Is Quicken 2004 really a bad Mac application?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Jennifer, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Jennifer macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2004
    I was about to order Quicken 2004 for Mac when I came across some really negative consumer reviews on Amazon and other sites.

    Is it just rumor that Quicken 2004 for Mac is bad or is it really bad?

    If not Quicken, then can anyone recommend some alternative popular or highly rated personal finance applications for purchase or free download?

  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Well, according to this site they have patched some (but not all) the problems people reported about the initial release of Quicken 2004. If you're not upgrading from a previous version (and therefore don't have tons of data which might get destroyed), you might want to try it--there's a 60-day money back guarantee.

    It seems to me that Quicken users are about as picky as they come. I've used Quicken for years without any problems. I'm using the 2002 version, though--it does everything I need, so I see no reason to upgrade.

    Other than business accounting software, there really isn't any other home finance software out there for the Mac.
  3. chubad macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2004
    Frozen Wasteland
    I use Quicken 2004 on a daily basis and have had zero problems. I don't use much of the stock tracker / online features but for me it's just fine.
    People tend to only post reviews if they have a problem so I read the reviews with a grain of salt. Also on Amazon I think that competitors sometimes post negative reviews and then recommend their product.
    As with any software, depending on your system and what else is installed, your milage may vary.
  4. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I happy to read your review chubad. I'm currently running Quicken 2002 via Classic. I want to finish up data from 2003. Have purchased the 2004. I also have greatly enjoyed Quicken. Fell in love with it at MacWorld Boston 1989, and have enjoyed it ever since.
  5. memphismac macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    I'm upgraded from 2002 (running in Classic) to 2004 and haven't had any problems.
  6. superwagon macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2004
    I have 2004 and it works great. The only problem I have had is with my Ameritrade account. The Mac version does not support nearly as many banks and online brokerages. You can check out the list of banks and brokerages available on their website.

    I realize this is not a "problem" with this version of the software; its just the platform. I really enjoy Quicken and think it's great. Now I just wish my bank supported it's online features.
  7. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    I can't speak to Quicken 2004, but my wife and I use Quicken 2002 (native OS X) for all of our finances. It's an ok program. I believe its primary problem is that it is ported from classic Mac OS, which was ported from Windows, and Intuit clearly doesn't care enough to make Quicken a proper Mac OS X application. Quicken 2002 works most of the time, and when it breaks, I can usually find a way to work around it (sometimes after wasting several frustrating hours). The new features in 2003 and 2004 are slim and none (ooh, they support a few more banks, whoopee), and their shoddy OS X support in 2002 doesn't give me much hope that they would have changed this in newer versions.

    What problems have I had? Numerous, and unfortunately many I've forgotten since finding workarounds. But here is what I can think of...

    • Quicken is clearly built as a single-user application from the classic Mac OS days, when there was no concept of multiple users. As of Quicken 2002, they hadn't bothered to fix this. It installs itself into /Applications (which is where I want it, fair enough) and then assumes only the admin user who installed it will ever run it. To use it as a non-admin user, or from other accounts, you have to go and change the permissions within the Quicken folder. You also need to setup the data file to be group writable if multiple people are updating it (my wife and myself, for example).
    • Early on, I had numerous occasions where the data file simply got corrupted. Sometimes you couldn't add new transactions, other times it just wouldn't load. Usually the only solution was to export accounts to QIF files and re-import them. The problem is that QIF files do not include all of the data you would want to keep!
    • Sometimes transactions vanish. Usually closing the window and reopening it brings them back.
    • Numerous random crashes and lockups. Good thing they save to disk every time a transaction is entered.
    • The data file uses the resource fork to store much of its informaiton. Fine if you know this, but I was doing automated backups of Quicken data using the unix 'tar' command, which does not pick up the resource fork. I only found out months later when I needed to restore from a backup, and it didn't work! Re-entering all the information up to that point was loads of fun. I now use 'ditto' to backup.
    • A ton of little nitpicks about the user interface. It's pretty bad - anything from not recognizing the scroll wheel to unintuitive (from a company called Intuit? heh) layout of common functions and commands. I've been beaten down and gotten used to it by now, but I recall getting so frustrated early on every time I wanted to do something that should be incredibly simple.

    Anyway, after reading the reviews on Amazon, I'm glad we didn't bother to upgrade. It sounds like at best, it would have been the same old crap, and at worst, it could have been a nightmare. Unfortunately Quicken is just about the only game in town for personal finances on a Mac. Intuit is getting extremely lazy and it really shows in their latest versions of Quicken. I'd love to see Apple do something like iMoney (or myMoney?) and basically do to Quicken what they did to Adobe Premiere. Quicken is great when it works well, but it just feels unstable to the point that you have to be very careful not to upset it!

    Anyway, my $0.02 on an older version. Those who have Quicken 2004 can feel free to say that it fixes everything and is insanely great (since I don't have it) but somehow I kind of doubt it. :rolleyes:
  8. Gerg macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2003
    I'm a single-user computer user. Just me. I upgraded to Quicken 2004 pretty much as soon as they released it, so I could run it in OS X natively. I use it for loans, credit cards, banks accounts, etc. I don't use any investment features, or frankly any of the other bells and whistles.

    The only problem I ever encountered (and I upgraded from a previous version) was that after reconciling an account, Quicken would crash. I could count on it to crash every time I clicked "OK." It was pretty funny, actually. Well, at least predictable!

    Well, lo and behold, they posted the patch/update a few weeks ago, and I've had zero problems since then.

    I'm surprised to hear that it's getting bad reviews. I've always liked it (have been using it since Quicken SE/97), and frankly don't know of another comparable product.

    But, that's just me!:D
  9. AJC macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2004
    You may wish to give Moneydance a trial run before making a decision. The program does pretty much everything that Quicken does, the developers are very responsive, and the program costs significantly less. I would not say that Quicken is a bad app but my biggest complaint about Intuit is that they are slow to respond or non-responsive when bugs are identified. The Mac version is definitely lacking when compared to the Windows version. I use Quicken 2004 for Mac and after the latest update I can no longer manually clear transactions. Instead, I have to go through a convoluted "pseudo-reconcile" maneuver just to clear a transaction (don't ask!). There are other bugs. I am just about ready to completely switch to Moneydance.
  10. agentmouthwash macrumors regular


    Aug 15, 2003
    Quicken 2004 works great for me! You just have to download the update
  11. Jennifer thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Thank you for your replies . . .

    Based on your kind feedback to my question, I purchased Quicken 2004 a little reluctantly. I am comforted by the fact that there is a 60 money back guarantee.

    I suppose I'll be able to answer my own question shortly.

    Thank you again,
  12. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    Let us know what you think. I just bought a PB and would consider purchasing it if I hear good things. Thanks.
  13. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I've been using 2003 version. Seems to have developed a nasty crash habit in panther. And, yes, it has some problems, but overall it's a pretty good program.

    The reason for pickiness is that with financial stuff, screwups are really costly. With banks charging $30 for bounced checks, and the IRS penalizing even more stiffly for botched taxes, losing data really isn't acceptable. It's not like a photo that you can't get the red-eye out of--it's data-heavy and critical.

    So, I'd say buy it but recognize there are a few problems that may show up, and hope that Quicken improves them eventually.
  14. scottrish macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2004
    Poor support for transaction downloads

    Thank you for giving me a thread to rant on!
    I used Quicken 2000/2001 under Windows and was able to download account activity easily.
    I switched to the Mac about 3 years ago and was extremely disappointed in the level of support for financial institutions that the Mac version provides.
    There are something like 30 different brokerages supported on the Windows version and only 2 on the Mac version.
    There has been no improvement in this respect in the two versions that I have purchased (2003 and 2004).
    As a s/w developer myself I cannot understand why the Mac version can't use the same comms protocols and file formats as the Windows version. Why they would even want to support two different codebases for transaction downloads is beyond me.
    If there was an alternative I would vote with my money but on the Mac that simply isn't an option.

Share This Page