Some good points from a Quicken user

glenn's Avatar


15 Dec, 2010 02:41 PM

I have been a Quicken user since the very first version so jumping ship is hard to do. For a while, I am running both applications to be sure that I haven't missed any automatic transactions or things of that nature.

This process has been giving me some very good side-by-side opportunities. Although Quicken is way out in front when it comes to automatically downloading data, even without using direct connect, there are some very nice features in Moneydance that Quicken is lacking.

One that I discovered this morning is the ALT key when in the registry. Hover over any transaction (I like to be in single line mode) and hold down the ALT key and you get to see lots of info about the transaction. This is especially handy when you are looking at SPLIT transactions!

I really love the way Moneydance handles categories. The display isn't cluttered with the entire path by default. You only see the final chain element. For example we have a category titled Personal : Utilities : Garbage and I can put things in that category by typeing Pe:U;G and the auto complete does the rest. As soon as I leave the field, only "Garbage" displays. This is nice!

I really love the way Mondaydance handles accounts and sub accounts. In Quicken I have to title all my accounts Chase - Personal, Chase - Business, Chase - Wife and so on. In Moneydance I have one account titled Chase (no transactions in this one) and then three sub accounts titled Personal, Business, Wife and the really cool part is I see the balance for each sub account but I also get to see the total balance in the top level account too so I know how much is in that bank all together.

Slowly, the number of nice features is making my jump easier. I hope to keep finding useful features that make this switch easier.

I am not switching for the price issue. I have been a Linux guy for a while and I have gotten my wife to dump Windows too and we are an all Linux house now. Quicken was my weak link though. I have to run it in a virtual machine or dual boot. So I am trying to get all over to Moneydance so I can finally ditch the last of the Windows stuff.

Good work guys! You have created a great program here.

  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 15 Dec, 2010 04:27 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Glenn,

    Although Quicken is way out in front when it comes to automatically downloading data

    I was wondering if you were aware that MD can store your usernames and passwords to make downloading data a one step operation. To do so go to File > Encryption...

    HTH -Kevin N.

  2. 2 Posted by glenn on 15 Dec, 2010 11:24 PM

    glenn's Avatar

    Thanks Kevin. Actually I had found that feature already and it works as advertised and if I had more than one "direct download" that would be somewhat useful.

    How Quicken handles it is the passwords are encrypted and kept save in what they call a "password vault" which has a master password to decrypt the data. Must like Moneydance except only for the passwords not the entire dataset.

    Then you don't have to enter that master password unless you go online. So if I open Quicken 10 times without going online, I never have to enter that password. But when I am about to go online, I have to give the password then all my accounts get their passwords out of the vault.

    I do like the idea of being able to encrypt all of the data but with my computer being so heavily protected, there i little need to also encrypt the bank data except for the password list.

    Where Quicken really shines is their ability to download QFX files (it would be OFX for Moneydance) from sites that don't offer "direct connect". I realize they must have some cool tool on their servers to figure out and remember how each bank does their login process because a couple of the banks I work with were not known to Quicken at first and within a couple weeks, they started downloading data. None of them are "direct connect" banks.

    And it appears that "direct connect" banks like Wells Fargo can't tell the difference between Quicken and Moneydance because I can download my Wells Fargo data through Moneydance even though my bank thinks I am still using only Quicken.

    I am moving to Moneydance and I know the program will keep getting better and better. It is in the same place Quicken was a few years back with regard to data downloads. And it is well ahead of Quicken in some other areas.

    It is just that I have been using Quicken for what... 20 years now? So it is my main frame of reference. It is the app I have used first and always for banking so jumping off is hard. So rather than just gripe about how Quicken does this or that better, I wanted to voice the things I found in Moneydance that were better than what I saw in Quicken.

    Like I said, I am switching, no two ways about it. It will just take time to get use to really just one feature being lacking from what I am use to. In every other way, everything I do in Quicken can be done just as easily or maybe even better in Moneydance.

    So Moneydance rocks!

    I am a programmer but I haven't done much Python but I might be able to figure out how to get my bank downloads automated once I get some time.

  3. 3 Posted by -Kevin N. on 15 Dec, 2010 11:59 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Glenn,
    There's a guy name Robert who put together a little Python script (PocketSense) to grab OFX files from financial institutions and send them into MS Money. You might be able to get some ideas from his site;
    I've been keeping my expired version of MS Money alive using his script.

    I'm bailing out of MS Money at the end of the year though. MD has totally taken the place of MS Money and there is no longer any need to run them in parallel.

    HTH -Kevin N.

  4. 4 Posted by glenn on 16 Dec, 2010 12:14 AM

    glenn's Avatar

    I am bailing at the end of the year too. I want to close all my Quicken stuff at the end of a calendar year. I bet that is your path too.

    I will look at the script. It would be a good way for me to learn Python if tweaking is needed. I looked at one the other day and it simply did "direct connect" type connections and that isn't what I need.

    So thanks for the links!

  5. 5 Posted by glenn on 16 Dec, 2010 12:37 AM

    glenn's Avatar

    I just checked out those scripts. They do work but they are only for "direct connect" sites which Moneydance already supports.

    I am looking for (and will likely need to build my own scripts for at this point) is the ability to download from sites that don't support direct connect.

    For example, PayPal... I will probably build one script for each site that way I can pass the scripts on to others. Or maybe a master script that can then call the other scripts. Something slick and secure. But I am not in a hurry for that yet. I have plenty to keep me busy for the next month or two with other jobs.

    Thanks again for the scripts. They will make it a lot easier to learn Python. I already know a dozen other languages so it is mainly the syntax I need to learn.

  6. 6 Posted by Jessica Little on 18 Dec, 2010 04:37 PM

    Jessica Little's Avatar

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the praise! The lack of web connect is definitely a weakness in Moneydance that we hope to address in the next year. Right now, we're looking at short term, quick-but-incomplete solutions (like allowing you to open your bank's website within Moneydance) to make web connect more convenient now, as well as long-term solutions that will integrate web connect more seamlessly into Moneydance.

    I'm glad Moneydance works well for you in most regards, though. Definitely let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for using Moneydance!

    Jessica Little
    Moneydance Support

  7. 7 Posted by liptak on 19 Feb, 2011 05:39 PM

    liptak's Avatar

    I'd like to chime in too. Dumped MS Money on Jan 1, really like MD, nice clean interface, the home page is very useful, as opposed to MS Money's which I didn't like. I'll second the vote for the need for web connect, that would be great....I am alos using a half dozen direct connects that are excellent. Keep up the great work.

  8. System closed this discussion on 31 Mar, 2015 03:29 PM.

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