How to Download PC Financial Transactions to Use in a Spreadsheet

PC Financial provides a quick and simple system to download your financial transaction history. You can download it to use in a spreadsheet like Excel, or to use with a financial program like Quicken or MS Money Sage 50. (It’s a little funny that PCF supports MS Money but Microsoft itself doesn’t anymore.Update March 3 2016 PCF no longer supports MS Money either. They don’t offer any direct download for Mint or other programs but you can probably import the data as comma separated values (CSV format.) There is one error in the downloaded data for credit cards to watch out for.

Here’s how to download your history and what to notice.


Sign In to Your PC Financial Accounts

  1. Go to http://www.pcfinancial.ca/
  2. Make sure Online Banking is selected from the drop down list in the top right corner of the screen, then
    Click the Go button.
  3. In the Card Number field, type the number on your ABM card.
  4. In the Password field, type the password you set up for online banking.
  5. Click on the Sign In button.

Downloading your PC Financial Account History

  1. From the link list on the left side of the screen, click on: account activities From the sub-list, click on:
    download transactions
  2. If you are going to use Sage 50 Money or Quicken for the first time, it’s worth reading the PC Financial Tips at https://www.txn.banking.pcfinancial.ca/a/banking/accounts/downloadTransactionsTips.page
  3. From the drop down list, select the account for which you want to download the history.
  4. Choose which transactions you want by selecting either
    • All since last download; or
    • All available
    • All within date range
      If you choose this one, you need to select the month, day and year for the start and end dates.
    • PC Financial recommends you choose “Since last download” the first time you download your data.
    • If you want to see the data before you download it, select the Yes radio button.
      Otherwise, select the No button.
  5. UPDATE: March 3 2016: If you want to download the numbers to use in a specific listed program, click the radio button beside
    • Intuit Quicken
    • Sage 50  Money (Updated March 3 2016) ; or
    • Spreadsheet (CSV) which means Comma Separated Values, which you use for MS Excel and similar programs.
  6. Click on the button called: Download Transactions
  7. If you selected Preview, you will see a list of the date, description and amount that moved in or out of your account.
    If the Preview looks ok, click on the button: download transactions.
  8. When the Opening PCF.csv dialog box opens, you can either select the radio button to
    • Open the file with Microsoft Office Excel (or select another program from the drop down list); or
    • Save File

    Then click on the OK button.

  9. If you clicked Save File, you will either get prompted to ask where to save the file, or your file will be automatically saved to your Downloads folder.

If you open the file using a program like Microsoft Excel, you will probably find it’s full of fields with ##### in them. That just means the column is too narrow to display the info.  Hover the cursor over the little line between the Column Name Letters (like A | B) at the top of the screen, then click and hold the mouse button down while you drag the line sideways to make the column wider.

What’s In the CSV “Other” File Format?

The file will contain a line for each transaction. The line will list

  • the date
  • a description of the item, for example Cheque #3 in the Transaction details column
  • if the funds moved out of the account, the amount in dollars and cents with no symbols in the Funds Out column
  • if the funds moved in to the account, the amount in dollars and cents with no symbols in the Funds In column

A Useful Tip from the PC Financial Tips Window

“Please note: Transaction data is accurate as of 11:00 p.m. local time on the previous business day. However, your account balance [as you can see when looking at your account online] is accurate up to and including your latest transaction, which could be the current day. As a result, the opening balance which your PFM calculates may not be accurate. See adjusting the opening account balance below.”

For more details open the Tips window from the link on the Download Transactions screen.

One Notable Error in my PC Financial Transaction History

Strangely enough in my CSV file there is one type of recurring format error. This error shows up when I open the downloaded Transaction History in Excel.

If I paid an AMEX bill, in the Funds Out column it lists to which bank the payment was made.

For example if I paid my BMO AMEX, it will say BMO in the Funds Out column.

The actual payment paid ends up listed in the Funds In column!

It would be great if AMEX was sending me money, but it isn’t true.

Strangely enough, this error does not show up in the Preview report.

This happens whether I download the Other format directly to Excel or to a Saved file which I then open in Excel.

When I open the CSV file in Word I can see the error. Instead of a line being
06/29/2013,INTERNET BILL PAYMENT AMEX BMO   ,109.77

it is listed as:
06/29/2013,INTERNET BILL PAYMENT AMEX, BMO   ,109.77

That extra comma before the BMO is causing the error in Excel.


If I have time, I will try to report this error to PC Financial.

Is There a Security Risk in Downloading the PCF CSV File?

The data in the PCF comma separated file (the one you get by downloading Other) does not include any detailed information about your bank account numbers, billing account numbers, or passwords.

For example, my report says I paid Cogeco bill but it doesn’t give my Cogeco account number.

Even more importantly, when I pay my AMEX bill it does not list my credit card number.

This should reduce, somewhat, the security risk of having this data on your computer if your computer is hacked or stolen.

For increased security, print out the data and delete it from your drive, or save it to a disk or USB stick and don’t leave the disk/stick where it can easily be found and stolen.

If you are finished banking

  1. At the top right of the screen, click on the Sign Out button.
  2. Click on the OK button.
  3. Clear your cache and close your browser to increase the security of your banking information.

Related Reading

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Do you download your transactions into a financial program or a spreadsheet? Have you found any other quirks you’d like to warn us about? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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