Goodbye Quicken!!!

So, after almost 11 years of using and updating my versions of Quicken (granted several upgrades came from new computer purchases… many of the iMacs in the day had Quicken as part of their initial software package from Apple), I’ve decided to break free from the Intuit realm of mediocrity. My current version of Quicken, Quicken 2007, which set me back $70, has decided for the past 6 months to quit about every third or fourth time I try to batch update my accounts. Mysteriously, the only information I receive from my crash logs is the following:

Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)
Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00000000d0000000
Crashed Thread: 0

which, of course, is some sort of segmentation fault. Mostly, this has been an annoyance, but every time Quicken was able to restore my files.

Until last week…

All of a sudden, my accounts file became corrupt!!! Now, I have regular backups of this file (thanks Time Capsule), but the fact that this occurred suggested to me that perhaps it was a good time to look around for a new software package. You see, I’m rather anal retentive when it comes to our finances… I like to know where our money is and where its going. So Quicken was perfect for that. I had looked at alternative software a few years back, and unfortunately could not find anything on the market at that time that had the features I needed to encourage me to switch. Overall, my needs are pretty simple:

  • Be able to directly download from bank and financial websites and accordingly update my accounts (I do not want to download QFX files and import them if possible).
  • Basic report and budgeting tools.
  • The ability to import my previous Quicken transactions.
  • A decent GUI interface.
  • Good support community.
  • A program that is not buggy.

So, I set forth to see what was out there, and what had changed in the last 2-3 years for Mac financial software. After looking around, I settled on two potential replacements… iBank and Moneydance. I won’t bore you with the particulars, but thought I’d give you my initial impressions of both, and which one (I think) I’m going to buy.

iBank
I really, really wanted to like this program… really I did. Its interface is very “Mac like (whatever that means)”, but it just isn’t there yet. In its current incarnation (version 3), it is much better than when I demoed it a while back (version 2), but its still not what I needed. Of my 6 points listed above, it hits on 4 of them. Its importation of my .qif file left a lot to be desired, and it still has a lot of quirks. Plus, it was pretty slow opening my files on my PowerBook G4 1.67GHz. Furthermore, its interface wore on me over time.

Moneydance
In case you didn’t guess from my description of iBank, I really liked Moneydance. Yes, its JAVA, and therefore not a “native Mac program”. But the GUI is really nice, and quite Mac like. Furthermore, unlike some JAVA apps, this one is really responsive. Its import of my .qif files also was not perfect, but its something that can be fixed in hours, as opposed to days. The 2008 version introduces significant interface improvements that greatly enhances the overall experience of the program. Its price is reasonable ($39.99), especially considering it appears from their website that they’ve given licenses issued over the last four years free upgrades to 2008. Overall, I’m sold.

For what its worth…

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~ by rcgeiger on July 8, 2008.

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