Tag Archives: Quicken

A Jaded Look at Home Financial Software

Heath H89 computerI started doing personal finances (especially taxes) on a venerable Heath H89 I picked up back in 1980. I graduated to Macintax in ’85 using a borrowed Mac 512. I started online banking in about ’89 with CheckFree software, eventually migrated to “Managing Your Money,” and then to Quicken (who probably absorbed CheckFree’s consumer services). After that, I bounced between Macs and PCs using various versions of Quicken.

My desktop is now a Macintosh but I continue to use PC Quicken.  I tried to break free last month, and failed.

Despite having to migrate every few years, I’ve achieved a few things pretty consistently with my financial software. It isn’t everything everyone wants. I do enough to keep me atop finances and tax reporting requirements.

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iBank and Moneydance fail

iBankI’ve been looking for a substitute for PC Quicken that I could run on my Mac. I figured, “How hard can it be to create something with the features I need?” Too hard, I guess. Quicken’s own Mac version falls short in a lot of ways, too, but that’s another story.

I tried Moneydance. It doesn’t download all of the accounts I need.

I tried iBank. It came a lot closer, especially if you’re willing to pay for their “direct access to banks” subscription. However, they haven’t figured out what it means to reconcile an account without  a paper statement.

How 20th century of them.

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Snow Leopard Upgrade – Thumbs Up (Mostly)

I finally upgraded my Mac Pro to Snow Leopard. I give it a “thumbs up” because it was a smooth, trouble free process. It took about an hour, and required almost no input from me. [UPDATED 6/29, 6/30]

Apple Snow Leopard

Aside from a stability improvement, I saw no immediate, significant changes either good or bad. That was great. Most things worked, including VMWare. I didn’t lose any functionality, either through omission, or through “GUI improvements” that emphasize more common activities at the expense of less common, but still critical, activities.

My biggest gripe is that the Apple “Pro” applications like Aperture were broken by the upgrade. I didn’t find this immediately, since I don’t use Aperture every day. But as soon as I ran Software Update, it fixed the problem. A lame arrangement, IMHO, but at least I didn’t have to go searching for the fix.

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Uncoordinated Companies

I’d prefer to work with only one company when doing a particular type of thing. It seems somewhat convenient that Turbotax and Quicken both belong to Intuit, and I do payroll through Intuit as well.

So, when it came time to do Form 1099 filing, I tried to do it through Intuit Payroll. Well, guess what: Intuit Payroll doesn’t do 1099s. Dumb, perhaps, but true. So I ask Google for advice and find myself to something with the uninspiring name of “eFileMyForms.Com.”

The site seems to work fine. The hilarious part is that a couple of days later I get an e-mail from Intuit – they too offer that service. As far as I can tell, though, the only way to find it is if they e-mail you the link. (Or you can click here).

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