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Intuit Quicken Review

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Intuit Quicken has been a staple of personal finance for over 20 years. Their yearly updates have allowed a gradual evolution of features based on customer feedback, so it is one of the most comprehensive financial planning programs on the market. With Intuit’s acquisition of web-based competitor Mint, Quicken is expected to expand its mobile market and replace its fading Quicken Online feature.

Intuit Quicken

Intuit Quicken Features

Intuit Quicken Budgeting

Analyze Spending: There are multiple ways to track your expenses in Quicken. You can compare current and average historical spending, divide your spending into categories, and set spending and saving goals. With its useful customization, you can compare these spending habits to the past 1, 3, 6, or 9 months or compare them to the past few years. You can also organize by payee to find specifics of where your money is going, where expenses have increased, and other basic budgeting information.

View Pie Charts: You can easily pull up charts to get a visual representation of your spending and saving habits.

Set Budgets: Now that you have a good idea how much and where you are spending, you can organize a plan to improve your financial habits. Set a weekly, monthly and/or yearly budget and sign up for alerts that keep you on track. You can also set budgets by category, like dining out or car expenses.

Intuit Quicken Credit Reports

Sign-Up Report: After you install Quicken 2015, you are able to request a free EquiFax credit report that includes your credit score, revolving accounts, inquiries, derogatory marks and delinquencies.

Quarterly Reports: You will continue to receive free EquiFax reports and scores every 90 days.

Intuit Quicken Alerts

Over Budget: If you establish a budget, you’ll be able to add thresholds that send you an alert. You can also set alerts for unusual spending, fees, and large deposits that could indicate fraud.

Credit Monitoring: You can be informed any time a change is made to your EquiFax report.

Bills Due: Use Quicken alerts as a central place to track due dates for various bills and set it to send reminders.

Text or E-mail: Choose the right type of alert for you: text or e-mail. You can even add a secondary account to inform another person, such as a spouse.

Intuit Quicken Bill Pay

Online BillPay: For an additional $9.99/month, you can use Quicken’s BillPay program to receive and pay bills automatically. You can schedule payments up to one year out and set up auto-payment for variable bills like utilities. This is very useful for members of small banks that may not offer these online features. Maybe one of the best parts of BillPay is the ability to quickly transfer funds between separate accounts.

Check Printing: You can use Quicken to print checks for services that do not have online pay or for one-off expenses without worrying where you last placed your checkbook.

Intuit Quicken Long-Term Planning (Deluxe & Premier Versions)

Attach & Save Receipts: Quicken 2015 Deluxe and Premier allow you to scan or take a picture of your receipts and attach them to specific transactions. This is a great way to store receipts for tax deductable expenses or for warranty and insurance purposes.

Debt Reduction: The major difference between the Deluxe and Starter editions is the Deluxe edition’s inclusion of long-term financial planning. One of the areas it specializes in is reducing debt. You can input your credit cards, loans and other debts and choose an approach for paying them off faster while saving money on interest.

Retirement: Determine how much money you should be putting away each year in order to meet your retirement goals. Not sure how much you need to retire comfortably? Quicken will help you determine a reasonable goal based on your age, expected age at retirement, and other personal factors.

Mortgage: Learn how much you can afford, how to increase your savings toward a down payment, and how to add additional sums to your monthly payment to pay off your mortgage debt sooner.

Intuit Quicken Investment (Premier Version)

Track Gains and Losses: The investment-focused Premier version collects information from all of your investment portfolios and gives you a picture of your overall investment strategy. Quicken’s algorithms can even help make buy or sell decisions based on your customized settings.

Morningstar Portfolio X-Ray: This unique tool can show you the breakdown of your portfolio’s diversity by asset, industry, as well as growth type (aggressive, slow, classic or speculative). You’ll also see exactly how much you’re paying in fees.

Intuit Quicken Mobile App

Important Features at your Fingertips: You can accomplish a lot from the Quicken app for Android or iOS device. Quickly view your savings and spending, your budget goals and current status, your income and expenses, pre-set alerts, BillPay and more.

Intuit Quicken Pricing

Quicken 2015 Starter Edition
$39.99/mo
Credit score and monitoring
Monthly budgeting
Alerts via e-mail or text
Sync with mobile app
Auto-download account information
Quicken 2015 Deluxe Edition
$74.99/mo
All of Starter Features Plus:
Emphasis on reducing debt
Save for houses & retirement
Attach receipt images
Basic long-term investment tools
Quicken 2015 Premier Edition
$104.99/mo
All of Starter & Deluxe Features Plus:
In-depth investment reports
Risk tolerance assistance
IRS-ready gains and losses reports
 

The Good On Intuit Quicken

Extremely Comprehensive

The reason Quicken has lasted so long, even among the advent of similar cloud-based programs, is its broad range of tools. Especially with the Quicken Premier version, you will have everything required for personal finance for life. You can add an incredible amount of detail, and with the 2015 version you can even skip rounding and count your pennies. The customization also makes Quicken one of the top programs, particularly in investment.

Established Program

Quicken is popular and long-running, which means most banks, investment sites and payees will have familiarity with the system. This makes syncing and categorizing much easier since many personal finance reports are available in Quicken’s format .QDF.

Cross-Compatibility

You can also integrate other products in Intuit’s catalogue together with Quicken, like TurboTax, QuickBooks (for businesses), Payroll, Property Management, and other useful series. If you need any of these additional programs, it’s nice to have the familiar layouts and functions.

Mobile App

The relatively new mobile app allows you to make decisions on-the-go while keeping your desktop as the central planner.

Future Mint Syncing

Since Intuit, the maker of Quicken, bought out Mint.com in 2009, they’ve been slowly setting up a platform to allow cross-referencing between the programs. Mint, a free service, specializes in its streamlined interface and visuals, however Quicken allows the meat and bones of complex personal finances. With the two expected to be more fully merged in the next year, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Long Term Planning

Quicken allows for investment tracking, credit monitoring, 3-5 year expense trending, tax deducting and receipt saving, and other similar long-term planning necessities. This helps you get a handle on your expenses now and plan properly for the future, just as you would with the help of a professional.

Visit Intuit Quickbooks

The Bad On Intuit Quicken

Costs Money

In a world of free apps and browser-based financial tools, the Quicken investment looks off-putting. However, the program more than pays for itself with its ability to handle both complex and long-term financial planning. Make sure to check around for a deal rather than buying through Intuit directly.

Requires Paid Upgrades

Intuit has a “discontinuation policy” that forces current users to upgrade periodically. If you don’t, you lose access to bank and portfolio syncing, which renders the program effectively useless. Of course, these upgrades are not free, but luckily the upgrades are available through Amazon.com at a more reasonable price.

Buggy

Quicken 2015 has been buggy. The syncs are not always accurate, especially on mobile. The automatic download of banking information often fails or freezes the entire program. Some users report that transactions are missing when the information finally downloads. Non-working log-ins have been another issue lately. Quicken also runs slow sometimes, though it has improved over the lag of previous years’ versions. Patches are released periodically to address these issues.

No 24-Hour Phone Support

Your tech support options are limited, and some users complain about the slowness of service. You can chat with tech support or call them between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, but there are reports of being bounced between associates and tech support.

However, if you have a simple usability question, like finding a feature, you can search or post your question in the Quicken Live online forum.

Works Best for Banks with Online Features

Smaller, local banks may not have the online capacity for syncing with Quicken. In this case, you want to check to make sure your bank offers a Quicken-supported file (a .QDF) that you will have to manually upload into Quicken.

Our Verdict On Intuit Quicken

Although the 2015 edition has garnered some complaints about bugs that affect usability and accuracy, Quicken is a mainstay that’s worth serious consideration.

While there are free web-based companies that offer financial planning tools, none compare to the depth of Intuit’s programs. If you’re a moderate to serious planner, you need a program like Quicken. If you just want to cut monthly spending a little, the free Mint website and app may suffice.

However, for most of us, there comes a time to save for a down payment on a house, to plan for retirement, or to invest in 401ks, bonds, options, and more. For these life-changing financial goals, you want the robustness and experience of Quicken programs.

Visit Intuit Quickbooks

 

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