Sunday, July 21, 2013

Error: QuickBooks was not able to complete your request.

Recently, BofA and Chase have instituted a number of security upgrades, which has scrambled their downloading functions for Quickbooks for Mac.

This has become a major issue for Quickbooks for Mac 2011, 2012, and 2013. I first noticed this problem 2 weeks ago, when I downloaded and a following my normal routine, I then upon double clicking the QBO file to import the downloaded transactions, I receive an error message: “Quickbooks was not able to complete your request. Please contact your financial institution." Blah, blah, blah- not the best advice because chances are the bank online tech support will just refer you to QB tech support.  

Since nothing happens when you download, there are a lot of options. You can try what we did- The Stick-Your-Head-in-the-Sand Strategy: 
1) Surrender: Press CMD+Q and close down QB for the day and try again tomorrow. For us this netted us zero sum gain towards our predicament. 
2) Slog-it-Out: Or you could enter in your transactions manually and check back periodically until magically the problem resolves itself. This tactic didn't go over well, as our data entry staff immediately rebelled and HR resources were called in. This strategy also creates issues on the client side. If you have 100s of transactions each week this could be problematic especially when you try to bill out for this time and your client realizes a sudden spike in billable hours. 
3) Last but not least: Call QB Tech Support. If you have a tech support plan, they can be terribly helpful. Once we got through the 15 minutes of questions and searches through their database to match my business name, support account number and business address etc, we had the issue resolved within 5 minutes.

The diagnosis of the problem was that after recent upgrades in online security the "FI File", which works as a bridge between online banking and the quickbooks software became inoperable. The increased security levels initiated by the 2 banking institutions have resulted in a “damaged path” so until you repair the file that bridges the data import you will be stranded in option 1 or 2 (see above). 

The 5-minute fix that QB Tech Support walked us through was: Download a new FIDIR.txt file, find the old file, delete the contents, copy/paste in the new contents and save the file. 

If you are a bookkeeper running multiple versions of Quickbooks for Mac, I suspect that you will have to do this for each version and for each laptop. 

This call may be recorder for quality assurance
QB support gave us a Reference# in case the problem persisted and we need to call back (God help us). It may be helpful to reference this:  Ref# 222-512-968-435.

Given quickbooks' renown labyrinthian online support resources and the engulfing nature of endless peer-to-peer support pages, it can be virtually impossible to search-query the correct, up-to-date support page that addresses the specifics of your problem. To save yourself the infuriating dilemma of wading through hundreds of online pages or paying a pretty-penny for support, I include here the link to the latest support article:

It'll be a wonder if in the coming years, the heir-apparent Bangladesh* tech support staff will be able to keep pace with the exponential problems emerging and spiraling out from San Jose engineering R&D.  *Not to pick on any one country, region or industry outsourcer who are making a killing on farming out their local low-commitment / low-cost / low-wage countrymen, but the problems are systemic. Current and future silicon solutions may be creating more problems than they solve and continue to feedback into an expanse of stalls, crashes and glitches. What we may be witnessing are the first signs of a design weakness in our fragile support-supply chain cycle. 

Good Luck, due to high call volumes, as wait times may exceed 45 minutes, there may be winners and losers, who's keeping score?