Import Paypal transaction history in HomeBank

UPDATE 2017/06/11: replaced sed call with awk and refactored code. Fixed field changes and added email addresses in memo, thanks to Chris Slee.
UPDATE 2014/03/16: updated sed line to remove the header of initial csv file.

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post. Few days ago I found a cool free and open-source (and cross-platform) software for personal accounting: HomeBank.

This tool works well but the 'Import' feature requests a "proprietary" CSV format described here. As I have a Paypal account for e-shopping I wanted to track these transactions too. So I made a tiny gawk script to convert a Paypal transaction history into the HomeBank CSV format.

The best export format from Paypal will be the "complete transaction history" comma-delimited CSV because we need all currency conversion transactions. This export has more than 35 fields and some duplicate transactions for currency conversion and pre-authorization, so we need to do some cleaning.

# in_array: check if el is in array arr
function in_array(arr, el) {
   el = clean_line(el)
   for (cur in arr) {
      if (el == arr[cur]) {
         return 1;
   return 0;
# extract: extract and send clean values from el to _line
function extract(el, _line) {
   patsplit(el, _line, FPAT)
   for (x in _line) {
      _line[x] = clean_line(_line[x])
# clean_line: remove quotes from string val
function clean_line(val) {
   return gensub(FPAT, "\\1", "g", val)
# get_summary: replace object with email if empty
function get_summary(el) {
   if (el[16] != "") { # 16: Object title
      return el[16]
   } else {
      if (el[10] < 0) { # 10: Amount
         return sprintf("To %s", el[12]) # 12: Recipient address
      } else {
         return sprintf("From %s", el[11]) # 11: Sender address
   excludeNameStr="Compte bancaire,Carte bancaire"
   excludeTypeStr="Autorisation,Suspension temporaire"
   if (NR != 1) {
      if (!in_array(excludeName, $4) &&
            !in_array(excludeType, $5)) {
         if (clean_line($29) == "") { # 29: Parent transaction
            ref[clean_line($13)] = $0 # 13: Transaction number
         lines[i] = $0
   for (pos in lines) {
      extract(lines[pos], line)
      if (line[7] == currency) { # 7: Currency
         if (line[29] in ref) { # 29: Parent transaction
            extract(ref[line[29]], newl)
            info = ""
            if (newl[7] != currency) {
               info = sprintf("%s %s", newl[7], newl[10]) # 10: Amount
            summary = get_summary(newl)
            # Date;0;{info};Name;{summary};Amount
            printf ("%s;0;%s;%s;%s;%s;;\n", newl[1], info, newl[4], summary, line[10])
            rep[line[29]] = line[13]
         } else {
            if (rep[line[13]] == "") {
               summary = get_summary(line)
               # Date;0;;Name;{summary};Amount
               printf ("%s;0;;%s;%s;%s;;\n", line[1], line[4], summary, line[10])

Simply execute the following command to convert your file:

awk -f /your/path/to/paypal-homebank.awk paypal-file.csv > converted-paypal-file.csv

Few notes about this script:

HomeBank does not support multi-currency so this script will take all foreign currency transactions and replace the price with the converted amount. The original currency and amount are added in the info field.
The currency conversion is possible because Paypal adds two transaction lines linked to the original transaction by its ID (29st field).

The second particular point about this script is the variable ignore. Carte bancaire ("Debit card" in my locale) refers to a transfer between my Paypal account and my main bank account, I don't need these transactions as I create an Internal transfer directly into HomeBank using the debit card transaction on my bank account. A transaction with the type Internal transfer will automatically add a linked transaction into the target account, and voilĂ .

The function get_summary will extract a text line for the memo field of HomeBank transaction. If there is no object title, we use sender and recipient email addresses respectively for incoming and outgoing transactions.


Note: this tool is now available for Exherbo users using the package app-office/homebank.