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Why No Investment Reports in Quicken Mac

It's becoming frustrating to not have the same highly useful investment reports in Quicken Mac as in Quicken Windows.

Here is a quick list of all wide number of investment reports in Quicken Windows:

  • Investment performance (IRR) report or graph
  • Income by Security
  • Investing Activity report
  • Investment Income report
  • Investment Transactions report

The views provided in the Investment Dashboard and Portofolio view are too limited (or non-existent) compared to the completely customizable reports above.

It's difficult to justify a yearly subscription for Quicken Mac when there still isn't parity with Quicken Windows for Investmens (and Multi-Currency support but that's a separate topic).

When will the above Investment Reports be finally added?


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    When will the above Investment Reports be finally added?

    @Yield Chaser No one here will be able to answer that question. Quicken never announces when new features will arrive. The only clue we get is when Idea topics here are marked as "Planned", but that can mean 3, 6, 12, 18 or more months until the feature is released.

    Some of the things you list above are indeed available through the Portfolio registers, but I agree that some things don't exist, and it's a pain to have to constantly tweak the Portfolio settings to get the reporting you want.

    (Why Quicken Mac doesn't have feature parity with Quicken Windows is a long, tangled story, and I suspect you're less interested in the back story than just wanting certain features to exist.)

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • SlackerDad!
    SlackerDad! Member ✭✭


    I would enjoy hearing (reading, rather) about the feature parity story between Quicken for Windows vs Mac. I used Quicken for DOS going back to 1990(?). Is there a link? Of course, you could have been describing it as long and tangled because you didn't want to explain it. That's cool, too. You keep doing the super user work that you do!

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @SlackerDad! I'm happy to offer a bit of a history lesson! 😉

    Intuit was created by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx in 1983 after Cook observed his wife paying bills at their kitchen table and thought software could make the process easier. Proulx, a Stanford student at the time, wrote the first version of Quicken for DOS in Microsoft Basic. They ran Intuit out of Proulx's basement for awhile. Current Quicken CEO Eric Dunn was the 4th employee of the young company, which went through tough times and would have gone under had some of the employees not agreed to keep working for 6 month without pay. An Apple II version of Quicken followed.

    In 1987, Intuit purchased an early Mac personal finance program called Electric Checkbook (from State-of-the-Art Software), and Dunn worked on converting it into the first version of Quicken for the Mac, which debuted to resounding and immediate success in early 1988. Three years later, in 1991, Quicken for Windows made its debut. With the different origins of the Mac and Windows versions of Quicken, they were never developed using a unified database, file format, or code. The developers for both platforms over the ensuing years added features to help users manage more and more aspects of their personal finances.

    Quicken for Mac was originally developed during the era of the "Classic" Mac operating system of the 1980s and 90s. When Apple switched to the Unix-based Mac OS X in 2001, developers were aware that while Apple aimed to maintain compatibility as long as possible, eventually the underpinnings of old Mac OS would be retired and programs would have to be re-written for the new operating system. By the time of the release of Quicken 2007, the developers at Intuit realized that so much of the code of Quicken was inexorably tied to things in the old OS which Apple was telling developers would soon be retired from the OS, there was no viable alternative except starting over to build a new Quicken Mac using the more modern tools, database, graphics and frameworks of Mac OS X.

    So starting in late 2006, that's what they aimed to do. It was a very big project, since Quicken 2007 was the culmination of 20 years of code development. The team working on the new version didn't set out to create a modernized look-alike of Quicken 2007, but to re-think the features and design of a program that had originally been developed when everyone had 12" monitors and there was no Internet or online connectivity. And to be a great Mac program meant embracing the look and feel of Mac programs, and to use the development tools integral to the Mac's operating system. The project was called Quicken Financial Life, but after two years of development, it never made it out of beta testing. During this development cycle, was born — a web-based financial management tool which looked clean and colorful and was easy to use. Recognizing the threat to Quicken's market dominance, Intuit purchased Mint in 2009, and installed its founder, Aaron Patzer, as the head of the Quicken division. He quickly revamped the stalled Quicken Mac project to make its user interface more like Mint, with colorful charts and graphs — but there was still a huge amount of functionality missing which was going to take years to code. So he decided to release a subset of Quicken, a "Quicken Lite"-like program called Quicken Essentials, in early 2010. It was significantly underpowered; it didn't track investments, had rudimentary reporting, and lacked a great deal of other functionality from the legacy Quicken — but it was something they could put on the market while they continued development. And it was built on a robust, modern SQL database employed by macOS, and all of Apple's new tools for on-screen and printed displays. Patzer promised Mac users a full-fledged Quicken Deluxe would follow the next year. But it was not to be. Reviews and users disliked Quicken Essentials because of its limited features, so many users continued using the legacy Quicken 2007, and Intuit continued not bringing in much revenue from its Mac product. Intuit then underwent another management shake-up, with Patzer leaving the Quicken division, and the Mac project completely stalled. Quicken for Mac nearly died.

    It wasn't until late 2012 that Intuit hired a new product manager, Marcus Aiu, to pick up the pieces of the Quicken Mac development project. With only a couple of developers on the California-based team (Quicken Windows development had been moved to a team in India years earlier), they needed to revamp some of the core code in Essentials to conform to changes in the Mac operating system, and then to develop the missing investment tracking functionality. Porting Windows code to the Mac wasn't viable, because different databases, memory techniques, display technologies and development frameworks were very different between macOS and Windows. And the goal was still to build a product which felt very Mac-like, not to be a clone of Quicken Windows. After two years of development, in August 2014, the modern Quicken Mac came to market as Quicken 2015.

    Most of the people who beta tested that product argued that more features and fixes were needed before the product was released. Aiu posted this simple explanation shortly after Quicken 2015 was first released, something I wish the company would have displayed more prominently: "I don't expect many Quicken 2007 or Quicken Windows users to purchase the product until it has the features they need. The bottom line is: we released what we felt was a great release [upgrade] for Quicken Essentials users, and the plan is to continue to enhance the product adding legacy features that appear in other versions of Quicken throughout the year."

    And indeed, unlike Quicken of old, where there were new features added in an annual fall release of the next year's version of the program, the Quicken Mac team started releasing updates every one or two months, adding features they knew users were waiting for in the young program. But the Mac development team still consisted of just a few people, and they didn't make progress as quickly as they originally though they would. They lost a lot of time re-writing code for changing Internet communications protocols, changing servers at Intuit, and eventually moving off some of Intuit's servers after Quicken separated from Intuit in 2016. At that time, Quicken became an independent company, with Eric Dunn returning as the CEO. He stated that Quicken Mac feature parity with Quicken Windows was a goal within a few years. (Cynics will note that Quicken Windows has its own share of problems that Quicken Mac ought not to emulate!) They also announced they were doubling the size of the Mac development team to build new functionality more quickly.

    They've made a lot of progress since then, and added many major and minor features users have clamored for. But parity with Quicken Windows, or even all the features of the legacy Quicken 2007 for Mac, has still not been achieved. Quicken is a complex program, and even with more developers, the Quicken Mac team is still much smaller than most users probably imagine. (There are fewer than 10 developers, a couple designers, and a few quality control testers.)

    There are still many shortcomings with Quicken Mac, but things seem headed in the right direction. The path continues to be one of slow progress with some bumps along the way. Quicken Mac in 2023 is vastly improved over the original Quicken 2015. But it still lacks any number of features in Quicken Windows. That's largely because the Windows product dates back to 1991, while the re-created Mac program was born nearly 20 years later, and developed with a far smaller team. The developers don't give too much insight about what they're working on, and never pre-announce when certain features will be released, but the feature requests on this site marked as "Planned" do give us some insight into the development plans for the future. Many user-requested enhancements — from a business version to improved budgeting to expanded planning features — have all been marked as "Planned" and are therefore likely to be rolled out in the months and years ahead.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    I think it also helps think about the timeline of Mac vs Windows. When Quicken Mac Essentials came out the Mac had about 5% of the desktop market. And that was definitely represented in how much a company like Intuit was going to put into it. Let's face it, it if it wasn't for the great success that the iPhone got the Mac at best would probably still be a niche market. It is interesting to note that if it wasn't for Microsoft bailing out Apple it would have gone under before the iPhone came out.

    So, this part of the history explains what you get "new Quicken Mac has yet to get all the features that Quicken Mac 2007 had 'let alone the features of Quicken Windows Deluxe'". In other words, because of market share/people working on it Quicken Mac and never had feature parity with Quicken Windows.

    And in some ways that isn't a bad thing. I can count lots "features" in Quicken Windows that don't work right or even cause data file corruption. In the case "don't work right" it has to do with code that hasn't been updated in many years. In the case of data corruption, it has to do with trying to graft new features on an old code base that probably no one really understands any more.

    Using Quicken Windows can be an exercise in known all the workarounds and the feature "not to use".

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