Is Quicken really worth the hassle? Account balances wrong every day..

Hello, after decades of just tracking finances through spreadsheets, I thought I'd bite the bullet and use Quicken instead and have had it for about a week now.

And essentially, I have spent the past week reading this forum because of all of the problems I've had.  I got the accounts set up and connected easily enough, but every time they update, I encounter a new problem.

For example, my 401k always shows double the amount (solved that, sort of, but the fix requires manual intervention after each update). My checking and savings account balances have a new and incorrect balance every day (ending balance does not match the online balance...not even close). A register correct yesterday, for example, is wildly wrong the following day even though I can find no reason for it.

So, I realize I'm asking this question to the Quicken community, but honestly, is it worth using this application? So far, it's been nothing but a headache and I'm already missing my spreadsheets. I'm curious if others have had rough starts that eventually smooth out. A software application this mature shouldn't be this problematic. I'm a Windows users on R39.23.


  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    This is purely a personal opinion based on observations from the program behavior, community posts, and most important learning from the experts within this community that I am very grateful to.  Some people have it rough as you have unfortunately experienced.  I can only speak for myself that my issues have been far and little and my balances and transactions have been correct.  Therefore, I much prefer it to a spreadsheet given the analysis tools and reports.  I attribute my good fortune to the following:
    • Feature I have disabled because they tend to mess with transactions and balances: cloud Sync, and hence I don't use mobile & web
    • Features I don't use because of sporadic 3rd party issues (and frankly banks do it much better): bills, bill manager, bill paying, scheduling
    • I rarely accept program patch/release updates.  When I find a good release, I will stay on it as long as feasible.  Perhaps I update my Quicken version 2-4 times per year.  I test the latest release on another system (or Virtual Machine) and read community posts to determine if it is a potential upgrade candidate for me.
    • I don't call a financial institution (FI) because of an issue in Quicken (password, downloads, etc.) as it is rarely their problem.
    • If an account gives an error during an update, I don't worry about it.  It will be resolved the next day or next week.
    *** Must Do ***: I always make a date/time-stamped backup of the Quicken data file EVERY TIME I make a change or transaction download.  If I use it daily, I have daily backups.  At some point I clean them up.
    Couple of Tips:
    • If you ever reset or deactivate/reactivate an account, some opening balances may change (long time odd and unknown issue with many reports on this community).  I manage it by making note of all of my correct opening balances in a separate file and in the memo field of each of those corresponding opening transactions.  Hence I can make a quick cross check and correction if ever needed.
    • Express Web Connection (EWC) connection method is prone to issues.  Always select the Direct Connect (DC) method if that option is available.  That being said, some of my accounts are EWC and I am still issue-free!
    Final thoughts:
    If you have Sync enabled and running into these issues, IMO the damage is perhaps done.  Given that you just started a week ago [if it were me] I would re-start fresh by creating a new blank file and first thing I would do is disable Sync in Preferences > Mobile & Web (means you cannot use mobile & web!).  Then add accounts one at a time and check the Sync setting every time (as it tends to get re-enabled sometimes when you add a new account!).
    Another optional thing I would do is preferably disable "Simple Investing" in Preferences > Investment transactions.
    As far the release version, stay with your R39.23 as R40.xx is problematic as of this writing.  Set your Windows "User Account Control Settings" to notify you when a program wants to make a change, and when you get a pop up during Quicken start up to allow the program to make a change, select NO, because it wants to update the release - be in control of when YOU decide to update the program.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, it's definitely worth it to me. I still use spreadsheets, too. 

    The advice from @BK is great advice. It should help you get off to a solid start. Reading here in this forum, asking (and answering) questions would help you learn best practices and become more proficient with Quicken. 

    Stick with it. 

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • TTSguy
    TTSguy Member ✭✭✭✭
    @BK thanks, a great pro's and con's write up. Absolutely GREAT ... Thanks!
    Quicken Windows Deluxe Subscription R39.23
     Only function used is register function and reports. NO, other Quicken functions or Sync being used.  ;)
  • msmith99usa
    msmith99usa Member ✭✭
    I feel your pain and anxiety. I am running Windows 10, Quicken Version R37.63, Build I have not updated since November 2021 due to the constant "glitches" introduced by Q. I will wait as long as I can before updating. That said, I download transactions for my 0ne (1) BoA checking account, one (1) BoA credit card account, four (4) Fidelity investment accounts, ad one linked (1) Fidelity Cash Management Account. So far no download issues but reconciling the Fidelity Cash Management Account is broke and I have already spent 24-28 hours trying to correct it, all to no avail. I have given up on that feature. I withdrew from using Q to pay bills electronically; too many "glitches" introduced by Q and I cannot spend more time trying to fix or workaround Q issues. I use my Fidelity Cash Management Account to pay all bills without any issues. I updated a spreadsheet with summarized Q data to drive my cash flow and investment planning into the future. Q's Planning function is useless for me. Not sure if Q ever actually asks users for input; I have used Q since it was DOS-based and I do not remember ever being asked for input. SMH.
  • Kathleen Winger
    Kathleen Winger Member ✭✭
    edited May 6
    I'm a long-time Quicken user (all the way back to when the program was owned and maintained by Intuit). Ever since Intuit sold it to H.I.G Capital in 2016, it's been somewhat less reliable but, since H.I.G sold it to Aquiline Capital Partners in October of last year, glitches have been increasing in both numbers and severity. Currently, the Update process is repeatedly entering duplicate transactions, while omitting others. I've wasted hours in the last month dumping data from Quicken accounts and my financial institutions into separate Excel files so I can manually compare entries. And, today, Quicken stopped connecting with my scanner for the second time in two weeks. [Removed - Speculation]