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  1. An important point about CountAbout is that the $9.99 or $39.99 is per year! That’s pricey, even surpassing Quicken for all but the simplest of accounts . I prefer a one-time fee rather than the constant reach into my wallet. I chose Ace Money which is a very good substitute for Quicken on a PC (the Mac version runs via an emulator…. hopeless and looks like a DOS program). As I recall it was something like $60 one time and syncs most accounts pretty well. MoneyDance I found very simple and a poor substitute. I’m happy with the switch to Ace money and have moved on from Quicken

  2. I’ve been a happy user of PersonalCapital and would recommend it to others. It’s free and the app tells me exactly what I need to know about my investments. It reminds me of the things I loved about Quicken way back when. Big thanks to you Jim for telling me about it!

  3. I have used Quicken for many years, ever since Microsoft Money was discontinued. It used to be great but today it is fraught with errors that cause me to spend more time trying to figure out what is wrong with the application and sync than I spend managing my spending and investments. I really do not want a cloud-based application. Call me old school but like have all of my information on my personal computer or in my file cabinets. Really ready for a STABLE alternative that can download my CC and investment transaction and reconcile correctly. Kind of like Quicken used to be?

    • Agree with Tom. I have used Quicken since its very first version. For me it has always been not much more than an electronic check book for all of my banking and property accounts. And I plan to continue using my old (2016) version of Quicken as long as it works. But I absolutely do not want my data stored in the cloud. So I’ll go back to using spreadsheets or paper if I have to.

      • I agree with JV Smith. I’m using an even older version of Quicken as an electronic checkbook record. It’s wonderfully easy to get all the info you need as far as dollars in and dollars out and what’s deductable. with the exception of investments in securities.
        Brokerage info has to be issued to the IRS and you get a copy of that information and that takes precedent over anything in personal records so Quicken is all I need.

        • All — if you want a good alternative Quicken – I now use Gnucash. It is a free open-source program that runs on Mac, PC, Unix and other O/Ss. I have been using it now for about 2 years (ever since Quicken announced they were going to subscription model – YUK!). Give it a try. PS — you can import Quicken data into Gnucash. Good Luck!

          • I tried GnuCash- use many other open source programs. But be aware that GnuCash requires some knowledge of coding and a willingness to babysit the program until you get it the way you want. I haven’t the time or patience to do that. My finances are simple, and I want to keep managing them simple too.

        • I still use Quicken 2001. It is the only program I’ve found that let’s you see an entire years budget on one screen. I had to install it on Windows 7 and then upgrade to Windows 10.

      • Me too. I agree Quicken 2016 seems to require patches, then my miracle offers 2019 as a fix. Grrr. I want a program like my MS Money was back in the day. Just a local off the cloud electronic check register.

      • I am with you. I want my book keeping on my computer not on the cloud where it’s shared with everyone, yes they do share information.

    • Still looking for Quicken alternative. My finances are simple, just juggling multiple accounts. I don’t need (or want) the online stuff, and much prefer to work my finances offline and keep on my own computer (with regular encrypted backups). Do not want a subscription that could end unexpectedly. I had Quicken 2007 and upgraded to 2016 because I worried about having files that might be unreadable should I lose the program. Used 2016 for a couple of years, but the graphical interface is pretty awful on it. So, dumb me, I “upgraded” to 2019,- was assured that I could still use the software on computer after my “membership” expires. But just learned that part of the screen real estate will be given over to nags about renewing. Forget that. It’s been suggested to download Quicken 2013, which is available free at Quicken if you poke around in “transferring files” in the help section. Or I might even give MoneyDance a try. Tried GnuCash, but I don’t really want to put that much effort into making it work for my needs. (I do use quite a few other open-source software, but GnuCash made me nuts.)

  4. I have been a Quicken Home & Business user for many years, in the US and more recently in Canada. The Canadian operation has now moved to a subscription mode and the Home & Business version now has an annual subscription fee of $90 per year – to me, that’s a real ripoff. To discourage you from continuing to use your current, non-subscription version, they have now disabled two key features – downloading & categorizing transactions from financial institutions and downloading stock quotes.
    I have tried all the major alternatives out there, and my favorite by far is one I rarely see mentioned – KDE’s KMyMoney

    • I’m a Quicken Home & Business user for almost 20 years as well and switched to using a Mac over a decade ago. I’ve kept VirtualBox on my Mac(s) only so I can continue using Quicken H&B. So I’ve been looking for a equivalent Mac product. My syncing feature on H&B 2016 end TODAY, unless I upgrade to 2019.

      I’m not familiar with using the double-entry accounting method (tried Quickbooks years ago and quickly gave up because I felt like I was back in Business school…there’s a reason my MBA is in marketing and not finance). Have you really found KMyMoney to be as robust AND user-friendly as Quicken H&B? What, if any, issues/missing features have you found?

  5. Frustrating. Just tried MoneyDance and CountAbout – the two closest things to what I’m looking for – and found them worse than even Quicken for the features I really care about. I just want an easy to use electronic register I can enter transactions into for all my accounts then reconcile against statements as they come in. Not much to ask. And I think just about EVERYONE I know wants one too. We all hate Intuit software but are reluctantly using it because nothing else out there does the two things Intuit does reasonably well: Easy, rapid transaction entry and account reconciliation. Of course, lately it seems that Quicken is just getting worse with each new release. Bugs creep in and are never fixed. I think maybe it’s time to just write my own solution and get insanely rich off it. There’s a huge market out there for an easy to use electronic register. Can’t understand why nobody is jumping on it to knock Intuit off that hill they occupy all by themselves.

  6. For several years I used MoneyCounts a very simple program but it was bought out and ended up being discarded by Intuit and users advised to use Quicken. I to want a simple program that will keep an electronic register on multiple bank accounts and capable of downloading bank transactions that is not cloud based.
    Some of the newer programs will do a wonderful job of budgeting but will not give a decent P&L or Income & Expense report that is helpful for the preparation of one’s tax reports.
    I tried Moneydance but could never link it to download transactions from any of my banks in mid-America. Would someone please come up with a simple accounting program. While not being a budgeting program per say if it had the capability of doing fund accounting an individual could allocate their income to the various funds and be directly subtracted when the expenditure account (whether called a Category of account is set up to come from a given fund) is posted to in the register.

    • I’m also looking for an alternative that can produce tax reports. Does someone have a comparison that includes support for tax preparation.

    • I, too, used MoneyCounts before they were sold off to Intuit and discarded. Excellent program, and was always sorry it had gone away. I’ve used Quicken every since, although constantly looked for a viable alternative. I do not want a web based system, and everyone seems to be going to that. (cheaper for them to provide…) I’ve looked into a couple mentioned here, but now will HAVE to be finding something else as I’m not paying the crazy subscription fees Quicken has moved to. I was able to get 2017 as my last upgrade, and will have to move to something else when that runs out as I do download my banking and investment transactions.

  7. I used Quicken 2007 for home and business (Windows version) for 10 years. Tried the upgrade to 2011 but went back to 2007 version as new features were just complications. Now we have switched to Mac computers and bought 2017 Quicken for Mac. Hugely disappointed, can’t even print a reconciliation statement along with the illogical interfaces. Much more complicated than the Windows versions I’m used to. I agree with the comment above. We need a simple way to keep our basic financial accounts and good reminders when bills come due. A good “simple” old fashioned system really would sell to most of us. Just the essentials please!!

  8. Does anyone know if I can still use quicken 2015 to enter transactions get report or does not lockup at some point. also does anyone know if in quicken you can enter current prices manually. I do not need their price updates ?

  9. One huge knock against PersonalCapital? Canadian banks are as of right now, unsupported, and when support for Canadian banks is implemented is entirely unknown.

  10. It’s also worth noting that MoneyDance allows a 100 transaction free trial, but after that you need to pay $50USD to register the software with a key.

    Quicken’s starter version is a mere $30USD.

      • and they have also outsourced their quality control to you as well. Their fixes fix the problem, but break other things that you use all the time

  11. All I am looking for is a program to to enable me to write checks from my computer to be printed on blank checks off my printer and keep a running check register. Nothing more nothing on line. What program is available?

    • There are numerous check writing software packages but I don’t know of one that will keep a running check register that also integrates with your bank.

    • You can do that with Quickbooks desktop very easily. Quickbooks is very stable however it is business accounting software. I use for personal accounting, vendors are dedts, customers are sources of income, and inventory are investments. Works well

  12. You forget the most important part of not storing data online…subpoenas! If the IRS or a spouse want your data, you can (yes, illegally, but it worked for Hillary) destroy your computer. You can’t do that with online storage.

    • I agree with the importance of having offline storage of your data. I used Mint for 6 years and recently closed my account because it created a rule that went through and recategorized all of my transactions incorrectly. There was no way to undo it or restore a previous backup. 6 years of work gone.

      With the account closed, I also lost access to 6 years of carefully categorized transactions and notes I made in each transaction for later reference.

      Personal Capital is ok for some things, but you can’t split transactions. So if you to CostCo, buy clothes, electronics, and groceries, you cannot split the transaction up to show how much you spend in each category. Also you cannot do zero-sum budgeting which is how I budget(every dollar gets a job ).

  13. This looks totally different then Quicken. It’s really all your finances in one place vs being able to categorize them and get a total of them. I don’t see where this would work for anyone with a business and needing info for schedule C or F. Am I mistaken?

    Looking at it–looks like I might be better off just manually entering the business transactions that I have. I’m going to run these side by side this year and see what happens but I don’t see where you can reports or even a total. I can do without a report if I can get a total in a category.

  14. Has anyone heard if Microsoft is going to open source the last release of MS Money? That would be something to look at.

    I still miss MS Money. I still don’t understand why MS decided to discontinue right when it finally beat Quicken as the best personal finance software package.

    • I haven’t heard this – MS Money has been gone for so long that I doubt much will happen with it at this point.

  15. Which of these solutions are able to print checks when you need to print one (there are certain things I don’t like using the bank’s ‘bill pay’ for – brand new accounts, one time payments, the boy that mows my yard, and some others).

    I have sheets of checks that Quicken can print when I need one. I am fed up with Quicken (for the last couple years), but don’t just want a financial tracking and planning app. I want it to be able to print checks and reports (occasionally) and remind me of upcoming bills I need to pay.

  16. I’m on my third attempt at finding something acceptable to switch to from Quicken. I downloaded MoneyDance then Banktivity to take advantage of their free trials. One limited the free trial to 100 manually entered transactions, and there were way more than 100 errors in the import from Quicken. The other didn’t include linking to financial institutions as part of the trial. And more importantly, neither would link to my main financial institution. So I ended up in Mint and after investing a LOT of time into trying to get all my accounts set up and linked, I just discovered it doesn’t reconcile! My must haves: 1. A huge number of institutions that will link with it since many of my accounts are in small, local institutions. (Mint actually connected to more than Quicken did, but not quite all, and the workaround to try to handle an account manually is awful.) 2. Ability to reconcile checking and savings accounts. 3. Importing from Quicken would be awesome; something I had resigned myself to doing without when I switched to Mint. 4. Ability to set up manual accounts (for the few that won’t link directly) that have a place for entering transactions, not just a total value like real estate has in Mint. Don’t care a whit about budgeting or investing other than keeping track of what I have. Don’t need investment advice. The only description above that even mentions reconciliation is CountAbout. Would it fulfill the rest of my requirements?

  17. In addition to the 2019 version being total crap, I hate that they lock banks into using the QFX (Quicken File Exchange) format for syncing statements with your bank. If you’re not familiar with QFX it goes like this…OFX (Open File Exchange) is the protocol developed by Open Source developers for bank syncing. My understanding is that Inutit took this and wrapped it with their proprietary code to make it QFX. They then tell the banks that it is more secure. Well, that’s a lie. One of the largest banks in CT uses OFX (Peoples United Bank). If QFX was so much more secure then OFX would not be suitable, would it?

    Who of us like to be forced into anything.

    I brought my business banking and other accounts to a local bank which offers free banking. I am switching banks for my business accounts to go back to the old bank. It’s not free and it does require a minimum but the headache of not having features that the old bank offered due to it’s being OFX, along with not having to pay Inuits annual subscription fee greatly outweighs the benefit of free banking for me.

  18. I’m still using Quicken 2013, which still works ok. We live a few months of the year at a different location, so a cloud-based Quicken-like program would be ideal for me. I could access my records at different locations. I still write some checks with Quicken and haven’t found an alternative with check writing capabilities. I don’t really need the bank and investment updates that Quicken used to provide for 3 years before having to update to the latest version. Any suggestions with check-writing ability would be much appreciated.

  19. Add me to the list. My Quicken 2015 file runs slow as molasses and Quicken support tells me it is likey corrupted. But because they don’t support 2015 anymore, they can’t help me fix it (I used the data validation tool, and that didn’t help) unless I buy Quicken 2019, which I understand is horrible and is now an expensive subscription where they sell you the first year cheap to try to lock you in. And even Quicken support says they can’t guarantee I’ll be able to retain all my history if I switch, as the corrupt file many not transition correctly.

    I just need a working check register for a handful of bank accounts and a handful of investment accounts. I don’t need it to keep my budget, or to tell me how to invest. Just keep track of all the transactions. I’d like to be able to transfer my chart of accounts from Quicken, as I’ve built it over 20 years of using Quicken to be just what I want it to be. And, of course, I want to be able to retain my history so I can look at spending patterns and investment performance over multiple years. I don’t even do anything on-line with Quicken because even their stock price downloads have gotten kludgy.

    I’m stunned this has gotten to be such a problem. You’d think this would be an easy application to provide, not a complex one.

  20. I’m a long time but worn out Quicken user. I had to take over our familiy’s “bookkeeping” after my wife’s illness and Quicken kept me afloat the first year. Now I spend more time on the software than the purpose. After reading the blog and your comments, it looks like CountAbout is what I need. I mostly just need bank downloads from 5 accounts at 2 banks, reconciliation, and categorization. Good reports a bonus but need the reconciliation.

    I don’t see a lot of comments about the accuracy of CountAbout in downloading and their support. The Quicken kids at support give different answers to the same question on the same day.

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