Is there a proper manual that describes exactly what each account type is and how they differ?

Dr_B
Dr_B Member ✭✭
I would find it very helpful if there was a pdf FM so that I could RTFM and learn how the programmers have designed Quicken Mac to work. I find it immensely frustrating that I have to repeatedly pester other users by asking questions that I feel should have been answered in a well laid out user guide. This web-based piece-meal ad hoc approach to trying to find answers to fundamental questions about accounting software is driving me crazy - it shouldn't be an easter egg hunt.

Quicken 2007 had a user guide that was clear and easy to follow and explained everything I needed to know to use it effectively. I'm spending way too much time trying to just get Quicken Mac to recreate the most basic functionality that I had with Q2007.
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Answers

  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you new to Quicken Mac (2015 and newer)?

    Welcome.

    Getting Started with Quicken for Mac
    https://www.quicken.com/complete-guide-getting-started-quicken-2018-mac
    https://www.quicken.com/getting-started with links to more information and videos

    If you haven't done so already, please review these videos for more information about Quicken Mac
    https://www.youtube.com/user/QuickenMac/videos

    (OK, so they're a little dated by now, but they will still help you get started)

    Help! (Quicken Mac)

    Click Help / Quicken Help for additional help on Quicken functions and features.
    A browser-based version is available here: https://help.quicken.com/display/MAC/Quicken+for+Mac+Help


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In Q (both Win & Mac) your asset and liability items are setup as Accounts ...and what you setup should correspond to the real world.
    Your Income & Expense items are, in Q, set up as categories ... and I'd suggest looking at your most recent tax returns to determine the starting items.  Then add things like Groceries, Gas, etc that are expenses but not directly tax related.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Unfortunately, most software developers stopped creating comprehensive user manuals a long time ago; Quicken is not an outlier in not having one. Even though many users would probably never RTFM, some people like you would. And some people would use it to discover not just the basics, but some of the little hidden features that aren't readily apparent. But that's not the way the software industry works these days, especially when a company is pushing out new features every other month or so, which would require constant revisions to a manual. 

    So check out some of the links provided above, and ask questions; folks here will try to help you climb up the learning curve. ;) 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Dr_B
    Dr_B Member ✭✭
    Thank you, everyone, for your replies. I've been using Quicken since the 1990s, xero since 2015, and I taught myself double-entry bookkeeping over 40 years ago (almost as long as I've been programming computers - purely for my work in scientific data analysis and numerical modelling. My comfort zone is akin to xtree gold and Aperture, i.e text-based is very efficient; most 'advances' in software over the past 10-15 years are superficial and often less efficient to use than the older methods they replace - like Photos replacing Aperture yeeechh). I feel reasonably confident in how things are supposed to work with regards to tracking the movement of cash through categories and accounts.

    I don't know, but I suspect that a lot of the account types in Q use the same data representation in the backend (it's all just SQLite tables, isn't it) but differ in name to facilitate connection with how various financial institutions refer to their products. To me, savings, checking, cash management are all functionally identical: my banks let me write checks, withdraw through ATMs, perform EFTs etc. What I was hoping to learn / confirm was that this is the case in QMac, ie., that it doesn't really matter what type of bank account you choose from an accounting perspective. I see there are a great variety of 'retirement' type accounts. I'm curious to know how QMac treats these accounts, eg., do tax liability calculations differ between account types with identical transactions.

    Instinctively, I do not watch videos. They take too long and discriminate against those people who don't enjoy constant high-bandwidth internet connectivity. Yes, hard to believe, but there are still plenty of rural and remote areas where the current software support model is much less appropriate than a simple downloadable pdf for offline viewing. I can't see any reason why web-based resources can't be structured more like a conventional hard-copy manual that users could have the option of downloading. OK, add a feature, update the online help resource and let that be reflected in a revised pdf manual.

    And jacobs, you're right, I'm one of those users who did discover useful 'hidden' features by reading the manual. I've had to accept that I have a very linear brain, not a random access one. I don't do social media. I prefer voice to SMS on efficiency grounds, etc. And I accept that times change but I think that often the people changing things don't appreciate the full cost to the user of these changes.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Dr_B said:
    I don't know, but I suspect that a lot of the account types in Q use the same data representation in the backend (it's all just SQLite tables, isn't it) but differ in name to facilitate connection with how various financial institutions refer to their products. To me, savings, checking, cash management are all functionally identical: my banks let me write checks, withdraw through ATMs, perform EFTs etc. What I was hoping to learn / confirm was that this is the case in QMac, ie., that it doesn't really matter what type of bank account you choose from an accounting perspective. I see there are a great variety of 'retirement' type accounts. I'm curious to know how QMac treats these accounts, eg., do tax liability calculations differ between account types with identical transactions.
    There are fundamentally two types of accounts in Quicken Mac: "banking" and "investment" accounts. There's no real difference between a traditional IRA and a SEP-IRA or 401k, since for tax purposes, they're identical. 

    Dr_B said:
    Instinctively, I do not watch videos. They take too long and discriminate against those people who don't enjoy constant high-bandwidth internet connectivity.
    These are not long videos. You can ignore them if you wish, but they can be helpful in learning the software.

    Dr_B said:
    I can't see any reason why web-based resources can't be structured more like a conventional hard-copy manual that users could have the option of downloading.
    The online Help provides a wealth of information. More in some places than others, but there's a lot of information in Help. It's not the same as a structured User Manual, of course, but don't discount its usefulness.

    Dr_B said:
    I can't see any reason why web-based resources can't be structured more like a conventional hard-copy manual that users could have the option of downloading. OK, add a feature, update the online help resource and let that be reflected in a revised pdf manual.
    Yeah, you're preaching to the choir here. ;) That's just not the way Quicken and most other software developers approach this. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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