transactions are your contributions to the 401k. These will be printed as follows:

2016/01/29 401k: buymf
  Assets:Retirement:401k                                 1.12345 FOOBAR @ $123.123456
  ; ofxid: 1234
  Income:Salary                                            -$138.32

This means that you bought (contributed) $138.32 worth of FOOBAR (your investment fund) at the price of $123.123456. The money to buy the investment came from your income. In ledger-autosync, the Assets:Retirement:401k account is the one specified using the --account command line, or configured in your ofxclient.ini. The Income:Salary is specified by the --unknown-account option.

If the transaction is a “transfer” transaction, this usually means either a fee or a change in your investment option:

2014/06/30 401k: transfer: out
  Assets:Retirement:401k                                -1.61374 FOOBAR @ $123.123456
  ; ofxid: 1234
  Transfer                                                  $198.69

You will need to examine your statements to determine if this was a fee or a real transfer back into your 401k.

Another type of transaction is a “reinvest” transaction:

2014/06/30 401k: reinvest
  Assets:Retirement:401k                                0.060702 FOOBAR @ $123.123456
  ; ofxid: 1234
  Income:Interest                                            -$7.47

This probably indicates a reinvestment of dividends. ledger-autosync will print Income:Interest as the other account.

resync

By default, ledger-autosync will process transactions backwards, and stop when it sees a transaction that is already in ledger. To force it to process all transactions up to the --max days back in time (default: 90), use the --resync option. This can be useful when increasing the --max option. For instance, if you previously synchronized 90 days and now want to get 180 days of transactions, ledger-autosync would stop before going back to 180 days without the --resync option.

payee format

By default, ledger-autosync attempts to generate a decent payee line (the information that follows the date in a ledger transaction). Unfortunately, because of differences in preference and in the format of OFX files, it is not always possible to generate the user’s preferred payee format. ledger-autosync supports a payee-format option that can be used to generate your preferred payee line. This option is of the format Text {memo}, where memo is a substitution based on the value of the transaction. Available substitutions are memo, payee, txntype, account and tferaction. For example:

$ ledger-autosync --payee-format "Memo: {memo}"
2011/03/31 Memo: DIVIDEND EARNED FOR PERIOD OF 03/01/2011 THROUGH 03/31/2011 ANNUAL PERCENTAGE YIELD EARNED IS 0.05%

This option is also available for CSV conversion. For CSV files, you can substitution any of the values of the rows in the CSV file by name. For instance, for Paypal files:

$ ledger-autosync --payee-format "{Name} ({To Email Address})" -a Paypal paypal.csv
2016/06/04 Jane Doe (someone@example.net)

python bindings

If the ledger python bindings are available, ledger-autosync can use them if you pass in the --python argument. Note, however, they can be buggy, which is why they are disabled by default

Plugin support

ledger-autosync has support for plugins. By placing python files a directory named ~/.config/ledger-autosync/plugins/ it should be possible to automatically load python files from there. This allows you to extend the csv converters with your own code. For example, given the input CSV file:

"Date","Name","Amount","Balance"
"11/30/2016","Dividend","$1.06","$1,000“

The following converter in the file ~/.config/ledger-autosync/plugins/my.py:

from ledgerautosync.converter import CsvConverter, Posting, Transaction, Amount
import datetime
import re

class SomeConverter(CsvConverter):
    FIELDSET = set(["Date", "Name", Amount", "Balance"])

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(SomeConverter, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)

    def convert(self, row):
        md = re.match(r"^(\(?)\$([0-9,\.]+)", row['Amount'])
        amount = md.group(2).replace(",", "")
        if md.group(1) == "(":
            reverse = True
        else:
            reverse = False
        if reverse:
            account = 'expenses'
        else:
            account = 'income'
        return Transaction(
            date=datetime.datetime.strptime(row['Date'], "%m/%d/%Y"),
            payee=row['Name'],
            postings=[Posting(self.name, Amount(amount, '$', reverse=reverse)),
                      Posting(account, Amount(amount, '$', reverse=not(reverse)))])

Running ledger-autosync file.csv -a assets:bank will generate:

2016/11/30 Dividend
    assets:bank                                $1.06
    income                                    -$1.06

For more examples, see https://gitlab.com/egh/ledger-autosync/blob/master/ledgerautosync/converter.py#L421

If you develop a CSV converter that you think will be generally useful, please consider submitting a pull request.

Testing

ledger-autosync uses nose for tests. To test, run nosetests in the project directory. This will test the ledger, hledger and ledger-python interfaces. To test a single interface, use nosetests -a hledger. To test the generic code, use nosetests -a generic. To test both, use nosetests -a generic -a hledger. For some reason nosetests -a ‘!hledger’ will not work.

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