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Actual vs. Budgeted Reports: customize date range and get comparisons (Q Mac) (7 Legacy Votes)



  • tkabdoutkabdou Member ✭✭
    > @jacobs said:
    >... In the past few months, they've been working on adding budget features ...

    The past few months? How many developers are working on recreating this report from the Windows version to the Mac version? Clearly the logic already exists which means that the requirements are available and given that the report already exists in Windows, testing the Mac report against the Windows report should be fairly straight forward -- you add the same data into both versions, run each report and compare the results. So if the requirements and logic exist and testing is relatively easy then what is the hold up?

    For crying out loud, I created an Access database that imports the data from Quicken and created the report myself in a matter of hours. I would still prefer a report from Quicken so I don't have to export, import and run my own report -- this way, I can also get rid of my older Windows machine which I'm only keeping because MS Access doesn't run on Macs!

    Again, I urge Quicken to put some priority on this request!!!
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The Quicken and Mac databases are so distinctly architecturally different that the existence of a feature like this in Quicken Windows is of no help in implementing it in Quicken Mac. 

    The Mac development team is relatively small, and the program is quite complex in parts, so developing new features that seem like they should be quick often takes longer than anyone (including the developers) would wish. And they are always juggling among the hundreds of feature requests users are clamoring for, so there often isn't an obvious path towards new features being added.

    Worse, the developers sometimes don't understand the problem fully. In this case, there turns out to have been miscommunication between the moderators of this site in categorizing this feature request and the development team; this idea thread was originally marked as implemented, because there is an actual versus budget report. For some unexplained reason, though, the fact that that the existing report isn't useful except on the last day of each month wasn't on the developers' radar. Oof! That's a bad miss. It's been brought to the attention of the product manager, and hopefully it's firmly on their radar now. 

    Finally, I'd just note that imploring Quicken to act quickly in a thread like this on the community forum unfortunately doesn't have much impact, because the developers rarely read these threads.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • tkabdoutkabdou Member ✭✭
    I feel for you @jacobs as you seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, you appear to be a moderator for a forum that is created by Quicken (i.e. community.quicken.com) yet on the other hand, you don't get the support that is needed to take action.

    Having been in the Software Development/Engineering world for many years, I get the fact developers don't look at this forum -- I wouldn't expect my teams to do that either as work should flow in through the properly established intake process. I get that... HOWEVER, I'm surprised a company as big as Quicken is relying on the developers without any direction from leadership. I'm also surprised that this forum is created under the Quicken domain yet the feedback provided here has no influence on how Quicken prioritizes work -- what is the point of this forum then?

    As for the infrastructure differences between Macs and PCs; I totally get it. The concern I have is that there should be no misunderstanding by the developers as to what is needed. At a minimum, replicate the functionality that currently exists for the Windows version -- getting those requirements from the PC team should not be a problem (one would hope). If it is a problem then IT leadership (not developers) should take a second look at their culture and ensure that teams talk to each other.

    Your replies are always appreciated and for all our sakes, I wish you the best of luck in advancing our requests (summarized below):

    1. For a specific month, generate a report that shows (with subtotal and grand total lines):
    a) Budgeted Category
    b) Budgeted Amount
    c) Actual Amount Spent (or deposited, if income)
    d) The difference (over/under) for each line item

    There should be another section that shows the categories that were not in the budget but money was spent (or deposited if income).

    By doing this, one will know for each month if they went over their budget or if they actually saved money.

    2. Same as above but allow a date range similar to the "Net Worth Over Time" report selection criteria (i.e. From MM/YY To MM/YY)

    At any rate, I appreciate the discussion and hope that this comes to a resolution soon and again, best of luck!


    P.S. I don't mean to speak on behalf of everyone else -- this is just my understanding of what others (and me) are asking for. Others can add their own thoughts as well.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @tkabdou  Thanks for your extensive note. I just wanted to clarify that I am a fellow Quicken user, and not a moderator on this forum. (Moderators are all Quicken employees, and I am not.) For those of us who post here frequently helping other Quicken users, Quicken designates some of us as "SuperUsers", which gives us access to a few minor functionality differences on this forum, and a private channel/category where we can chat in private. We aren't officially customer advocates, nor do we have any special standing in terms of getting features implemented in the software, and we're free to express our own opinions (including complaints with the company or the software).
    I'm also surprised that this forum is created under the Quicken domain yet the feedback provided here has no influence on how Quicken prioritizes work -- what is the point of this forum then?
    That's not correct. The forum does play a role in influencing the work of the developers -- it can just be a bit disconnected, unresponsive at times, and slow to get results. The Idea thread on this site, which allow for user voting, are specially designed to gather comments and votes to influence future development work. The path from here to there can feel frustrating, though. Ideas first need to garner some amount of enthusiasm from customers; it's not a strict vote number (e.g. topics over 'x' votes are considered and those below are not), but topics that get few comments or votes are not likely to be advanced.

    Once an Idea here has crossed that nebulous threshold, the team of Quicken moderators here can submit an idea to some sort of development review committee. I don't know the makeup of that group, but assume there are people from various teams at Quicken, from developers to marketing, who have input. In many cases, and idea may seem pretty basic or obvious on the surface, but in order to move forward, it has to be evaluated in terms of how much time it is estimated to take, which developer skills are needed (e.g. changes to the database? user interface? external connectivity?), and then how it fits in with other planned work.

    For instance, awhile back, no enhancements were made to Quicken Mac budgets at all because the separate Quicken Mobile development team had to re-write some of the code involving budgets for the mobile app/web interface, and the Mac team didn't want to have to re-do work to stay compatible with the mobile group's work. In other cases, they might group together several requested enhancements that touch the same part of the program code rather than jumping around and coming back to modify certain parts of the code multiple times within a short period of time. And not everything is driven by just the Idea posts on this site. The developers get feedback from the Quicken Support teams about where users are encountering problems; they monitor social media channels; they sometimes conduct surveys of certain groups of users. All of those inputs have influence on how they prioritize work -- we're just not able to see the inner workings or view the ever-changing roadmap.

    In terms of Mac versus Windows, I don't think the Mac product team agrees that their starting point is replicating the functionality that currently exists for the Windows version. There are things in the Windows version which don't work well; there are things which are very complex because they've been created and modified and added to over decades and where it would be both dubious and of questionable value to try to replicate exactly; there are things which were created years and years ago which they know (from program analytics) or believe aren't utilized by many users and aren't worth replicating. Since they started the modern Quicken Mac, the model has been to deliver core functionality users are asking for and iterate on it as needed to get it to where it's solid/stable/complete/satisfies most users' needs.

    You can certainly disagree with their development approach, but it's my impression that they do not view Quicken Windows as sacrosanct and an exact model to emulate; they align with what Quicken Windows does where it makes sense to do so, or where they must (for example, where QMac and QWin both need to work with the single mobile app) -- but they also approach things with fresh eyes and ask "how's the best way to do this" rather than simply emulating something which may have been built 15 or 20 years ago. And, where there's a specific Mac-like way to do things, they make it function like Mac users would expect, not like a port of a Windows program.

    Take an area of the program like reports. When the new Quicken Mac came out as Quicken 2015, it was built on the code base of Quicken Essentials, a 2010 program that was the first attempt at a modern re-write of Quicken for the Mac. The reports in that Essentials software was pretty limited, and it used an architecture that was probably a shortcut to build but not very robust in terms of expandability or user configurability. With Quicken 2015, the emphasis was on modernizing some of the technology behind the scenes to keep up with changes from Apple and adding investment tracking, a whole area missing from Quicken Essentials. Reports were basically untouched. But it was clear a major overhaul was needed to satisfy users used to Quicken 2007 and Quicken Windows reports.

    That work to build a new reports engine and user interface has spanned large parts of the past four years, starting with the first iteration of the new reports in early 2017 and still ongoing today. The reports are light years better than where we began, and are pretty robust now in many areas. But they still haven't completed building out the feature set; we still can't specify secondary sorts or subtotals, or show subtotals under taster than over the data they total. There's some reporting for investments from the Portfolio window, but no pre-built and customizable investment reports.

    And, of course, there is the area of budget report(s), where users are clamoring for such seemingly simple features as user-defined date ranges (so the existing report isn't accurate on only the last day of each month) and the more complex features like rollover of over/under spending to future months and the ability to show unbudgeted income/expenses on the budget report. I hope -- and believe -- all these things will arrive some day, but have no idea how the pieces fit together in their development plan, and what features we will get to see when. To me, it seems apparent that the user-entered date range is the most pressing of those needs; it actually seems like an oversight that has only recently come into focus, and hopefully one that will have a reasonably fast resolution.

    Sorry to be so long-winded! Hopefully some of this makes sense and helps add some insights.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • EljojoEljojo Member
    I want to have a report that compares the monthly budget with the monthly expenses. I can not find a report ? I just subscribed with a Mac Version. In my old version it was possible to create that kind of report. Thank you in advance for your help.
  • SystemSystem Member ✭✭✭✭
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Zero out a Budget.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Eljojo  Budget reporting is somewhat limited in Quicken Mac -- thus this long Idea thread asking for improvements -- but the key to know is that you can print reports from your budget, not from Reports.

    The most comprehensive report is selecting to print the 12-month budget; if you're really interested in just one month, it may be easier to export to a .csv file, open in Numbers or Excel, and quickly delete the other columns. This also allows you to format, rearrange or sub-total as you wish. The major shortcoming of this report is that the Year-To-Date column always uses the current month, which is pretty meaningless unless you run it on the last day or two of the month; there's no way to tell it to give you YTD through the end of the previous month. (You could build your own YTD total over whatever time period you want if you export to a spreadsheet, but obviously this entails more work.)

    Alternatively, you can switch to the one-month budget and select Print from the File menu (there's no Print button on the screen); this is an old-style report from a predecessor program that has not been modernized to match the current reports, so there is no user-customizability of this report.

    Make sure you go to the first post in this thread and add your vote for improving the budget report by clicking the little gray arrow under the vote counter!
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • shakafamilyshakafamily Member
    I'm a long time Quicken user (1987). Now i use the Mac version. I need the budget report that compares budget and actuals in the date range set by the user. Please add. I cannot believe I'm the only one wanting/needing this. Austin
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    There is an existing Idea thread for this important feature. Please add your vote for it!
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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