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Follow-up to Finding a Replacement for Quicken

In “Finding a Replacement for Quicken” (5 August 2011), we presented some of the questions that you should ask yourself about the features and capabilities that you need in a personal finance package to replace Quicken 2007 (and earlier) now that Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has made that software obsolete. In addition, we asked you to add to our list of questions in the comment section for that article. Many of you did just that, and we bundled your questions and ours into an email message that we sent to the 17 developers of the possible Quicken replacement packages that we listed in the article.

Nine of the developers have responded, and we have collated their responses, which we present below. Although we have tried to be as accurate as possible, we have to admit that sometimes it was not entirely clear which of the answers went with which of our questions in the responses we received. We think we got them all right, but we apologize if we have misrepresented any of the developers who were kind enough to take time to respond to the many questions with which we bombarded them. If there are any mistakes, just let us know and we’ll fix them.

In what follows, we have organized the questions into topics of interest, and presented the responses in the order in which they landed in our inbox. No ranking or other evaluation is implied nor should be inferred.

The following developers responded to our questions:

Statements and reconciliation

  • Can your package download bank statements and use them to reconcile accounts?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: There is no direct download feature, but you can import files you download from your bank(s) website(s) and do reconciliation. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes; iOS: statements can be downloaded through Safari on iOS and imported directly on device; Android: Yes, from SD card. iFinance: Yes (in Germany only). Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • If so, what formats does your package support?

    MoneyWorks: QIF, OFX, QFX. Text files (CSV and tab delimited) can also be imported (via copy-paste in Cashbook), but these lack the automatic allocations of the bank imports. MoneyWell: If the financial institution supports OFX direct connect banking, MoneyWell downloads with one click. It also supports importing OFX/QFX, QIF and delimited formats. moneyGuru: OFX, QIF and CSV files. SEE Finance: You can create statements in the program by downloading the statement information directly from the institution, by importing QFX, OFX, QIF or CSV files, or by manually creating a replica of the institution’s statement. iBank 4: OFX, QFX, QIF, CSV. PocketMoney: Desktop: QIF files, and Quicken Essentials CSV formatted files; iOS: OFX/QFX/QIF; Android: QIF. iFinance: Retrieves account information via HBCI (Home Banking Computer Interface, which is only a standard in Germany). Quicken Essentials: Quicken Essentials for Mac imports data from more than 12,000 financial institutions. Moneydance: Moneydance supports direct download from banks that support the OFX protocol as well as the following file formats: OFX, QFX, OFC, QIF, CSV and using a plugin/extension just about any line-delimited text file format.

  • Can it handle transfers among accounts when the transfer is within a split transaction?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: Absolutely. moneyGuru does proper double-entry accounting. SEE Finance: Yes. You can create transfers in split transactions. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes; iOS: Yes; Android: No. iFinance: No, split transactions can be created, but it is only possible to transfer the whole transaction. Quicken Essentials: The program recognizes transfers and does not double count them. Moneydance: Yes.

Receipts

  • Does your package provide a way to scan or photograph receipts and associate them with transactions?

    MoneyWorks: You can drag an image (scanned or photographed) of the receipt onto the transaction, and MoneyWorks will save a copy of that image with the transaction. MoneyWell: One attachment per transaction using existing files or emails. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: Yes. You can attach images and PDFs to individual transactions. Currently this is limited to one image for each transaction, but there’s plans to expand this in the future. You can also attach images to statements in the program such as a PDF of your statement from the institution. iBank 4: Yes. Any file or image may be attached to a transaction. PocketMoney: N/A (?). iFinance: The mobile companion application iFinance Mobile 2.1 provides a QR-Code scanner, which can can convert a QR Payment Code image into a transaction. It requires the payment code to be available as a QR Code. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: No, not yet.

  • Does it provide a mobile component (e.g., iOS or Android app) that syncs with the desktop version?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: Yes. Our iOS app supports Dropbox sync for multiple devices or Macs. moneyGuru: No, but many mobile app provide export files (QIF, CSV) which can, of course be imported into moneyGuru. SEE Finance: There are not currently mobile companion applications for SEE Finance. All our current focus is on the desktop version’s official 1.0 release which is expected within a few months. Then our focus will shift to the mobile iPhone/iPad companion apps (no current ETA). iBank 4: Yes. iOS app only. PocketMoney: Supports syncing of multiple devices so multiple users can sync to the same desktop database. iFinance: Yes, the mobile companion application is called iFinance Mobile 2.1. (for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) iFinance Mobile can be synced with iFinance 3.3, but it can be also used as a stand-alone application to keep track of your finances while you are on the go. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes, there is a universal iOS app that syncs via Bonjour+Wi-Fi (with additional point to point encryption). There is also a third-party app for Android called HandyBank (just linked from our blog).

  • Does your package provide any other special features to facilitate entering receipts?

    MoneyWorks: Yes: drop-down lists, choices lists, validations, reminder notes. MoneyWell: Yes. Favorites allow for quick transaction entry and categorization of imports. moneyGuru: Other than the general data entry efficiency, which is one of moneyGuru’s strong points, no. SEE Finance: You can download transactions directly from over 1000 different institutions (referred to as Direct Connect) plus you can import QFX, OFX, QIF and CSV files from institutions (referred to as Web Connect). The Web Connect process can be further simplified by using the built-in browsers for accounts where the program will recognize when financial files are downloaded and prompt you with options to save and/or import them. iBank 4: Yes. Drag and drop a NeatReceipts PDF file onto an account icon in the iBank source list to automatically create a new transaction for that item. PocketMoney: iOS: ”Keep the Change” that rounds up the transaction amount and transfers the change to a specified account/posting of transaction from their party apps (CheckPlease for tips, MPG for vehicle transactions, BillMinder for bill management…)/add “Fee” posts a transaction for the amount of a fee set in the account info. Useful for ATM fees or wire transfer fees/Address book support/auto-complete transactions based on payee; Android: ”Keep the Change” rounds up the transaction amount and transfers the change to a specified account/add “Fee” posts a transaction for the amount of a fee set in the account info. Useful for ATM fees or wire transfer fees. iFinance: No. Quicken Essentials: You can attach receipts and other files to transactions. Moneydance: Moneydance (as well as the iOS+Android app) is optimized for quick transaction entry with auto-completion and fully keyboard accessible.

Tags and categories

  • Can your package apply categories or tags to individual transactions?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: It depends what you mean by “applying categories.” Categories don’t exist in moneyGuru and I consider them to be an oversimplification of proper accounting concepts. A transaction is a movement of money from one or more account to one or more other account. Of course, it’s possible to assign any account to any transaction in moneyGuru. SEE Finance: There currently is not a Classes/Tags feature available in the program. We do have plans for adding a Tags (aka Classes) feature, but there is not a current ETA. iBank 4: Yes. Categories but no tags. PocketMoney: Yes. Categories, multiple subcategories, Classes, multiple subclasses, Memo. iFinance: Yes, iFinance 3.3 and iFinance Mobile 2.1 can apply tags, as well as categories. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes, Moneydance supports both categories and tags.

  • Can these tags be flagged as tax-related?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: You can designate categories as tax related and associate them with US tax codes. You can create Category reports based on different options for “Tax Related” categories. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Not explicitly. Could name the class/category as “Tax*.” iFinance: No, tags can’t be flagged. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: No, but you can generate and memorize settings for custom reports that apply to those tags.

  • Can your package produce reports for individual categories or sets of categories?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: No categories, but it’s possible to select specific accounts in Net Worth and Profit & Loss reports. SEE Finance: You can create Category reports on any desired categories. You can also export tax information into TXF files for use with programs such as TurboTax for transactions with categories that are tax related and associated with US tax codes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Yes, for individual categories. iFinance: Yes, iFinance 3.3 can produce reports and charts of selected categories and tags. Filters can be applied for categories, tags and accounts, as well as for certain time periods. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

Checks, bill paying, and reminders

  • Can your package print checks?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: There currently is not a check printing feature available in the program. We cannot provide a specific ETA for the check printing feature addition, but it is expected within a few months. iBank 4: Yes. Standard, wallet, voucher style; custom; or to plain paper. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Yes. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does your package support online bill-paying?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: There is not online bill pay in the program. There are also not any immediate plans to add online bill pay to the program. However, most institutions allow you to setup recurring bill payments easily through their websites. iBank 4: No. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: No. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • If so, what protocols (e.g. OFX or HBCI/FinTS/EBICS) does it support?

    MoneyWorks: N/A MoneyWell: N/A moneyGuru: N/A SEE Finance: N/A iBank 4: N/A PocketMoney: N/A iFinance: N/A Quicken Essentials: N/A Moneydance: Moneydance supports online bill payment via the OFX protocol.

  • Does your package offer reminders of upcoming regular transactions?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes, as scheduled transactions. moneyGuru: Yes, the scheduled transactions system. SEE Finance: You can setup recurring transactions in the program and have them be set to notify you when they are scheduled to post. There is not currently customizable reminders or iCal integration. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: No; iOS: Yes; Android: No. iFinance: Yes, payment reminders can be added to all types of transactions. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Can it use a payment reminder to make a bill-pay transaction?

    MoneyWorks: No, but you can set up transactions as automatically recurring. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: N/A iBank 4: No. PocketMoney: N/A iFinance: No. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Not yet.

Investments and investment tracking

  • Does your package track individual investments?

    MoneyWorks: No. ([Although] it does not have specific provision for tracking of investment portfolios and the like, we’ve answered No to those questions. However people do seem to use it to do this quite successfully.) MoneyWell: No. (2.0 will offer investment tracking) moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes PocketMoney: No. iFinance: No, but stock prices can be retrieved automatically. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Can it track profit/loss on individual investments over time?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: (2.0 will offer investment profit/loss). moneyGuru: Depending on what you mean by “investment,” yes. moneyGuru doesn’t support stocks yet, but there’s a full fledged profit & loss report. SEE Finance: Yes. Gains/losses are currently only FIFO based. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: N/A iFinance: Not on individual investments, but different charts and summaries of a stock’s performance are available. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it handle stock splits?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. (2.0 will offer stock splits and importing of other details) moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: N/A iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Dividend reinvestments?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No (2.0 Yes) moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: N/A. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Track capital gains?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: N/A SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: N/A. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it treat brokerage accounts differently from checking accounts?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. (Only as transactional accounts) moneyGuru: N/A SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: N/A (?) iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

Loan tracking

  • Does the package track loans?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: “Liability” is one of the 4 possible types of accounts in moneyGuru, yes. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. Including mortgages, auto loans, student loans, etc. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it track principal and interest?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: N/A. moneyGuru: Not yet. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it allow one to specify what part of a payment is applied to principal and what part to interest?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes, as a split transaction. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: No, you cannot specify which amounts are applied to interest and which amounts is applied to principal as it is based on the designated interest rate. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it handle variable interest rate loans?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: You can adjust loan schedules to have varying interest rates. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Can be entered manually within the available range of functions. An automatic calculation feature for it is not available. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: No.

Budgets

  • Can your package create a budget?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes, using proactive envelope budgeting. moneyGuru: Yes. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes; iOS: Yes; Android: No. iFinance: Yes it can create various budgets. Budgets can be also limited to certain categories, accounts, or tags. Rules for warning messages can be created. For example “Expenses must no exceed x” or “Profit must amount to.” Budgets can also be printed. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Can it track income and expenditures against the budget?

    MoneyWorks: Yes MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: No, budgets in moneyGuru are for forecasting upcoming financial situations. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes (in next release); iOS: Yes; Android: No. iFinance: Yes (see answer to previous question). Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Can it handle multiple budgets?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. (Two) MoneyWell: No. (2.0 Yes) moneyGuru: Yes. SEE Finance: Yes. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: Yes, you can create as many budgets as you want. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does it provide budget reports and graphs?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: Other than budget data being included in forecasting reports, no. SEE Finance: Yes, it provides budgeted vs actual performance information/report. There are not graphs, but there is progress indication bars that indicate budget performance and these progress indication bars can have the level in which their colors change customized in the program’s Colors->Budgets preferences. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: No; iOS: Yes; Android: No. iFinance: Yes, iFinance 3.3 provides a graph chart of all budgets within a budget folder. Further graphs display income and expenses. The charts can be displayed in 2D and 3D. Filters can also be applied for certain categories, subcategories and accounts. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes, both a quick-view budget graph on the “home page” as well as detailed reports and graphs.

  • Can it handle category budgets that vary month by month (for example, quarterly property taxes, utility bill variations)?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: It’s not convenient to set up, but it’s possible, yes. SEE Finance: You cannot currently have varying amounts in such a case as a yearly budget with varying monthly values. You can create and duplicate individual monthly budgets and have an overall yearly budget. We are also revising the budgets to add varying monthly values for an upcoming update. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes (in next release); iOS: Yes (in next release); Android: No. iFinance: Partially yes, budgets can be created for selected categories. The budget compares the budget to the actual expenses for specified time periods (Day, Week, Month, Year). You can create multiple budgets, but each budget has a fixed amount which can be changed only for the whole budget (not for certain time periods of the budget). Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes. Budget items can be set as pro-rated monthly/weekly/yearly, lump sum monthly/weekly/yearly, or one-off amounts.

Taxes and net worth

  • Can your package calculate and report on net worth?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes, in a limited format. moneyGuru: Yes, absolutely. SEE Finance: Yes, you can create Balances reports in the program which if all accounts are included then this is a net worth report. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Yes. iFinance: No, there are no presets to exclude taxes or similar costs from the gross amount. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes.

  • Does your package support exchanging information with consumer tax preparation packages?

    MoneyWorks: No. MoneyWell: No. moneyGuru: Other than standard QIF/CSV exports, no. SEE Finance: Yes iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: No. iFinance: No. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: We have a (currently beta) extension/plugin that can export to a TXF file which I believe can be imported by TurboTax.

  • If so, which ones?

    MoneyWorks: N/A MoneyWell: N/A moneyGuru: N/A SEE Finance: If categories are set up as tax related and associated with US tax codes you can export a TXF file for use with programs such as TurboTax. iBank 4: TXF export for TurboTax, Tax Cut. PocketMoney: N/A iFinance: N/A Quicken Essentials: TurboTax. Moneydance: Those that can handle the TXF file produced by our (currently beta) extension/plugin.

Multiple users and security

  • Can your package support multiple users, each with their own sets of accounts?

    MoneyWorks: You can create multiple entities (companies, accounts, etc.) on the one computer; MoneyWorks is licensed by computer, so a separate license is required for each computer; MoneyWorks Cashbook is not multi-user (higher-end MoneyWorks products are). MoneyWell: Yes, as multiple documents. moneyGuru: Yes, moneyGuru can manage multiple documents. SEE Finance: Yes, the program is document based similar to spreadsheet and word processing programs so you can have any number of different files for any reason. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes, as separate database files; iOS: No; Android: No. iFinance: You can create multiple databases for multiple users. Quicken Essentials: No. Moneydance: No.

  • Does it provide password-protected access to user information?

    MoneyWorks: Yes MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: No. SEE Finance: Yes, you can password protect the program’s files. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Yes. iFinance: Yes, databases can be protected by password and encryption. Quicken Essentials: Yes. Moneydance: Yes. Not only password protected, but encrypted.

Exports

  • In what forms can your package export information (e.g., QIF, CSV, tab-delimited, Excel)?

    MoneyWorks: tab-delimited, HTML, Excel, Word, Numbers. MoneyWell: QIF or tab-delimited formats. moneyGuru: QIF and CSV. SEE Finance: Yes, you can export QIF and CSV files from the program. iBank 4: QIF, TXF, drag-and-drop to CSV (Excel/Numbers). PocketMoney: Desktop: QIF, CSV, Tab-delimited; iOS: OFX/QFX, QIF, CSV, Tab-delimited; Android: QIF, CSV, Tab-delimited. iFinance: CSV and iFinance 3 Archive. Quicken Essentials: Excel. Moneydance: QIF, CSV, tab-delimited, (lossless) XML. The moneydance file format is also a text-based format that can be easily imported by other applications.

  • Can it export subsets (e.g., a date range of transactions) in these forms?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: Yes. moneyGuru: You can export your whole document or selected accounts. You cannot choose a date range to export. SEE Finance: This can be done for any date range and for all accounts or individual accounts. You can also export any report, investment holdings list, investment security list, or security historical prices as a CSV file. There’s also the ability to create PDFs from account’s transactions, account transaction search, and almost any other list in the program. The generated PDFs and most CSV files are either customizable for what information is listed in the PDF or CSV file or just WYSIWYG based on the user’s custom table column selections. iBank 4: Yes. PocketMoney: Desktop: Yes (in next release); iOS: Yes; Android: Yes. iFinance: Time periods can be applied as filter rule for the CSV export. Furthermore users can specify which data fields should be exported and how the CSV code is created. Quicken Essentials: N/A Moneydance: Yes, when exporting to tab-delimited or QIF. Otherwise, transaction reports can be set for any date range or set of categories and can be exported to text (tab-delimited or CSV) files.

Support from vendor

  • Do you offer online chat or telephone support?

    MoneyWorks: Yes. MoneyWell: No, but we have email support along with public and private discussion. moneyGuru: Support is available through email or the online forum. SEE Finance: Currently we only provide email support. iBank 4: Email only. PocketMoney: Very limited phone-call and online chat support; email and forums are main line of support. iFinance: We offer support via email. iFinance 3.3 includes an extensive user guide. A vast number of FAQs and tutorials on our Web site are updated regularly. Quicken Essentials: (Did not specify type of support) Moneydance: We offer free email- and Web-based customer support for all customers — whether paid or using the trial version.

  • If so, what is the cost to the user?

    MoneyWorks: Telephone support is available at $2.00 per minute. MoneyWell: N/A moneyGuru: Free. SEE Finance: For no cost for any customer or potential customer. iBank 4: Free and unlimited. PocketMoney: Free. iFinance: Free. Quicken Essentials: Free support. Moneydance: Free.

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Comments About Follow-up to Finding a Replacement for Quicken