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UK purchaser, Windows or Mac, or at all?

I've read lots of info and reviews and such and I'm having a hard time separating real info from ranting by unhappy users. Can I ask some really basic questions?
1. is it possible to buy in the UK? I had a very hard time buying turbotax here.
2. I understand that I can't download automatically to Quicken, but one post sounded like I can't even upload a QIF file that I've downloaded manually from my bank. Is that true?
3. what really happens if I decide to stop using the program in the future? Is my data locked, or is it exportable?
4. I currently have a mac but am planning to switch to Windows. Will my data file from Mac version convert easily to Windows, or does it have to be exported and imported and massaged, as though I were importing from another program?
5. I currently use another program (SEE Finance 1.1) on Mac, which exports QIF files. Can I import them (i.e., a standard switching from one program to another)?


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    I think that this is one for you.

    @jamesnewman, Dan Glynhampton is a Q SuperUser who live in the UK and is probably the best qualified to respond to your questions.

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    Some of these questions seem not be exactly "UK related", and jump between what various people might be needed to answer them.

    I will skip #1 since it is UK related and Dan would have the best answer for that.

    #2 For Quicken Mac the only time you can import a QIF file is for setting up an account (as in converting from another personal finance program).  You can't use it ongoing transaction importing.  And there is no exporting to a QIF file.  They only kind of exporting you can do that can be used in a "non Quicken" program would be CSV (as in reports in this format).  For converting between Quicken Mac and Quicken Windows there is a QXF format (not to be confused with the QFX format described below), which is a binary format only known to Quicken.

    For Quicken Windows you can use QIF for both, but there are limitations especially for Quicken Subscription (2018 and beyond).  For Quicken 2017 and below the QIF file has to have the account name and type in it to bypass the "GUI block" that doesn't allow you to import into account types other than asset and liability accounts.  It also doesn't process the payee renaming rules.  Payee renaming rules are usually used to "normalize" the payee name so that it matches a "memorized payee".  When a memorized payee is matched the category saved with it is used for the transaction.  It will also try matching existing transactions in the register.

    For Quicken Subscription they got rid of the "GUI block", but they removed all the processing of the QIF import, the transactions go directly into the register bypassing the payee renaming rules, memorized payees (assigning a category), and trying to match existing transactions in the register.

    The import format that is supported (while your subscription is valid) by both Quicken Mac and Quicken Windows for ongoing transactions is QFX, which normally isn't supported outside of the US/Canada, but there are converts that can get around this.  The QFX format is also known as Web Connect.  But note that for Quicken Windows US version it will not import a QFX file into a none USD account.

    #3 If you use the Starter version the data file will become read-only, if you are using Deluxe of above you can still do manual entry, but there will be a couple of ads asking to renew the subscription that take up about 25% of the window space.  Note even for the read-only you can still generate report and export, within the limitations of the given Quicken version (Mac/Windows) described above.

    #4 Migrating from Quicken Windows to Quicken Mac for the most part works.  The other way around has one big limitation, Quicken Windows will not import any investment transactions from Quicken Mac.

    EDIT put section under #5
    How well the importing of a QIF file from another program into Quicken varies "greatly".  It really just depends on what is in the accounts/QIF file.  For instance Quicken Windows is terrible dealing with transfers (linking them together between accounts).

    On the Windows side this program can help with some of the limitations for transaction importing mentioned above.
    FAQ: A program to add the account name and type to QIF files so that Quicken will import them. — Quicken

    For the Mac search for a QIF to QFX or CSV to QFX converter.
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Thanks very much Chris_QPW for your detailed answers - and effort! If I can't upload QIF files from banks, and can't download from them either, I don't quite know what I would do. I can't see myself manually inputting the number of transactions I have these days - I do everything by contactless payments, so I have well over 100 transactions per month.

    I should probably look for something else. Thanks very much.
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