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Intuit Reminds Quicken Users of Lion Danger

Users of Quicken 2005, 2006, and 2007 who read sites like TidBITS almost certainly know already that Intuit’s financial-tracking software was never properly updated for Intel-based Macs, and will not function under Mac OS X Lion. For as long as Intel-based Macs have been on the market, Quicken has run under the sufferance of the Rosetta emulator, which allows old PowerPC-based software to keep on trucking. As far as anyone can tell at this point, Rosetta will not be available for Lion. (See “Rosetta and Lion: Get Over It?,” 23 May 2011.)

However, not every Quicken user will be as up to speed as you and I. That’s why I, as a registered Quicken owner, was pleased to receive email from Intuit reminding me of, and clarifying the situation with, Lion compatibility issues. While the under-featured Quicken Essentials is ready for Lion, the 2005 through 2007 versions will not work in Lion. There have been rumors that Intuit and Apple might be working together to create a hybrid Rosetta/Quicken monster to enable the software to keep running, but for now, those remain rumors.

Potentially more important, Intuit also noted that Lion users will not be able to import data into Quicken Essentials from Quicken 2005, 2006, and 2007, due to the converters requiring Rosetta as well. That’s simply ridiculous, I have to say. There’s no excuse for Intuit’s inability to update a converter for Lion, a fraction of the work required to fix an app.

What I found most interesting about Intuit’s email message, which links to this longer support document about Quicken and Lion, is that Intuit now openly acknowledges the problems that have kept Quicken Essentials from being a legitimate replacement for previous versions:

This option [using Quicken Essentials] is ideal if you do not track investment transactions and history, use online bill pay or rely on specific reports that might not be present in Quicken Essentials for Mac.



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Comments about Intuit Reminds Quicken Users of Lion Danger
(Comments are closed.)

Joshua  2011-07-06 13:38
I love option #3: Move to Quicken Windows
Why is it with William Campbell on the boards of both Apple and Intuit, Quicken has not been updated to work with Apple's next OS? Both companies are losing potential upgrade fee's. Quicken Essentials and Mint are not good replacements for many Quicken users.

You don't have to upgrade your existing OS, but if you are planning to replace your Mac you may not have a choice but to run Lion.
Quicken for Windows under Bootcamp, Parallels or VM Ware may be the best option for those that need to upgrade their OS and still use Quicken
Rich K  2011-07-06 14:05
It took years for Intuit to add functions that existed in Managing Your Money as far back as the mid '90s. Essentials is anything but, and their explanation for what they left out recalls Garrett Morris's SNL Idi Amin skit. And Quicken for Windows won't import investments?! Time to add iAccountant to iLife, and EOL the gang that couldn't count straight.
No, the best solution is to switch to software from vendors who care about making decent software. Try Moneydance, or SEE Finance, for example.
Michael  2011-07-06 18:07
I have tried MoneyDance and See Finance and neither is up to the feature set of Quicken 2004. I'll be keeping an older Mac on Snow Leopard just to run Q2004.
NancyB  2011-07-06 14:12
I was also looking at option 3, then spotted this line: "You can easily convert your Quicken Mac data with the exception of Investment transaction history." Oh, great--Quicken for Windows will handle my investment data, after I re-enter the 10+ years of transactions (mostly not available to be downloaded) for them.

I'm getting less and less happy with Intuit here, and am looking at alternatives for both OSX and Windows at this point.
Intuit software has been garbage for years. Quicken for Mac stinks - and has stunk for years. I really hate the way they talk about how important Mac users are to them - al while they are releasing junk software.

Of course, it's not just Mac software. Several Intuit software packages for Windows are junk as well. I'll never spend another penny on Intuit software.
Sure looks like the product is simply end-of-life. Is there a better definition than this?
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-07-06 15:53
Absolutely. But the issue here is that Intuit had years to prepare, flubbed it, and release an underfeatured product that even they admit isn't a real replacement (yet) for what they sold for years.

I only carp because they could have actually pulled themselves together and written a Cocoa app that would have worked well in Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion.
I just converted 15 years of financial data from Quicken Mac 2007 into MoneyDance. When I got the "reminder", I was shocked to learn that even if I converted to Quicken Windows with an emulator, I would have to type in all my stock information. Moneydance imported all that info from Quicken with 98% success. It is sad day for Intuit when a competitor can import Intuit data better than Intuit can. (as a note, Moneydance does not deal well with Return of Capital, which occasionally is needed, so manual corrections are needed Only for those occurrences (your mileage may vary)
I updated from Quicken 2004 -> 2007 -> and now Quicken Essentials for Mac (in prep for Lion). Quicken Essentials works great. I imported all my data from Quicken 2007 into Quicken Essentials. What Intuit means when they say you can't convert your data in Lion is that, since Quicken doesn't work in Lion, if you upgrade to Lion, neither will their converter app. (Duh!) Anyway, unless you need detailed investment buys and sell data (I keep that on a separate spreadsheet anyway) Quicken Essentials works great and connected to all my financial institutions and looks great too. I recommend doing the upgrade. Intuit is committed to Essentials and will be updating it eventually. So far, I like it MUCH better than the old Quicken, even if it took a few days for the learning curve.
For those of us sticking with Quicken 2007, I've read about partitioning your drive with SL and Lion and dual booting. Not great, but if Lion is compelling a partial solution. But we can run Windows and SL at the same time via Parallels or VMWare, why not SL and Lion? Can this be done in Lion? I've read suggestions of this possibility or were they wishes?

Other comments:

Ridiculous, but for now that's the way it is. Can't understand why no decent replacement has been written. Guess it's not as exciting as the next best thing.

I've read what people have said about the alternatives and for me Quicken 2007 is still the best plus I don't have to worry about exporting and importing.
Rick R  2011-07-06 17:46
I started looking for an alternative to Quicken after Lion was announced at the WWDC. I looked at Moneydance and iBank. Since the trial version of Moneydance limited my ability to import transactions, I went with iBank. There were a lot of things that I was used to in Quicken, and iBank does things differently. After several email exchanges with the company, I'm not only impressed with the company's customer service, but their product as well.
Hi Rick,
I'm a little curious about what you mentioned regarding Moneydance limiting imported transactions in the trial. Moneydance only limits you to a 100 manually entered transactions in the trial version but there is no limit on imports.
Sorry there was a misundertanding and we lost a customer.
Jon, Moneydance Support Staff
Walt French  2011-07-06 19:21
I'm un-impressed with Intuit: Apple announced the Intel transition in 2005; in the 6+ years since, Intuit has only announced a downgrade to its flagship Mac package.

Meanwhile, happily selling long-obsolete software to new customers with no indication of end-of-life intentions.

It's one thing for a novelty app like a photo-to-cartoon converter, to disappear, but accounting implies a long-term strategy. The notion that we ought to go thru the expense and nuisance of either dual-boot or VM third-party solutions is NOT an acceptable solution, either. Their proposal, to offer a reduced-price stripped-down replacement to customers who simply want to continue accounting, is an insult.

Intuit has just announced that it is NOT in the business of providing long-term support to Mac customers.

This will factor very strongly into whether I use TurboTax next April. If they don't want to put any effort over 6 years into supporting my accounting, I had better have a Plan B for my tax work, too.
Erin D  2011-07-06 20:28
Stop sleeping with Intuit. Use iBank. Made by Mac people for Mac people. Lion-ready. It just works.
Andrew Miller  2011-07-06 23:01
Best thing (and surprised you didn't mention it) is that the link offered Quick Essentials at 50% off -- that was enough to get us to take the plunge.
Doug Smith  2011-07-07 05:06
So do any of the non-Inutuit alternatives have good online bill pay?
Doug Smith  2011-07-07 12:22
In answer to my own question, I just checked out all of the options suggested here and Moneydance is the only one with online bill payment. I think I'll give it a go.
I have never used Quicken for online bill pay. I use my bank for that. Then I use the download to quicken feature to get the transactions from the bank into quicken. it has not been a problem for the most part and I like it that way. There were some glitches to overcome when my bank left the city and another bank took over. But the new bank grandfathered me in and so did and still does not charge me for the download to quicken.
WJ Gourley  2011-07-07 08:19
I seem to have no choice, I just switched to Mac from PC 6 months ago, now Quicken (because of their alliance with Windows) may force me to sell my Mac and go back to a PC, which gets more viruses and gives the owner more problems then Mac. Shame on Quicken and Windows.
I stuck with Quicken for Mac from 1995 to 2010, in spite of its increasing obsolescence. Intuit has had the same apathy to Mac users for more than 15 years, even though they had several periods of public contrition and promises to dedicate the effort to improve their Mac offerings. Now they're turning to Apple to help create a patched product to eek out a few more years out of an obsolete product. It's also sad that Intuit hasn't even publicly announced what they're long term plans are. I think Intuit's long term commitment is to migrate to an online suite of products sold on a subscription basis and that is platform neutral. Anything they do with desktop software is going to be a temporary stop-gap measure.

I switched to MoneyWell last year. It's a good product, but it has a learning curve. It needs the polish of a mature program though. I would love to see Tidbits a deep, thorough review of all the financial software offerings out there.
See Finance for me works better than anything. 100% import from Quicken 2007! Neither MoneyDance or iBank can make that claim in my case. Since every users habits and personal needs differ there ARE alternatives.

Intuit ceased making tax software for the Mac in Canada as well about 4 years ago, and once again I was able to find a great alternative.

Nice to be 'Intuit free'!
I'm using Quicken Essentials for now. It's adequate for me, but still not the same as Q2007. Intuit seems to be the one company that tries to develop Mac software that really, really sucks. Remember like 11+ years ago when Intuit tried to drop support for the Mac? Many other companies stood by Apple even it its darkest times.

I sure hope there is a Quicken 2011 Mac - Full Version that blows away the Windows version. Wishful thinking though.
I just downloaded QE 2010 and imported my data from Quicken Mac 2007, primarily to see just how worthless QE 2010 would turn out to be. Unfortunately, it is even more skeletal than I had anticipated. I can see no value to it for anyone who has more than a few simple bank accounts. The investment accounts show you nothing more than a simple snapshot of the account as of the date of the last download. The handful of standard reports relate only to bank accounts and are minimally customizable. Really, this program is a joke and an insult to the Mac community. Inuit deserves to lose all of its Mac business, and it looks like that's they way they want it.
Peter DeGroot  2011-07-07 16:32
I haven't waited for Intuit to produce a reasonable Mac financial application. Even if they eventually do, I will not support a company that has treated Mac users so badly. They do not deserve our business. I replaced Quicken with iBank about a year ago. Several differences, a few better, a few not as good as Q2007. But the transition was relatively easy, and everything was there in my 15 years worth of investment and banking history. I'm now getting along just fine with it. And their customer support is outstanding. They do care about Mac users.
Ditched Quicken earlier this year and moved to iBank. It doesn't do everything better than Quicken. Just most things.
Niran Sabanathan  2011-07-09 18:10
The last company that I used and that actively decided to ditch the Mac platform was Palm.
Intuit has been in the business of not supporting their Mac customers and in the case of Canadian Tax software - killing the competition. I do not see why I should reward this company by buying their new underpowered Quicken essentials or run their windows software in virtualization. It is time to give the competition a chance.
William Seligman  2011-07-11 15:59
I tried Moneydance, iBank, and SEE Finance; they all have a user interface inferior to Quicken 2007.

I went for the half-price offer for Quicken Essentials. In addition to flaws already noted, its user interface is also far worse than Quicken 2007, its handling of memorized transactions is awful, the account reconciliation is harder, and "Adjust Balance" is non-existent.

Quicken 2007 does everything I want the way I want it. It's a shame that Intuit can't put the effort into rebuilding that code's base instead of foisting pale imitations on its Mac users.
Vacman  2011-07-11 16:13
I use Quickbooks Pro 5. So I called Intuit to ask about upgrading. They needed to take my file, upgrade it using Quickbooks 2010 and then to 2011. They assured me that 2011 would be compatible with Lion, but this morning, I received a list of compatible programs and Quickbooks was listed as having problems with Lion. That really is ridiculous. C'mion Intuit. Get your act together and put out a full-featured version of Quickbooks for Mac which will work with Lion.
Bill Hughes  2011-07-11 16:16
I live in Canada. Have a look here:

There is neither Quicken Essentials nor Quicken for Mac listed in the supported products. The products listed are modified to be compatible with Canadian tax laws. I am running the Canadian version of Quicken 2007 and so am essentially dead-ended for an Intuit product. Moneydance and SEE Finance don't have Canadian versions so I am hooped there, too.

Thanks Intuit, you did this once before and had to be brought kicking and screaming by Apple to produce Quicken 2007 for Mac.

Looks like my only alternative is to keep running a Snow Leopard machine forever!
Kenneth Simon  2011-07-11 16:22
Since I run Windows with VMWare Fusion anyway, I finally took the plunge and imported all my stuff from Quicken 2007 to the latest Quicken for Windows. To my dismay, most of my account balances came through all wrong, and many transactions are missing or tweaked in weird ways. Not cool. I gave up. I exported the old registers into Excel and am starting from scratch in Quicken. I hate giving Intuit my business but no one else seems to be coming out with a substitute I can use.
I started using Quicken for Mac in 1993. I briefly tried Essentials when it came out, but the lack of investment management features made it worthless for me.

I, too, tried importing my data into Quicken for Windows, but the program kept choking on my data and I could never successfully import it.

When I first heard that Quicken 2007 was not going to be compatible with Lion, I began testing 3 alternative applications - MoneyDance, iBank, and SEE Finance. Another, Money, crashed on every import attempt.

These three imported my 18 years of data with minimal difficulty - SEE Finance and Moneydance both imported everything in 5-10 minutes, and iBank took about twice as long.

All 3 programs function decently, but each has quirks I don't like. SEE Finance is best at handling QFX/Web Connect files - it smartly finds duplicate transactions. iBank looks the best of the 3, but can't handle incentive stock options. Moneydance is most compatible with my data, but the interface is unattractive.
mmclane  2011-07-11 17:45
The least cost solution for me was to buy an inexpensive 500 GB external USB drive, make a full bootable copy of my internal drive with 10.6 and Quicken 2007 on it. I'll boot on that drive to run Quicken 2007 and any other programs that Apple has "orphaned" with LION. I, too, would LOVE to see a full-featured Quicken "2011" that runs o LION. Quicken Essential really sucks for my needs.
Jack R Stokvis  2011-07-11 18:20
Quicken understands that its actions infuriated Quicken for Mac customers and belatedly wanted to avoid further irritations. However, its recent email about Quicken’s incompatibility with Lion is misleading, self-serving, and inaccurate. It designed to sell Quicken products ("Essentials", Mint, or Quicken for Windows) rather than provide complete, honest and full response to the problem that Quicken created for its customers. Most notably absent is any mention that a good temporary solution may be to partition the Mac hard drive and keep Quicken 2007 on Snow Leopard part and run all other compatible software on the new Lion 10.7 partition.

If a company wants to solve problems and keep customers happy at a minimum it should provide complete and honest answers.
I am stuck in Quicken 2006-land, fearing a bleak future. Given Intuit's lack on interest in producing a sophisticated product for Mac customers, why isn't some other company stepping into the breach? Nature and capitalists abhor vacuums. Why isn't someone stepping in here? Time for Apple itself to produce iMoney?
landrey  2011-07-12 21:33
I have switched two non-investment files from Q2006 to Fortora Fresh Finance -- clean import & nice Mac-like interface, easy downloads, etc.
Padre Cohen  2011-07-11 20:15
I received the email from regarding the status of Quicken and Mac OS 10.7. There isn't a satisfactory option listed without spending more money than personal finance software is worth.

Intuit has had well over a year to fix this problem and has made promise after promise to do so, but there's been nothing. When Mac owners heard that Intuit had bought Mint and Aaron Forth was taking over development of Intuit's personal finance software, we thought it was the end of a terrible nightmare. But, we've seen nothing.

If Intuit hasn't heard from Steve Jobs, they will. Quicken's foot dragging will affect Apple *new* hardware sales. Having worked with Steve, I can tell you that he's probably not thrilled.
Frank Greenough  2011-07-11 21:51
I have Quicken Deluxe 2002 for Canada and I tried SeeFinance, iBank and Moneydance. Moneydance was the only one that was able to download all of my data including categories and classes (the latter became "tags"). There is a learning curve but so far I have liked MD enough to make the purchase... adios Intuit.
James Mitchell  2011-07-12 00:20
Getting rid of Quicken for Mac was like leaving a bad relationship. After almost 20 years I was very used to things a certain way, and the alternative apps: iBank, Moneydance and SEE Finance all had quite a learning curve, but now that I've got comfortable with all my data safely in iBank, it's easy to see Quicken for the piece of junk that it is. The sooner you go through the work of moving to a well-supported modern app, the happier you will be.
John Stoll  2011-07-12 00:52
Can't even download Essentials from Inuit's online store - my country (.ch) and many others are not supported!
I'll be looking for an alternative to Quicken - after using it since 1994.
I've been mad at Intuit since I got my first Mac 6 or 7 years ago and saw how stupidly the software interface was designed. This is the last straw. I refuse to "upgrade" to Essentials -- or anything else from Intuit. I'll start looking into real Mac software
willisjw  2011-07-12 07:22
The letter from Intuit was the ultimate insult. Not hard to believe that this is the same generous company (!) that has been taking our money all these years and failing to invest in the future.

I went with iBank. There were four errors in the transition. All of them associate with bad math on Quickens part or stock prices that Quicken lagged in updating. I'm a happy convert to iBank.
Bob Stewart  2011-07-12 08:04
I've been a Quicken for Mac user since 1992. It started acting up recently...completely screwing up accounts...and Intuit "support" was totally useless. So a couple of months ago I went with iBank. Had to start over completely, getting rid of 20 years worth of records, but it's been well worth it. iBank works great and their support is fabulous. I won't be upgrading to Lion any time soon, but not for Quicken reasons any more.
Scott Chesnut  2011-07-12 08:11
Glenn, it would be really useful if Tidbits offered a review of alternatives as many of us will be ready to switch, but could use some trustworthy guidance.
Doug Hall  2011-07-12 09:00
RE: This option [using Quicken Essentials] is ideal if you do not track investment transactions and history, use online bill pay or rely on specific reports that might not be present in Quicken Essentials for Mac.

So, other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
Peter Bullen  2011-07-12 09:18
Even worse served are  its customers  in Canada.  Reading their note I
> decided to go with Quicken Essentials --- no hassle about changing. However
> it appears not to be available to users here--- all I got when trying to buy Essentials was " You have
> given a Canadian address!" and no possibility of proceeding. Further Essential seems not to be mentioned on the Intuit Canadian site.
Kate Derie  2011-07-12 09:51
Another happy Moneydance user here. The hardest part of conversion was getting my old Quicken datafile -- updated and re-updated since Quicken 3! -- to export properly. Import to Moneydance was a snap. The interface is a bit quirky, but better than Quicken. Moneydance just works, unlike Quicken, which kept "unbalancing" my previously balanced accounts.
Dennis B. Swaney  2011-07-12 10:28
Since I started using Catamount Software's PocketMoney on my iPhone as a replacement for PocketQuicken in 2008, I wanted to replace Quicken 2006 on my Mac. Last September Catamount released PocketMoney Desktop. As of January 2011, I stopped using Quicken. PMD doesn't do everythine everyone might want, but it works for me. Next up is to replace TurboTax, and I'll be Intuit-free!
I had a flawless move from Quicken 2007 to iBank last week. I also tried SEE Finance and Moneywell for several hours, doing all of the things that I usually do during the year. I've been a Quicken user for over ten years, and have become extremely accustomed to it. Looking at these other programs:

Moneywell doesn't do investment accounts, which is a deal-breaker, so that is eliminated.

iBank and SEE Finances imported 10+ years of financial data from a variety of account types with no errors, however. I'm leaning toward iBank over SEE Finance because it feels more fluid, intuitive, and Mac-like, but given how robust and full-featured both are, I could really go either way.

Quicken Essentials is not an option for me for two reasons. First, no investment accounts. Second, no export capability. Without this, what would I do if Intuit dropped support for QE, too?

E.g., Moneywell is supposedly getting investment accounts down the road. What if I wanted to try that down the road? With QE I'd be stuck.

So anyhow, I think I'm going with iBank for now, but it's nice to know that there are good options that are not Quicken.
Mac Carter  2011-07-18 12:14
This is just one more reason (among MANY) to stop using Quicken permanently and switch (as I did) to iBANK or some other more friendly and supportive personal finance program.