I'm looking for accounting software or a web app with automatic import of my transactions (from Amex, Citi, and US Bank) without me sharing my credentials of those financial institutions.

waveapps.com is a decent accounting app, but it (and its partner Plaid.com) requires too much trust: it asks me to share my username and password of each of my financial accounts. This is a terrible idea, as covered in this excellent question on the Security StackExchange.

Interestingly, Citi and US Bank offer securer approaches (which Plaid neglects to use):

https://online.citi.com/US/ag/authorizedapps/manageaccess says:

Sharing Your Account Information

Based on your direction, we’re giving the applications and websites listed below access to your Citi account information. You can review and make changes here at any time. Just a reminder—resetting your User ID or password won’t do the trick. However, if you’ve shared your User ID and password directly with an application or website that isn’t listed here, you can revoke their access by changing your log-in credentials.

https://www.usbank.com/online-mobile-banking/account-aggregation-faq.html says:

How do I share my financial data with a third party?

You will need to work with the third party directly to enable them to receive your financial data. During enrollment with a third-party service, you should be redirected to a U.S. Bank login screen where you are prompted to enter your personal ID and password. Authenticating your identity directly with us allows you to share your account information without disclosing your login credentials. Ensure that the URL in the web browser is https://www.usbank.com and that the trusted website lock icon is displayed. Click the lock icon to see that it is registered to usbank.com.

What accounting software options exist that take advantage of these federated logins?

(For Amex, I can just create a limited-access user, and I'm comfortable sharing that password with an accounting app.)

Ideally it should be a web app, 2nd preference Windows 10, 3rd preference Mac. Price: I don't have a limit, but of course I prefer free.


1 Answer 1


Plaid now offers a portal where an individual can manage the connections Plaid has with institutions based on the individual's phone number - my.plaid.com.

You need to sign up with your phone number, and Plaid will tell you right away if it has any connections linked to it. (I did attempt to sign up and got "We didn’t find apps or accounts connected to XXXX", even though it's the number I use with all my financial institutions, and I do recall giving up on the safer microdeposits option due to time constraints once.)

Since the dashboard didn't work, I sent a request to Plaid for my data. They had an... interesting KYC process. It requested only sane PII (ID but with the address obscured; no SSN) but not so sane data:

"A complete list of financial institutions (e.g., banks or brokerage firm names) you have currently or previously connected via Plaid."

So they were requesting what I was trying to find out. I've been using financial apps for many years. How could I possibly provide a complete list of those I've ever connected via Plaid? Also, they asked for all of this, including the picture of the ID, over insecure email. No secure dropbox was provided.

In the end I received an archive with my data. It was in JSON format (which may be slightly cryptic for those less technical), and... completely useless.

The data Plaid had on me was my own bank accounts. Thank you very much, I know about those. What I wanted to know is what other financial apps and services knew about me, but that was completely missing.

All in all, requesting my data from Plaid was a giant waste of time.

  • 1
    Yeah, that's interesting. I got the same message. And I searched for Vanguard, and it said I'd need to provide my Vanguard login credentials to Plaid, which is exactly what I don't want to do. Plaid is so sketchy. And Vanguard is so ancient (for not offering federated login or read-only credentials or APIs). Thanks, though.
    – Ryan
    Nov 27, 2021 at 17:54
  • This is interesting, but only peripherally related to OP's actual question, "What accounting software options exist that take advantage of these federated logins?"
    – cp.engr
    Feb 2, 2022 at 20:48

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