Quicken Inc. has released version 5.16 of Quicken for Mac, enhancing the recently introduced QuickFill feature, adding Quick Pay and Check Pay capabilities, and improving print and export capabilities. You can now lock QuickFill rules to prevent modification or overwriting, and you can use the Command-Y keyboard shortcut to create a QuickFill rule based on the selected transaction. The update also adds more than 20 standard reports, ensures that printed and exported reports more accurately reflect the onscreen appearance, enables you to pay bills from your register using Quick Pay or Check Pay, redesigns the Preferences window for easier discovery of customization settings, resolves an issue that prevented newly added accounts from appearing in budgets, and fixes a bug that could prevent the successful resolution of eBill errors. ($34.99/$49.99/$74.99 annual subscriptions, free update, release notes, macOS 10.11+)
I fail to understand why anyone would choose to continue using this product when there are a number of great alternatives other than they would need to leave their comfort zone to use something else. Years ago this was a great product but at some point its database began corrupting itself when the database got large. around 2010 it was totally revised, gutting some very useful features. It is subscription based and expensive. In my experience with their support historically, it has been mediocre to abysmal.
As such I would like to invite current users to explore some of the alternatives. Several also include bill pay, which has been the one feature that most of the competitors lacked until recently. Many of the alternatives also offer free trials from their website and the only fees involved are the initial cost and major upgrades. I hesitate to make any recommendations as it might seem like I was promoting a particular product. That said I post this, based on my previous experience with Quicken, which I began using before Mac, but abandoned around 2010 due to bugs, and poor support.
Finance programs can be a critical program and they have to be extremely reliable, provide great support, relatively easy to use, provide useful reports and search capability and be cost effective. In my opinion, Quicken now offers few of these features.
So what “great alternative” are you using?
I’ll mention that I’ve been using SEE Finance for many years now. I discovered it when I, too, wanted to avoid Quicken (more because they were being a$$e$ to the Mac community than because of issues with the product). I think SEE is relatively easy to use, doesn’t feel like a bad port from some other OS, and is the product of a hard-working well-meaning responsive corps of developers.
The primary reason I chose SEE, however, is that they are one of the very few developers who can manage a proper Quicken exchange format file. Many other apps will let you import a QIF file but will require a fair amount of cleanup after the import. Others will import nicely but woe to you if you choose to use their QIF-fy format to move your data to another app; you’ll be cleaning up in your new home.
It doesn’t sound like handling an exchange file should be the killer feature; after all, how many times do you change financial apps? But here’s my other consideration: aside from Quicken and possibly Moneydance, everybody else in the Mac financial software pool is very small potatoes – a small portion of this app market on an OS that has a small portion of the overall market. Especially given the push to move financial apps to the Web, it’s not easy to make money on financial apps for macOS. I have no idea how well Scimonoce, the publisher of SEE Finance, is doing financially. I know this is their only commercial product so I hope it gets the lion’s share of their attention. But making sure I have a clean file I can move to some other app if I need to gives me the confidence to stay with SEE until some circumstance makes that impossible.
I do download trials of Moneydance and Banktivity and some others just to see what I may be missing these days. I don’t work my financial app too hard; I’m not a day trader and I don’t really track my investments that closely (in this software). It would be nice if SEE could talk to my credit union (it doesn’t). The SEE interface is a little stodgy.
But there is the time I’d need to take to migrate my setup (scheduled transactions, payees, history, etc.). And the risk that the app I choose is the next to do the big firework and leave the macOS market (see You Need A Budget). And likely leave me with a messy exchange file. So I stay with SEE Finance. And I recommend it to others for the same reasons.
I stopped paying for Quicken in 2003. When my copy wouldn’t run anymore I started looking for alternatives. iBank was just ok (sometimes unintuitive, not attractive) and eventually I stopped upgrading. For the last few years now I’ve used a spreadsheet! (I don’t track my investments that closely and most bills are on autopay.) Still, sad there isn’t a more compelling product out there. Used to love Quicken.
I fail to understand why people seem to think everyone that doesn’t agree with them is wrong.
That’s fair, except you don’t make any actual recommendations. What do you use and why? What have you tried and not chosen and why? The only product you actually mention is Quicken, and…
You’re comparing a 10 year old Quicken to modern finance programs? Do you also recommend against the iPhone because the iPhone 4 doesn’t compare favorably to current phones from Samsung et al?
You mean it didn’t 10 years ago. In my experience, Quicken 2020 is reliable (I’ve never had it crash or lose or corrupt data and I use it on average 1.5 times a day or so and have a lot of data); their support is fine (not terrible, not great, but the few times I’ve used them they’ve answered my question); it works about the same as every other financial program I’ve ever used, so I think in usability, they’re all pretty similar (except Moneydance, which I find borderline unusable); has decent reports and they’ve been working on beefing those up lately; search is very good, I use that a lot; and if you look beyond the upfront cost I think it’s cost effective (and even for the upfront cost, I got a two year subscription to Quicken for less than what purchasing the big competitors would have cost).
When I was looking to finally switch off Quicken 2007, I tried Quicken 2019, SEE Finance, Moneydance, and a couple of others, and ran them in parallel for a couple of months (so after importing, I entered every transaction into each of the programs). As I’d get annoyed or fed up or hit some kind of show stopper (IMO) with a program, I’d drop it, and Quicken was the one left standing. It’s not perfect, but for my needs it’s better than the others I tried. If you’re looking to switch, certainly run as many as you can to see how they work for you, but don’t pay attention to opinions based on a 10 year old version.
I’ve been using Quicken for home and business since it came out. Intuitive, very easy to use and I’ve had outstanding customer service- though rarely required. I can’t speak for others but I wouldn’t think of switching.
Like @blm, I had a similar experience of trying multiple options after giving up on Quicken 2007, which I managed to keep working until about 2018. By 2018, I had almost 22 years worth of data, and the conversion process to almost anything was ugly and problematic.
I may not have these facts quite correct, but I believe that one of the original Quicken developers/employees was instrumental in buying Quicken for the Mac back from Intuit and starting from the ground up.
Like the conversion from System 9 to OS X, this was ugly. But once I realized the similar types of errors (some made my me) in my data and once I was able to clean up the data (which took many, many hours), I have not looked back. I love Quicken Deluxe 2020. For three years now, it has just gotten better and better and better. Features are added frequently. Bugs are squashed. Data integrity has been perfect. Online reconciliations work quite well. Reporting just got a HUGE boost in the last few weeks with a lot of new reports.
I hated when I was stuck with legacy Quicken 2007. I was not impressed with the first iterations of Quicken Deluxe 2017? 2016? or whenever it came out. But it’s not the same product as yesteryear, and it’s certainly not Intuit. It’s modern, fast, effective, accurate, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
If you swore off Quicken in the past, consider it again. New company. New product. Very Mac-like. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who has used it in the last year who doesn’t find it valuable and useful. Try it again. It’s all better.
We did a reader survey roundup of personal finance apps a while back. I suspect the broad outlines of the apps are still accurate, though I’m sure some details have changed.
Doing just fine here with Quicken 2007 on Mojave. No subscription needed. It can’t do its own backups anymore because of the stupid new file system, but that’s why I have Time Machine, CCC, and Backblaze.
Have been Quicken user for at least 25 years. I jumped from Quicken 07 to 17 and never had problems. I can customize reports enough, don’t need online services. It still backs up automatically on Mojave. Still a happy camper despite having to adjust to some interface changes.
One word for Q2020 (from a long-time user): TERRIFIC!
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