I have finally switched away from Quicken, after almost 20 years–I’m now on MoneyDance
January 5, 2013
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UPDATE 1/5/2013: the picture at the right is of a mailer I received yesterday in the mail. ATTENTION VALUED CUSTOMERS indeed!
The last 10 years being an Intuit customer has been a test of patience, to put it mildly. Intuit decided to start forcing people to upgrade every 3 years by turning off downloading transactions from your bank. I don’t mind paying for upgrades, but when the upgrades are buggy as hell and have no other purpose than change itself, then I really hate paying for an upgrade. Every release of Quicken changed the UI so that it took weeks or months to get used to the new version. Being a software developer myself, I love paying for something that I like to use and has value. Quicken stopped having both of those properties a long time ago.
Yesterday I got the dreaded Quicken dialog that reminded me that in April 2013 I would not be able to download transactions from my banks. I immediately started looking for alternatives. Three years ago I looked seriously at GNU Cash. I just couldn’t make the jump. The application has a different accounting style than I’m used to and the import of my Quicken data didn’t go well.
While looking through the Amazon.com pages on Quicken 2013 I saw many unhappy people and references to something called MoneyDance. So, I downloaded the demo and easily imported my Quicken accounts/data. A quick check of the balances between Quicken and MoneyDance seemed to indicate the import worked well. The UI of MoneyDance is very clean and the application was snappy as hell. I had gotten used to the lag in Quicken. Of course, the main thing I needed to get working was downloading transactions from my banks, so I set out to do that. I got everything to work except Schwab and ShareBuilder. I’ve sent a query to Schwab, since it seems I need to enable Direct Connect on my accounts, and posted on the support forum for MoneyDance about ShareBuilder.
Overall, I really like MoneyDance. The few things I’m getting used to:
- The account list in the left sidebar is sorted alphabetically. I prefer that list in an ordered I specify. I can rename the accounts to begin with “1-“, “2-“, etc., but that’s a hack. The MoneyDance people have registered this requested feature. Hopefully they’ll implement it soon.
- I find the register of MoneyDance often positions itself at the top rather than the bottom. I can reverse the sorting, but I really want older transactions on top and newer ones on the bottom, like I’m used to, and I always want the visible portion of the window to be the bottom. I need to ask about this one, and hopefully there’s a fix.
- Quicken allowed setting up a group of online bank accounts all at the same time. In MoneyDance, you have to do them one at a time. Not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to do them in groups.
I get a really good feeling from the support forums, like they listen to their customers and respond quickly to issues. The exact opposite of Intuit. I also like the spartan look of the UI. We’re talking accounting software here, no reason to make it more complex than it needs to be. Simplicity is good, especially here. They seem to release updates frequently, too, which is way better than Intuit. Until the switch, I was dealing with serious bugs in Quicken 2010. I’m so glad to be finally rid of Quicken!