Quicken to Use it Or Not?

Archived From: Finance
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Another vote for Mint, unless you are paranoid about about giving them id/password to every site where you have a financial account you want to track in Mint. I don't track my investments/IRA with Mint and would not lose much sleep if somebody hacks into my credit card site. This seems to be a daily occurrence these days. Quicken as a standalone desktop product will probably go away soon, if I were starting from scratch, I would not invest into it.

I've been using MS Money for the last 18 years.
You can download the Sunset version of MS Money for free from the following: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20738

For those of you using MS Money, I would strongly recommend going to the following site: https://sites.google.com/site/pocketsense/home/msmoneyfixp1/p2
This guy has written scripts that will automate the downloading of your transcations from your bank/cc/brokerage accounts. I've been using it for about 3 years now (before MS Money sunsetted) and it's pretty awesome.

I have started using Quicken recently and will really appreciate a few insights -

  1. Between myself and spouse, I have some cash transactions every month. Is there an easy/automated way to enter it?
  2. I have Quicken 2010 which will expire in a few months. I have heard of horror stories with Quicken 2013. I would have preferred to stay with 2010 but not sure if that is an option. I already have 2013 version. What is the best way to transition it?

Thanks so much.

hguy229 said:   Between myself and spouse, I have some cash transactions every month. Is there an easy/automated way to enter it?We created two accounts - Cash{him} and Cash{her} - and all ATM withdrawals go into the right Cash account. Then we set up recurring, automatically entered transactions recording common uses for cash, like lunch at work most days. Then, any special, unscheduled cash transactions we enter into the appropriate Cash account. (There's no way of Quicken guessing what you spent cash on. )

hguy229 said:   I have Quicken 2010 which will expire in a few months. I have heard of horror stories with Quicken 2013. I would have preferred to stay with 2010 but not sure if that is an option. I already have 2013 version. What is the best way to transition it? I told some of those horror stories. It's not like the world will end if you step onto some of these problem. I had to spend 20 minutes fixing what they broke (and that bug is already fixed).

hguy229 said:   I have started using Quicken recently and will really appreciate a few insights -

  1. Between myself and spouse, I have some cash transactions every month. Is there an easy/automated way to enter it?

Thanks so much.

Since Quicken can't read your mind, when you do a cash transaction ask for a receipt. Or, carry a piece of paper in your wallet / pocket (or use your Smartphone) to record the amount.

Quicken 2013 evidently has a Smartphone interface, and would allow you to enter things real time, but you'd be storing all your financial data in the cloud, which I won't do.

MillionairesNextDoor said:   for cash accounts quicken was great but no matter how hard i try, keeping my retirement accounts accurate at vanguard was a nightmare. Everytime i bought or sold quicken gave me all kinds of weird transactions to reconcile and then created too many placeholder entries. I never got it right.

Plus as others have said, as account number goes up, difficulty goes up exponentially. Lots of duplicate transactions if you transfer funds between accounts alot. I could never get quicken to automate these correctly, and I had to manually clean them up.

I admit this could be my knowledge of the program but I did spend a decent amount of time trying to figure this out.

After I buy a stock and Quicken downloads the transaction it wants to enter a placeholder that I already had the same amount of shares, I have to decline that otherwise I end up with twice as many shares. Also for a stock I have that pays its dividends in shares Quicken is counting the dividends twice, one from an add 0.xxxxx shares transaction and once from a split that looks like add 1 shares for 98 or similar. It took me a while to figure out I was off because of the share dividends being counted twice. Overall it is working fine but definitely has a learning curve to get everything entered in there right when you have odd things happen.

I used to be a loyal Quicken user for 10+ years. Two years ago, for a few different reasons, I stopped using Quicken and have been using Mint.com ever since. Some of the reasons I stopped using Quicken were: 1). No Web access and/or online syncing with desktop app 2). No mobile app 3). Constant duplication of transactions 4). A couple of my banks stopped supporting Direct Connect 5). Forced upgrades to retain online account access.

I have been using Mint.com for a little over two years now. I really like it as it is free, simple to use, and can be accessed from anywhere on pretty much any device. This makes keeping my financial records up to date very simple. However, I have been missing a few things that Mint does not offer that Quicken did: 1). Permanent offline backup of files and transactions 2). Account reconciliations 3). Advanced/complex transaction splitting 4). Mortgage tracking and automatic splitting of principal vs. interest, etc.

I now see that Quicken 2013 offers a mobile app. This intrigues me as what I wanted most from Quicken back when I decided to stop using it was the ability to access my Quicken info from my smart device and also online. However, I'm still not sure this one added feature is enough to bring me back. I have questions and concerns that I am hoping others can help answer.

1. How good is the new Quicken mobile app?

2. Does Quicken also offer Web access to your Quicken financial data along with the mobile app? I mean, if all your data is being synced to "The Cloud", I would imagine you should be able to access it from anywhere using an Internet browser.

3. Has Quicken gotten better about trying to import duplicate transactions? That was getting so bad that it just wasn't worth my time anymore to always have to review downloaded transactions and compare them to previous entries for duplicates. This, along with Web/Mobile access, was one of my biggest complaints about Quicken.

4. Has Quicken gotten any better with the auto entry of downloaded transactions as far as accurate categorization and Payee matching? This is one of the things I love most about Mint.com. It does a pretty good job of matching up downloaded transactions with prior Payees and accurately categorizing the transactions. Granted, it isn't always correct all the time, but at least it is pretty close and good enough to allow me to go several days without updating and still be confident my transactions are ending up in the proper buckets and my budget is relatively accurate.

On top of all that, another question I have is about actually upgrading to Quicken 2013 if I decide to do so. Since it has been more than two years since I have used Quicken, if I were to get the latest version, would I be better off installing and setting it up as if I were a brand new user? Or should I treat it like an upgrade and try to have the new version convert all my old Quicken data? Would Quicken be able to import all my Mint.com data and transactions? I can't imagine Quicken would hamper its prior loyal customers by not supporting the import of Mint.com data, especially since Quicken owns Mint now!

I really, REALLY don't feel like having to spend the next three weeks trying update Quicken 2013 with all my transactions for the past two years. But if it is not able to import all my transactions AND budget information from Mint.com, I may have no choice but to stick with Mint for now!

Well, if anyone could answer just one question, I would most like an answer to #2 in my first post. If I can update, sync, and edit my financial transactions and budgets using the desktop application, a mobile app, AND on the Web, I will be happy to switch back to Quicken. That is the thing I'm most concerned about, as that is what makes keeping my financial records up-to-date easy and convenient. Using Mint.com, I can update and edit anywhere using a computer or my iOS device. A lot of the time, I check my Mint account online daily from work and review my transactions and budgets whenever I have a few minutes to spare. If Quicken will sync my desktop app, my mobile app, and an online version, I would be very happy!

canoer said:   I'm still using Microsoft Money, having "upgraded" to the Money Plus Sunset Deluxe version. It still works under Windows 8. Nothing is automated but my stuff is simple enough to manually enter everything (banking, loans, SEP, IRA, stocks). There's no support but plenty of help on the net. Some tax programs could still pull the date to populate tax forms but I haven't tried that for a couple of years. I'm sure part of the reason I still use it is because my records go back to '95 so I'm used to how it works. It's free from Microsoft.

btw, Schwab statements go back ten years online but you could likely pay Schwab to "research" older ones if needed.

I'm too using Money on a PC and have been very hesitant to convert over to Quicken. I also use Mint because it has easy to use tools, nice integration with my mac and i can have it on my smartphone. But mint is mostly a budgeting tool for me; Money is my primary financial summary.

For those that still use money, use its investment functions quite a bit, and updated to the most recent money deluxe sunset, take a look at this. Someone create a automatic script to download quotes from Yahoo/Google into Money. Since Money can't fetch prices, and I have no inclination on updating my equity positions, this is a godsend. Keep in mind, the way Money handles the import, you can only really download data once a day, so I do mine after markets close and mutual fund prices are updated (around 5.30pm CT)

EDIT: after reading hokie9's post above, the link I provided actually makes the whole process simpler. I believe someone made a better front end, and did all the work for you, so you just have to press 3 buttons and all the data is in Money.

Well, I bit the bullet last night and decided to upgrade to Q2013. I haven't looked into the "cloud" features and syncing with the app (and hopefully online) yet. I will be busy the next two nights just cleaning up the two years worth of transactions that are sitting in all my accounts waiting to be accepted. This is what I was not looking forward to! At this moment, I don't think I have the energy to really care about the last two years of data being accurate in Quicken. I've been tracking it all at Mint.com and haven't had any issues. I think I'm just going to "Accept All" transactions, properly categorize Dec-2012 and Jan-2013 for budgeting purposes, reconcile all my accounts to the most recent statements, and then just have Quicken book any difference as an adjustment. I have over 4,000 transaction that would need to be reviewed across all my accounts, and I just don't have the time, energy, or inclination to look at them all.

As long as I can have a clean picture from 01/01/2013 going forward, that is all I care right now. I can use my current Mint.com numbers to manually set up the category budgets in Quicken. At this point, I'm wondering if I would have been better off just creating a whole new data file and starting clean rather than importing and converting all my old data. Actually, I'm still considering doing that. My only hold-back was that then I would have to go in and set up ALL the online services for every account again. But, with all the account edits and deletions and re-categorizing of old transactions that I'm having to do, I might as well just start over with a clean slate as if I were a brand new Quicken user.

Anyone else here every just give up and start over new with Quicken? Any issues with doing so?

JaxFL said:   I use quicken...but if you want to give it a try, buy an older version and you can manually download bank info into program... I like it for tax season.

kind of an old post, but I just received this email from Quicken:

Our records indicate you are using the 2010 version of Quicken Windows® software—after April 30, 2013, access to online services for this version will be discontinued—upgrade and save $20!

Which Quicken 2010 services will be discontinued:

• Downloading your transactions and balances from financial institutions
• Paying your bills online through Quicken
• Accessing live help by chat, phone, or e-mail
• Uploading portfolio information to Quicken.com and downloading stock quotes and news headlines to Quicken

So for those of you using this version, be aware of this change

As OP, I might as well report back since this thread popped back up.

I have now been using Quicken and I do like the overview it gives me which now takes minimal effort to keep up to date. It did take significant time to setup however with various accounts, house, car etc... I also had to download the Mondo Patch manually because the program was unable to auto update itself. That is probably a big frustration for a lot of people that are not good with computers and has led to a lot of negative opinions of the 2013 version. Once patched however I haven't had any significant issues. I have not explored the mobile app/online portfolio stuff yet and do not plan to at this time. I manually download for the bank that charges a fee for direct connect but have my several investing accounts set to direct connection because my brokerage has no fee.

Thanks to all those to gave their input originally.

I use qken 2012, and download and look at my chase bank accounts, and my Edward jones investment accounts daily. I doesn't take but a couple of minutes, and I know if someone else has been in my accounts right away. It is easy to reconcile monthly. On the investment side, quicken provides information on you accounts. I like the graphs I can pull up and see how my mutual funds are doing. Just in case you want to make a change. You have the info to tell you if you need to. On the con side, If you don't buy the yearly upgrade, you will receive a fly in you pie. and have to figure out how to get it out. Quicken user since they first started selling the program back in 84 or 85.

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