QWin 2017: In/Out/What's Left - It is worthless to use....

I just tried the In/Out/What's Left on the home page.  It is a worthless planning tool.  It should work in the following manner.  You should be able to select the accounts that it will use to track the "cash" that you want to be considered.  Second it should start with the amounts that you put in the annual view of the planning tool for projected income AND expenses.  As the month progresses it should track the income and expenses as they are recorded and track them against the amounts in the annual view of the budget for the month.  It could tell you if your are over or under your budget. 

Right now it is telling me I am going to have all of this "extra money" at the end of the month BUT in reality I will not.  It is only considering income and expenses that have actually occurred and is not taking in the fact that maybe the budget is showing more income and expenses for the rest of the month.

If it did this it would be a GREAT tool.  Adding a summary section that gives the YTD income and expenses VS what you have budgeted for the rest of the year, what is left for the year, how much you are over or under the budget as far as income and expenses, and what you cash balance would be at that time would be a great addition.

As it is now the tool is worthless unless you set up a Billing for EACH AND EVERY expenditure you want to plan for ahead of time which is pointless because if your budget is properly conceived and planned out all the needed information for this is right there!  Why set up a Billing for a planned ONE TIME expenditures or incomes when it is already in the budget?

I am using Quicken 2017 R4, on Windows 10 Pro desktop and an Alienware 17 R2 Laptop running Windows 10 Pro.
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  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser
    edited December 2018
    If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor"
  • J_MikeJ_Mike SuperUser
    edited January 11
    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?
    QWin & QMac (Deluxe) Subscription User
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited April 2017
    JM said:

    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?

    No it is not a real Cash Flow Tool and what I am talking about it not a budgeting tool.  I am talking about how to make it a real CASH FLOW TOOL.  No this In/Out tool does not give me a heads up on near term cash flow because it DOES NOT take into account income and expenses for lets say the rest of the month BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T happened yet. 

    The use I describe IS NOT to monitor budget performance but to SHOW CASH FLOW and the moment the tool is looked at taking into account amounts already entered into the budget.  For example when set for spending the figure given for the end of March cash will be way too high because it does not take into account a large one time expenditure that will take place on the 23rd and IT IS IN THE BUDGET.  Why not make it optional to be able to use it in this way.  

    For one checking account maybe it works better but when you have multiple accounts and a more complex setup it does not work at all.  FYI  you had better beware about the 30 day chart, I use it as well and it can and will give FALSE information because it will glitch and give bad data.  Removing it from the Home page and then putting it back fixes it BUT for the average user that could get them into trouble REAL FAST.
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited April 2017
    JM said:

    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?

    The one thing I don't like about it is how it selects the accounts.
    I'm sure someone thought it was nice to make it "simple" by tying it to the accounts that you flagged as "Spending" and "Savings" (the account "Intent"), but that makes it too restrictive.

    For instance people have mentioned that if they are using an investment account as their "income", it won't work for them.  And then when you look at the account bar it affect where it is there, which might be different than what you want in the "widget" on the Home tab.  Not to mention there isn't a "don't include this account".

    There should be a way to just select the accounts you want.
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited April 2017

    If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself.

    Excuuuuuse me!  I find your comment in poor taste and just about as worthless as this In/Out/What's left tool.   There is no way for me to get this "tool" to give me any worthwhile information.  You pointed out that I could remove this tool and I already have BUT I thought that maybe I might be missing something or I could give some suggestions as to how to improve Quicken.  BTW I have been using Quicken since 2001 and it has had budgeting and cash flow reporting issues  since then.

    I take it from your handle that you are not a CPA.  I have a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting with close to 40 years of experience.  For several of the non-profits that I have worked for we had to undergo yearly audits (to keep accredited) and we always past with flying colors.  I have operated my own businesses for the past 30 years and I have been responsible for more money in any single year that many see in a lifetime.

    I know budgeting and cash flow inside and out and I can tell you that from a practical perspective this tool does neither very well. 
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited March 2017
    JM said:

    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?

    QPW,  you hit the nail on the head. 
  • edited December 2018
    @Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 
  • MoneymanMoneyman Member
    edited March 2017

    @Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 

    Microsoft Money was a far superior program.  I'd like to see Quicken have a usable cash flow tool.
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited April 2017

    @Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 

    Yes I ignore them for the most part as well.  I use an Excel spreadsheet to get what I want.  I am just trying to get Quicken to make the software better.  Back in 1984 there was a program called Managing Your Money by Andrew Tobias.  It could do what I have suggested and more.   Mr. Tobias helped a company called MECA put together a very good financial tool.  Sadly MYM did not survive the coming of Windows.  I used Money concurrently with Quicken for a year and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better I had a feeling that MS would bail on the program, which they did a couple of years later.  You updated MYM every year and that update included updates to the current changes in the  tax laws etc. and gave the important dates for the coming tax year, something that Quicken was woefully lacking . 

    One question, is the new Quicken (the company not the program) based in the US or India?
  • MoneymanMoneyman Member
    edited March 2017
    So I deposit my paycheck into three different accounts.  Main / Savings / Second Checking.  The In/Out/What's left tool uses the GROSS PAY amount for EXPECTED INCOME before taxes when I attempt to use all three deposit accounts in the PAYCHECK setup.  If I use just MAIN checking and SAVINGS it will use the NET amount from the paycheck setup.  

    It would be nice to have an accurate CASH FLOW tool.

    I have a page that I set up in my Quicken that has the In/Out/What's left  and the Projected Balances graph and the Bill and Income reminders.  I can't get all three to match each other. 

    I had to enter a BILL REMINDER for CASH to try and more accurately forecast my CASH FLOW.

    Why does the program use the GROSS PAY and not the NET PAY when I use two checking accounts.

    If it put the TAXES in the OUT column that would be ok but it doesn't. 

    Is this a BUG in the program or am I doing something wrong?

                                                                      
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser
    edited October 2017
    JM said:

    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?

    Snowman, you should take a breath and read JM's answer again. If you schedule transactions, the In/Out will show cash flow. You keep referencing budget items but In/Out does not look at the budget at all. In/Out takes transactions from the spending registers and transactions scheduled using spending accounts; that's cash flow by most definitions. QPW mentions the instance where investment accounts are used to pay bills; in those cases you should use the linked checking account feature to bring investment account cash transactions into In/Out.
  • edited March 2017
    Moneyman said:

    So I deposit my paycheck into three different accounts.  Main / Savings / Second Checking.  The In/Out/What's left tool uses the GROSS PAY amount for EXPECTED INCOME before taxes when I attempt to use all three deposit accounts in the PAYCHECK setup.  If I use just MAIN checking and SAVINGS it will use the NET amount from the paycheck setup.  

    It would be nice to have an accurate CASH FLOW tool.

    I have a page that I set up in my Quicken that has the In/Out/What's left  and the Projected Balances graph and the Bill and Income reminders.  I can't get all three to match each other. 

    I had to enter a BILL REMINDER for CASH to try and more accurately forecast my CASH FLOW.

    Why does the program use the GROSS PAY and not the NET PAY when I use two checking accounts.

    If it put the TAXES in the OUT column that would be ok but it doesn't. 

    Is this a BUG in the program or am I doing something wrong?

                                                                      

    I suggest you post your question as a separate thread in the main forum where all SUs are likely to see it.
  • edited March 2017

    @Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 

    and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better 
    Due in large part to its configurability, MS Money's cash flow forecasting is in a league of its own. It's one of the reasons I use Money in addition to Quicken and keep my Money file current. Due to its lack of configurability, Quicken can't really be said to forecast cash flow in my opinion. Quicken's cash flow reporting is second to none, but that's not really what you're looking for. 
  • edited March 2017

    @Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 

    And Quicken Inc. is headquartered in California, with satellite offices in Tucson and Bangalore, India.
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser
    edited January 11
    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    No, I have not seen the proposed subscription model.  How can I find out about it.  It would have to be spot on and use the amounts from the budget otherwise as far as I am concerned it would be DOA.  Basically any accounting software is a "subscription" model because each year it should be updated to take into account any changes in tax laws and so forth but I do not really see this being done in Quicken.  I "subscribe" to a one year commitment when I buy the new version every year.  On the other hand if Quicken is going to REALLY FIX all of the things that are wrong with Quicken I might strongly consider it.
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited April 2017
    JM said:

    I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

    The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
    The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

    Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

    In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?

    And THAT IS MY POINT, it should take into account what is in the budget BECAUSE THAT WILL EFFECT CASH FLOW!  I have tried everything JM suggested and this tool does not work because the data is WRONG.  It does give an erroneous figure for what my "cash" will be at the end of March because I have a ONE TIME LARGE expenditure near the end of March THAT THIS TOOL DOES NOT take into account but I DID when I took the time and effort to put that transaction in my budget.  I have many (100 or more) of these ONE TIME transactions scattered throughout the year with both income and expenses.  The number of these transactions varies from year to year but 100 would be a pretty good average for me.

    Why should I have the schedule EACH AND EVERY transaction AGAIN when I have already accounted for these transactions IN MY BUDGET.  You create a BUDGET to predict you CASH FLOW for a period of time into the future.  The further out you go the less accurate they will become.  That is a given.  You do not SCHEDULE TRANSACTIONS to predict cash flow.  You schedule transactions to pick a point at which the transaction will take place and what account(s) will be involved, nothing more than that.

    Businesses do not base their Cash Flow on "Scheduled Transactions" they base their cash flow on budgets.  They take their current cash balance and then plug the budget in to see where they will be at any given point in the future.  They then update the budgets as needed to reflect real world events.  How this insane idea that cash flow should be based solely on Scheduled Transactions is new age nonsense and wrong. 

    I have worked in many businesses and have run my own business for 30+ years and we NEVER figure where we will be cash flow wise by what SCHEDULED TRANSACTIONS we have.  We have BUDGET BASED tools that give us this information as to what our CASH FLOW will be.
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    Snowman- if in In/Out/What's Left, Quicken started using budget table estimates rather than actual and scheduled account register transactions then it would be useless/redundant because that feature is already incorporated in the Budget Module. If you only want to see your actual spend compared to your budget projections, delete the In/Out view on the Home page and replace it with a Budget view to your liking. 

    IMO, In/Out works as designed for users who are tracking cash availability in their primary spending accounts(s).
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    Fred, here's the link to the subscription discussion:


    https://getsatisfaction.com/quickenco...
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    Thanks!
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    @markus1957,  Not meaning to be too flippant about this but do you mean the budget view on the Home page that CAN NOT be trusted to give accurate information because it is prone to glitching??  In addition that tool does not provide a starting or an ending cash
    balance.  Below is an example of the glitching.  A sample file test budget that I have for March 2017 shows spending so far in March has been $17,329 from a budget of $107,696.  There is $90,376 left to from the budget to spend and yet it says that I will have $94,936 left?  On what reality do those figures make ANY SENSE. 

    Both this budget widget for the Home screen and the In/Out/What's left are useless.  They give BAD INFO.  You remember GIGO?  This is a prime example!
    image
  • gmalis1gmalis1 Member
    edited March 2017
    Snowman...

    Maybe I'm missing something...but I find the In/Out/What's Left to be extremely useful.  I have it set to MONTHLY (NOT the past 30 days) and it gives me a nice overview of what's been paid and what's been scheduled.  And as I'm retired, I know exactly if I am within my monthly retirement withdrawal.

    Now, if you're talking Cash Flow, I added that view as well to my Home Page of In/Out/What's Left.  That gives me the actual cash flow of my money...so basically it does NOT take into consideration any charges to my credit card account I've made up to the closing date.  It just takes into consideration the actual credit card payment for the current month...just the way it's supposed to.

    But what I don't understand is why you are trying to manipulate the In/Out/What's Left chart and make it a Budget chart.  That's what the Budget tool is for.  I'm pretty sure those two charts are different for a reason.

    In/Out/What's Left ISN'T a budgeting tool.  It is an informational tool on what you've spent using your bank and credit card accounts.  It isn't used to determine whether you are over or under you budget for a particular category.  Once again, that's what the budget tool is for and budget reports.  

    And to say YOU don't like In/Out/What's Left and  it's useless and how YOU want it to be doesn't work for me at all.  Therefore, you can't speak for every Quicken user...and I like it EXACTLY the way it is.

    And I also think your disparaging attitude to the other superusers who were just trying to help you is absolutely reprehensible.  
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018
    This discussion isn't new.  And it is not surprising that it was brought by a former MS Money users, and basically the people for it are also MS Money users.

    There have been certain key things that Quicken and MS Money have always done differently, and this is one of them.  (How the running balance should work was another).

    Pretty much everything you have asked for is already in the budget system.  The main difference being that in Quicken predictions are made with reminders, and the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses.  Also the budget system is category based, not account based, which is the more likely case for a cash flow system.

    In fact a lot of that went into the rewrite of the budget had to do with trying to please these different groups.  The result is a complicated budget system (one with more than its share of bugs).
  • edited March 2017
    the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses. 
    Well, budget numbers and scheduled transactions. Either/or isn't as useful for cash flow forecasting, in my opinion.

    I've hesitated to post the following in part because this is a Quicken forum, not a Money forum. However, it seems as though folks are talking past one another on this issue, so at the risk of being lumped in with the MS crowd, here's a representative use case in which Money's approach to cash flow forecasting is invaluable, at least to me.

    The use case also illustrates, I think, the differences between how Money and Quicken handle near to long-term cash flow forecasting. (And yes, for the record, I'd love it if Quicken would allow Projected Balances to be Money-like).

    Anyway, here's the real-life scenario:

    We're currently house-hunting. My wife has champagne taste (except in husbands), so I want to know what effect a one-time cash-to-close expenditure and a certain monthly PITI payment will have on our cash flow by the end of 2022.

    The date range is significant because I've also implemented an aggressive debt reduction plan (which I formulated in Quicken, by the way, in case Management is lurking), which pays off the loan in question by 3/2022. The question I want need an answer to is: by close of 2022, will our cash flow bend but not break? 

    Using identical numbers and dates and including the two relevant accounts, checking and savings, I modeled the same scenario in Money's cash flow forecaster and Quicken's Projected Balances. The payee for the proposed one-time CTC expenditure is Title Company; the payee for the proposed mortgage payment is HomeBridge.

    Here's what it looks like in Money's cash flow forecaster (the orange graph represents the combined balances): 

    image

    Here's what it looks like in Quicken's Projected Balances:

    image

    You could just look at the respective graphs and see the difference: because it incorporates our budget numbers as well as our scheduled transactions, Money projects our cash flow dipping steadily and then slowly climbing again after the debt reduction plan ends (I've actually modeled this out a lot farther, but clipped it here for simplicity). 

    Quicken, on the other hand, which only incorporates scheduled transactions in its projections, correctly models the dip in savings after the CTC payment but has our checking account balance going to Pluto.

    Projected ending balances on 12/31/2022: Money, $123,718.66; Quicken: $246,180.02. Although I much prefer Quicken's number, I'm obviously not going to pay it much heed. 

    Finally, I should note that being able to incorporate budget items as well as scheduled transactions isn't only useful when modeling a large expense or an aggressive debt reduction plan. The above is a fairly untypical example of how I use Money's cash flow forecasting tool; more commonly, I use it for ho-hum monthly review.

    It's flexibility and power come from allowing you to create a model based on your intended spending and income combined with your actual spending and income. I think this capability would be an invaluable addition to Quicken's already unparalleled cash flow reporting capabilities. 

    Anyway, that's my opinion. Worth the price paid for it, as they say ... Thanks for listening. 
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018
    Personally I have no "direct" stake in this question.  I do use the projected balances, but I never look out at more than 30 days, and I'm only really interested in making sure I have enough money in my checking account at any given time, which it is "nice" for, but far from "necessary".  As for long term predictions I sort of look at the life time planner.  I have never used In/Out/What's left.

    When I look at your projected balances plot from Quicken and see the checking account balance increase straight up it is clear to me what a long time Quicken user would tell you about that, if you want to make that kind of prediction you should have put in a scheduled reminder(s).

    And on that score I think that a lot of the differences between the two could be "corrected" by just a few more options in the scheduled reminders.  Like for instance an automatic skip.  So that if a person is putting in a scheduled reminder for no other reason than to predict this kind of flow it will just skip when it gets hit.  Or maybe even better, just create a new class of reminders that are "predictions".  And allowing paycheck reminders to stop after a certain period of time like bill reminders will do.  And a more flexible setting of future reminder "overrides".  As in be able to not just change the next reminder value, but basically anyone of them in the future.

    In fact looking at your MS Money "budget" numbers, they have basically nothing to do with Quicken's budget numbers.  No where in Quicken's budget do you specify an account for a "transaction".  Even in the budget reports, the accounts are only used as a filter.

    The MS Money "budget" numbers much more resemble scheduled reminders.
    Quicken's budget numbers are all based on categories, not accounts, and they are all for a month. Basically useless in this discussion.

    It would be a big mistake to try to incorporate any of this with the Quicken budget.

    Drop the term "budget" and change it to "XXXX type of reminder", and make them more flexible, and the graph a bit nicer, like including a "net calculation" plot, and then I think you would find a lot more "common ground".

    BTW, I do wonder if people have thought about the Quicken developers track record for such requests?
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018
    And for the record I don't believe that a budget should be used as a cash flow system. They are different purposes, and it is the act of trying to merge the two that leads to all the complexity, for just a bit of "possible" information being entered more than once. 

    In a budget I don't want to pin my spending on clothing to a given account.
    I could careless which account pays for it.

    In a cash flow system, I could careless about what categories it paid for, I want to know if if I have the right amount of money in each account at a given time.
  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited March 2017
    QPW said:

    And for the record I don't believe that a budget should be used as a cash flow system. They are different purposes, and it is the act of trying to merge the two that leads to all the complexity, for just a bit of "possible" information being entered more than once. 

    In a budget I don't want to pin my spending on clothing to a given account.
    I could careless which account pays for it.

    In a cash flow system, I could careless about what categories it paid for, I want to know if if I have the right amount of money in each account at a given time.

    Sadly that is the attitude that gets people in financial trouble.  We even have a name for it "Budgeting for Bankruptcy".  Looking out only 30 days is like being on a construction site with sound proof headphones and getting run over by a truck backing up, yes the truck had a backup alarm but you could not hear it because you were wearing a sound proof headset.   Also not believing that Cash Flow and budgets are tied together is also a mistake.    I have literally 200+ transactions per month, are you saying that I should not only put these in my budget (I do, and I have a category for clothing :-) ) but also create a scheduled reminders?!?  That would be 2,400 per year and that's crazy.  It is already in my budget.  A few tweaks of the scheduled reminders is not going to fix this.

    In 2007 I setup a 5 year cash flow budget,  read that again Cash Flow Budget, it is an accounting term and does not depend upon "scheduled reminders, transactions, whatever".  I put in numbers for all of my categories with all potential income, expenses and savings accounted for.  I started to see a disturbing trend that be the end of 2012 I was going to be running unsustainable deficits from 2012 on.  I did some analysis came up with a plan so that by the time 2012 came around my accounts were under control and I did not run any deficit except for last year and was because of a large tax bill, that I knew was coming and had put money in savings to account for it.  Budget wise I ran a deficit for the year but Cash Flow wise I was covered because I had put away money for the future tax payment.  Quicken should do all of this without have to manually putting the budget in Excel.  The plus was Excel showed me that my Quicken (Annual View) budget could not add properly.  It is a bug that still exists in my data file to this day and has not been fixed and believe me I have checked and double checked as has one of my sons and our CPA.  All the numbers are exactly the same in both the Annual View Budget and Excel.  The tie breaker was doing all of the calculations hand and the winner was Excel.

    If what you are doing works for you GREAT!!!  BUT I have a wife, two kids, multiple homes, a boat, cars and a business.  I use QuickBooks for the businesses but I have quite a bit to track personally.  I have used Quicken since 2001 with the demise of Managing Your Money. 

    Finally Cash Flow analysis and Budgets are tied together.  You can not get the full picture from just one of them, you have to consider both.  Read my reply to Markus above.  It is interesting to talk to get other views and opinions.  Yes these are my opinions but they are backed up by accounting fact and 30+ years of running my own businesses. 

    I have said it before the first time 5 years ago that Quicken needs to be rewritten to 64bit  code and redesigned from the ground up with US  based accountants and knowledgeable users deeply involved in the process of setting up the design and implementation BEFORE the first line of code is written.  I say 64 bit code because at some point in the not so distant future 32 bit computers and programs are going to go the way of the dodo.  As JFK once said "...we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

    Sorry to much caffeine this morning :-)
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser
    edited March 2017
    QPW said:

    Personally I have no "direct" stake in this question.  I do use the projected balances, but I never look out at more than 30 days, and I'm only really interested in making sure I have enough money in my checking account at any given time, which it is "nice" for, but far from "necessary".  As for long term predictions I sort of look at the life time planner.  I have never used In/Out/What's left.

    When I look at your projected balances plot from Quicken and see the checking account balance increase straight up it is clear to me what a long time Quicken user would tell you about that, if you want to make that kind of prediction you should have put in a scheduled reminder(s).

    And on that score I think that a lot of the differences between the two could be "corrected" by just a few more options in the scheduled reminders.  Like for instance an automatic skip.  So that if a person is putting in a scheduled reminder for no other reason than to predict this kind of flow it will just skip when it gets hit.  Or maybe even better, just create a new class of reminders that are "predictions".  And allowing paycheck reminders to stop after a certain period of time like bill reminders will do.  And a more flexible setting of future reminder "overrides".  As in be able to not just change the next reminder value, but basically anyone of them in the future.

    In fact looking at your MS Money "budget" numbers, they have basically nothing to do with Quicken's budget numbers.  No where in Quicken's budget do you specify an account for a "transaction".  Even in the budget reports, the accounts are only used as a filter.

    The MS Money "budget" numbers much more resemble scheduled reminders.
    Quicken's budget numbers are all based on categories, not accounts, and they are all for a month. Basically useless in this discussion.

    It would be a big mistake to try to incorporate any of this with the Quicken budget.

    Drop the term "budget" and change it to "XXXX type of reminder", and make them more flexible, and the graph a bit nicer, like including a "net calculation" plot, and then I think you would find a lot more "common ground".

    BTW, I do wonder if people have thought about the Quicken developers track record for such requests?

    I think about that track record a lot and it scares the hell out of me.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?

    I do remember GIGO. It typically refers to humans inputting inaccurate/incomplete data into complex systems with the result being inaccurate output and the lesson being to not expect a different outcome.

    Generally, what you have demonstrated is that Quicken does not function like Money and that you have/will not adapt to provide Quicken a complete data set to achieve your desired outcome. If you treat Quicken like Money, it will not provide results that look like those Money would produce. I use the Projected Balance feature to look out 2 years on a cash flow basis using scheduled transactions; it works. Just like with budgeting, you have a choice of what level of detail to incorporate into the input side, e.g.; scheduled transactions, to produce a projected cash balance with a reasonable probability of being accurate. The graphics you have provided thus far show you are not there yet, but you do appear proficient enough to get there if you adapt to what works.

    One other plug for scheduled transactions is that they also flow to the Tax Planner which I have found to be very useful for planning ahead to minimize my tax liability.
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited March 2017
    QPW said:

    And for the record I don't believe that a budget should be used as a cash flow system. They are different purposes, and it is the act of trying to merge the two that leads to all the complexity, for just a bit of "possible" information being entered more than once. 

    In a budget I don't want to pin my spending on clothing to a given account.
    I could careless which account pays for it.

    In a cash flow system, I could careless about what categories it paid for, I want to know if if I have the right amount of money in each account at a given time.

    Frankly I think you are living in the "customer fantasy world".

    That is the world where they have no problem with throwing away years of work, or upsetting the existing users to get what they want.

    In the real world you do such things at great peril.  Quicken Mac is very vivid example of what that path gives.  Maybe in the end Quicken Windows users will envy Quicken Mac, but so far that path has taken 9 years, and ask any Quicken Mac users if they think Quicken Mac is up to even Windows Deluxe level yet.
    And the question about 64-bit, is useless, and something the customer shouldn't be concerned about.  You talk about it is need for 5 years into the future.  You have no basis for that conclusion, and you have no understanding of the impact to the development of Quicken you that would cause.  No matter what you think if they created a 64-bit version, they would gain literally nothing as far as making Quicken work better, and they would then have build, and test, and support two versions of Quicken.  This would in fact slow down development of any new features, including this one you are suggesting.

    And making Quicken, work and look like MS Money has the same pitfalls.

    If you want your feature you should be looking at doing it with the LEAST amount of disruptions of the existing system.

    Quicken's budget numbers don't have anything to do with "what account", and to put that in would be extremely complicated and bug ridden.

    I wonder how many Quicken users would like to go through another budget system change like the one that happened in Quicken 2012, and was so well received, they did a major overhaul of it in Quicken 2013.

    And I think you didn't understand if you came back with saying that you have 200+ transactions a month.  What does that have to do with the problem?
    You could literally use one scheduled reminder for all 200+ transactions.
    Here is an example:
    image

    Mind you I'm also not talking about a split transaction line per transaction either.
    And even though I didn't show it here transfers can be put in this way too.

    This is a "prediction" reminder, there is no need for it to go into any more detail than the user wants.  In fact it might be nothing more than "income" and "expenses".

    When I said this has nothing to do with the "budget numbers" I meant that you can't some how take the Quicken budget number for clothing and create the above information.  Sure I could do what I did above and just divide one month's expenses by 4 weeks to get a weekly number, but that isn't the point.  The above transaction is connected to an account.  There is nothing in the Quicken budget number that is going to connect it to an account.  In fact like I said before the actual budget number is connected to a category, it is the "actuals" that are connected to accounts and transactions.  So yes cash flow is connected to the budget, but not the budget number.  As in the budget number say $100 a month on clothing.  It is the "actuals" that pin that to an account/date.

    And in Quicken besides the real transactions, the way to put in "predicted transactions" is the reminder system.

    The "solution" for your request has to be framed in Quicken usage not MS Money.

    BTW you are barking up the wrong tree with your throw out "a CPA would do this, and that".  Quicken users by far and large are not CPAs and frankly don't care about that practice.  It is like a mathematician telling a person that they can't use a calculator because they haven't done the proper proofs to know that they are getting the right answers.  If you start throwing that around you are just going to alienate most Quicken users.

    Also on my statement of my use of the projected balances of no more than 30 days.
    You took it wrong.  I should have probably just left that out, it wasn't a suggestion on how people should do this. It was connected to the fact that I don't need this system, so I have no real "stake" in it other than evaluating what people are saying MS Money does, and what people using the Quicken system for currently, and what is practical from a software development basis.
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