The New Quicken is Minty Fresh

By  |  Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm

You don’t often hear a tech exec responsible for a product say that he hates anything about it, but Intuit’s Aaron Patzer is a special case–his dislike of Quicken spurred him to found the excellent online finance site Mint. When Intuit bought Mint last year, Patzer ended being responsible for both Mint and Quicken. The new version of Quicken, Quicken 2011, is the first one to reflect his influence, and it certainly shows the influence of the more modern Mint.

Quicken’s interface, which hadn’t changed much in a very long time, now has a cleaner, Webbier look, with conveniences unaccountably missing until now, such as the ability to sort transactions by clicking on columns. Setting up a new account involves three screens (down from ten), and 12,000 banks are now supported (up from 5,000). The old Quicken categories for purchases have been scrapped in favor of the more precise ones used on Mint, which Patzer told me are 90 percent accurate.

Given that Mint is free and Quicken remains boxed software you pay for–the Premier edition is $89.99–why would anyone who wasn’t allergic to Web-based services pay for it? Patzer told me that Quicken’s investment-related features remain a lot deeper. It can do fancy math such as capital-gains calculations and stock-lot accounting, for instance. New investment features include model mutual-fund portfolios and easier rebalancing.

Quicken 2011, which is now available, is a Windows-only product: Mac users are still stuck with Quicken Essentials, a different, lesser product which doesn’t have online bill pay built in. Patzer told me that the Mac edition will retain its own look and feel, but that Intuit plans to close the gap with Windows by giving it the major features which it still lacks.

 
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6 Comments For This Post

  1. SirFatty Says:

    "..why would anyone who wasn’t allergic to Web-based services pay for it? "

    Because I would NEVER put my personal finances in the "cloud". Reverse the question, why would anyone trust their personal finances to a free, web based solution that they have no control over, and cannot control who can get at that data.

  2. Yanni Says:

    This is preeeeeettyy! Mutal-fund portfolios – even sexier.

  3. quickbrownfox Says:

    Intuit lost me several years ago when they loaded up Turbo Tax with excessive layers of security, making it damn near impossible to use the product. I changed tax software immediately. I have no confidence in Intuit's ability to produce a product that isn't buggy, be it Quicken or Mint. Regarding the wisdom of placing one's personal financial data in the cloud, I'm with Sir Fatty and Joe C.

  4. retiredCPA Says:

    I'm with the other non-cloudees above. Even though a potload of personal data is up there, I'm happier with a PC based approach with good security (Kaspersky)

    I'm still using an older version of Quicken. It works ok for my needs, and since my business uses Quick Books Pro the learning curve between the two programs is pretty simple. Dunno if I will upgrade. Pretty is nice, but I've already paid for the old one. : ) Quicken will have to make me want it with real upgrade in utility.

    Being an old school CPA I'm not one to download transactions and use them as gospel – I like to reconcile my data to the institution. Takes a little longer, but I'm more likely to catch bank and credit card errors that way.

  5. Muay Thai Says:

    Exactly, I can't believe people actually fall for this. Muay Thai | Muay Thai Kick | Martial Arts for Children

  6. iphone 5 pictures Says:

    I just go with Mint.com. It has all the features I need and is in fact FREE. I don't do any heavy duty stuff, but for basic personal accounting it is perfect.