Focus on basic functionality as opposed to enhancements

With the latest Quicken for MAC I've noticed there are several useful parts of the system that are either no longer there, or are prevented.
1 - I can get MS Office for MAC or Windows and use it on all three of my home network systems with one license, as well as Avast anti Virus for even more systems. But I can't use Quicken on more than one system and keep it all synced up. I should be able to work at my desk but also do updates on my laptop on the same file. I should be able to access the working account file shared across my network.
2 - You need to add "Create End of Year" file to close out the previous year and start a new year file that carries over any non-reconciled items. Not sure where the idea that was only done because of slow file access came from but that's ludicrous. You create a EOY file for taxes and records.
3 - Have a way to disable some of the "flashier" new additions that might not be used. I don't track all of my investment accounts - I pay someone else to do that and send me monthly statements. I might like to keep track of the current values each month but I don't need the whole package.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Saransk93 said:
    1 - I can get MS Office for MAC or Windows and use it on all three of my home network systems with one license, as well as Avast anti Virus for even more systems. But I can't use Quicken on more than one system and keep it all synced up. I should be able to work at my desk but also do updates on my laptop on the same file. I should be able to access the working account file shared across my network.
    Quicken has a long history on both the Mac and Windows platforms. And the programs have always been separate and different. Each takes advantage of tools and frameworks in the host operating system which wold be cumbersome to program independently. In order to get Quicken to a common file format, it would require re-writing both Quicken Mac and Quickness's ken Windows to use a common database and file format. But Quicken is very complex software, and changing out the database would require a huge amount of work. There are frequent updates to Quicken Windows which accidentally break something because of unknown interactions in the program which may have been programmed decades ago and not be apparent to the current developers. The opportunity to move to a common platform was back in 2006, when the original Quicken Mac reached the end of its viable life, and the company — then owned by Intuit — decided to start over on a new generation of Quicken Mac. They decided at that time to not make a clone or port of Quicken Windows because it's not what they thought Mac users wanted, and because the tools were so different on the two operating systems.

    After Intuit fumbled the ball for years I won't go into that history here), the current Quicken Mac emerged in 2014… and 7+ years later, the developers are still working their way through hundreds of requests for features which were in the legacy Quicken Mac 2007 or Quicken Windows. The lesson: rewriting Quicken is not an easy task! Quicken Windows would be just as hard, if not harder.

    For people who want to be able to access their financial data anywhere, Quicken developed their Simplifi program, which is cloud-based and requires only a web browser. But it's not as robust as Quicken's desktop programs. Management has in the past stated they plan to continue this dual development strategy of enhancing Quicken desktop and Simplifi to serve users who have different desires about accessing their data and privacy of their data.

    Unless they've been quietly working on a secret project for years to unite Quicken desktop products, I would not expect to see this happen. It would take tens of thousands of programming hours, and if they get it exactly right, it would serve only a small fraction of the Quicken user base.

    Saransk93 said:
    2 - You need to add "Create End of Year" file to close out the previous year and start a new year file that carries over any non-reconciled items. Not sure where the idea that was only done because of slow file access came from but that's ludicrous. You create a EOY file for taxes and records.
    I've been using Quicken for nearly 3 decades, and I have never needed a year-end copy of my data, so it's incorrect to say it is needed. I generate various year-end reports for records and taxes, because it's easy to date-constrain any reports or registers. There's no reason to start a new file each year. And starting over each year would bypass one of Quicken's great strengths: being able to quickly search your financial history to locate a past transaction for which you may not know the date or account. 

    And yes, this existed in the legacy Quicken Mac and in Quicken Windows because the databases which powered those products had limitations in files sizes and were prone to occasional corruption. The modern Quicken Mac uses an industrial SQL database which has no size limitations, very minimal speed degradation as the file grows, and no corruption issues. That's why the developers haven't created the archive/split data functionality in Quicken Mac. 

    Saransk93 said:
    3 - Have a way to disable some of the "flashier" new additions that might not be used. I don't track all of my investment accounts - I pay someone else to do that and send me monthly statements. I might like to keep track of the current values each month but I don't need the whole package.
    Every Quicken user seems to use it differently, and one of the strengths of the program is that it allows users to do different things in many different ways. If you don't want to use any investment accounts, it's simple: just don't create any investment accounts. (This is not a "flashy new addition"; it's always existed in Quicken Mac in the current version and the legacy version, and in Quicken Windows.) If you want to see your investment account balances without all the transaction detail, create investment accounts and set tracking to Simple mode, which will show balances only. (The ability to turn off detailed investment tracking and do only Simple tracking is, in fact, one of the flashy new features in the past year. ;) ) Are there other features you don't use which actually get in your way? There may be ways to turn them off or bypass them. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    From my "Quicken Windows" perspective.

    1) This was and never will be in the cards.  Even back when Quicken Mac was being rewritten.  Quicken Windows database is a long unsupported Windows only database.  It could never be used for Quicken Mac.  And the idea that you would rewrite Quicken Windows, just look at Quicken Mac's rewrite.  They took from 2006 to 2010 to create "Quicken Mac Essentials", which was so lacking in features they basically couldn't get any revenue from it.  And as such the Mac product brought in next to nothing until 2014. If they had done the same rewrite for Quicken Windows, Quicken would be here today.  And right now, they barely have enough resources to maintain, and continue as best they can with what they have let alone have a major decades long project to rewrite them both.

    2) Quicken Windows has this, and some people swear by it, but every single SuperUser recommends against it.  And I would disagree with @jacobs for "purpose", at least as far as Quicken Windows is concerned.  There are people with data going back 30 years and the "limits" and "corruption" have never been factors in this.  The real limits in Quicken Windows are usually very generous, and as for corruption there doesn't seem to be any connection to amount of data.  People have had corrupted data files with less than one year of data, others have gone many years without any major corruption.  And for the limits that Quicken Windows does have, for instance it isn't good for "active traders", the year-end copy does nothing for them since it doesn't touch investment transactions.  "Minor corruption" does crop up, but for that what is really needed is a good way to export/import in a different format.  And in that sense Quicken Mac's ability to use QXF is much better than the only choice Quicken Windows users have and that is a QIF export/import.

    3) One person's "flashy" is another person's "essentials".  You consider investments "flashy", well Quicken Essentials for Mac didn't have investments, and that fact alone was one of the major reasons Intuit couldn't sell it.
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