Are you looking for the latest version of Quicken? Here is my review of the newest version, Quicken 2012. Downloads of Quicken 2012 are available today.
Note: This is a long article containing an in-depth review of the new version of Quicken. If you are just interested in the giveaway of Quicken 2010 Deluxe, scroll to the bottom of this article.
It took me a long time to warm up to Intuit Quicken. When I first saw the software in the early or mid 1990s, I wasn’t very interested. That’s not the software’s fault; at that time I most likely did not see the need for tracking money I did not have. When I finally realized I needed to build some control of my personal financial situation, I first looked for free solutions.
After several months of spending less than I was earning and tracking my progress using freeware, I evaluated Microsoft Money alongside Quicken. Money looked nice and ran smooth while Quicken was clunky and unattractive, so I stuck with Money for a few years. After some time, I came to realize that Money’s features for dealing with investments were not as comprehensive as I would like, and for some reason it interpreted the downloaded data from my 401(k) incorrectly. I decided to give Quicken another shot.
While Quicken wasn’t perfect, it worked better with the transaction data I downloaded from the banks and offered configurable reports. So I stuck with it, and I still use a desktop version of Quicken almost every day. I receive questions about why I haven’t switched to popular Web 2.0 applications like Mint.com (review here). These websites offer interesting features, particularly those powered by community aggregate information, but they lack some of the basic investing functionality that I get from the desktop version of Quicken.
Quicken 2010 review, first impressions
I received Quicken 2010 Home and Business in the mail yesterday and gave it a test drive tonight.
The upgrade from Quicken 2009, including downloading updates to the software online, took about ten minutes. Tens of thousands of transaction records needed to be converted to the new version, and this took the bulk of the time for the upgrade.
After the upgrade was complete, the software brought me to Quicken.com to register. Although I am already registered at Intuit, I was required to provide my information again before using all of the software’s functionality. Although required, the registration process was quick.
I was impressed with the new version’s look and feel. The interface is redesigned to be cleaner, and switching from one page to another within the software seems to move faster. One of my biggest complaints about Quicken has been its sluggish display but this seems to be greatly improved.
Quicken 2010 opens to a new main screen with three horizontal sections. The top includes a pie chart describing your spending within categories and the middle of the screen lists your anticipated expenses.
The focus here is on your cash flow: how much is left in your spending accounts at the end of the month. Here is the top half of my screen. Click on the thumbnail to view the image full-size (and note the exceptionally large tax expense thanks to quarterly estimated payments).
The bottom section of this screen is new. According to Quicken, it would take 5 minutes to begin tracking spending goals. I began creating spending goals, which seem to form a softer style of a budget. Unfortunately, because I use sub-categories, Quicken’s “average monthly spending” in categories like “Auto,” “Dining,” and “Entertainment” were inaccurate. As a result, the “suggested monthly goals” were not appropriate. I solved this by choosing my own categories, such as “Auto:Fuel” rather than “Auto.”
After assigning several categories to watch, here are my results so far for October.
I also like the new Net Worth tab. Here is what the top half of my Net Worth page looks like.
Downloading data from banks
The “Direct Connect” feature of Quicken, in which you store your bank accounts’ passwords in the software and send Quicken on a mission to download your latest transaction data, has never run smoothly for me. In Quicken 2009, this process would occasionally lock the software, requiring me to kill the process through the Windows Task Manager. Furthermore, this downloading should be a background process. However, whenever you initiate the data update, you are preventing from performing almost every other task in the software.
Quicken 2010 has not fixed this completely. During the update process in the new version, Quicken will prevent you from moving around the software.
What to look forward to
All things considered, this seems to be a good upgrade with my limited experience so far. But like most yearly, incremental software updates, there is not a lot to justify buying the software if you already have a recent version of Quicken.
The best news from Intuit is not reflected in Quicken 2010. As a result of Intuit’s pending acquisition of Mint.com, the CEO of Mint.com, Aaron Patzer, will be leading the development of the desktop version of Quicken in addition to the online personal financial management software. I expect future versions of Quicken will look slicker and work faster as Intuit leverages the team and the talent behind Mint.com.
Latest prices for Quicken 2010 versions
Before you buy, consider trying to win the giveaway for Quicken 2010 Deluxe. Instructions for entering the giveaway are below. Free is always a better option. Also, Intuit often offers discounts. Right now the software is offered for full price only. But keep watching Consumerism Commentary to find out when new discounts are available.
If you’re a Mac user, hang on until February 2010. A new version of Quicken for Mac will be released next year, and Intuit says the will be a major upgrade from the most recent release. Alternatively, you can run software on the Mac that emulates Windows and allows you to run these updated versions of Quicken.
See the Quicken 2011 review and giveaway for a chance to win the latest edition of Quicken’s desktop software.
|Quicken Home and Business 2013||Buy CD-ROM $84.99||Download $84.99|
|Quicken Premier 2013||Buy CD-ROM $79.99||Download $79.99|
|Quicken Deluxe 2013||Buy CD-ROM $54.99||Download $54.99|
|Quicken Starter Edition 2013||Buy CD-ROM $39.95||Download $39.95|
|Quicken Rental Property Manager 2013||Buy CD-ROM $159.99||Download $159.99|
|Quicken WillMaker Plus 2013||Buy CD-ROM $48.48||Download $69.99|
|Quicken Essentials for Mac 2010||Buy CD-ROM $32.67||n/a|
Intuit sent me two copies of Quicken 2010 Deluxe to give away to readers. Here is how you can win one of these copies. Each of the following will provide you with one chance to win, so you have a maximum of three chances.
- Leave a comment on this post.
- Become a fan of Consumerism Commentary on Facebook and let me know in your comment below.
- Mention and link to this review on Twitter. Your tweet should say:
Pls RT! Review and giveaway: Quicken 2010 from @luke_landes! http://bit.ly/RjD3y
You must be over 18 years old and must have an address in the United States in order to qualify. The winners will be chosen using the random number generator at random.org. Thanks and good luck! The giveaway will end Friday night, October 23, at 11:59 pm.
Update: The giveaway has ended and the winners will be announced shortly.