Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quicken for Mac 2015 is not a bad application

I was once an enthusiastic user of Quicken for DOS — despite an annoying tendency to database corruption. Each month I’d receive a 3.5” diskette of credit card data and I’d update our accounts. Quicken for Windows had more bugs, but I stuck with it.

Then, somewhere around 2000, we went all Mac and there were no good personal finance products. Intuit was becoming seriously annoying around that time anyway, so we gave up and simply updated our investment balances yearly. We tried various Mac finance products, but none of them worked for Emily. Most importantly, they didn’t do a great job of automatically pulling data from our accounts, and many of them tried to push us to storing our financial data in the cloud.

Last year we made another go of it. Despite the worrisome lack of a user guide, we bought Quicken 2015.

Surprisingly, it’s worked well for Emily. Automated data download is odd to setup, but once configured it has done well. The application is relatively spartan, and not always intuitive, but it’s been reliable. With a few configuration tweaks we seem to be keeping all of our data local (these days that’s not easy to tell). The Reports are limited, but they have the main things Emily wants. She likes how the spending reports work.

Of course Quicken for Mac 2015 has only a fraction of the capabilities of Quicken for Windows, but I’m not making that comparison. It’s just useful by itself. It’s also astoundingly small for a 2015 application — only 60MB for the Application.

I don’t know where this product is going to go. Intuit is desperately trying to dump Quicken (“desktop technology” — they want to go Cloud based and many money by doing analytics on customer spending), they can’t have a very happy dev team. We’re going to hold off on 2016 until mid-2015, then we’ll look at the bug reports and evaluate 2016.

For the moment though, I’m pleased to find something that works. I assume finance companies want to lock customers in tight, it’s a real achievement to get data out of them. I doubt Quicken will find a good home, but I hope it somehow defies the odds.

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