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Quicken Financial Life for Mac: Rebirth of Quicken for Mac

This article was written by in Software. 37 comments.


I am not a Mac user, so until recently I was unaware that Intuit’s Quicken offerings for Mac are below standard in comparison to Intuit’s similar products designed for computers running Microsoft Windows. It looks like the inferior software is getting a much-needed rewrite from scratch and a new name, “Quicken Financial Life for Mac.”

This should be good news for a number of unhappy customers.

Unfortunately, even this new product will not have the same features as Quicken 2009 for Windows. Like Quicken Online (review here), Quicken Financial Life for Mac will focus on cash flow without sophisticated features for tracking investments.

The new version of the software will provide basic information about your investments, however. Here is a screenshot of an investment summary.

Quicken Financial Life for Mac Screenshot

Here are some interesting items to note, according to the product’s FAQ:

The software will be released this winter but you can sign up to participate in the public beta test. To run the software you will need the “Leopard” version of Mac OS. You can import old Quicken Mac data files without losing any information, but you cannot import Microsoft Money data files.

Those running an older version of Mac OS, those who want to track individual investments, and those who want customized reports are encouraged to buy Quicken Mac.

Published or updated September 16, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar andy

As you noted, Quicken Financial Life for Mac (QFLM) won’t have feature parity with Quicken Windows 2009. It’s hardly good news for us Mac users. It’s a complete letdown.

It may sound like sour grapes, but really it’s Intuit ignoring the needs of their customers. No way to bring my data from Quicken/Win over to QFLM? They control the file formats in question, yet they can’t do a basic import/export for their existing customers? No feature parity with the “comparable” program on Windows? That’s just lazy and anti-customer.

If Microsoft didn’t have a competing product on Windows, I’d suspect that somehow they were influencing Intuit to only pay lip service to the Mac market. But if MSFT really wanted to make MS Money the dominant personal finance app on Windows, they’d do the opposite – encourage Intuit to put a lot of effort into QFLM, and make it harder to keep Quicken compatible with future versions of Windows.

I’m going to be running Quicken for Windows under virtualization on my Mac for at least 2 more years, it seems.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/09/15/whither-mac-quicken

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avatar Andy

Unbelievable that after all this time, there is still not feature and file compatibility between Quicken for Windows and Quicken for Mac. I don’t care if I lose a few esoteric features — all I want to do is ditch Quicken on my PC (which I have been using for over 10 years) and start using it on my Mac. Yeah, I know I can use Parallels or BootCamp or whatever, but c’mon — everything else is cross-platform these days, even (Microsoft) Office and (Apple) iTunes/Safari!

Quicken for Windows should be able to export to a single XML file, and have it imported by Quicken for Mac. Maybe Apple needs to make it worth Intuit’s while — personal finance is a major “home” app.

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avatar andy (the first andy)

“Maybe Apple needs to make it worth Intuit’s while—personal finance is a major “home” app.”

The most absurd part of this whole thing? Look at the first person listed on http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/bod.html

Intuit’s Chairman sits on the Apple Board of Directors. He founded Claris (maker of Apple software, and later bought by Apple) after leaving a position as Executive VP of…Apple.

I’d like to see Apple & its shareholders make a bold statement with regard to his continued involvement the next time elections come up – and give him the boot.

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avatar 10 year Mac Quicken User

Everyone are banging their heads against a wall. Please wake-up. INTUIT is owned by MICROSOFT. With the MAC making a comeback it is not in MICROSOFT’s best interest to have a financial software that is the equal to Quicken Windows. If MICROSOFT has its way, you will never be able to transfer Quicken Windows data to a MAC. It would only accelerate MAC’s comeback. Again, it is simply not in MICROSOFT’s best interest to do it. Please get used of it. INTUIT cannot do it, since MICROSOFT will not allow it. That’s what happens when you have a Monopoly. There is no other financial software out there that is the equal to Quicken, and MICROSOFT will make sure it stays that way. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

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avatar Negative Ghostrider

For starters, you might wish to take a business class–preferably one relating to investment or market research. I say this because regardless how “non-helpful’ your comment was (as is mine), I am not sure you truly have a grasp on the Microsoft business model; but above all else, you have stated false information. Also, it is Mac or MACINTOSH!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,550 (Platinum)

10-year Mac Quicken User: Microsoft doesn’t own Intuit. MS tried to purchase Intuit in 1994 but was blocked by the Department of Justice in 1995. Microsoft still competes with Intuit.

Microsoft continues to develop its version of Office for the Mac. Even if Microsoft *did* own Intuit, it would be in their best interest to develop finance software for that platform, just like it does with Office.

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avatar Brigitte King

When will the 2009 version of quicken for mac come be available??

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avatar andy

There is no Quicken 2009 for Mac. It is a ground-up rewrite named “Quicken Financial Life for Mac” and it will not have feature parity with Quicken 2007 for Mac, nor parity or compatibility with any Windows version.

It’s in beta right now, Intuit has not committed to any release date. Figure this winter.

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avatar LilBoyBlue

Has anyone actually USED the Beta Quicken Financial Life for Mac? I recently signed up for the beta, and have heard nothing back from them. Also-Quicken’s site did have a 5 page set of instructions for exporting MS quicken data to Quicken for Mac 2007. I haven’t tried it yet- just bought this Mac. Haven’t had one since I got rid of my mac se for Windows 3.11. How drastic are the differences between Windows and Mac Quicken??? Are the missing features of the Mac version esoteric & irrelevant? Or is it a gutless wonder? Finally- It does sound like Quicken Financial Life for Mac is a true Mac version .. hopefully it will be the theme they expand upon for eventual true parity.

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avatar Dwayne

Anybody get Quick 2009 to work with Crossover? We have been using Quicken 2005 on our Mac with Crossover. Works very well, but now Quicken 2005 online transaction downloads not supported anymore

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avatar connkenn

No longer will I wait for the new release A number of emails and beta testing sign-ups have gone unanswered. Yes, Intuit really doesn’t seem to care about its Mac customers. I’m done. Besides, in the amount of time I’ve spent trying to contact them, I could have prettied up the spreadsheets I’ve been using since their last few sub-par Quicken for Mac releases. My money and my time will better be spent elsewhere.

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avatar Brent

Quicken Financial Life for Mac is vaporware as far as I am concerned, hence my recent purchase of MoneyDance. No, it isn’t perfect and doesn’t allow for us Canadians to update any accounts online from within the application but it does allow for the importing of QIF, OCF, etc. files. So far, so good.

When will software companies wake up and smell the coffee? Mac is not only here to stay but it will take over a good chunk of the marketplace — especially home users. I bought my first Mac (an iMAC) 14 months ago and dumped my WinDoze PC 7 months ago for a Macbook. No more windoze for me in this house.

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avatar MAC Attack

Brent,
I realize it’s only been a few days since you started using Money Dance, but how does it compare to Quicken? We tried Quicken for Mac last year, and it was a disaster to say the least. We’ve been forced to continue limping along with an old laptop/windows format. We primarily use Quicken for managing our checking/credit/savings. The investment portion/monitoring would be nice, but I could live without if the aforementioned was seamless.
Thanks,
Jeff

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avatar gregi

For those of you considering Moneydance, I highly recommend it. I was using Quicken on the PC side until I moved back over to a Mac 3 years ago. I tried converting my Quicken files over to the Mac but to say the conversion process was a disaster would be an understatement. The amount of errors generated was just overwhelming. I then gave Moneydance a try. Importing my 10 years of Quicken data into Moneydance went fairly smoothly. I had a few errors but I was able to fix these with about an hours worth of work. I use Moneydance to keep track of checking, credit cards, and several investment accounts. It does a good job with all of these. The only real limitations I see are the direct connections to financial institutions don’t always work. The workaround is that almost all sites all you to export your data into either a quicken file or a Microsoft Money file. These all import flawlessly (importing Money formatted filed seems to work best for me). The other potential limitation is that reports and graphs are not as fully developed as in Quicken. Still they provide almost all the info that I’m looking for. The program is being actively developed and I haven’t had to pay for an update yet.

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avatar Brent

Jeff: Its great! When entering transactions that you have downloaded, however, you need to be careful that you check what I call the auto-match functionality where it tries to match a new transaction with already existing ones. If you are not careful you will end up with transactions having the same description (e.g. Best Buy) and date, but the correct amount, necessitating editing afterward. I also wish it allowed for connection to Canadian banks and other similar institutions, but that is a problem on both sides (RBC and MoneyDance). Overall I am quite impressed. The graphing, budgeting, categories, etc. are great features.

Does that help? If you have any more questions feel free to write.

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avatar webraider

Has anyone tried iBank? It looks pretty good and feature rich and it supposedly imports Quicken Data. Just wondering if anyone’s used it.

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avatar ivan Jacobs

I just tried ibank. very nice on paper. very easy conversion, but the investment transactions are not handled exactly the same way and therefore the reconciled amounts were way off. The checking account was right on, but I am asking for a refund (there is a 30 day trial period) because of the investment account problem. i am definitely going to check out moneydance now.

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avatar Wink

The download for QFL beta is available when you register to be a member of the beta testing. I registered, thinking I would then get an email with links to download, when the page directed me to the download. I have it up and running, not impressed at all. Been using Quicken since the DOS days – just bought a MAC, purchased Q07 – no clean way to import data besides QIF files – is there?

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