December 13, 2009
The Search for a Quicken Successor
I own and use Macs at home and have for many years. I've used Quicken for most of those years as a way to keep track of my bank accounts. Recently, inexplicable errors have crept into my registers, and I've resolved to start fresh. So I'm re-evaluating my software choices. Seems like the new year is a great time to roll over my records to a new system.
Quicken for many years has been something of a second-class citizen on the Mac, and even though Intuit is planning on releasing a new version in February of 2010 (we'll see), some have observed that they seem to be removing features, rather than adding them, or at least reaching parity with the Windows flavor. Additionally, I'm trying to move to more integration with my bank (updating transactions online instead of hand-reconciling from the monthly statement), and Quicken has a nasty reputation for 'expiring' online features and requiring you to upgrade to a newer version. So I'm exploring alternatives.
Here's what I've found so far. Desirable features for switching include:
- Register-like interface (similar to Quicken) is available
- Transactions between accounts (transfers) are easy
- Online interaction with bank works (no duplicate transaction problems during import) - it seems support for OFX helps here (supplies unique ids per transaction)
- Export to CSV
- Reports, especially with some sort of wizard to drive creation, some form of graphing
So here are the candidates. I'll try out as many of them as I can without shelling out money, then decide if I'm buying one of them, or another copy of Quicken...
Moneydance is the first possible Quicken replacement I've looked at. For the limited tasks I have in mind, it seems quite similar in layout to Quicken, and seems to accomplish the tasks no better or worse. I'll need to find something it is better at to justify changing ships.
I should really test how well it handles transfers between two accounts at the same bank.
I'm also just a little bit wary that it is written in Java. Not bothered by the language choice, but rather by Apple's iffy on-again off-again commitment to supporting Java...