budget transfers (Q Mac)

Unknown Member
We REALLY need to be able to budget transfers for budgeting savings and payment of debt such as credit cards.  This was available in Quicken for Windows and is a serious shortcoming for Mac.  Please get this on your roadmap for your customers.


  • I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. Seriously poor decision to not have this implemented already.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 2020
    @BoisePews It's not much consolation, but the Mac product manager has said that this is something they are working on now. They've had a long list of features to implement over the past couple years -- and chances are, no matter which order they had tackled them, some users would be dissatisfied at what remained on the to-do list. We can only wait for this functionality to appear, but hopefully it's not too far off now.


    (edited to include link to Idea)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Yes, agreed! This is a giant roadblock for my budget. Enough to make me consider no longer subscribing to quicken.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @cnickelsonmann Hopefully they'll release something before you have to make that choice.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Budgeting is worthless without this feature fix.  What is the Qmac release cycle?  

    Being a software engineer myself, this doesn't seem hard to fix.  They have all the proper fields in the transactions.  They just need to fix their query for the 'actuals' to include values for transfers.  Why does this take so long?  Especially when they've gone to a subscription service, they ought to be able to fund the development team to fix obvious and important (and easy) bugs!

    Budgeting is such a major reason to use Quicken, you would think they'd rank this as an important bug to be fixed.  I'm fine with the subscription pricing model as long as it allows them to fund their development team to fix bugs and make improvements.  The lack of a timely fix to this bug has to make you wonder if it's just a profit ploy and they're not funding development.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @cory.stewart To address a few of your questions...

    1) There is no fixed Quicken Mac release cycle. They now release new versions as they have new feature or fixes complete and tested. Generally, there is a new release every 5-10 weeks, the length of time depending of many factors in development work and testing results. Over the past 12 months, there were 6 major releases in May, July, September, December, January and March, as well as smaller updates to fix bugs in those releases.

    2) If you're a software engineer, the first rule you should know is that you can't estimate the complexity of the job without knowing more about it than what's visible on the surface. Things which seem potentially complex or long can sometimes be fairly easy, and visa versa.

    In the case of including transfers in budgets, it's not as simple as you make it out to be. For one thing, they need to make budgets in Quicken Mac compatible with Quicken Cloud -- the Quicken mobile app and Quicken web interface; those in turn need to work with both Quicken Mac and Quicken Windows, which manage data and their databases quite differently. The mobile app had used an architecture developed when Quicken was part of Intuit, and after the separation, problems developed with the architecture of managing budget which required them to re-engineer the back-end server architecture and re-write the mobile app and web code. So last year, the Quicken Mac product manager explained that the Mac development team didn't do any work on the budget section of the program until after the re-write by the mobile team was complete; had the Mac team done their own thing, there was a good chance they would have had to re-do much of it to be compatible with the mobile app/web. He said: "from a timing perspective we don't want to completely overhaul our budget infrastructure to support investments only to find out we have to do it again to support the new Quicken Cloud."

    Another wrinkle has to do with the architecture of Quicken Mac. Although you claim it's a simple query change, it's not. The banking transactions (checking, cash, credit cards) were originally developed for Quicken Essentials back in 2010. The investment transactions were grafted on when they developed the modern Quicken Mac in 2014. they use different database tables and structures and categories. As the product manager wrote in a thread on this site about this issue more than a year ago: "Architecturally the budget is tied to the banking transactions and not investments, so there's a bunch of work we have to do to make investments work also.  If it was easy we would have done it already."

    The next wrinkle is how to allow transfers to count in the budget without simple counting all transfer in the budget. Why? When you pay your credit card bill out of your checking account, that's a transfer in Quicken. You've already got all the expenses in the individual transactions in your credit card account, so if you counted the payment of the credit card bill in your budget, you'd be double-counting those expenses. On the other hand, if you want to put aside money each money for savings -- a transfer in Quicken from a checking account to a savings or interest account -- you want a way to count that transfer in your budget. (Loan payments are the same.) On the other hand -- and I realize I'm now on my third hand -- if I have some excess money in my checking account and transfer it to my savings account this month, do I want to see that in my budget as if it were an un-budgeted expense, or not have it affect my budget? The point is that there's some subtlety to how transfers should be or should not be reflected in budgets -- and different users may wish to do it differently. So the program has to be smart enough and flexible enough to handle these different instances in ways users expect and want to organize their budgets. It's complicated because it is essentially trying to find the right way to straddle between accrual accounting (where you want the budget to reflect the expenses in the credit card account but not the cash flow of paying the bill) and cash accounting (where you want the budget to reflect cash flow from checking to savings, even though that's not an expense).

    3) You say "you think they'd recognize this as an important bug to be fixed" -- as if they don't. Except they do. The product manager has acknowledged it as one of the top user requests, and one that they are definitely going to address. He has also said it involves some complex changes in the program, so it's not a quick-and-easy fix. Meanwhile, it's not as if they've been sitting on their hands taking in subscription revenue and not doing anything; the developers have hundreds of features users are asking for, and they're constantly juggling which of the big ones to devote months of work to and which of the small ones to slip in along the way. To one user, transfers in budgets may be the most critical need, but to another user it's robust reports and to another user it's stock options and to another user...  The reality is, they all need to get done, so it's a question of which ones get done first; no matter what they do, some users will be delighted and others will be upset.

    I think we can all agree that it's frustrating that this hasn't been tackled yet -- but that doesn't mean the development team at Quicken isn't aware of it and doesn't have a plan to deal with it.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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