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Synchronizing GnuCash mobile with GnuCash desktop

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Since 2002 I'm using GnuCash to track my personal accounts, incomes and expenses. Just recently I discovered the GnuCash mobile Android app. After importing my GnuCash account tree into the mobile app I could easily add expense transactions. The only problem was: How do I get the recorded transactions back into my GnuCash desktop application? The mobile app supports exporting transactions to QIF or OFX files. These files can be imported by the desktop application. But I realized that this manual process is too cumbersome to use on a daily basis.

Python to the rescue!

I'm not sure why, but being a Python fan and using GnuCash since 2002 I still never discovered the GnuCash Python bindings --- until now! The GnuCash Python bindings allow me to directly interact with the GnuCash backend. Synchronizing from the mobile app should be easy:

  1. Export from GnuCash mobile to QIF file on the Android phone
  2. Connect the Android phone via USB
  3. Scan the Android phone for new QIF files via MTP
  4. Parse QIF files and import transactions into my main account file (.gnucash).

You can find my Python script on Github:

sudo apt-get install gnucash python-gnucash mtp-tools
git clone https://github.com/hjacobs/gnucash-qif-import
cd gnucash-qif-import
./import.py -v -f ~/my-accounts.gnucash mtp:.*.qif

So now I can simply record my expenses using the Android app and connect the phone once a day via USB. Before connecting the phone I still have to press "Export transactions..." in GnuCash mobile to save the QIF file on my phone's flash disk. Maybe I will patch the mobile app to autosave QIF files periodically...