Is There Life After Quicken?

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JRAD

The answer is no... at least until some of these companies get bill pay worked into their system. However take this with a grain of salt. I read this article and stupidly went out and bought the top choice iBank, installed it and then completely went nuts when I discovered that there is no bill pay... nor does the company have any real intentions of trying to get it. That was a $60 lesson in stupidity. Nice work Mac-Life... way to ignore the basics.

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zamboknee

Why no mention of Quicken Essentials in this article? Granted, when it came out it was very bare bones but Intuit has continuously been adding and upgrading features. It's a pretty good program now and I was very unhappy with it when it first launched.

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mjgolden

I was sorryto lose Quicken for Mac with my upgrade to a new iMac and Lion. Quicken Essentials for Mac does a decent job of keeping a checkbook, BUT ...

Am I the only one who thinks a "personal financial management" program that flawlessy tracks bills and checks, but then requires you to copy or print out all the information you have entered into it in order to manually (and hopefully accurately) re-enter the same data at your bank's online bill pay webpage is kind of pointless? ALL of the Quicken alternatives road tested in your feature appear to share this same defect.

Is there ANY alternative for a Mac user that lets you do what most every personal finance software package on Windows does and old Quicken for Mac used to do: Let you keep and check book and do automatic bill pay right from the program?

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cdorje

I recently compared iBank, SEE Finance, and MoneyDance and came up with very different results that this article. I think the article is geared for people who have very limited needs and understanding of bookkeeping and are more concerned with aesthetics and ease of use. So far, my preferred application of the three is MoneyDance. I have no affiliation with any of the companies.

First, I'd like to correct the statement that MoneyDance does not drill down in reports. You can click on items in reports to bring up a statement showing how the number was calculated.

IMPORTING FROM QUICKEN: SEE Finance did the best job of importing years of data with split entries and investment date. Needed no tweaking. MoneyDance was a close second if you follow the instructions. iBank was atrocious. It messed the data up so bad as to be hopeless. These results have been corroborated on many blogs.

INVESTMENTS: MoneyDance is the clear winner. It downloads well from Financial Institutions and tracks all kinds of investments and performance measures that I need. iBank was OK but had hidden flaws that cause misleading results. SEE is still working on their support for investments.

REPORTS: Although iBank and SEE have prettier reports, Moneydance has a lot more under the hood. Unfortunately, it's way under the hood. While difficult to find all of the available options for reports, I found that I can set up memorized reports for the things I need, including cash flow and net worth statements for an organization I do books for as well as reporting all of my income and deductions for tax reporting and investment tracking.

All in all, though MoneyDance is not pretty and features are not always easy to find, it's got much more substantial features than the other contenders. It has the advantage of being cross-platform in case your accountant uses Windows. Because of that it has a large install base and is actively maintained. The developers are very responsive and produce bug fixes and updates with new features regularly. It may not be for everyone, but I think it deserves a better review than was given in this article.

SEE Finance is promising because it combines Mac look and feel with some substance and the developers appear to be working hard. There have been complaints about the way it reconciles accounts, forces you to enter data in a form rather than directly in the register, and lack of complete investment reporting.

iBank seems to put all it's effort into interface eye candy. It's been plagued with bugs and missing features.

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galeha

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I'm still keeping a PC around *just* for Quicken so as to be able to print checks from the program. I've heard that Quicken Essentials recently added check printing, but it's still missing so many other features of Quicken that it's not attractive. (I'm amazed that Intuit would drop check printing in any product they put out, since they sell check-paper and get annuity income from that!)

So do any of the 5 product profiled offer check printing from the Mac (and do they identify sources for the paper)?

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RVLady

The Quicken Essentials for Mac product WILL work with Lion. It sounds like Quicken company is looking at beefing up this product. Currently it does a lot: basic banking, multiple accounts, bank downloads and stock, etc management. Check out the comments in the Support section for Mac.

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Racoon

After using Windows for years, I switched back to Macintosh as my primary personal computer just over a year ago.
I was also a long time Quicken user, and while I looked at running Windows on my new Mac Pro, I wasn't all that happy with Intuit support to start with, so looked at what was offered on the Mac.

After looking at what was available at the time, I ended up with Moneydance. It's different than Quicken, and it took me a few months to get used to the way it does things, but I'm very happy with it.

I have no idea why iOS was part of this review. Do people really do their banking from their iOS devices? Why?

JM2C

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smg2007

For years I used Pocket Quicken on my Treo, in order to enter cash transactions, instead of carrying around a notebook and manually entering them. Palm didn't support the developern when the Pre came out.

After betatesting the Quicken for Mac a few years ago, I purchased the PC version and ran it on Parallels, but never got over the lack of cell phone input capability.

Finally I'm getting an iphone this week! I'm really hoping to be able to get back to entering transactions on my phone and syncing them with an app on my macbook.

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John.Prewitt@mac.com

I too have been a Quicken user for over 20 years and started looking at a replacement since last year. I was expecting this article to help me with selecting the best financial package but it lacks detail comparison of features. The one feature which I was looking for is how the package handles stock investments. Especially sells, i.e., does it match the sell with a particular lot? So far only MoneyDance does, SEE Finance does not yet, does Mint or iBank? Also, does the package handle stock splits, stock spin offs, etc.

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hho26

Please help me to understand how Quicken Essentials is so bad as compared to the above applications. I would had wished that Quicken Essentials was included in the above comparison but it was not, so I am asking all of you what is so bad about Quicken Essentials. I am currently using Quicken Essentials v1.6 and iBank 4. I seem to prefer QEM to iBank but I keep trying it because I keep reading where iBank keeps coming out on top with all of these comparisons.
In my use of both programs, the only thing that iBank has than QEM does not is an iPhone app.
Both download bank transactions, both have reports and graphs, both do budgets, both track assets and liabilities, both have scheduled transactions, both allow drilling down to transactions from charts and there are faults to be found in both programs.
In QEM, I would like an iOS app, account balances in the source pane, a Forecast report and a user-configured Overview page.
In iBank, I would like to see single-line transactions in registers, be able to view past months’ budget reports, a Forecast report that does not freeze up the application and to be able to choose between viewing available and current balances in the source pane.
I know QEM is not Quicken 2007, but again neither is any of the other programs compared here.
So why is it QEM is so bad?

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jebakerii

When Quicken stopped working after the Lion upgrade, I tried iBank. It was garbage. I had heard SO many bad things about Quicken Essentials that I was afraid to buy it but I finally gave in and gave it a try. I really like it alot! I don't understand why everyone is so down on it.

I am guessing there were some "advanced features" that some people used on the old Quicken but as far as just managing my personal finances, I would call it a step up from the previous Quicken app.

I'm not saying it's right for you... but go to an Apple Store and try it before you give up on Quicken.

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BobR

I also wanted desperately to move into a Mac based program. But, after trying (3) on the list, I couldn't leave MS Money. I run it on SL using Parallels 7.0 and it is great. I would recommend staying in Money if that is what you are doing, or even going to it if you want a solid tried and true performer.

One thing I really love about Money is the reporting and especially the cash flow projections report. Great stuff!

Unfortunately, nothing has come along to match Money and I'm using 2004 version. I purchased a new copy (2004 version) back in 2009 on Amazon for $6.

Parallels is great and so far easy to use. They even have an app that lets you see your desktop from any machine.

But, I do maintain that if something comes along that can beat Money I would move just because of the Mac experience.

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jim1douglas

Aftr using Quicken for nearly 20 years I switched to iBank in anticipation of going to Snow LIon. What a huge disappointment and mess. I'm even thinking of just using Quicken on Windows instead!!! IBank is slow and cumbersome - spinning beach balls eveytime I try entering data in a field. None of the data entry tools that Quicken has (eg +/- for changing dates). Categories are completely messed up. It will take me hours (days) of effort to do data cleanup. Simple data queries are awkward if not impossible. iBank may have pretty pictures, but if I want to query transactions in a category regardless of account, or get a list of transactions for a particular payee, there seems to be no way. By far the biggest problem now is that after using iBank for a couple of months I want to move those data back to Quicken - but all I get is error messages in Quicken. iBank is eye candy, but it has none of the functionality and power of Quicken even as poorly supported as it was on the Mac.

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lvavila

We just bought a new iMac over the weekend. Its the first Mac we have ever owned (over my 40year span) and we love it. My wife is a huge Quicken user whom uses to manage her personal, household and investment accounts. So when we got the Mac I started looking at Parallels to run XP/Quicken. But I did more research into Quicken Essentials as I understood it was not a complete Quicken (feature wise). I would say none of the features (bank bill pay, etc) that are not part of Quicken Essentials are also not part of any of the packages listed in this article.

Anyway Quicken Essentials is very nice looking and my 11 year Quicken loving wife likes Essential better. Ok maybe its the Mac :)

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