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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Quicken for Mac - what a load of rubbish


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Zoolook

 
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The only peice of software I really miss on my Windows PC is Microsoft Money. I have been using it for years.

Imagine my dissapointment when upon loading Quicken 2006 on the Mac. It's poorly laid out, has an awful interface, has no multicurrency option and even when I imported my USD accounts only from Money, it screwed everything up - often duplicating items.

So... Quicken 2007, surely that can't be worse than Money 2004... oh yes it is. You get Widgets (very useful...?) but still no multi-currency. Obviously Intuit feel that Mac users won't be the kind of people with bank accounts in different parts of the world.

So... welcome iBank. Amazing that this independent peice of software imported all my accounts, multi-currency or otherwise, accurately and even created all the categories I used in Money automatically.

The only gripe I have with it, it that it doesn't save automatically on exit (so I have lost data many times) and also when you open it, you have to go "file -> open" etc to open your data, rather than happening automatically. The bill payment scheduler is also a little limited, but not that bad actually.

Intuit should be ashamed. I only hope MS think about a Mac version of Money...
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technologist

 
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Yeah, there are plenty of alternatives to Quicken/Money out there. Some with lots of features, some much simpler, almost all of them much cheaper.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/9940
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/19570
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15308
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/17242
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/3689
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Zoolook

 
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I am still not convinced about iBank. I am using Moneydance and iBank together now. iBank has some really odd quirks. You cannot easily delete items, especially if they have been "reconciled". There is also a bug where if you create a new reconciliation and new statement, the program can block you from doing any other function until you close it down - I have raised this on their forums.

Moneydance allows you to connect to you bank, but also has some other quirks and issues.

It baffles me that there is not a single complete financial package on the Mac that comes close to MS Money in terms of functionality and ease of use.

Simple things like looking at spending per category, or receiver etc and smart budget predictions based on trends are all missing from these programmes.
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Before reading this I took the plunge and purchased Quicken Mac 2007 last week. It cost me about $80 Canadian to purchase this software. I figured it would work the same, if not better than my old PC version which is the Quicken 2002 version. Oh my, I could never have been so wrong. Here are my problems:

- Quicken 2007 Mac does not accept the data files from Quicken 2002 PC.
- I basically exported everything to a QIF file, which was then imported to Quicken 2007 for Mac but not without problems. I ended up erasing everything and decided to just start off from scratch.
- Quicken 2007 does not look after loans as easily as Quicken 2002 PC. My loan did not transfer over properly. Even setting up a loan was painful. I had to create an asset account first, and it took me forever to figure out how to split the principle, interest and property tax payment. It took me a day to figure out how to set up a scheduled transaction to automatically pay my mortgage every 2 weeks. Not only that, where is the graph gone? I used to look at LOANS in Quicken 2002 and it would give me a graph of my mortgage which was so cool. It would show me how much time I had left to pay, how much I had paid, etc. This is really disappointing.
- The next thing missing is the "savings planner". Quicken 2002 had the Savings Planner option that would allow you to save for something. For instance if you wanted to save $1000 for a new computer, Quicken would tell you that by December 2007 would you need to put away $83.33 per month. As well, a bar chart would show you how much money you have saved so far, and whether or not you are on target by coloring the bar green if OK, or brown if you are under where you should be. As well, the savings goals would come out of one of your savings or chequing accounts, but you could choose the option to HIDE savings goals so that the account would reflect the bank balance, and not the balance minus your savings goals. It was awesome!
- My MasterCard transactions do not work the way the online banking transactions work (even though it is with the same bank). My mastercard transactions always need to be downloaded into a QIF file. With Quicken 2002, I would need to IMPORT the QIF file and it would bring up the screen to match or unmatch the transactions that were already recorded in Quicken. Now, when I do an import of the QIF file to an account that already exists, it literally imports everything and adds dozens of duplicate entries which I had to remove manually. What a pain in the ****. Basically, I can no longer automate the reconciliation of my MasterCard transactions. Everything has to be done manually. Wonderful! What a waste of time and money for me. I'm so disappointed with this software.

I was expecting all of these things to work because it does not make sense that they would remove functionality from Quicken 2007. I did some searches online to see if some of these features were there but I could not find anything. I hope that my writing today will aid others who might be looking to buy Quicken 2007 for MAC and want to know what the differences are. Others say that Microsoft Money is good. I have never tried it, but I'll bet it would work better than this piece of garbage software.

The bottom line is that I am going to have to continue to use my PC. There is no way I can use the MAC to look after my finances with this sort of crappy software. I was hoping to move completely away from Windows and spent a lot of money on this new Mac. It's just not possible right now. I will keep my fingers crossed that Microsoft will release a version of Money for the MAC. With so many people buying Macs these days - they just might.

In the meantime, stay away from Intuit. I don't think I will ever trust them again after this, and I have been buying both their Quicken software (since 1991) as well as their QuickTax software each year. No more Intuit products will be entering this house!
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Zoolook

 
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Kevin, the real tragic thing about your experience is that Quicken on the PC is actually pretty good. IMO it's not quite as good as MS Money, but it's very close. I had Quicken from 1997 to 2002 and then I got a new Laptop and Money 2002 came free with it and I have used it ever since.

I actually went as far as buying Parallels for Mac (so I can run Windows within OS X) and buying MS Money 2007, because it is fantastic and for me was worth the expense.

The fact that the Mac doesn't have a decent home finance suite is appalling - perhaps people really believe that all Mac owners are Trust Fund Brats who sit around coffee shops all day and don't care about their finances?

The alternatives are varied in quality. I tried iBank (as I said above) and Moneydance. Both are 'ok' but when it comes to automating bill payments, setting budgets, savings goals, tracking net worth, tracking currencies and shares etc, they're just not up to it and because I have property in the UK, work in the US and frequently travel, I need something reliable. I was actually pretty shocked at how bad Mac Quicken really is... it was far worse than Money 2002 or Money 2004 (the version I had before switching to Mac)

What's even worse is that there are people who have ALWAYS been on a Mac and think Mac Quicken is actually ok. It's not. No other software on the market has such a huge functionality difference between the Mac and Windows versions - ot even Microsoft's own Office program show this much favoritism. I really think the Mac community should get onto Intuit and let them know what we think, which is that their Mac software is a disgrace. In fact, it is an insult.

Do take a look at Parallels, it's actually extremely good...and Money 2007 is available in a demo, so check it out.

http://www.microsoft.com/money/freetrial_info.mspx

Get the deluxe one.

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I have to admit that Microsoft really outdid themselves with MS Money (although I believe they originally purchased the company that made it).

I too have Quicken 2007 for Mac and was so very disappointed. I'll just continue to look for something better because Quicken just isn't usable to me. I have Parallels, but I don't want to have to use that just to manage my finances.

I wish for the day Quicken for Mac is at least on par with its Windows cousin or another amazing Mac developer releases a truly full featured finance program.

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kevin270

 
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I just downloaded Money to my PC based on what I've read. To be fair I would have to play with it quite a bit to know for sure how well it works. I couldn't see where it had a money planning feature such as the one in Quicken 2002 for the PC. That feature was really awesome. Money did convert my savings plans accounts, but it's not displaying them as planned savings anywhere. I'd have to play with this lots to figure out what it is doing. It does look much better than the Money trial that I tried in the early 2000's. That was certainly not as good as Quicken back then.

I'm just shocked that Quicken wrote such a horrible problem for the Mac. It's as if there was no communication between the Mac and Windows development teams at all. I was thinking that using an Excel spreadsheet with different sheets would suffice better than using Quicken 2007 Mac version. It's a very basic money in/money out program with no real bells and whistles at all. It is certainly nothing like Quicken 2002 for the PC.

Is this Parallels program pricey? It's something I may look into as I really hate booting my clunky old PC up to enter a few transactions every day.
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Zoolook

 
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Kevin,

For the savings goals there are two ways of doing it. One is to set up a budget, which then calculates how much money you have at the end of every month. It then asks you what you want to do it, for example save towards something or spend it.

You can also set up debt reduction and savings goals as a separate line - this is only available in the Deluxe version though, which is why i suggested downloading it. For once, the built in guide is pretty good, you'll figure it out.

Parallels comes with a 30 day free trial (you have to register). I highly recommend it. You need a full version of Windows to install. I think it costs $80 to purchase. For me it was worth it but if you really don't want to buy that, try bootcamp - I just don't like rebooting everytime I need to look at a transaction.

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Thanks for the feedback regarding Money and Parallels. I would be interested in Parallels. it's a little pricey, but I'm sure I could justify it's cost by identifying other Windows programs that I could also run using this software.

Does Parallels eat up a lot of the computer's memory or resources? When you say you need Windows installed, would it allow me to install an Windows Upgrade version, or would it need a full Windows install along with the SP2 version like BootCamp does?

Money did look very good, and I was pleased to see that my Quicken transactions appeared to have converted.
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Zoolook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin270 View Post
Thanks for the feedback regarding Money and Parallels. I would be interested in Parallels. it's a little pricey, but I'm sure I could justify it's cost by identifying other Windows programs that I could also run using this software.

Does Parallels eat up a lot of the computer's memory or resources? When you say you need Windows installed, would it allow me to install an Windows Upgrade version, or would it need a full Windows install along with the SP2 version like BootCamp does?

Money did look very good, and I was pleased to see that my Quicken transactions appeared to have converted.
OK, I am at home now (logged into Windows via Parallels actually... but don't tell anyone).

OK, the planner is under Planning, then Planning Tools and then either lifetime planner or financial event modeler.

Under Parallels, you can run virtually any Windows version, including Win95, Windows 3.1 or Windows XP of course. I don't think you can run Vista. You can also run Linux for that matter... it's very flexible.

I used my original retail Windows XP from 2001 (not even SP1) and it worked fine. I applied SP1, SP2 and all the updates and it worked flawlessly.

You can define the exact amount of resources Parallels uses. I only gave my Windows environment 384MB of RAM and 8GB of HDD space and it's fine. Switching between Parallels and OS X is pretty painless, unless you open up lots of apps in each OS (such as Office for Mac and iPhoto). You can optimise your entire machine to favour one OS or the other as far as the page file is concerned.

I have a 1 gig, 2ghz Core Duo MacBook and it hardly blinks. Occasionally the fans kick in if Windows does a monster update, but that's all.

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Zoolook,
You seem to be quite clued in about financial programmes. I was a windows user and have recently purchased a Mac book 1.8 ghz 60 GB. I am used to quicken and MS money and was using them for years. I am desperately looking for a financial software. What would you recommend?? Please help!!
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Zoolook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffreyhippo View Post
Zoolook,
You seem to be quite clued in about financial programmes. I was a windows user and have recently purchased a Mac book 1.8 ghz 60 GB. I am used to quicken and MS money and was using them for years. I am desperately looking for a financial software. What would you recommend?? Please help!!
I've only become an 'expert' by trying just about everything on the market in the last 5 months.

It really depends on what you want to achieve and how much funtionality you need the program to have. iBank and Moneydance both have free trials, so you can test them out and see if they fulfill your needs. Quicken 2006 will have come free with your Mac. 2007 offers virtually nothing new and still does not offer multicurrency.

There are a couple of others out there, but the main 3 are listed above. None of them met my needs, in fact I'd need all 3 running just to cover the functionality MS Money offers in Money 2004.

I really hate to say this to a Mac newbie, but getting Money working in either Bootcamp or parallels is probably my recommendation... neye:

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geoffreyhippo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
I've only become an 'expert' by trying just about everything on the market in the last 5 months.

It really depends on what you want to achieve and how much funtionality you need the program to have. iBank and Moneydance both have free trials, so you can test them out and see if they fulfill your needs. Quicken 2006 will have come free with your Mac. 2007 offers virtually nothing new and still does not offer multicurrency.

There are a couple of others out there, but the main 3 are listed above. None of them met my needs, in fact I'd need all 3 running just to cover the functionality MS Money offers in Money 2004.

I really hate to say this to a Mac newbie, but getting Money working in either Bootcamp or parallels is probably my recommendation... neye:
Sadly the Mac did not come with Quicken 2006. I live in India and we only have Mac Re sellers here. For some reason, the specifications seem to differ from country to country. Well!
Also, I was planning to Buy Quicken 2007, but I read the reviews on amazon from present users and they all say that the programme is a waste of time and money.
I shall take your advise and try Ibank and money dance. Thank you for your help.
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kevin270

 
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Thanks to those of you who recommended Parallels. I read about that software but had my doubts that it would work. I've tried utilities like that before and had very bad luck with them. Not only that, others were very difficult to configure. Much to my surprise Parallels did the trick, and required very little skills to set it up and get it working. It does everything for you. I have not migrated to MS-Money yet. I'm still using Quicken 2002 for the PC. It's what I've been used to, and it was cheaper to just continue using it. However I have a really bad flavor in my mouth towards Intuit after the money I just lost on Quicken for the Mac, so my next upgrade will be to Money.
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Zoolook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin270 View Post
Thanks to those of you who recommended Parallels. I read about that software but had my doubts that it would work. I've tried utilities like that before and had very bad luck with them. Not only that, others were very difficult to configure. Much to my surprise Parallels did the trick, and required very little skills to set it up and get it working. It does everything for you. I have not migrated to MS-Money yet. I'm still using Quicken 2002 for the PC. It's what I've been used to, and it was cheaper to just continue using it. However I have a really bad flavor in my mouth towards Intuit after the money I just lost on Quicken for the Mac, so my next upgrade will be to Money.
I am sure lot of people feel the same way, perhaps you should email Intuit and tell them how you feel. I certainly did.

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