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Quicken for Lion: Why does Intuit hate Mac users? (And why doesn’t Apple save us?)

May 23, 2011


(August 31, 2011 update: A shorter version of this article is located at Mac|Life Magazine.)

(December 16, 2011 update: For a brief time, you were able to run Quicken 2007 for Mac on a Lion machine using VMWare Fusion 4.1 running Snow Leopard. However, VMWare closed this loophole with the release of VMWare Fusion 4.1.1.)

(February 1, 2012 update: Intuit has announced that they will be making a Lion-compatible version of Quicken 2007 in spring of 2012. it’s not really the full commitment that we wanted to see from Intuit, but at least our 6-year-old version of Quicken will still continue to run under Lion. Hopefully. We’ll see if this actually comes to fruition or not. As we all know, Intuit is a company that can NOT be trusted at all.)

(March 17, 2012 update: Quicken is now available for Lion! I’ve downloaded this and I’ve used every single feature of it over the last week, and it works perfectly for me! I am a very happy camper! Also, it is much MUCH faster than the previous version of Quicken! Hip hip hooray! :)


Intuit, the company behind Quicken and QuickBooks, has shown such contempt towards Mac users for almost 30 years that I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that their disrespect continues stronger than ever in the year 2011. But I am still trying to figure out the answer to the question of why Intuit has proactively taken more steps than any other software company to undermine Mac users worldwide and to try to diminish the legitimacy of Apple’s operating systems, despite the fact that Apple is now the largest technology company on earth.

Even though we now live in the glorious age of Apple’s technology renaissance when longtime-PC companies (such as AutoDesk) are actively embracing Mac OS X and iOS, Intuit has astonishingly decided to turn it back on Mac users more strongly than ever before.

Forget the fact that Intuit’s Mac products have always paled in comparison to their Windows counterparts by missing 90% of the features that Windows users have long enjoyed. Forget the fact that Intuit has worked overtime to make sure that their Mac & Windows products would never be cross-platform compatible (this is an internal corporate rule at Intuit). Forget the fact that Intuit had already abandoned Mac users twice in the past — first by discontinuing Quicken for Mac in 1997 and then discontinuing QuickBooks for Mac in 2003. (Mac users forgave Intuit when they begrudgingly came back with lackluster updates for these products years later.) And forget the fact that Intuit’s former CEO Bill Campbell has sat on Apple’s Board of Directors since 1997, yet Apple shareholders have mindlessly allowed this jerk to sit on the board for 14 years while he continued to stab Mac users in the back every chance he could get. (As an Apple shareholder myself, I have voted against Bill Campbell every single year, and I highly urge all other Apple shareholders to do what they can to kick this guy off the board as well.)

If all of this wasn’t bad enough, Intuit’s latest assault on Mac users is that Quicken 2007 for Mac will not run under Apple’s newest operating system, Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), and they have no plans on updating this product for Lion compatibility. So if you buy a new Mac in late 2011, or if you upgrade your Mac to Lion, you won’t even be able to launch Quicken anymore. I have confirmed this information with two different Intuit representatives, who told me that Quicken for Mac has reached “end of life”, meaning that there will be no future updates to this product. Considering that Intuit last updated this product almost 5 years ago — in August 2006 — I guess we all should have seen this coming.

Recent comments from Intuit’s Aaron Patzer have given false hope to Mac users, but read them closely to really understand what he is saying: Intuit has had five years to  develop a new version of Quicken, but they are not working on any new Quicken releases for Mac users, and they are not certain if this mythical Rosetta patch will ever come to market. (March 17, 2012 update: Quicken for Lion is now available, and it works perfectly! I haven’t had one problem with it at all.)

But the real problem here isn’t Intuit’s disgusting treatment of Mac users. The real problem is that Intuit has held a monopoly on the personal finance software market for Mac, so Mac users have had no other viable personal financial management products to choose from until recently. At least with the business-oriented QuickBooks, Mac users can switch to the highly-superior & much more full-featured AccountEdge, but when it comes to personal finance management, Quicken 2007 was pathetically still the best & most full-featured choice that Mac users have.

But luckily, Mac users have 2 viable alternatives to choose from:

See Finance was the only personal finance program that could successfully import my 22 years worth of Quicken data, and it seems to offer the vast majority of features that Quicken 2007 had. See Finance also adds the ability to natively handle foreign currencies, it offers a very large amount of customization in its preferences, and its tech support team is extremely responsive. However, it still hasn’t reached version 1.0 yet, and it shows in a few ways: it can’t print checks, link transfers between accounts, or delay a scheduled transaction. And its user interface is somewhat clunky and confusing. But See Finance is accurate and dependable, and the See Finance users with whom I’ve spoken to absolutely love the product. See Finance is a very strong alternative for Mac users.

iBank 4 is trying hard to be the de facto Quicken replacement for Mac users, but in my personal opinion, it fails. On the surface, iBank seems to offer most of the features that Quicken 2007 had and its interface is beautiful. But once you actually start using the app on a daily basis, you might be as frustrated as I am about how it functions. After trying this app for 6 months, I have discovered dozens of bugs in the product, which I have reported to technical support to no avail. Oh, by the way, regarding their technical support: the company often takes 4-6 weeks to respond to inquiries. If you take a look at the frustrated users on their forums, you will see that the same complaints keep arising with the product yet the company has failed to address many of them in the product for years! Out of the many bugs that I have reported in this product, these are just a few of iBank’s bigger problems, bugs, and missing features:

- Downloading transactions from Fidelity Bank investment accounts no longer works… it always yields ZERO transactions waiting to be downloaded.

- Importing QIF files from iPhone apps doesn’t work as expected (it always marks every imported transaction as cleared).

- Setting up fixed-rate auto loans or home loans is broken (it can’t figure out principal and interest payments properly).

- Reporting is absolutely terrible (it lacks almost all of the customization capabilities that Quicken offered), so you can’t even get your data out of the product to do your taxes.

- You can’t view upcoming scheduled transactions (you can only view “all” scheduled transactions, not just the “upcoming” ones), and iBank only alerts you on the VERY DAY that those scheduled transactions are due.

- iBank cannot handle all scheduled transactions properly… it often creeps the date forward by one day from month-to-month, depending on the month. If you try to fix this by editing a scheduled transaction that you were alerted incorrectly about, iBank then “forgets” about that scheduled transaction and it doesn’t alert you about that transaction ever again.

- There is no support for bill pay or class support.

- No keyboard shortcuts throughout most of the program… you are forced to use the mouse everywhere.

- If you password-protect your file, iBank takes an increasingly long time to open your file. Eventually, you’ll be waiting several minutes just for your file to open.

- Technical support responses are very slow and often nonexistent.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I wish I could recommend iBank because it is so beautiful, but I can’t at this time.

What about the other personal finance products that claim to be Mac-compatible? There are no other viable alternatives for Mac users. Here’s why:

Moneydance is a cross-platform product that has its roots in Windows, and it shows by its ugly Java-based interface. Java is no longer installed by default in Lion, which may be a problem for some Mac users who are trying to use Moneydance. More importantly, Moneydance was unable to import my 22-year history of Quicken data; it yields wildly inaccurate account balances and thousands of erroneous transactions after performing an import. Their friendly and responsive technical support department told me that they DO NOT SUPPORT the importing of any data from Quicken for Mac. They told me that they would NOT be able to help me import any of my data into the product. They told me that I should either start from scratch with a clean slate, or manually scroll through 22 years of data to try to figure out where the problems are. Highly unlikely. Given Moneydance’s aversion to Mac users, this is one product that Mac users should avoid.

Quicken for Windows is something that many Mac users are eyeing, to run in a virtual environment on their Macs (such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion). Even if you can stomach the idea of running Windows on your Mac, you’ll still be out of luck. Readers have alerted me that Quicken for Windows is NOT a viable option for former Quicken for Mac users. Quicken for Windows WILL NOT IMPORT any investment information from Quicken for Mac. It also will NOT import online bank account information, securities, loans, reminders, scheduled transactions, memorized transactions, calendar events, reports, or budgets. Given that Intuit actually created both Quicken for Mac and Quicken for Windows, this just underscores Intuit’s complete inability to create software that actually works for any consumers. It is my personal opinion that all Mac users should permanently ban ALL Intuit products from entering their households or their friends’ households. Intuit is a joke of a company.

Mint.com is getting a lot of attention because of their multi-million dollar advertising budget, but don’t be fooled. Mint.com is not truly a personal finance manager — it simply downloads your transactions automatically from your banks in a read-only format, designed for you to simply view your information. You can’t add new transactions, edit transactions, reconcile accounts, track investments, schedule payments, nothing. These horrible deficiencies are probably to be expected, though, since mint.com is yet another product released by the horrible Intuit company.

Last year, Intuit disgustingly threw a bone to starving Mac customers in the form of Quicken Essentials for Mac, one of the worst / reviewed / software / products that I have ever seen. This product was such a slap in the face to Mac users that I have no idea how Intuit employees can sleep at night without feeling an overwhelming sense of shame. Do Intuit employees pride themselves on making other people’s lives miserable? Quicken Essentials is missing 99% of the features that people actually need in a personal finance program, and it is missing almost all of the features that were available in Quicken 2007 for Mac. This new product barely even lets you enter in basic checkbook entries, let alone the hundreds of other features that were in Quicken 2007. You can’t print checks, you can’t track investments, you can’t schedule repeating transactions, you can’t import or export QIF format, you can’t do bill pay, you can’t manually reconcile accounts unless you download statements directly into the product, you can’t run customized reports, you can’t search transactions, you can’t edit memorized lists, you can’t export to TurboTax, you can’t backup to your MobileMe iDisk, you can’t budget or forecast… shall I go on? Basically choose ANY feature from Quicken and it will be missing from Quicken Essentials.

And yet the horror gets even worse. The same Intuit representatives mentioned above expressed doubt to me that Quicken Essentials for Mac would even be continued due to lackluster sales. Um, what? Do you expect people to actually pony up $50 for a program that an elementary school kid could write in a weekend in his free time? And now you’re going to discontinue your Mac product yet again? Not to mention the fact that Intuit has completely ignored iOS altogether. Luckily, I have been using the outstanding Pocket Money for iPhone, which lets me manually keep Quicken in sync between my iPhone and my Mac using SyncDocs. But at Intuit, they don’t even so much as acknowledge that iOS is the world’s largest mobile platform.

So my initial question remains:

1. Why does Intuit hate Mac users so much? Is it because of Intuit’s very deep relationship with Microsoft that continues to grow deeper by the day? It seems very logical that Microsoft would put a great deal of pressure on Intuit to try to destroy Mac users in every way possible. Although it’s almost too easy to pass the blame entirely onto another company. The most likely answer is that Intuit is just comprised of a bunch of jackasses who don’t have to lift a finger because they already hold a monopoly position. Intuit doesn’t have to lift a finger for Mac users because they hold a monopoly position and they make billions of dollars every year selling their tax software. Many years before QuickBooks was resurrected for the Mac in 2006, a smug Intuit employee at Macworld Expo told me, “We don’t need to update QuickBooks, because it’s still the No. 1 best-selling accounting package for Mac. Mac users still purchase it, even without any new updates.” Seems like their attitude hasn’t changed much.

Which brings me to my second question:

2. What can Mac users switch to instead of Quicken? Until March 2012, I hadn’t found any viable alternatives for Mac OS X. But fortunately, Quicken has now released Quicken for Lion and it is working 100% perfectly for me.

Which leads to my final question:

3. Why didn’t Apple save us? Apple makes world-class, award-winning software, so why didn’t they put together the talent to create an amazing personal financial solution? Why didn’t Apple simply take the lead in this market? Yes, it is a huge relief that 2 third-party developers have stepped up to the plate to deliver alternatives to Mac users, but why did Apple allow their own Mac users to get placed in this precarious position to begin with? It’s a sad state of affairs when Apple itself undermines the entire Mac platform.

It baffles me that we are in the year 2011 and that Apple is the world’s largest technology company, yet this was the sad state of affairs for Mac users until recently.

If you’ve abandoned Quicken for another Mac-friendly solution that’s working for you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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102 Comments leave one →
  1. chrish1961 permalink
    May 23, 2011 9:55 AM

    Scott,

    You are right on to criticize Intuit so strongly. They absolutely suck and I consider them to be the worst software company on the planet.

    I look forward to Lion and will upgrade as soon as I can. So a few months ago I researched my Quicken alternatives and discovered See Finance. It’s not Quicken yet (it’s not even version 1.0 yet) but it’s about 95% of Quicken. It’s way better with investments, though.

    You can try it for free. It imported 15 years worth of Quicken data without a single hiccup and I’ve been using it full time for the past two months. So far so good. Their commitment and support is also impressive. They respond to all support requests within hours and they’ve told me they plan to be on the Mac App Store in June.

    You said there are no Mac alternatives to Quicken. I think See Finance is promising. Please try it.

    Chris Habig

  2. May 23, 2011 10:02 AM

    Thanks so much, Chris, for this excellent information!

    I downloaded See Finance earlier this morning after receiving the private email you sent me, and it looks very promising. It also amazingly imported my 22-year Quicken history without a hitch!! :) See Finance even supports multiple international currencies, which is yet another feature that Quicken for Mac does NOT support. (This feature might become very important to me, as I might have an opportunity to live in Australia for a little while, and then I’ll be juggling multiple currencies all the time.)

    I do see that See Finance does have some minor missing features. (As you said, it’s not even at version 1.0 yet.) For example, check printing, customizable keyboard shortcuts for switching between accounts, and some other little things. But these are all minor, and I could temporarily live without them for now. I used to do check printing all the time, but not so much anymore since I pay most of my bills through Bank of America’s online bill pay.

    I’m going to update my blog post above with this new information on See Finance. Will this program become our savior?! :)

    Thanks again!

  3. Factor70 permalink
    May 23, 2011 12:24 PM

    Excellent article!

    Quicken for Windows is a great product and I think Intuit is either stupid or insane not to better support the Mac community. I’ve tried other personal finance software in the past and it never lives up to Quicken for Windows, so for now I’ll continue down the path of using Windows in a VM so I can run Quicken and some other Windows-only applications.

    See Finance looks promising indeed. I will jump ship as soon as I see a true compelling alternative to Quicken, even if some features are missing!

    – Aaron W. Rumsfeld

  4. ajgf2 permalink
    May 26, 2011 9:44 PM

    Hi Scott, I thought you would like to see this update from Moneydance regarding the java issue.
    Apparently they have it in hand.

    http://moneydance.com/blog/archives/279

    I have tried See Finance and it did a good job of importing my data from Quicken 2002 deluxe except that it did not import my Classes, which I find very necessary to control my reports.

    I will give Moneydance a try as soon as time permits.

    Paco

  5. May 26, 2011 11:45 PM

    Paco, thank you so much for that link! :) Unfortunately, I just downloaded the new version of Moneydance and it still chokes on importing my old Quicken data. :(

  6. rgetter permalink
    June 5, 2011 1:34 PM

    Excellent summary, Scott. I’ve been a Quicken user for close to 20 years and it now appears that I have to move on. I was able to move everything into iBank 4 pretty easily, it seems. It preserved my accounts and categories through the transfer. I’m going to give the demo of See Finance a try, as well.

    Also, FYI, iBank 4.x does support the OFX protocol for direct download of transactions from most major banks. There is also a built-in interface for web-only downloads; it has it’s own Webkit engine.

    I’m going to run all three programs in parallel for a while as I get ready for Lion. At first blush, iBank is looking very good.

    Just a thought I’d like to add to your blog: If there are any Apple shareholders out there, it may be time to start a call to have Bill Campbell (Intuit CEO) step down from Apple’s board. Based on Intuit’s strategies for Mac support, it is quite clear that Campbell does not have Apple user’s interest at heart. In fact, Intuit’s general lack of support for the Mac platform (abandoning users who need anything more than the most basic checkbook balancing) is costing Apple potential customers.

  7. June 10, 2011 7:02 AM

    Thanks for this post, which I have “liked” on Facebook. It’s discouraging when someone as well informed as you comes to the same conclusion I have as a mere work-a-day user: that there’s absolutely no future for Mac users in staying with Quicken. It might be worth your asking some of these questions of Apple’s corporate PR department, too.

  8. June 10, 2011 4:14 PM

    I decided to bite the bullet and tried out Moneydance and SEE Finance. I used Quicken for basic checkbook functions and never downloaded bank data online, so I won’t comment on that. Both were able to import my 12+ years worth of Quicken data without a hitch. They both seemed to fit the bill with all of the things I was looking for (split transactions, memorized transactions, customized reports), but I decided at this time to go with Moneydance because it has tags, a feature which SEE does not yet have. Tags replace Quicken’s classes, and all of my classes converted to tags flawlessly when I imported my file.

    Both applications felt a little clunky, but with a little searching I was able to get work done in both of them. It will take some getting used to but it looks like I’ll have to do it!

    I am a heavy user of tags for my reports, and to their credit, SEE’s customer service very promptly answered my question about it and offered two workarounds, but it would mean that I would have to manually go in and add either a memo note or a sub-category to 2 years’ worth of previous transactions, so until SEE can get tags working and import it from my current file, I think I will stick with Moneydance.

    Thanks for the great article and alerting folks of this issue!

  9. daveweas permalink
    June 17, 2011 3:18 AM

    Quote: “You can’t print checks, you can’t track investments, you can’t schedule repeating transactions, you can’t import or export QIF format, you can’t do bill pay, you can’t manually reconcile accounts unless you download statements directly into the product, you can’t run customized reports, you can’t search transactions, you can’t edit memorized lists, you can’t export to TurboTax, you can’t backup to your MobileMe iDisk, you can’t budget or forecast… shall I go on?”

    True, you can’t do bill pay. You can’t export to TurboTax.

    You can somewhat customize the reports.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “edit memorized lists”.

    You can print checks. You can track investments. You can schedule repeating transactions. You can export as a QXF file, or convert to Quicken for Mac or Quicken for PC. You can manually reconcile accounts without download statements. You can search transactions. You can backup to MobileMe. You can budget.

    Quicken Essentials HAS its flaws, but you’re being a little over-critical, and flat out wrong in some cases.

    Here’s my biggie … you can’t enter a loan with amortization details. I really can’t believe you can’t do that.

    Don’t read this wrong, I’m no fan of Intuit’s treatment of Mac users either.

  10. June 23, 2011 8:11 AM

    Hi Scott,
    I saw your post and although it mostly addresses Quicken for Mac, I wanted to update you and your readers on QuickBooks for Mac and Lion compatibility. We are currently putting the app through its paces on Lion to assess what needs to be addressed, and we’re also working with customers in the Intuit Community (user forum) to identify issues.

    We will share more about QuickBooks for Mac and Lion in the coming weeks, but in the interim, users should avoid running QuickBooks on Lion to ensure there is no disruption in working with their finances. (If you just can’t wait, set up Lion on a separate partition and continue running QuickBooks on Snow Leopard.)

    Best,
    Will Lynes
    Product Manager
    QuickBooks for Mac

  11. June 23, 2011 8:48 AM

    Thanks Will, but I wasn’t concerned about QuickBooks for Mac, and I don’t think any other Mac users were either. Particularly since there are vastly superior accounting programs available for Mac. My primary concern is about Quicken, which Intuit has discontinued. My secondary concern is about the indifference, callousness, and contempt which Intuit has always shown towards Mac users.

  12. rgetter permalink
    June 23, 2011 10:08 AM

    According to Dave Hamilton from The MacObserver (http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/quicken_2007_might_work_on_lion_not_right_away/), Apple may be providing the necessary Rosetta libraries specifically for Quicken (some day). Meanwhile, I’ve been moderately happy with my iBank trial. BTW, getting the boxed version from Amazon is about $10 less than the download from IGG (w/free shipping).

    For those who may be interested, I launched a Twiitter hashtag #LionFood for favorite apps that we’ll need to learn to live without in Lion.
    @ricgetter

  13. June 23, 2011 10:43 AM

    I have tried Moneydance and See Finance and ended up going with Moneydance. It has all the functions of Quicken that I used, and my large file transferred flawlessly. See was good but doesn’t have tags, an essential feature for me, so I chose Moneydance and am very happy with it.

  14. June 23, 2011 11:22 AM

    Thanks for your comment. I really liked Moneydance’s interface and I wish I could use it, but it didn’t import my Quicken data properly. I asked their tech support for help, and they were basically uninterested in helping — they basically told me to just start from scratch without importing any data at all. See Finance was the only one that imported my data with 100% accuracy, although it is missing many features, as you said.

  15. July 6, 2011 3:06 PM

    Hi Scott,

    I got Intuit’s “learn to tolerate Quicken Essentials for Mac or switch to Windows” e-mail this morning. I tried Quicken Essentials for Mac and it sucks so bad I am amazed Intuit sells something like that. It should be a freebie in the App Store as far as I’m concerned. It can’t even do mortgage amortization automatically. I guess if you have a mortgage it’s not of much use. I couldn’t even find a way to display a list of all the scheduled transactions for easy editing. The scheduled transactions were there, but you couldn’t see them all at once in a non-transactional context. What a pathetic piece of crap!

    I tried out the latest iBank 4, but it makes data goulash out of my Quicken for Mac 2007 exported .qif file. I also tried Liquid Ledger and Moneydance, both of which had the same data ingestion heartburn that iBank 4 had.

    I had initial success with SEE Finance, so I went back and tried it in greater depth. I was able to convert the “liability” accounts it created from my Quicken for Mac 2007 .qif file (which were originally loans in Quicken) into mortgage loans and get all the past payments right. This is huge for me.

    I then tried its .TXF (TurboTax) export function. This is not so good, I will have to enter tax data into TurboTax manually it seems. My wife and I each file a schedule C and SEE Finance doesn’t seem to get the tax info right in its .TXF file. I am *hoping* this will be fixed by the time the 2011 tax season rolls around.

    So, for me the choice would be to stay at 10.6.8 until Intuit fixes Quicken for Mac (ha ha) or upgrade to Lion and pray that SEE Finance will get better at exporting TXF data. I might hold off on Lion for a while to see if Quicken for Mac is rescued somehow, but in the mean time I have taken advantage of Intuit’s 60-day money-back guarantee to get my money back on Quicken for Mac Essentials, a product Intuit should have been embarrassed to release.

    Mike

  16. July 8, 2011 8:52 PM

    SEE Finance is very good, as is iBank (now). I ended up switching from Quicken to Moneydance about a year and a half ago and haven’t looked back.

  17. July 13, 2011 7:06 PM

    Here are some comments about the several alternatives mentionned (I have downloaded and evaluated trial versions of almost all of them):
    iBank – nice interface, no support for classes
    MoneyDance – supports tags, but weak custom reports
    MoneyWell – no support for classes
    SEE – no support for classes, but otherwise very attractive
    YNAB – no support for classes, no custom reports (as I recall)
    Fortora Fresh Finance – no support for classes
    Liquid Ledger – not yet evaluated

  18. July 13, 2011 7:22 PM

    Update on Liquid Ledger – no real support for classes, no custom reports

  19. July 22, 2011 8:26 AM

    Thanks, Scott, for the article. It truly is odd and offensive that Intuit has had such a long and sad history with the Mac. (Why pick on Quicken for the Mac when they fully support TurboTax for the Mac?)

    Anyway, I’ve been looking for an alternative. I first spent three days converting decades worth of Quicken info to iBank. I was VERY encouraged, until I went to set up a budget. To put it simply, iBank’s budgeting process sucks. Specifically, if your income and expenses don’t come in equal installments through the year, you’re sunk. If I can’t budget for huge annual payments, and instead have to divide it out over 12 months, why build a budget. Email tech people say this is a common complaint/request, but they’re not planning a new version for over a year. So…

    I moved on to MoneyWell. I was able to move all my work from iBank to MoneyWell easily. I Once I got past the silly metaphor of buckets, I was doing pretty well until I realized there is no portfolio support for investments. You can track the ins and outs of investments, but there is no ability to track the value of the investments themselves. So net worth tracking becomes difficult. They apparently are working on a new version, but since it’ll only run under Lion, they haven’t released it, and there’s no word that I’ve found about the features.

    So I won’t upgrade to Lion for a while, until something comes along. Looks like it could be a long wait.

  20. michaelpscott permalink
    July 30, 2011 11:55 AM

    Well, Scott,

    I appreciated your column on Quicken. It was worth every penny of my paltry donation and I admire what you’re doing.

    I cannot — CAN NOT — believe that Steve Jobs would allow Bill Campbell — who tells Quicken for the Mac customers to “eat cake” and buy Windows products and run them on a Mac — to sit on the Apple board of directors. It’s approaching malfeasance.

    And NOBODY will give us a reason why.

    So, as you and hundreds of others (but obviously not enough to bother either Steve or Mr. Campbell) have pointed out, we’re faced with a Sophie’s choice: Do I attempt to live life without financial management software and install Lion or stay with an outmoded Apple OS and run a program that’s five years old.

    It’s disgusting.

    I wouldn’t care so much but for the arrogance displayed by Aaron what’s his name, the entire Quicken operation and, ultimately, Mr. Campbell.

    I’m also getting jawed by Jobs. He’s usually more attuned to such stuff.

    Anyway, thanks for ScottWorld. I’ll keep tuning in.

    Mike

  21. July 30, 2011 2:12 PM

    Mike,

    Thank you for your kind donation, and thank you so much for your comments.

    I completely agree with every single thing that you said here. It’s really a shocking state of affairs, all the way around.

    Thanks for reading and for contributing! :)

    Best,
    Scott

  22. August 2, 2011 4:37 PM

    Scott,
    Thanks for the write up. I decided to look into iBank and was surprised that they don’t provide a phone number for support or a general HQ number. I have concerns with any app vendor, especially one that manages finances, that has no phone number listed on their website. I was going to call their sales number and ask if they have bill pay. I assume they don’t. Can you verify whether or not they have bill pay? I use Quicken’s bill pay all the time and find it useful.

    Thanks,
    Paul

  23. August 2, 2011 5:13 PM

    Thanks for reading, Paul. Unfortunately, iBank has no bill pay support either. I will update my blog article above with that information.

  24. August 2, 2011 5:24 PM

    Thanks for your quick reply. I guess I can manage bill pay with my bank’s service. That’s not a deal breaker. However, I question why a firm like this wouldn’t have a phone number and address. I use FreshBooks for billing my customers and they provide a toll-free number for support. I run a process and collaboration platform and we make it very easy to contact us by phone. I can understand why Google makes it hard since they have billions of users, but this is a no brainer for a smaller firm trying to capture market share from Intuit, which has really poor customer support.

  25. August 5, 2011 5:56 AM

    Scott:

    Thanks for the great article. I tired Essentials and practically vomited after 15 minutes use. I knew it was bad, but didn’t think it could be possibly to be THAT BAD. (Got a full refund from Intuit.)

    With respect to Ibank, although this product seems to have great promise, reporting is still quite weak. Please see following responses from their tech support re the following 3 issues:

    1) can I prepare a current year budget vs actual report?

    No, this is an existing feature request, I have added your vote.

    2) Can I prepare an income & expense report that compares two year actuals YTD

    No, this is an existing feature request, I have added your vote.

    3) Can I export reports to Excel that maintain subtotal formulas like Quickbooks?

    You can drag the report data from iBank into a blank Excel spreadsheet but the formulas are not maintained.

    Lets hope that Ibank is successful and adds this functionality.

    Tom W.
    Philadelphia

  26. rmeckler permalink
    August 6, 2011 10:18 AM

    FWIW, your caution about companies without listed phone numbers is justified. Initially optimistic about iBank, I suddenly found myself unable to print checks. What should take no more than 20 minutes with phone support has taken 10 days so far and still no solution. My advice is Yyour intuition is correct. Stay away from iBank.

  27. August 12, 2011 6:18 AM

    I switched over to iBank 4 after reading some information at iBank 4 Reviews. I’m sure they will fix the issues but it’s obvious the Mac is not a priority for Intuit/Quicken.

  28. August 23, 2011 9:14 PM

    Great article and analysis of the current situation of personal fiance software for Mac users. I need to make the switch to another system myself since my 2003 Dell Laptop is about to finally crash. I run Quicken 2007 and basically use my Dell for my “checkbook” since it holds the info from my Chase (previously WAMU) account I’ve had for 10+ years. The reason why we haven’t seen a good financial product from Apple or anyone else is that there isn’t as much money to be made in personal finance software. If you were a developer wouldn’t you put your time into making the next Angry Birds?

  29. September 27, 2011 11:01 PM

    Why doesn’t Apple offer a personal finance app? For consumers, they only make apps that (a) everybody needs (Mail, iCal, Address Book, Pages), or (b) reinforce the Mac’s image as a sexy, creative tool (iMovie, iPhoto). While (almost) everybody needs to manage money, I suspect that the percentage of people who do it on a computer is surprisingly small. And it sure ain’t sexy! Green eyeshade, anyone?

    And even if Apple did make a finance app, it appears that the people here are real power users of Quicken etc., and Apple generally doesn’t offer power user apps. So you probably wouldn’t be happy with it.

  30. September 28, 2011 4:37 PM

    My rage at Intuit reached new heights when I held my nose and bought Quicken for Windows, only to find out that, contrary to reports, it would not import all my Quicken/Mac data.

  31. September 28, 2011 6:23 PM

    Well I have given up. I have installed VMware Fusion 4 and set up a virtual Snow Leopard Server on which I will run Quicken 2007 and that is how I plan to do finances. SEE Finance is the best alternative I have found but its statement reconciliation process is PAINFUL compared to Quicken and its loan/amortization calculation for scheduled loan payments is not too good. The bottom line is that there is NO replacement for Quicken 2007, at least not if you want to keep years’ worth of Quicken Data or if you have an existing loan. If you’re starting over from a clean slate iBank4 might work pretty well.

    I plan on using my Snow Leopard virtual server until Intuit comes out with a Mac Quicken 2013 or whatever or maybe until iBank 5. SEE Finance is updated VERY infrequently, I think the microvendors that make SEE Finance and iBank are literally 1 man operations. Maybe iBank has 2 people, but from what I’ve read I wonder.

    BTW I also tried Quickbooks for Mac 2012 and it is not as good as Quicken 2007 for managing investments and loans. You might as well get QEFM!

  32. September 28, 2011 7:51 PM

    That is so incredibly frustrating. For now, I’m using iBank… but I am not happy with it.

  33. September 28, 2011 7:53 PM

    Yeah, this is a difficult time to be a Mac user, which is surprising given Apple’s position as the highest-valued technology company in the world. Here’s a great article that compares all the different financial packages currently available on the Mac:
    http://tidbits.com/article/12503

  34. October 5, 2011 9:09 AM

    Scott, great article. It’s nice to find a group of sympathetic ears as pissed off as I am. I’ve tried iBank, Moneydance and See. And while I applaud their efforts to try to fill the bill, I must say that they all aggravate me to no end. And what’s equally frustrating is why they don’t just recreate Quicken; that’s what we all want anyway. They’ve all got their own take on everything, and none of them hit the mark even close. How much more clear does the blueprint have to be?

    I personally find that integrated bill pay is essential, which only Moneydance offers (don’t get me started on the duplicate entries mess or the lack of true recurring transactions). And using one of the others in conjunction with web-based bill pay doesn’t just take twice as long due to the double entry, it take at least 4 times as long due to correcting mismatched, duplicate and uncategorized transactions.

    It’s a freaking mess right now, and I absolutely loathe Intuit for putting us in this boat. Yet, the only true solution I can think of is to buy a winbloz pc just to run Quicken 2011. This coming from a guy that has only owned Macs since 1985.

  35. October 5, 2011 9:15 AM

    If you’re going to run Quicken for Windows, you don’t actually have to buy an entire PC… you can just run Windows on your Mac within VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

    Although note that Quicken for Windows won’t be able to import all of your Quicken for Mac data! So that might be a nightmare in itself.

    I’m almost 100% certain that Microsoft is behind all of this. Microsoft is deeply in bed with Intuit, and they are probably guiding Intuit’s software direction here.

  36. michaelpscott permalink
    October 7, 2011 9:59 AM

    This snippet from a NYT story about Steve Jobs’ passing explains it all. Mr. Campbell was such a good friend of Steve that he was allowed to come say good-by. However, perhaps there’s hope in Tim Cook.

    “He said goodbye to longtime colleagues including the venture capitalist John Doerr, the Apple board member Bill Campbell and the Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger.”

    The egregious disregard for Mac pales beside the loss of Steve Jobs, but I’d like to think that Steve’s last words to Mr. Campbell were, “FIX Quicken for my Mac and make it insanely great!”

    MPS

  37. dsfeder permalink
    October 15, 2011 10:52 PM

    Great post. Thank you!

  38. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    October 16, 2011 6:57 PM

    Scott –
    Outstanding review and ongoing dialogue!

    I too struggled to find a replacement for the Windows version of Quicken, having decided to replace our PCs with Macs [Aside: What a great decision that was!] I finally settled on Moneydance. It performs all of the core functions I need to track multiple accounts, split transactions, download credit card statements and generate all of the tax-related reports I have ever needed. That said, I am frustrated by its very limited budgeting functionality and by it’s inability to generate Net Worth balances for multiple dates in a given report, something I use to track our overall financial outlook over time.

    I am going to monitor SEE Finance and iBank and really appreciate the quality of this blog for doing so.

    Has anyone done a rigorous side-by-side qualitative review of all of the leading programs cited?

    Tad

  39. October 17, 2011 7:21 AM

    Thanks, Tad, for your comments. Glad that Moneydance is (mostly) working for you.

    Mac|Life Magazine just did a side-by-side review of all the leading programs here:
    http://www.maclife.com/article/features/there_life_after_quicken?

  40. October 17, 2011 5:41 PM

    Not being ready to abandon Quicken on my Mac (Deluxe 2002 in my case) now that I can only run Lion on my newly minted Mac Mini, I now run Quicken Deluxe 2002 within Paralles 7 running Snow Leopard:

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16247806#16247806

  41. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    October 18, 2011 11:51 AM

    First, Scott, thanks for the tip on the Mad|Life article.

    Second, for those who have opted to run the Window versions of Quicken, help me understand why one would want to continue to expose oneself to all of the vulnerability of Windows and the limited customer support provided by Intuit. In my case, I had hit the wall with both.

    The Apple environment is much more user friendly. And, when support is needed, one can get bright, knowledgeable Apple Care assistance from U.S.-based Apple Advisors. The only downside I have encountered is the paucity of full featured financial management software, hence my interest is Scott’s blog.

  42. October 18, 2011 8:05 PM

    To answer your question, I refer you to my post above for more details, but suffice it to say that, I want Quicken back. I want my billpay and checkbook integrated, split and true recurring transactions entered just one time, a timely and accurate account balance, and an efficient workflow to minimize time spent. In other words, “I want Quicken back.” I want that “proactive” logical process again. All these other options and workarounds are lame in my view; too much time, too many reentries, to many errors and corrections, deleting duplicates, just an aggravating waste of time. And in order to get that warm and fuzzy feeling back again, I’m willing to run Quicken on windows either via Parallels or a PC. I do it very begrudgingly though; yea, I’m pissed about it alright. And I was extra pissed when I read about Bill Campbell being there with Steve Jobs at the end. But I digress. Soon I will bring order back from chaos, albeit with a bit of stench in the air.

  43. michaelpscott permalink
    October 19, 2011 5:33 PM

    I’m thinking we all ought to write to Bill Campbell and suggest that he, in honor of his friend Steve Jobs, actually HONOR his “longtime friend” Steve with a Mac version of Quicken 2012. Here’s his e-mail address: oop_tucson@intuit.com

    And if you missed them today in the coverage of the memorial services, these words make Intuit’s reluctance to serve Steve’s customers all the more confusing:

    “Two Apple board members—former Vice President Al Gore and Bill Campbell, Mr. Jobs’s longtime friend who is chairman of Intuit Inc.— also spoke, according to the people who attended.

    Mr. Campbell cracked a joke about “Siri,” the company’s “intelligent” personal assistant that Apple recently shipped with its new iPhone 4S. Mr. Campbell said when the company began development of Siri, Mr. Jobs demanded he try the product, while another executive said the voice-recognition wasn’t ready yet.

    Mr. Jobs then asked Siri whether it was a man or a woman, according to Mr. Campbell, who said Siri responded that it hadn’t been assigned a gender yet.”

  44. October 22, 2011 6:26 PM

    Scott,

    I know this article was about Quicken specifically, but I came across it trying to find out info on Quickbooks and it’s being able to run on the Lion OS.

    I noticed while reading through all of the comments that you mentioned a few times that you can run Quicken on Parallels(which is what I’m doing now with my QB on the Leopard OS). So , in your opinion, would QB 07 still work on my Parallel program afterinstalling the Lion OS?

  45. October 22, 2011 9:46 PM

    QuickBooks 2011 is Lion-native, but I much prefer AccountEdge over QuickBooks.

  46. October 23, 2011 6:52 AM

    And I would be willing to try another business software, but the problem is with my accountant. They are suing quickbooks, so that’s where I need to stay. 8-(

  47. October 23, 2011 6:55 AM

    Using..not suing..LOL!

    Although maybe they should. 9-)

  48. October 25, 2011 10:02 AM

    Thanks Scott. I have 27 years of personal finance data tied up in Quicken. I also own Quickbooks and have run my business accounts through it for 8 years. So my plan was to import Quicken data into Quickbooks. But that turned out to be harder than it seemed. Quickbooks will import only Quicken 2007 data, and I am still using Quicken 2004. So, before I found out what a lame product it was, I purchased Quicken Essentials. Turns out that Quickbooks won’t import data from Essentials either.

    I have not upgraded to Mac OS X yet, because I have to secure my financial records first. Like you, I need access to my financial history. I thought all database geeks believed that data must be preserved! Not Intuit, apparently. I feel like they are holding my data hostage.

    Anyway, I have been trying to borrow (or buy cheaply) a copy of Quicken 2007, so I can transfer my 2004 records to a 2007 format. Then, I would immediately import those records to a new Quickbooks file. (Anyone out there who’s decided to abandon Intuit want to sell me their disks for Quicken 2007?) I know Quickbooks well. My accountant uses my Qjuickbook files to do my business and personal taxes. So I’d like to consolidate my personal and business accounts.

    If that doesn’t work, and maybe even if it does, I will investigate See Finance and iBank. It would be nice if Apple stepped into the breach.

  49. October 25, 2011 2:22 PM

    @Jeanne

    If I were you I’d forget Quickbooks. I have gone as far as to install VMware Fusion 4 with a Snow Leopard Server virtual machine just for running Quicken 2007. I have tried every alternative including Quickbooks 2012 and they all pale in comparison. SeeFinance was the best, but I think it is written by a single-person company as updates are VERY infrequent and it is missing some really BASIC capability. It was the best of the lot, but believe me if you are going to upgrade to Lion you are going to want VMware with Snow Leopard Server to keep Quicken 2007 (or in your case 2004) up and running.

    Quickbooks 2012 did import my 10+ years of Quicken data, but it made a hash of it because Quickbooks doesn’t support loans! “Oh it’s no problem, just make one account for principal and one for interest and manually compute the amount of principal and interest each month yourself!” Lame beyond words. Oh and Quickbooks can’t manage investments either. Ah, that’s no problem just make some asset accounts and do everything manually yourself! Again, why bother with Quickbooks if that’s the answer? Might as well use QEFM and get something that sucks just as bad for less $.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, but just based on you saying you want to keep 27 years of history I can tell you there are no alternatives. You NEED Quicken if you want to keep that history, especially if the history includes loans or investments.

    That’s The Way It Is.

    -Mike

  50. lutepisc permalink
    November 1, 2011 1:26 PM

    Mike, did Quicken 2007 work “right out of the box” for you on your VM?

    I created a Snow Leopard VM for the sole purpose of running Quicken, so I could upgrade to Lion. But for some reason Quicken appears on my VM as a “package” rather than an application. (If you control-click on Quicken and select “show package contents,” you can see what I see in my VM.) But I have Quicken 2006, so that may be the difference.

    Interestingly, all the Office 2004 applications (Word, Excel, etc.) appear for some reason as Unix executables. Very strange…but they, too, are PPC apps and require Rosetta.

    And yes, I did install Rosetta on my VM, and confirmed that it’s installed.

    Any idea how I can get Quicken to run (and Word, and Excel, and so on)??

    Many thanks,
    Dave

  51. November 1, 2011 4:13 PM

    lutepisc-

    Yes on my VM I just copied Quicken over there and it runs great. I have not yet upgraded my machine to Lion, but I have Snow Leopard Server running in a VMware Fusion 4 VM and it works great.

    I have delayed the Lion upgrade for a bit but Fusion will keep Quicken alive for me when I do upgrade.

    I keep hoping Bill Campbell will decide to honor Steve Jobs by making a decent Quicken for Mac, not that hideous QEFM non-product.

    -Mike

  52. lutepisc permalink
    November 2, 2011 5:32 PM

    Thanks, Mike.

    Since you haven’t upgraded to Lion yet, am I safe to assume that your host system is also Snow Leopard? (Or are you, by any chance, running Snow Leopard guest on another host?) Can you tell me if your vm is SL client or SL server? (Mine’s the former, on a SL host…)

    Best,
    Dave

  53. fnlreader permalink
    November 4, 2011 9:40 AM

    I was 20+ year Quicken user and a member of the beta test group for Quicken Essentials.
    After determining once and for all that Intuit just does not give damn about Mac customers,
    Essentials is *essentially* not worth the money. It is a real downgrade in features compared to Quicken 2007 for Mac and doesn’t come close to offering feature parity with Quicken for Windows. It has a crude interface, weak reporting capability, does not track investments, etc. Unless you have extremely simplistic needs, it is not worth your time or money.

    The best alternatives at this time seem to be iBank and SEE Finance. Both are comparable in terms of a features sets and capabilities. They differ on layout, design, user friendliness, ease of entering data, producing useable reports & graphs, creating budgets, reconciling, tech support, etc. Both are fast and thorough at downloading transactions. SEE does everything iBank can do and, in some ways, does it better and easier. SEE has a lot more pref options which give the user more control over look and feel. SEE’s report feature is stronger than iBank’s. SEE’s Budget feature much stronger than iBank’s.

    Transferring years of data from Quicken to iBank or SEE Finance was not flawless for me. It took days to sort out the errors in account balances. iBank handles transactions that involve transfers between accounts better than SEE. SEE simply ignores transfer data… you lose all of it in the import. And, SEE is a true double entry system. You must be very conscious about entering transfers between accounts. I’m not sure if that is good or bad.

    There are other financial management programs for Mac users… MoneyDance, Moneywell, Fortura Fresh Finance, GnuCash are some. But, they all seem to lack features and/or capability or have a weak user interface. A good number of people seem to like MoneyDance, but I just can’t get it to work well enough for me.

    After using iBank for 11 months, I can say I am confident about my data, but I don’t like all the feature weaknesses (reports, budget, etc.) and time wasting design issues. I’m now running iBank and SEE Finance in parallel. I hope to make a final decision by the end of the year.

  54. November 4, 2011 9:50 AM

    Thanks so much for your feedback. Yeah, I really liked See Finance when I tried it out… especially its ability to handle investments well and its myriad of preferences. But I had 3 issues with See Finance that pushed me over to iBank:
    1. I thought it had an unintuitive interface for editing & adding transactions.
    2. Its double entry system (inability to handle transfers) threw me off on several occasions.
    3. There was no ability to delay a scheduled transaction when it was due. You either had to post it immediately or delete it.

    So I switched over to iBank, but it has its own share of problems. I’ve already reported a bunch of bugs to the IGG Software people, including some serious bugs that result in inaccurate reports and inaccurate searches! It also has almost zero flexibility when it comes to creating reports. It also has some other big problems, too, which I mention in my article above.

  55. fnlreader permalink
    November 4, 2011 10:04 AM

    Good to hear we are virtually on the same page… I hope you continue, as I am, to communicate issues to IGG. I think they are under-staffed and overwhelmed by their growth. They seem to rely a lot on their Forum users to deal with most user issues. The support I’ve received on specific requests has been inadequate to say the least… long delays between emails and useless “boiler plate” responses.

    The more I use SEE, the more I like it. I think it has great potential. And I’ve received excellent tech support for questions I’ve asked.

  56. November 4, 2011 10:33 AM

    Yes, sounds like we’re on the same wavelength. Ah yes, the infamous technical support from IGG Software. I’ve waited up to a month to hear back from them on my iBank problems, and then their answers aren’t even helpful. Many of their tech support people don’t even understand iBank as well as I do. They must be overwhelmed and surely didn’t see this mass exodus from Quicken coming.

    I think See Finance was caught off-guard too or else their program would have been in the Mac App Store by now (which they said is coming soon)… although they are MUCH better with responding to email inquiries, I’m certain they weren’t expecting so many thousands of people to be trying out their software either.

    But in terms of tech support, See Finance wins, hands-down.

  57. fnlreader permalink
    November 4, 2011 11:51 AM

    I assume you have seen the article Adam Berenstain on 10/3/11 comparing iBank, SEE and MoneyDance? I’m curious about your take on his evaluation of SEE vs. iBank. He rates iBank as best in: Editing Transactions, Budgets, Reports & Graphs, iOS integration. It is the overall winner by far in his view. Maybe I don’t see what he sees, but I find iBank’s Budget and Reports features to be very limiting and difficult to use. What’s your view? (I’m not trying to pit you vs. Adam)… just looking for more insight re: these 3 programs.

  58. November 5, 2011 7:39 AM

    Yes my host system is Snow Leopard client, the VMware Fusion 4 environment will only virtualize SL server. But Quicken 2007 runs fine in Fusion 4 so that’s going to be my answer. The other products discussed here (SEE Finance and iBank 4) are so poor in comparison that I just can’t force myself to use them.

  59. November 5, 2011 7:43 AM

    In response to fnlreader: Yes, I think I link to that article above somewhere. Great article. I totally agree with his take on everything. iBank is what I’m currently using, but is has severe limitations and bugs and poor tech support right now.

  60. lutepisc permalink
    November 16, 2011 2:57 PM

    @Michael

    Okay…here’s the answer to my own question. Both Quicken and MS Office have *installers* which require Rosetta. Evidently just copying the apps themselves (or using the apps on your host OS via file sharing from your guest SL OS) isn’t enough. So I dug out my old Quicken install disk, installed a fresh copy on my SL guest, and Voila! It works.

    Then I copied over my Quicken data files from host to guest, and I’m all up to date and good to go.

    I couldn’t find my old MS Office install disk, so it looks like I’ll be saying goodbye to Office. Bon voyage, Office!

  61. November 19, 2011 9:37 AM

    Great news from VMWare! If you still want to run Quicken for Mac on your Lion machine, you can now do that using the new version of VMWare Fusion 4.1!

    VMWare Fusion 4.1 will now let you run normal Snow Leopard (instead of Snow Leopard server) within a virtualized environment on your Lion Mac! So you can keep using Quicken for Mac if you’d like.

    Here’s 2 articles on it:

    http://www.tuaw.com/2011/11/18/vmware-fusion-now-virtualizes-standard-builds-of-mac-os-x-10-5-l/

    http://www.macworld.com/article/163755/2011/11/vmware_fusion_update_lets_users_virtualize_leopard_snow_leopard.html

  62. November 20, 2011 11:40 AM

    I can’t seem to get quicken to work properly under 4.1. The individual transaction window from the calendar doesn’t come up, but quicken thinks it does.

  63. November 20, 2011 12:43 PM

    Interesting! Thanks for the information. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences trying to run Quicken under Fusion 4.1, too.

  64. December 16, 2011 6:37 AM

    Still using IBank 4 scott? How are you finding it..

  65. December 16, 2011 9:05 AM

    Yes, I’m still using iBank 4 and I hate it.

  66. December 16, 2011 1:13 PM

    My solution has been to run Quicken Home & Business for Windows using Crossover (codeweavers.com) as middleware. I started with QHB 2008 and am now up to QHB 2011. I’d certainly prefer a native OSX solution, but at least this gives me everything I’ve always had with Quicken.

  67. January 31, 2012 8:10 PM

    I have both a mac and a pc. As much as I would love to walk away from Intuit, I am wondering if I will simply have an easier time of things if I get Quicken for Windows, rather than some other program for the Mac. I’d love anyone’s thoughts here. And one other piece of pertinent info: I do not need to import any info. I will be starting over from scratch, so the ability to import prior data is not important for my circumstances. Thanks for any thoughts here!

  68. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    February 1, 2012 7:29 AM

    David –
    This was far and away the most difficult decision I faced when we decided to move from a PC to a Mac. Since my frustrations with both the Windows environment and Intuit were a big factor in that decision, I did not want to perpetuate them in the Mac environment. I, therefore, bit the bullet and left both behind.

    I use Moneydance. I’m not crazy about it. There are a lot of features I’ve lost, like tracking Net Worth data from one period to another. What I do have is rigorous, error-free accounting for all of our checking, cash and credit accounts, including tax-related expenses. Note: I do not attempt to track individual investment accounts. I simply input a month-end number for all of those accounts, since they are all located in one place and I can get pretty much anything I need from there.

    So I’ll end this note with a question of my own, what is the best Mac-based Personal Financial Management package out there today?

    Tad

  69. February 1, 2012 7:59 AM

    This post serves to chime in as a reply here and also to followup my previous two posts. To recap, I find the Mac Quicken alternatives simply unacceptable (see previous posts for details). Also, I simply must have the Quicken Bill Pay service; the advantages of doing everything in one place are huge. Lastly, my aging Core2 MacBook Pro just doesn’t cut it anymore for running Parallels and Windows. So my remedy was to by a new PC laptop just for finances and run Quicken for Windows on it. I have been doing this now for about 3 months, and I’m finally at peace again. I’ve brought order back from chaos.

  70. February 1, 2012 8:18 AM

    I’m now completely fed up with iBank, as it just has way too many bugs in it… and it doesn’t even have the REPORTING CAPABILITY that Quicken has! I can’t even do my end-of-the-year reporting in Quicken! And the lack of bill pay in iBank is a huge deal-breaker for so many people.

    The good news is that Intuit has announced that they are going to be making Quicken 2007 Lion-compatible sometime this spring, so all of us can thankfully migrate back to Quicken 2007.

  71. February 17, 2012 7:51 PM

    Scott, I have been having numerous issues with iBank as well. I mostly like the application, but for some reason iBank keeps changing my balances to be incorrect after syncing with my iPhone, and I haven’t found any solution.

    For example, assume that my checking account has a balance of $1200. After adding a $35 transaction and syncing with iPhone, the balance changes to be $1325, which is incorrect. At least with this bug, iBank shows the incorrect balance on my Mac and iPhone. However other times, the iPhone balance will be plus or minus $10 whatever balance is shown on the Mac. Re-syncing has no effect, and does not bring the balances into sync. This has happened to me several times over the past year that I’ve been using it, and the only solution I’ve found is to e-mail the iBank file to myself from my iPhone (if the iPhone is correct), and start over using that file. When the Mac shows the correct balance, I just wipe out all of the accounts in iBank for iPhone and start over from scratch on the iPhone side.

    Have you experienced this issue as well? If so, have you found any resolution, either on your own or with IGG? Thanks for any insight.

  72. February 18, 2012 10:43 AM

    I’ve never tried syncing with iBank. I can barely trust their Mac product, I would never trust their iOS product nor any sort of iBank syncing attempt. They’re just not a good enough company to master that sort of tricky programming… IGG Software is not a detail-oriented company.

    I’ve also switched back to Quicken and am no longer using iBank.

    On my iOS device, I use the outstanding PocketMoney app to enter transactions on-the-go, then I export these new transactions to a QIF file and import them into Quicken from there. (I was doing the same thing with iBank, although iBank always screwed up the imports in some fashion.)

    I determined a long time ago that I don’t need to have my current up-to-the-minute account balances on my iOS device… I just need a quick way to type in transactions “on the go” and then get them onto my Mac later. I export/import my mobile transactions once a week into Quicken, and everything works great for me.

  73. February 23, 2012 8:12 PM

    Wow… This site is such a great find. I have been wringing my hands over the loss of Quicken for months now, still no closer to a replacement, but its nice to know this site is here. I almost went with iBank, glad I didn’t.

    Intuit really does hate Mac users, and I have grown to hate Intuit. I suggest a petition to oust the blaggard Bill Campbell from Apples board.

  74. March 6, 2012 8:22 AM

    Scott, thank you for the post. I Googled “Quicken for Mac SUCKS” in my search bar after much screaming out loud and landed here. I’ve learned so much from reading what you posted as well as comments from others, although, a little too late.

    I’m not a computer guru … just a middle-aged gal barely making due with the fast pace of technology. I’ve been a Quicken user for basic personal finance stuff since the mid-90s and a Mac user since 2008. I suffered through Quicken for Mac 2007, compared to how it worked on my old Dell, and “updated” it last March thinking that it would be the bomb four years later. I thought it was my lack of knowledge with computers and software when I couldn’t make the NEW Quicken Essentials work, so I just continued using my 2007 version. Then, I bought a new MacBook Pro a couple of months ago and converted my old Mac to it just last week. Nobody bothered to tell me until after wiping out the info on my old Mac that you can’t run Quicken 2007 with Lion. The Apple Techs told me that I would have to contact Quicken support to get it up and running again. I did … and what a freaking nightmare! After two hours on the phone with someone from another country who couldn’t instruct their way out of a paper bag, and then a couple of more hours after that, I FINALLY came to the conclusion I can’t get there from here! Seventeen years worth of data gone!! It just makes me want to throw up!

    I’m not sure what I’m going to do now. However, I feel a wee bit better venting and knowing that I’m not the only frustrated one. By the way, this is my first post EVER to a blog or anything of the like. My final thoughts still remain … Quicken for Mac SUCKS!

    Lisa – Montgomery, Texas

  75. March 30, 2012 11:24 AM

    It’s been nearly a month since the last comment… I’m wondering whether those that have been testing quicken for lion on a lionized system have been finding it satisfactory, at least for the time being… ?

  76. March 30, 2012 11:34 AM

    Yes, I have been using the new Quicken 2007 for Lion for the last 3 weeks and it works PERFECTLY!! And… it is sooo much faster than the old Quicken for 2007. I have not had a single issue with it, and I love it. I highly recommend the newly-revamped Quicken 2007 for Lion.

  77. March 30, 2012 1:03 PM

    I agree with Scott I had a decade plus of data in the old Quicken 2007 and it went flawlessly into the new Quicken 2007 for Lion. Works great, FAR FAR better than alternatives like SEE Finance and iBank. THIS is the lifeline we should have had last summer when Lion was introduced. I held off “upgrading” to Lion until Intuit released this product. I still think Lion is not a great update, sort of Apple’s Vista. I am hoping some of the Lion issues (battery life, SLOWNESS) that are problems on my MacBook Pro get fixed in Mountain Lion.

  78. April 21, 2012 11:11 AM

    I am running 10.411 using a mac mini and Quicken 2006 that came with it. I never used it, opting to use my Quicken Home/Business on my aging pc – but for some reason made the change last year. I use it for personal and also small business of renting a couple cottages in VT seasonally, and a couple year round houses near me. Not much of business need, but the HB was nice. Anyway, Qucken 2006 screws up downloading txf transactions from my bank all the time and wondering if I can update to the new Quicken 2007. Any thoughts. Unfortunately, A new computer is not in my budget.

  79. April 21, 2012 4:43 PM

    I was a lifelong PC user until 3 weeks ago when I bought my first macbook air. This is hands down the nicest computer I have ever had and my experience has been awesome…until however I bought Quicken Essentials for the Mac.

    Shame on me for not checking the fine print and trusting that Intuit would include all the same features as Quicken for Windows. No bill pay is a deal breaker for me. The product is horrible at matching transactions downloaded to manual entries. And categories I delete magically re-appear, which makes it impossible to classify transactions appropriately into categories which is an essential functions to track actual expenses vs. budgets accurately.

    I know that Quicken 2007 is available (for another $15 or something) and works fine, but is anyone else having a fundamental problem supporting Intuit?

    It appears that MoneyDance is the only alternative program that does bill pay. Has anyone been using this long term and can share their experience with it?

    I want to make sure I don’t get burned again after being abandoned by MS Money’s demise. When MS Money went away, I tried Mint.com, which is completely inadequate. Then I switched to quicken for the PC, which worked but wasn’t as good as MS Money. I think I am having abandonment issues….

  80. April 22, 2012 6:01 AM

    Kurt buy Quicken 2007 for Lion. Intuit will give you a refund on QEFM if you contact their customer service e-mail and tell them what a profoundly disappointing piece of junk it is (I speak from experience). They should be ashamed to release a product like QEFM.

    I have been using Quicken 2007 for Lion and it works great, same as Quicken 2007 which is pretty good.

  81. michaelpscott permalink
    July 3, 2012 1:05 PM

    Update on Quicken. I FINALLY got around to installing Lion and with it the Lion compatible version of Quicken 2007 (!!!). It was a seamless process and all worked as planned.

    HOWEVER, in Quicken 2007 (Mac version, anyway) you were given the option to backup your data files to Mobile Me. Of course, Mobile Me has disappeared as of 6/30/12 and when I inquired of Quicken about whether there would be a fix so that files could be backed up to the iCloud … you know what’s coming … the answer was NO.

    And furthermore, they “think” the fix of Lion will work with Mountain Lion, but don’t expect a lot of computer OS developments in Quicken because they think their future rests in mobile devices and applications.

    Sigh.

    Now maybe, somebody else will get busy and make a good, solid, feature-rich, money management program that works cross all the Apple platforms.

    Just wanted to update y’all.

    Mike Scott

  82. July 3, 2012 1:16 PM

    Yeah, Quicken 2007 with Lion compatibility is fantastic!

    Instead of backing up to MobileMe, just backup to Dropbox instead. That’s what I do, and it works great! Instant off-site backup!

  83. July 3, 2012 1:18 PM

    Also, I’m confident that Quicken will continue to work in Mountain Lion without a problem. All they needed to do for Lion-compatibility was drop the PowerPC code to make it fully Intel-native, which it now is.

  84. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    July 5, 2012 4:16 AM

    Has anyone looked at FinanceWorks, Intuit’s web-based product that many of us could access through our banks? I gather that it is a Quicken look alike. I am not interested in using financial management software to track our investment portfolio, but I do want to manage our cash, checking and credit card accounts as well as get a comprehensive view of our net worth and how it is changing over time.
    Tad

  85. February 15, 2013 12:02 PM

    Just purchased first iMac and was shocked that there was no quicken alternative for my 2012 Home and Business program!! Sorry, but using old 2007 version is not a good alternative. Looked at other options mentioned here but they are all a poor compromise. Proud owner of iPad iPhone and MacBook but returning iMac today sad day.

  86. February 15, 2013 12:11 PM

    Personally, I wouldn’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. As you already know from owning a MacBook, the Mac is a far superior computing experience than a PC. So if you need to run Quicken for Windows, I would simply install VMWare Fusion & Windows on your Mac, and use that to run Quicken for Windows. It’s such a seamless and fast experience.

  87. michaelpscott permalink
    February 15, 2013 2:52 PM

    Lydia and Scott,

    Does anyone know whether the “fix” Quicken made for Snow Leopard ended up being able to run (Q2007) in Mountain Lion?

    Here’s a response I got to an inquiry if there was anything new on the horizon:

    Hello,

    There’s a new version of Mac in the pipeline, but it will be based on Quicken Essentials, not 2007. The code base for 2007 is antiquated and its not really compatible with modern Mac systems. Its days are numbered and no further releases are planned.

    There’s a series of updates on the Quicken Forum from the Mac Product Manager, Marcus Aiu, talking about the development of the new Mac version. You can find all his posts at https://qlc.intuit.com/users/92472/asked_questions

    The good news is that we’re going to add some investment features to QEM, although they won’t be on par with 2007 initially. Feel free to post any feedback or comments you have on Marcus’ updates. I know he reads all the comments, so it’s the best way to get your feedback directly to the guy making the next Quicken Mac.

    I guess the answer lies with Marcus Aiu

    Best,

    Mike

  88. michaelpscott permalink
    February 15, 2013 2:58 PM

    Well, that link doesn’t quite work. This does: https://qlc.intuit.com/users/92472-quicken-marcus

  89. February 15, 2013 4:04 PM

    Yes, Quicken 2007 works just fine on Mountain Lion.

    That response from Intuit makes me so INCREDIBLY ANGRY!!

    And they are such liars, because “antiquated code base” isn’t allowed to run on Lion & Mountain Lion, hence the problems with Quicken to begin with. Now that it’s been updated for Lion & Mountain Lion compatibility, it’s considered “modern code base”.

    Then again, what else — other than lies — can we expect from a company that is a Microsoft partner and whose loyalties lie to Microsoft?

    And even when do update Quicken Essentials, they gleefully admit that it will still only pale in comparison to the features of Quicken 2007, which already pales in comparison to all the Windows versions of Quicken.

    The best thing for all of us would be for Microsoft to die off (which they’re already doing), and then hopefully, Intuit will follow.

  90. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    August 30, 2013 3:56 PM

    Scott –
    I’m back. (See my initial 10/16/2011 post above.)

    What’s the chance of your writing an updated review of the Personal Finance software for the Mac?

    I have been using Moneydance for the last 3 years. As I indicated above, it meets my bare bones requirements, namely tax-related accounting. But it is miserable in other areas: 1) It’s reports lack consistent formats and are thoroughly unprofessional. 2) It cannot generate a Net Worth report covering multiple points in time. 3) It’s budgeting features are limited.

    I would like to find something better.

    It is widely believed that there is no personal finance software for the Mac that is competitive with the offerings available on PC. I sure haven’t found one. But is that really true? Whatever the truth, that perception creates a very real obstacle standing in the way of users switching from the one environment to the other.

    Set aside the option of running something like Quicken Home and Business in a virtual Windows environment, are there viable OS X and/or iOS-based options available for Mac users today?

    This is a hot topic. I guarantee you will have readership!

    I hope you will agree to take this on.

    Tad

  91. August 31, 2013 8:43 PM

    Ha! I don’t think the Mac personal finance landscape has changed much since I wrote this article. I’ve been using Quicken for Lion, which runs just fine under Mountain Lion, and I’ve been very happy. (For Mac BUSINESS accounting, AccountEdge is outstanding, but it doesn’t do PERSONAL finances nor investments at all… so it’s not an option for us.)

    Regarding iOS: I have always used the excellent PocketMoney, which lets me export to a QIF file which I can then import into Quicken for Mac. Sadly, though, the creator of PocketMoney died… his nephew has taken over the company, so hopefully he’ll be able to continue updating the app into the future.

    Outside of Quicken for Mac, the only real native Mac options are Moneydance or iBank. If Quicken for Mac hadn’t been revived by Intuit, I would’ve switched over to iBank because it was the most full-featured (despite its hundreds of bugs).

    And of course, you could always install Windows on your Mac, but nobody wants to do that.

  92. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    August 31, 2013 9:49 PM

    Scott –
    You are great! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I assume you are talking about Quicken 2007. It looks like it is no longer sold or supported by Intuit. I wish any one of the three: Quicken 2007, Moneydance and iBank had more reassuring user reviews on sites like Amazon and CNet. Softpedia’s look better, but there are no individual reviews to read. Should I be looking elsewhere?
    Tad

  93. August 31, 2013 9:53 PM

    Quicken 2007 can be purchased on this page: https://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/quicken-2007-osx-lion.jsp
    I mean, it’s disgusting that we have to use a 7-year old product, but at least it is fully-featured, it is bug-free, and it works 100% perfectly.

  94. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    September 1, 2013 7:43 AM

    P.S. It really is not reasonable for any of us who have not been Quicken 2007 users to adopt a software package that is 6 years old and has a record of lagging operating system upgrades.

  95. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    September 2, 2013 9:46 AM

    Scott –
    Having invested a fair amount of time over the weekend evaluating alternative personal finance programs for the Mac, I have concluded that Moneydance is the least unsatisfactory alternative to the Windows versions of Quicken. Its dual-entry accounting engine is totally reliable, and the initial migration of .qif files is reasonably straight forward, if one follows Moneydance’s instructions. After reading user reviews on several sites, I have found that the same cannot be said for iBank, SEE Finance or Money (Jumsoft), the leading options I was considering.

    And yet the flaws of Moneydance that I have outlined in the past are not going away.

    I have, therefore, decided to explore migrating to QuickBooks, since it is core accounting and reporting functions that I need and not investment tracking. This will not be a minor undertaking.

    First, is it doable, and do you have any additional words for the wise?

    Thanks,

    Tad

  96. September 2, 2013 10:09 AM

    Dual entry accounting is not personal finances, so I’m not sure why you were even looking at Quicken, iBank, or Moneydance, which are all personal finance & investment programs. If you are really looking for dual entry accounting, then you need a dual entry accounting package. But why would you even consider using the terrible & lackluster QuickBooks which has tons of missing features, especially when it comes from the same terrible company that screwed over Mac users with Quicken?! As I mentioned numerous times on this page, including the original post and mentioning it once again yesterday, the best dual entry accounting package for Mac is AccountEdge Pro, and has been for the last 20 years.

  97. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    September 2, 2013 10:26 AM

    Scott –
    If I could find a reliable personal finance package without the flaws I keep encountering in my research, I would not have considered the accounting option. I will look at AccountEdge Pro. How is it in terms of ease of use, and is the migration from a .qif-based environment doable? I’d hate to walk away from even the truncated data set I moved to 4 years ago when I began using Moneydance.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Tad

  98. September 2, 2013 10:41 AM

    I don’t use AccountEdge but all of my clients do to run their businesses. They all love it tremendously. It’s one of the best Mac apps ever. It comes with a free trial for you to check out. It also lets you import your .qif file. http://www.accountedge.com

  99. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    September 2, 2013 10:51 AM

    Thanks very much, Scott. I’ll check it out.

    Tad

  100. tadcrawfordmv permalink
    September 7, 2013 8:30 PM

    I’ve been kicking the can down the road.

    I learned yesterday that AccountEdge supports only 2 Fiscal Years at a time and requires the user to mothball in backup mode all previous years. As a result, looking at trends is pretty cumbersome. This also means that an asset account that records the purchase and closing costs of one’s home and all subsequent capital improvements will not be supported.

    With some real reluctance, I am going to look at the Mac version of QuickBooks, but I am leaning toward staying with Moneydance and bugging the support staff to address concerns I have. I have already found a solution to the print output problem, thanks to a great intervention by one of Moneydance’s technicians.

    I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you have any fresh thoughts for me, let me know.

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