switching from quicken

Roger's Avatar

Roger

07 Apr, 2016 05:10 PM

I currently use Quicken Home and Business 2000 on Win XP (yes, from 15 years ago) and it has served me well. But I am now getting rid of XP and moving to Win 7. Reviews of the latest releases of Quicken (2014, 2015, 2016) are pretty bad, bad enough to make me very afraid of upgrading. So I see this product as an alternative, and it has pretty good reviews. But, I don't see how to contact anyone at the company with questions ... this also gives me a very bad feeling. But we'll see how it goes here.

1. Would anyone know how this compares to Quicken HB in terms of features? I am self-employed and just need some good personal finance software to handle 2 accounts (1 personal and 1 business) and print some pretty standard reports at tax time (transactions for the year, profit and loss). Will this software handle that?

2. Is it possible to transfer all my data (from the mid-90s) into this software?

Thanks in advance. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this.

-R

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Jenny on 08 Apr, 2016 09:58 AM

    Jenny's Avatar

    Hi Roger,

    If you have any queries, they can be posted to the forum as you have done, and a member of the support team (or a knowledgable customer is your discussion is public) will get back to you.

    If you haven't already, I encourage you to download our free trial version and experiment with the program before you decide if you would like to purchase it. The demo version is fully functional and allows you to manually enter 100 transactions. Imported transactions are not limited, so you'll be able to fully test importing your data from Quicken.

    What formats are you able for use when exporting data from your version of Quicken? If the QIF file is available, you can follow these steps to get your data imported into Moneydance. I'd be happy to provide assistance if you encounter any issues when following these steps.

    If you decide to purchase the program at a later date you can keep all your data, the license key simply unlocks the ability to manually enter more transactions. You can download the trial version of Moneydance from here.

    You can find the Moneydance User Guide here, the first few chapters detail getting started and setting up your accounts. The later chapters detail the specific Moneydance features and functions.

    You're able to set up multiple accounts within the same data set, as you have mentioned. And you can view the list of available reports within the User Guide, specifically Chapter 13, Page 74. These reports can be edited before generating, then printed, saved, copied or memorised.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of further assistance.

    Jenny
    Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Roger B on 08 Apr, 2016 12:29 PM

    Roger B's Avatar

    Hi Jenny,

     

    Thank you for the response. I have been browsing around the user manual and your software looks very good. In fact it does look a lot like the version of Quicken I am now using … and that’s a good thing. I do have a couple more questions and not sure if I ask by replying to this e-mail or posting on the site. So I’ll try this way.

     

    I think there might be a misunderstanding when I mentioned accounts. I have two separate “sets” of accounts, or two sets of books if you will … two separate sets of files. I have one set for personal and one set for my business. So I go to File -> Open and open the “home” set and it opens up all the transactions, accounts, everything for my home finances. Then I go to File -> Open and open up the “business” set and it opens up all the finances for my business. The home and business are 2 totally separate entities, with their own accounts, categories, loans, etc. Does this make sense? Can Moneydance handle this?

     

    I’m also wondering about the import for my existing data. I have data from 1995, and have multiple accounts, categories, sub-categories, split transactions, loans (and payments) and transfers between accounts. Quicken does allow me to export to a QIF file and will allow me to export all accounts in one file. In your experience how well does Moneydance handle importing this data? Does it automatically set up accounts, categories, sub-categories, etc. based on the QIF file?

     

    However I will have two QIF files, one for personal and one for business. Can this be handled?

     

    Thanks again for the help. Your software really does look good and I might give it a try if it can handle the above … mostly handle a good import. If it can’t do that, I cannot afford to move and will have to muddle through a newer version of Quicken, which I really do NOT want to do.

     

    -Roger

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Jenny on 09 Apr, 2016 10:06 AM

    Jenny's Avatar

    Hi Roger,

    You can create multiple seperate data sets within Moneydance. If you go to Moneydance File --> New, you can create a new data set, and switch between them within the File --> Open menu option. If your data sets are stored in the default location, you can view them by going to Help --> Show Documents Folder. The data sets will appear as yourfilename.moneydance files.

    You can follow the steps in this article to export your data as a single QIF file. It is highly recommended to export all Quicken data into a single file - doing so makes the import process much smoother. The one exception to this is if you have accounts in more than one currency. As you'd like your data within two seperate data sets, you can export these separately and let me know if you encounter any issues.

    Most customers are able to import their Quicken data without issues. That being said, the QIF file format was never really intended for transferring all data from Quicken to another program and as such it can contains inherent ambiguities that may need to be manually corrected post import. How much manual correcting needs to be done is hard to predict. Typically investment accounts fair worse that regular accounts in this matter. If you encounter any issues, you may wish to refer to this article, which details problems that may arise and how to resolve them. And of course, i'd be happy to provide assistance so we can get your data imported correctly.

    Jenny
    Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by Roger B on 10 Apr, 2016 04:26 PM

    Roger B's Avatar

    Thanks, Jenny. I will download the trial version and import a quicken QIF. Say a prayer for me, will ya’. It may take me a few days to get this done …. tight schedule right now. I will contact you again if I have any more questions.

     

    Thanks again and have a great week ahead.

     

    -Roger

  5. 5 Posted by Roger B on 13 Apr, 2016 04:21 PM

    Roger B's Avatar

    Hi Jenny,

     

    I just wanted to get back to you on my trial of MD (so far). I was pleasantly surprised at how well it did on importing the QIF file. It wasn’t perfect but did much better than I thought. I have 8 bank accounts and 4 CC accounts and it nailed about 9 out of the 12. Pretty good job. The worst was my main bank account, which was off by thousands of dollars. In my initial review I saw that it had added a number of transactions that were NOT in my Quicken files. No rhyme or reason, just added some arbitrarily. It would take me some time to go through and find all the issues, since this file has data from 1995. That’s a lot of data, and a lot of records to go through.

     

    The worst part, however, is loans. It totally did not do an acceptable job of importing loan info. It did import the raw data … entries to the loan and interest categories (I do not have any escrow accounts), which helped balance the account. But no loans were set up, with entries showing when payments were made and reductions in the balance. I have 4 loans from the past set up, which would not be so much of an issue in moving the data. But I do have 2 current loans … a mortgage that has been used from the last 10 years or so, and a car loan used over the last 4 years. All of this history would be gone when converting.

     

    One thing I could not figure out is how to make a payment for a loan. I see the “reminders” but that’s not what I need. What I need is, when I am entering transactions from my check register and come to the loan payment, I need to be able to enter that payment against the loan I set up (check number and amount, with the amount defaulted to the loan amount) and have it recalculate the outstanding balance. I need a payment / amortization schedule. I could not find how to do that anywhere, and the user manual wasn’t any help either.

     

    I did some playing around with reporting and needed a transaction register filtered by selected accounts and selected categories in the same report, but alas your transaction register does not handle this level of filtering. But I did find an income and expense report that DOES have this level of filtering which would handle my needs perfectly.

     

    So, I am still considering using your program. If I did, I would most likely start this program from January 1 of this year … a clean start. But I would then certainly lose all that history, and I do go back to look at things as needed … ie. what was I paying for internet service 5 years ago, what was my payment history for electricity over the past 4 years, or did I make certain payments to specific companies. This is what a financial manager is all about, and I would lose that capability for now. On the plus side, it would clean up the files, as I do have accounts from years ago that I do not need and are just sitting there. Decisions … decisions.

     

    So, may I ask a few more questions about the product / company? I have been doing some research on MD and, like most products, you don’t have a perfect record. There are many good reviews and many bad reviews. The worst reviews are about support. You do not have telephone support, so using this e-mail system is all there is. The downside to that is that if I need help, I generally don’t want to wait x-number of days for someone to get back to me. And I have seen in multiple reviews where, if there is not any apparent help or answer to a problem, then users do not get ANY response back. Support just goes away for them altogether. Any comments on this?

     

    Some general questions?

    1. How long has MD been around?

    2. What version of the application are you on (ie. how many release have there been over the years)

    3. I see where Infinite Kind is not the originators, rather Infnite Kind bought MD, is this correct? If so, when was that?

    4. Where are you based? I don’t think you are a US company, but don’t know for sure.

    5. How many people in the Infinite Kind company? How many support people?

    6. Are you actively working on, improving and fixing bugs for MD?

     

    I think that’s enough for now. I ask because I can’t find any of this info on the website, and if I make the switch from Quicken I don’t want to be in this same situation a year or two from now … ie. Quicken has gone really far downhill over the years, which is why I am looking for an alternative now. Also, I hear the Quicken software is for sale.

     

    Thanks, Jenny, for your responses so far. Hope you have a great rest of the day.

     

    -Roger

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Jenny on 14 Apr, 2016 08:57 AM

    Jenny's Avatar

    Hi Roger,

    Let me try to answer your questions below, and you can let me know if you'd like further information or if other questions arise -

    Moneydance is a product of The Infinite Kind. It was started as an open-source project in the summer of 1997 by Sean Reilly (who is still the primary developer), but was converted to a closed source product soon thereafter.

    Moneydance is currently on version 2015.7, and although we haven't released a date, we will be releasing MD2016 soon. You can view the previous versions of Moneydance here, and you'll see in our blog that were constantly improving and updating the software. We also use the support forum to track customer suggestions, and these are often included in upgrades.
    When you purchase MD (2015 for example), you're entitled to the next version for free (2016 when available), and any future versions will be discounted for you. However, we never 'sunset' older versions of the software, so you can continue to use the same version for as long as you wish.

    We have team members dotted around the globe, I am based in the UK, specifically Edinburgh, Scotland, where a few other members of the team are located. We also have agents in the US, and some other staff in Italy and New Zealand. While we do have a very small team, myself and another full time support agent have been brought on board in the last six months to deal with the volume of support requests we're receiving. I can understand your concerns using only the support forum for assistance, however, we aim to respond as quickly as we can, and in difficult cases we'll offer TeamViewer sessions to get issues resolved quickly.

    Regarding the points you made above your questions -

    Unfortunately, the QIF file format was never really intended for transferring all data between personal finance software and as such it contains inherent ambiguities that will need to be manually corrected post import. How much manual correcting needs to be done is hard to predict. Typically investment accounts fair worse that regular accounts in this matter.

    When creating a loan you may enter payments manually, or choose to schedule a recurring transaction reminder which will allow Moneydance to track how many payments have been made on your loan, how many are left, and the interest to principal ratio. With regard to making an adjustment to the principle it is not possible to directly enter a transaction into the loan account. While you cannot create transactions from within the loan account register, you can create from another account register and select the loan account as the category.
    I would recommend checking out the User Guide, specifically Chapter 11 which details 'Loan Accounts', and Page 70 which details 'Entering an Existing Loan' - and you can let me know if you have further questions or need assistance getting this setup.

    If you go to Tools --> Graphs and Reports, you can view a list of the available reports and see the settings which can be amended. If there is certain information you're looking to generate, you can provide details and we may be able to provide a suitable report for use.

    I hope I've addressed everything you mentioned (let me know if theres anything I missed!) Don't hesitate to reply if you have further questions, or if you'd like more information on anything detailed above.

    Jenny
    Infinite Kind Support

  7. System closed this discussion on 30 Jul, 2016 03:51 AM.

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