Most financial institutions will keep a few months of activity on their website for account holders to download as either an Excel or .csv file. What happens, however, if data is needed to be imported that is not available to download from the financial institution's website in one of Transaction Pro's accepted file formats (Excel, .csv, or .txt)?
If the financial institution only has PDF versions of bank statements on their site, a PDF to Excel converter will need to be used to create a file that can be used with Transaction Pro Importer.
Previously, on the School of Bookkeeping's Facebook group, QuickBooks ProAdvisor Billie Anne Grigg shared her process of converting PDFs to Excel and then importing the converted file into QuickBooks with Transaction Pro Importer. Below is Billie's success story.
Billie Anne Grigg’s Case Study
As an accountant or bookkeeper who uses Transaction Pro Importer, you know what a tremendous time-saver this solution is for your business. If my experience is typical, this one program has likely increased your productivity by at least 25% for each client.
Except for that one client who – for whatever reason – will not give you the information you need in Excel format.
In my case, this client is extremely technophobic when it comes to online banking. He refuses to enroll in his bank’s online banking system because he is afraid of data and identity theft. Yet he uses his debit card several times each day, resulting in a bank statement with at least eight pages of debit card transactions each month. Some months, there are 12 or more pages of debit card transactions to be entered into QuickBooks. His bank will not send CSV files of the bank statements via email – even encrypted email – because of their own security concerns.
Because each of the debit card transactions had to be entered upon receipt of the bank statement, I was spending well over two hours every month reconciling the checking account. I was then repeating the process with each of the client’s three credit cards. As even the best data entry clerk knows, when you are doing that much manual data entry, mistakes are bound to occur. And when the volume of transactions numbers is well into the hundreds, finding the entry error becomes extremely tedious and time consuming.
In my desperation to find a solution to this data entry nightmare, I started researching PDF to Excel converters. There are many options on the market, and I quickly learned you have to be very specific in regards to what you want the converter to do. For example, there are many free or extremely low-cost solutions (less than $100) on the market, but they generally only convert the tables in a PDF to Excel format. If the data is not in a table, it will not be converted. Another limitation is the ability to convert a scanned image to Excel; the free and low-cost converter solutions generally will only convert native PDFs, and that would not work for my situation.
After multiple trial subscriptions and price comparisons, I found the best converter for my situation was Investintech’s Able2Extract Professional. At $129 for a full license (UPDATE: As of July 2019, the price is $149.95 per license), it is one of the lower-cost solutions on the market, but it has the brilliant capability of allowing the user to set columns before conversion. What this means for me is I can eliminate the header and the footer on each page of the bank statement and convert only the data I want to convert, which results in a cleaner conversion and dramatically cuts back on the manipulation of the data in the converted Excel file prior to importing it using Transaction Pro Importer.
If you are looking for a PDF to Excel converter, I encourage you to test several different options before making a purchase. Fortunately, most of the programs on the market offer a free trial period, and you will know within moments of attempting a conversion whether the program will suit your needs.
Thanks to a good PDF to Excel converter and Transaction Pro Importer, the bank statement that once took well over two hours to reconcile is now reconciled in around 45 minutes to an hour, including conversion, formatting, and import time. This time savings allows me to spend more time on the higher-level tasks – financial statement analysis, cash flow projections, etc. – that make me invaluable to my client, while keeping my profitability high and my rates comparable to those of other bookkeepers and accountants.
Score another win for productivity with Transaction Pro Importer!
Billie Anne Grigg has more than 20 years of bookkeeping experience in the retail, professional services, and non-profit sectors. She has received certification as a Professional Bookkeeper by Universal Accounting Center, been awarded the Certified Beancounter designation by FreshBooks, and is a member of the QuickBooks Pro-Advisor program. Billie Anne started Pocket Protector Bookkeeping in 2012 to provide a virtual bookkeeping solution for small to medium-sized retail and professional services businesses with a focus on providing high-quality managerial accounting services to businesses who cannot yet justify employing a full-time, in-house managerial accounting staff.