The buchhaltung package

[ Tags: finance, library, mit, program ] [ Propose Tags ]

Automatic import and deduplication (from CSV/FinTS/HBCI/OFX), bayesian account matching, and efficient manual entry of ledger transactions.

See Readme on Github.

[Skip to Readme]


Versions 0.0.1, 0.0.2, 0.0.3, 0.0.4, 0.0.5 (info)
Dependencies aeson (>=1.0.0 && <1.1), ansi-wl-pprint (>= && <0.7), array (>= && <0.6), async (>=2.1.1 && <2.2), base (>= && <5), boxes (>=0.1.4 && <0.2), bytestring (>= && <0.11), cassava (>= && <0.5), containers (>= && <0.6), data-default (>= && <0.8), Decimal (>=0.4.2 && <0.5), deepseq (>= && <1.5), directory (>= && <1.3), edit-distance (>= && <0.3), file-embed (>=0.0.10 && <0.1), filepath (>= && <1.5), formatting (>=6.2.4 && <6.3), hashable (>= && <1.3), haskeline (>= && <0.8), hint (>=0.6.0 && <0.7), hledger (==1.1.*), hledger-lib (==1.1.*), lens (>=4.15.1 && <4.16), lifted-base (>= && <0.3), ListLike (==4.5.*), megaparsec (>=5.0.0 && <5.2), MissingH (>= && <1.5), monad-control (>= && <1.1), mtl (>=2.2.1 && <2.3), optparse-applicative (==0.13.*), parsec (>=3.1.11 && <3.2), process (>= && <1.5), regex-compat (>=0.95.1 && <0.96), regex-tdfa (>=1.2.2 && <1.3), regex-tdfa-text (>= && <1.1), safe (>=0.3.10 && <0.4), semigroups (>=0.18.2 && <0.19), split (>= && <0.3), strict (>=0.3.2 && <0.4), temporary (>= && <1.3), text (>= && <1.3), time (>= && <1.7), transformers (>= && <0.6), unordered-containers (>= && <0.3), vector (>= && <0.12), yaml (>= && <0.9) [details]
License MIT
Author Johannes Gerer
Maintainer Johannes Gerer <>
Category Finance
Home page
Bug tracker
Source repository head: git clone
Uploaded Wed Jan 11 20:23:05 UTC 2017 by johannesgerer
Distributions NixOS:0.0.5
Executables buchhaltung
Downloads 219 total (10 in the last 30 days)
Rating 0.0 (0 ratings) [clear rating]
  • λ
  • λ
  • λ
Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2017-01-11 [all 1 reports]
Hackage Matrix CI


Maintainer's Corner

For package maintainers and hackage trustees

Readme for buchhaltung-0.0.4

[back to package description]

Buchhaltung Build Status Hackage

What advantages does he derive from the system of book-keeping by double entry! It is among the finest inventions of the human mind; every prudent master of a house should introduce it into his economy. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Buchhaltung (['buːχˌhaltʊŋ], German book keeping), written in Haskell, helps you keep track of your finances on the command line with minimal effort. It provides tools that help you in creating a complete ledger of all your bank and savings accounts', credit cards', and other transactions, in a text-based ledger format, that is readable by the ledger CLI tool and its many derivatives.

  • Fetch your bank transaction directly via FinTS/HBCI/OFXDirectConnect
  • Import transactions from PayPal (can be customized to other formats)
  • Semi-automatically match transactions to accounts using Bayesian classification
  • Semi-automatic transaction entry with meaningful suggestions in keyboard-based speed mode
    • It is couples/room-mates aware: Create several transaction simultaneously (see Multi-user add)

Status & aim

I am actively and successfully using this software since 2010 and my ledger now contains more than 12,000 transactions accurately and continuously tracking the finances of my spouse and me including four checking and two savings accounts, one credit card, two PayPal accounts, two cash wallets in EUR, bitcoin trading (both physical and on exchanges) and other currencies like USD, GPB used on trips.

The software is in alpha phase and I am looking for early adopters and their use cases. The aim of this stage is to agree about the functionality and customizability and produce a first shippable version, that can be used without tinkering with the source.

Right now, I am using it on Linux but it should also run wherever GHC runs.



  • Haskell Stack, more specifically the Glasgow Haskell Compiler and Stack

    Required to compile the software.

  • AqBanking Command Line Tool (optional)

    This is required for direct retrieval of bank transactions via FinTS/HBCI/EBICS (Germany) or OFXDirectConnect (USA, Canada, UK). Packages available e.g. on Ubuntu (aqbanking-tools) and ArchLinux (aqbanking). (AqBanking is also the used by GnuCash for this purpose.)

  • dbacl (optional, needed to run match)

    Bayesian classifier used to match transaction to accounts. Packages available e.g. on Ubuntu and ArchLinux (AUR).

  • ledger CLI tool or a compatible derivative (optional)

    ... to query the ledger, create balance and report statements, web interface, etc.

Under the hood

AqBanking or any other supported CSV source provides the raw transaction data. The buchhaltung binary converts this data into the ledger format and puts the original source in the comments; thereby producing selfcontained transactions without the need for an external database or log. These comments are used later for duplicates detection and account classification.

The buchhaltung binary internally uses the great hledger library. The resulting ledger files can be processed/queried with one of the hledger tools or any other compatible tool.

Download, compile & install

# download
git clone
cd buchhaltung

# compile and install (usually in ~/.local/bin)
stack install


  1. Create a folder that will hold all your config and possibly ledger files:

    mkdir ~/.buchhaltung
    cp /path/to/buchhaltung/config.yml ~/.buchhaltung/config.yml

    If you want a folder under a different location, either create a symlink or set the BUCHHALTUNG environment variable to that location.

  2. Edit the config.yml.

  3. Make sure the configured ledger files exist.

Getting help

  • The config.yml file provides excessive comments.
  • This readme documents most functionality.
  • Every command and subcommand shows a help message when invoked with -h.
  • Read the haddock documentation and source code on Hackage.
  • Open an issue.
  • Write an email.


First usage / clean

To initialize AqBanking after you edited the config file, you need to run:

buchhaltung setup

To clean everything aqbanking related remove the configured aqBanking.configDir and rerun the setup command.

Manual AqBanking setup

Currently only the HBCI PinTan method is supported by the setup command (pull requests welcome). For other methods or if the AqBanking setup fails due to other reasons, you can configure AqBanking manually into the configured aqBanking.configDir (see for help here or here, usually via aqhbci-tool4 -C <aqBanking.configDir>).

So far, I have not tested the OFXDirectConnect capabilities of AqBanking (please share your experiences), but buchhaltung should transparently support any method offered by AqBanking.

Importing transactions

There various ways (including from PayPal CSV files) to import transactions into your configured ledgers.imported file. They are presented in the following, but consult

buchhaltung import -h

and the -h calls to its subcommands to see the currently available functionality.

The accounts of the imported transactions will be taken from the configured bankAccounts and the offsetting balance will be posted to an account named TODO, and will be replaced by match.

The original source information will be included in the second posting's comment and used for learning the account mappings and to find and handle duplicates.


buchhaltung update

This command fetches and imports all available transactions from all configured AqBanking connections.

In order to import an existing file in AqBanking format, use:

buchhaltung import <file.csv> aqbanking

Other formats

For other CSV formats you have two options:

  1. Hack the source, which is fun and should be easy since you only need to copy and adapt from the other importers.

  2. Bring your CSV into a currently supported format. The AqBanking format works especially well

In both cases, you can look at aqbankingImporter, comdirectVisaImporter and paypalImporter in Buchhaltung/Importers.hs.

Resolve duplicates

Banks often minimally change the way they report transactions which leads to unwanted duplicates.

When importing, Buchhaltung will identify duplicates based on ([(Commodity,Quantity)], AccountName, Day) and interactively resolve them by showing the user what fields have changed. If there are several candidates, it sorts the candidates according to similarity using levenshteinDistance from edit-distance. (See Buchhaltung.Uniques.addNew)

Match accounts

buchhaltung match

This command asks the user for the offsetting accounts of imported transactions, or more specifically, transaction whose second posting's account begins with TODO.

Have a look at the example output here.

The significantly speed up this process, it learns the account mapping from existing transactions in the configured ledgers.imported file using the original source of the imported transaction.

See this information about the account input field.

Best practices

The Bayesian classifier can only work if similar transactions are always matched with the same account.

Consider frequent credit card payments to Starbucks:

  • Match them with Expenses:Food:Starbucks if you know that these should always be booked to that account.

  • Match them with Accounts receivable:Starbucks and manually enter your paper receipts if

    • you want to make sure they charge you the correct amounts.

    • you sometimes order for friends and get reimbursed later.

    • ...

Enter transactions

buchhaltung add

This command opens a transaction editor. Here is an example of the output of this command.

The amount of manual typing is kept to a minimum by two clever suggestion mechanisms and TAB completion.

Input and TAB completion

All input fields save their history in the current directory. It can be browsed using up and down arrow keys.

The account input fields support TAB completion. To make this even more useful, the account hierarchy is read in reverse order. For example Expenses:Food has to be entered as Food:Expenses.

Suggested transactions

After the amount is entered, the user can select a transaction whose title, date, amount and second posting's account will used to pre fill an offsetting transaction. Suggestions will consist of all transactions

  • whose second posting has not been cleared (i.e. marked with an asterisk in front of the account name, and
  • whose first posting's amount has the absolute value as the entered amount
  • whose first posting's account is contained in the configured bankAccounts and does not match any of regexes in ignoredAccountsOnAdd.

Suggested accounts

Once the first posting's account has been entered, the editor suggests accounts for the second posting based on the frequency of the resulting transaction's accounts in the configured ledgers.addedByThisUser file.

Assertions & assignments

Amounts can be entered with assertions or can be assigned.

Default currency

In order to be able to enter naked amounts and have the currency added automatically, add a default currency to the configured addedByThisUser ledger file. Example:

D 1,000.000 EUR

Multi-user add

buchhaltung add -w alice

If there is more than one user configured — possibly each with their own ledger, they can be included/activated via the command-line argument -w. This enables you to enter a transaction where postings belong to different users. When done, a transaction for each user will be generated containing their respective postings and a balancing posting to an account prefixed with the configured accountPrefixOthers.

Example taken from the output of the above command:


2016/12/19 Dinner

        Account          |  Amount  | Assertion
0,jo    Wallet:Assets    | $ -100.0 |           |
1,jo    Food:Expenses    | $ 50     |           |
2,alice Food:Expenses    | $ 50     |           |
Open Balance             | 0        |

generates the following transactions

#######  jo:  Balanced Transaction   #######

2016/12/19 Dinner    ; Entered on "2016-12-19T19:01:00Z" by 'buchhaltung' user jo
    Wallet:Assets                             $ -100.0
    Food:Expenses                                 $ 50
    Accounts receivable:Friends:alice:jo          $ 50

#######  alice:  Balanced Transaction   #######

2016/12/19 Dinner    ; Entered on "2016-12-19T19:01:00Z" by 'buchhaltung' user jo
    Accounts receivable:Friends:jo:jo         $ -50
    Food:Expenses                              $ 50

Getting results

Get current AqBanking account balances

buchhaltung lb

Call ledger or hledger

buchhaltung ledger

buchhaltung hledger

This calls the respective program with the LEDGER environment variable set to the configured mainLedger or mainHledger.

Commit the changes

buchhaltung commit -a -m'checking account ok'

this commits all changes to the git repository that contains the mainLedger file. The commit message will also contain the output of buchhaltung lb and buchhaltung ledger balance --end tomorrow.