Quicken Mac (or PC) Alternatives

Quicken Mac (or PC) Alternatives

So you’re a Quicken addict (like me), you use a Mac, and now you’re worried about how to keep that addiction rolling when Mac OS X Lion kills Quicken 2007. What to do? We’ve already talked at length about running the windows version in a virtual machine, waiting for Intuit to (hopefully) update or even running 10.6 in a virtual machine (if it ends up being allowed).

But what if you want to just make a clean break? What are your options? Below, I’ve rounded up ten desktop alternatives as well as five online alternatives. Note that a number of these are also Windows-friendly, so if you’re a PC user and are looking to ditch Quicken, you might want to check out this list.

Not surprisingly, the various options have different feature sets and capabilities, and I haven’t had an opportunity to test them out myself. My current plan is to start with iBank to see if it’s a suitable Quicken replacement and, if necessary, move on from there. I will, of course, report back on my experiences in a future post.

Desktop software

First up… Desktop solutions. This is a mix of commercial, shareware, and open source options. I’ve listed them alphabetically to avoid any favoritism.

  • AceMoney (link) – Lite version for free, or $30.00 with 30 day trial
  • Buddi (link) – Free!
  • GnuCash (link) – Free!
  • iBank (link) – 30 day free trial, $59.99 to buy
  • MoneyDance (link) – Free trial (limited to 100 transactions), $49.99 to buy
  • Jumsoft Money (link) – 15 day free trial, $18.99 to buy
  • KMyMoney (link) – Free! (but complex to install)
  • Quicken Essentials for Mac – No trial, $49.99 to buy ($39.99 on Amazon)
  • SEE Finance (link) – Free trial, $29.99 to buy
  • You Need a Budget (link) – Free seven day trial, $59.95 to buy

Wow. Ten options. I’m sure you could find even more with a bit of looking. As noted above, I’ll start my search for a replacement by testing out iBank. Hopefully that’s as far as I’ll have to go. The one thing I know for certain is that I won’t be using the overly-simplistic Quicken Essentials

Update – Reader Suggestions:

  • Moneywell (link) – Free trial (limited to 200 transactions), $49.99 to buy
  • Checkbook (link) – Free trial, $14.95 to buy (or $19.95 for Pro version)

Online options

Next up… A handful of online options, most of which are free:

  • Buxfer (link) – Free!
  • Mint.com (link) – Free!
  • MoneyTrackin’ (link) – Free!
  • Mvelopes (link) – Free 14 day trial, starts at $39.60/quarter
  • Yodlee Money Center (link) – Free!

The primary downside with most of the online options is that you’ll lose your historical data. Mvelopes actually allows you to import your old Quicken data for archival purposes, and you can run reports and search it, but you can’t otherwise interact with the data.

Roll your own solution

And, of course, you could always roll your own solution using an Excel, OpenOffice, or Google spreadsheet. This isn’t particularly easy to do if you want any sort of complexity, but it offers maximal flexibility.

If you’ve tried any of these options, please share your thoughts in the comments. Likewise, if you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments.

20 Responses to “Quicken Mac (or PC) Alternatives”

  1. Anonymous

    I am also a die hard Quicken for Mac fan. I have Quicken 2005. I tried ibank and it totally screwed up my investments. 20 years down the drain and in turn messed up all my accounts because I had transfered to and from my inestment accounts into my checking, etc. Did any of you find something that would work better. ibank had a trial version so it was RISK free. Not sure if the others mentioned do. Wondering where to go next. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous

    I chickened out and continue to use Quicken 2005 on a Mac that I have not upgraded from SnowLeopard. I tinkered with MoneyDance and if push comes to shove will probably go there as it seems to do everything I need. I just couldn’t bring myself to change from something that is now working so smoothly. I hope to goodness that it doesn’t just die on me!!
    Anthony

  3. Anonymous

    Like webtrekker, I’ve been a Quicken (Windows) user for well over 20 years, upgrading to the latest Premium version every other year (as I track some financial investments along with my regular checking and savings). I use what I consider to be the most basic features, simply entering my transactions into the register and then downloading cleared transactions from my bank to reconcile them with my monthly statements. At year end I run a category report and use it to do my taxes in TurboTax.

    I recently found a bug with the reconciling feature, and discovered a simple workaround. I reported it to Intuit Customer Support, and was told I probably have a corrupt data file (which I don’t). I replied and said I already had a workaround for the problem, and was merely reporting the problem so it could be fixed. They replied and kindly asked me to use their “Product Feature Request” form to submit requests for changes to the product. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this type of support response from Intuit. Each time it makes me want to scream and throw their product out the window…unfortunately, with 20 years of historical data, I’m locked into their product.

  4. Anonymous

    Anthony,FJ–see my comments under number 5 of this discussion. I was able to import from Quicken into MoneyDance preserving all my categories and classes. Quicken categories import into MoneyDance categories, and Quicken classes import into MoneyDance tags. I’ve been using MoneyDance for several months now and have not had any problems. Forget Quicken Essentials.

  5. Anonymous

    I have been using Quicken for Mac for close to 20 years and have loved it but never saw any reason to change from 2005 version. I am now scuppered having migrated to Lion without having done my homework (can’t use Word etc. SoundStudio and doubtless many others =:-0

    I use classes and find them essential. I wonder if someone can help me now that I have made the move. I am nervous about losing 20 yrs worth of data!

    Seems clear that Intuit have cut us loose. Can anyone say anything good about Quicken essentials? I don’t need anything sophisticated, no investments not even budgets. Just multiple accounts, downloads from banks critical and classes or equivalent.

  6. Anonymous

    I’ve been using Quicken since the 2.0 dos days, and upgraded around every other year. However, this new 2012 version really stinks .. bad! Looked at iBank, but alas that looks to be only available on Mac.. ugh.. Scared to try Mint since it is owned by Intuit too.

  7. Anonymous

    I’ve been using Quicken for Windows for over 15 years and never had a problem. All of a sudden a month ago, I had a problem updating bank transactions. Quicken still has not resolved the problem even though the error message seems standard. I’ve had it. Their Tech Support is horrible. So I’m looking for alternatives and came across AceMoney Lite since I only use Quicken for my checking and savings account. Does anybody have any experience with AceMoney Lite?

  8. Anonymous

    After researching this for a while I decided to give MoneyDance a try. Over the weekend I reconciled our Quicken 2007 accounts with the latest bank statements and then exported to MD. At first it looked pretty good. No errors reported, and it seemed to go well. However, it quickly became obvious that the balances were all bunged up, and there were transactions entered into wrong accounts all over the place. I’m going to try exporting each account from Q2007 separately and likewise pull them into MD in the hopes that the cross-corruption of transactions between accounts will be avoided. If that doesn’t work, then… iBank? SEE Finance? Hold off on Lion and see if Intuit pulls Q2007 out of the fire?

    Thanks for the great thread!

  9. Anonymous

    I am trying See Finance after transferring data from Quicken. It is very different from Quicken, especially for reconcile and printing reports of any of any kind. There is a steep learning curve after using Quicken for a long time. Will be trying others such as iBank and Mint.com based on other inputs.

  10. Anonymous

    Checkbook Pro is very adequate if your needs are basic – just keeping a record of all your bank transactions with easy to search categories in varying accounts including credit cards. You download data from website as a qfx file which you then import into Checkbook accounts very efficiently. The program quickly learns to autofill categories for recurrent payees. The program sets up new accounts much more easily than was my experience with Quicken 2004. The authors respond quickly to questions, accept advice and upgrade periodically. I switched from Quicken at the beginning of this year and pleased I did so.

  11. Anonymous

    I look forward to your Moneydance review. After researching iBank, I have decided it’s probably not for me. I have been using Quicken on my Mac since the mid 1990’s, and need to identify the best replacement. At this point I am most interested in Moneydance & SEE Finance. I have not tried either yet, but overall SEE Finance seems to be getting the better reviews from users. I’d like to report that I sent a question to their e-mail support on July 4th, a holiday, and received a reply within a couple of hours! Very unexpected and pleasant surprise. I’d be VERY interested if you could follow your Moneydance review with one of SEE Finance.

  12. Anonymous

    I’ve used Quicken on the Mac for nearly 20 years and am disappointed that it probably will not be updated to run under Lion. So like the rest of you, I have been trying out different products. One thing I require is that the software be able to do both categories and classes. iBank does categories, but not classes. MoneyDance does categories and tags, which translates to the same thing as Quicken classes. I also need to be able to print checks, which MoneyDance does as well. So far, I haven’t found anything that I did in Quicken that MoneyDance does not do: reports, budgets, reminders, split transactions, download credit card transactions. I don’t track investments, so I don’t have any perspective on that aspect of its performance. I’ve purchased MoneyDance and am thus far happy with it.

  13. Anonymous

    Michelle,

    I was once a Mint skeptic, but no more. Security is the least of my concerns. Fact of the matter is that your own home computer is far more vulnerable to hacking than Mint. They have significant resources, full-time IT professionals, and sophisticated equipment protecting their data servers. My guess is that you have Windows’ built-in firewall and not much else. Your data is as safe with Mint as it is with your bank (both of which are probably far more save than your own home computer).

    In addition, down time is not an issue. Mint has regularly-scheduled maintenance every Sunday night for a few hours. Other than that, it has never been down for me. On occasion, Mint has had trouble connecting to some of my accounts (when those companies’ servers are down), but this never lasts long.

    Add in the benefit of being able to check up on my finances at home, from my work computer, on the road, or on my Android phone, and I’m a Mint convert.

  14. Anonymous

    When categorizing the the options into two groups and you say online options, do you mean that all our financial data lives on a server somewhere, rather than on my own computer? If so, that will preclude my interest for two reasons. If it lives entirely on a server ‘in the clouds’ then it is more vulnerable to hacking and, it could be problematic to access, if the server is down For any extended period of time.

    I just downloaded ibank and so far, it looks good. I Need to spend some time playing and get o know what it can do for me that I never tried with quicken since it had stopped working for me with my bank.

    I hope you give us updates as you explore ibank to help us find the tips and tricks you discover. Thanks for this!
    M

  15. Anonymous

    I use iBank and mint.com (actually using mint more and more!) and between the two of those, I am absolutely set! Mint is providing more options on splitting bills into different categories and setting different saving goals/predictions. They are both great options and I honestly recommend mint.com as it’s a free service and is always up-to-date without having to enter in all of the data which I grow tired of doing. I’d much rather just verify that the information is correct if needed.

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