What is the extent of synchronizing with Quicken Classic (between mobile and windows/mac)

bmart Member

I am looking to migrate from my reliable but unpolished GnuCash system to a more polished solution that allowed for equitable access and engagement between my wife and myself.

Years back I had the data hosted on a home server, and my wife's Mac and my Windows computer could both use it. This was clunky to keep-up, and she rarely used it, so this stopped. Years later (an in a very different economic situation) we are looking to have a more polished application that is usable for her, and can meet our needs (personal and two businesses in which we are the only employees, no payroll considerations). It looks like Quicken Personal and Business has both Windows and Mac options, as well as a companion app, and technically with the ability to synchronize with a server somewhere.

Will this allow her Mac version and my Windows version to be kept synchronised with eachother?

Will the companion app allow one or both of us to scan receipts on the spot and categorize purchases?

If the Windows version and the Mac version are their own silo, this would likely be a dealbreaker (unless the companion app was so amazing that it could be a largely sufficient UI in and of itself).


I recognize that Simplifi is angling towards a cloud-based solution that would meet my more decentralized goals, but my understanding is that it does not do the business separation that I think I need. Ultimately, if it allowed me to have 4-5 asset accounts, and allowed me to group expenses, it may be enough.

I appreciate your guidance!


  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited June 17

    You can't do what you used to do with GnuCash and keep one data file on a server to access from both Windows & Mac machines. For one thing, Quicken Windows and Quicken Mac have incompatible file formats so you can't open the same file from both platforms. Also, Quicken doesn't work well with online storage solutions so it's not a good idea to put your Quicken file anywhere but a disk directly attached to your computer.

    You can't use the Quicken Cloud service to sync between two computers, it's really only there to sync data to the mobile apps and Quicken on the Web. You could try to use the mobile app but it's somewhat limited compared to the desktop. It will let you enter & view transactions in banking accounts (checking, savings, credit cards) but doesn't let you do much of anything with investing accounts. Reports are also somewhat lacking compared to the desktop. I haven't tried Quicken on the Web but I expect it's similar to the mobile apps.

  • bmart
    bmart Member

    Thank you for your very helpful insight! I recognize that a Windows/Mac solution is often a difficult ask.

    Does the mobile companion app allow for receipts to be scanned and associated with a transaction?

    Does it allow for credit card statement reconciliations?

    (the process of getting the file downloaded from the bank and then uploaded to the mobile app may be a bit clunky with a small screen, but could be doable…. I don't think Canadian banks yet allow for direct connections to Quicken / accounting apps, but if they did that would certainly streamline this portion)

  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited June 17

    You can add attachments to transactions on mobile devices (at least Apple devices, I don't have anything Android to check) and one of the options is to use the camera to take a photo.

    I don't see any options for reconciling accounts in the mobile app.

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    But storing attachments within Q is ill-advised.

    Such can ONLY be viewed from within Q. A preferable solution is to get a file manager (or, set up folders in Win and Mac) and store the attachments there, referencing them in the applicable transactions in Q.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    You mentioned Canadian banks, that limits the possibilities. Probably less limited in Quicken Mac than in Quicken Windows Canadian (Note that if you get Quicken Windows US it has no support for Canadian accounts). Quicken Mac has support for both US and Candian financial institutions. And you are correct that there isn't any support of Direct Connect/OFX standard from the Canadian financial institutions. But "some of them" (very limited) do support "Express Web Connect" (or Quicken Connect on Mac) that allows for updating from the Quicken Desktop and it should also update from the Mobile/Web since it is really "server/aggregator" based. The flow for the Desktop is:

    Quicken (the program) → Quicken Cloud server → Intuit (Quicken Inc's aggregator) → financial institution. Whereas "Sync to Mobile/Web from the Quicken Desktop program is the first two above, and that Quicken Cloud server periodically and on demand can make the same kind of request to download the transactions in the "Quicken Cloud dataset (where the sever keeps that data that is downloaded/synced) and the Mobile/Web are mostly just GUIs for that server data. But note that the Mobile/Web can't import a QFX file (which is basically a file with the response from an OFX request for the transactions), that has to be done from the Desktop.

    Here are URLs to the files that describe what financial institutions are supported and what connection method.

    WEB-CONNECT (Download and import QFX file)

    EXP-WEB-CONNECT (Express Web Connect. For the US financial institutions this might be Express Web Connect + which is still through Intuit, but instead of a non-standardized interface to the financial institution it is a protocol called FDX which the new one being pushed by the financial institutions)

    DIRECT (Direct Connect/OFX protocol, slightly modified and called QFX)

    Couple this with the account types supported, note that BANKING doesn't include CREDIT, they are separately listed/supported:

    Quicken Windows Canadian:


    Quicken Mac:


    Quicken Windows US:


    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's an approach you can try (but note the potential limitation below). I've not tried the following myself (I don't have a Mac, nor do I know how to use one); but I have used remote access software to connect to another PC in my home and run Quicken.

    Plan that your Quicken data will be on one Windows PC and always accessed using Quicken for Windows. [I believe you could also do it the other way around, with the Quicken file on the Mac PC and only accessed by Quicken for the Mac.]

    In my scenario, on the Mac, use the "Team Viewer" software to remotely access the Windows PC, which will let the Mac user run Quicken on the Windows PC to maintain the data. When Team Viewer accesses another computer, it looks to the Team Viewer user as if they are actually sitting at the other computer. And the remote (Mac) user can do whatever the Windows PC user can do on the Windows PC.

    [Team Viewer will run under Windows or Mac. It must be installed on any machine where it will be used].

    The Mac user would need to learn how to use Quicken for Windows and both parties would have to come up with an agreement for accessing the file on the Windows PC (only instance of Quicken can be running at one time on one PC (ignoring virtual machines), and only one user can access a Quicken file at one time.

    I believe that a relatively simple check-out/check-in process could be used to control access to the Quicken file. Alternatively, both users could just stay in touch verbally (or by email), to insure that the Quicken data file is available.

    You can use Team Viewer for free; with the rigidly enforced caveat that it cannot be used in any way that could be interpreted as "commercial usage". And when I say "rigidly enforced", I mean the Team Viewer folks are paranoid that someone somewhere may be trying to use Team Viewer as part of their business without having to pay for it. They monitor usage and will shut down anyone they think is "cheating" (sometimes they think something nefarious is going on when it's not). 

    [It appears to me that Team Viewer can be run on a cell phone, but I have not looked into it, so I can't really comment on that possibility.] 

    [Here's what Team Viewer has to say about commercial usage. "The free version is intended for personal use, such as connecting to friends and family or your own devices at home. If TeamViewer detects commercial use, your account may be blocked. Commercial use includes connecting to colleagues or your work computer, working from home, or supporting clients."

    [For an example of overt and legitimate commercial usage: McAfee uses Team Viewer to logon to their customer's PC to help analyze/debug McAfee problems.]

    [If the no-commercial-use seems to be a problem, there is apparently another free Team-Viewer-like program called AnyViewer. I'm not sure whether it has any relationship to Team Viewer, and I have never used it myself; but it claims that there are basically no restrictions on its use.  However it only runs on a PC; so at the least, you'd need some sort of Windows emulator to use it from a Mac.]


    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list