Using as Quicken alternative

Dave's Avatar


20 Feb, 2020 03:01 AM

I don't do much with Quicken, except keep track of my checking account. I really like the features of Moneydance, but I just can't seem to make it work in the way I'm accustomed to with Quicken. I basically operate in this manner: As checks or debit card purchases are completed, I enter them manually in the register to keep track of my balance. Every couple of days, I connect to the bank server and see which ones have cleared. I regularly reconcile the register against the bank data to make sure the math works, and check for mistakes. That's it.

I've tried to do the same with Moneydance, but every time I connect to the bank and download transactions, all I see is a pane showing "unconfirmed" transactions, and a screwed-up balance (compared to the same process in Quicken, which I still use for the time being). I've tried various settings in the Preferences tab, but to no avail. If I could only make this program act like Quicken, I'd be happy to make the purchase (I've been using the trial). I'm just so firmly entrenched in the operation of Quicken after so many years of use that I'm a bit frustrated, I guess.

If anyone could give me a few hints on how to make this thing work for me, I'd appreciate it immensely! Quicken goes to a subscription-based system in April, and I don't want to be stuck in that rut. Thanks for any help in advance!


  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 20 Feb, 2020 03:37 AM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    HI Dave,

    Without an actual screenshot of the register I'll have to make a guess at this...

    Does the 'Unconfirmed' transaction pane appear at the bottom of the register?
    Does it state the number of unconfirmed transactions?

    If so, drag the pane upward to reveal the unconfirmed transactions.
    Click the split window icon next to the 'New Transaction' button in the upper, right-hand corner of the register. Doing so, will integrate the unconfirmed transactions into the register.

    The 'screwed up' balance may be the result of the need to enter or edit that account's 'Initial Balance' or 'Initial Debt' (depending on the type of account).

    While viewing the account in question, from the Moneydance menu bar, go to Account > Edit Account.
    Here you can enter or edit the 'Initial Balance' or 'Initial Debt' value.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  2. 2 Posted by dwg on 20 Feb, 2020 03:57 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    Just to add to Kevin's comments. With a combination of manual and downloaded transaction you should run through the confirmation process, which includes the ability to merge downloaded and manual transactions where necessary.

    The general entry point for the knowledge base which has many articles on the use of Moneydance is :

    While there are similarities between Quicken and Moneydance in many places it will never be the same. I was effectively a Quicken user and it did not take to long to adapt to the differences and to often use them to my advantage.

  3. 3 Posted by sth on 21 Feb, 2020 01:58 AM

    sth's Avatar

    dwg is correct, you need to merge the downloads with the manually entered data. I believe that you had to do this with Q as well. (But I last used Q in 2011 so it might be different now).

    If you don't merge you get duplicate entries and everything is doubled.

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