Budget Reports in Quicken for Mac

KBedford
KBedford Member
I tried to create a budget report and could not find a way. Contacted Quicken support and they told me there is no way to do that. I did it in January so don't know what happened. Some sort of update to Quicken? Frustrating not to be able to see budget vs actual! If anyone has a way I'd appreciate knowing.

Comments

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    There has been no update to the budget section of Quicken Mac for a long time; nothing has changed in the past year.

    In the one-month view, you can print from the menu: File > Print. This printout is not well-formatted, and is not user-configurable, so it will likely fill a number of pages. In the 12-month view, you can print or export your budget from the budget screen, on the upper right above the column headings. The only user control is in the print dialog box, where you can set how many months appear on each page in order to make the text larger or smaller. It's functional but not very user-friendly. You may find it preferable to export the budget and open the CSV file in any spreadsheet (Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets) so you can delete any columns you don't want and otherwise format it as you want. And exporting to a spreadsheet is the only way to create a year-to-date budget-versus-actual printed report, with a little work to create the formulas. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • KBedford
    KBedford Member
    Thanks. Pretty crazy way when Quicken could easily create a report to do that. In fact their "help" section talks about a way that doesn't exist
  • Quicken Jasmine
    Quicken Jasmine Moderator mod
    edited March 28
    Hello @KBedford,

    Thank you for contacting the Community. 

    Could you please post a link or a screenshot of the instructions in the help section that are incorrect? This will help us to see the error and update if needed. 

    Please refer to this Community FAQ for instructions on how to attach a screenshot. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop screenshots to your response if you are not given the option to add attachments.


    I look forward to hearing your response.
    -Quicken Jasmine
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @KBedford The absence of a budget-versus-actual year-to-date report is one of the most significant flaws in Quicken Mac. The primary problem is that there are a lot of features users want, and the development team's size and the program's complexity result in relatively slow progress.

    The other problem is that the developers seemingly don't use the program the way users in real life do, and this is a perfect case in point. Several years ago, when the current annual budget functionality was introduced, the developers declared that the users' request for budget-versus actual YTD was complete. And indeed, they had added such a column to the on-screen view. But apparently, they didn't realize that without allowing users to specify an as-of date, the budget-versus-actual is only truly accurate on the last day of each month. (On April 1, for instance, the budget column will show results for January through April, while the actual column will show January through March. And that's no April Fools joke; it's a major miss in program functionality design.) And the inability to print a report which shows the year-to-date budget-versus-actual columns seems like another significant oversight; the developers checked a box that the budget can be printed, but failed to realize that without year-to-date totals, the printed report is of very limited value.  It just seems no one on the development team depends on Quicken Mac to manage their personal budgets, because if they did, they would have pushed to have fixed these shortcomings a long time ago. 

    I try to be understanding about the fact that Quicken Mac users want a lot of additional features added to the program, and that among all of us, there are many different things that we collectively consider top priorities. I know that not all Quicken Mac users even use the budget feature, so this certainly isn't a top priority for all users. But I would think that enough people use the budget — or want to — that this would have been a priority before now.

    So how is it possible for this to have been ignored for so long? Well, here's my guess about why it hasn't been tackled yet, based on a few snippets from the former product manager… The budget part of the program is fairly complex and hard to tweak to add new functionality. And there are a bunch of budget features users have asked for. In addition to being able to do a proper year-to-date report, users would like budget reports to be integrated with the main reports section of the program so custom reports could be set up and saved. Users want budget rollover functionality, so amounts which are over or under budget in one month get automatically rolled into the following month. Users want the option to have an "everything else" line in their budget, so sum up all the categories not included in the budget. Some users want a way to do "envelope budgeting". Some users want the option to have the budget count future scheduled transactions. And the list of feature requests related to the budget goes on. So I suspect that the developers looked at what it would take to implement some or all of these features over time, and concluded that they needed to extensively re-write the budget part of the program from the ground up. And because they have this slated as a future project — or perhaps one some developer is working on right now — they decided not to put any time and effort into adding more features to the existing budget programming because they knew it would be thrown out and re-written. If I'm correct about this, we can only hope that one or more people on the development team have been working on a re-designed, re-engineered budget module for a long time time, and that completion will be sooner than later. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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