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How can Quicken still suck?

Quicken has been around since 1775. It is in version #2,356. How can it still have stupid, irritating, data-swallowing bugs in it?

Using the latest version, I have in the past ten minutes hit three bugs.

1. Write a check to an online payee for whom you use the curly braces to embed a hint that’s invisible to the recipient. E.g., You might have an account such as “Cingular {The mother-effing home account}.” Press “Record Check” because you’re done. Quicken pops up a reminder that the stuff in curly braces won’t appear on the check. I’ve been getting that message for 176 years, which is fine. The problem is that after you click on the message’s OK button, every time it gives you the same message again. Now that‘s annoying.

2. Start to fill in a check. Choose one of the memorized transactions. It fills in the name. Have a moment of doubt about the name. So, go to the list of online accounts and check out the name. It’s fine. Go back to the check-writing window. You get a dialog box that says “You have changed the last transaction you were viewing. Save it now?” Yes, no, or cancel. Since you want to fill it in, you don’t want to save it yet. You also don’t want to not save it. You want to cancel the dialogue box. Press Cancel. You get the same dialog again. The Cancel button is a no-op.

3. This is the REALLY annoying one, but I’m not sure I remember the exact sequence. It goes something like this: Fill in a check’s name and click on Split so you can enter multiple entries because you’re trying to pay off a credit card. (Oops, make sure you fill in an amount first or else it won’t let you get to the Split window, even though you may want to fill in the entries and have Quicken figure out the amount. Oh well.) Spend ten minutes filling in the entries. (Be sure to consolidate some of the entries because after 4,000 years of existence, Quicken still arbitrarily limits splits to 30 entries.) It’s a pain in the neck but the tax folks need to know the breakdown. Press the “Adjust” button so that the amount of the check equals the sum of the entries. Perfect! Now you’re back at the check writing window. Type your account info into the memo area of the check. Click “Record Check.” You get a dialog box telling you that the check’s total does not match the sum of the entries even though you are 100% certain that you pressed the “Adjust” button. Click on “Split” so you can re-press the Adjust button. Quicken has now replaced all the entries with the entries from the previous check you wrote to that account.

4. Say aaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!

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34 Responses to “How can Quicken still suck?”

  1. My guess is that Quicken sucks for the same reason QuarkXPress sucked so badly for so long: lack of serious competition. Look at them scramble now that Adobe InDesign is eating their lunch, though! Suddenly they, you know, care about what their app is really like to use. Does Quicken have a competitor like that? I’m really not sure.

  2. Answer to last comment: Microsoft Money.

    I went through similar pain when I was forced by Quicken to upgrade to the 2004 version because they stopped supporting certain financial institutions for online update.

    I checked the comments and ratings on Take a look if you want to hear about TONS of additional bugs. For example, Quicken 2005 Basic gets an average of 2 stars out of 5.

  3. I’ll see the bugs you reported and raise you a couple. My own personal favorite: I write a check on January 12th for $217. Let’s say it’s check number 6432. I dutifully record it in my check register and move on. Now, for some reason, the organization to which I wrote the check doesn’t get around to cashing it until August. In August I download a transaction from the bank and there’s a transaction for $217, check number 6432. Quicken will NOT automatically match this check with the one in the register. Go figure. And since I have no memory of the check (after all, that’s why I use Quicken) I of course go to enter it again, whereupon the program gently rebukes me with “Duplicate check number. Are you sure?” Well, if you’re so smart that you can tell this is a duplicate check, how come you can’t figure out that it matches???

  4. #3.set up credit card account

    Make check payable to the credit account
    when statement comes in enter debits to cc account
    Reconcile and you are good to go
    this is for quickbooks 2000 should work in quicken though.

    Quicken still sucks because of recurring remmitting featuritus. The new version alleged has specific industry versions, sort of like Works Word, Office Word, in it’s various flavors

    Using it for business really sucks if you use it for payroll and forget to send in your protection money. Doesn’t break your legs, but does forget any transactions or contributions or deductions that you set up from payroll checks.

    Quicken is the last product I need that is windows. Once the open open source community gets a program with the same features, hello linux, goodbye Microsoft for me personally.

  5. Head Lemur…

    May I introduce you to… GNUCash.

  6. RSS / Longtail post – update

    Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine. who wrote the original The Long Tail acticle, has…

  7. Quicken sucks because people are willing to pay money for it despite the fact that it sucks. But don’t ask me why that is.

    I used to work for a publisher that used Exact bookkeeping software. That tool had the feature of regularly crashing, and the unique capability to take down every PC on its subnet when it crashed. You can imagine how happy we were.

    Did we have a choice? All the bookkeepers we asked to do our bookkeeping mandated the use of Exact. The gods of stakeholdership and small provincial towns work in mysterious ways.

    As for GNU Cash, it doesn’t work on a real desktop operating system. Yes, that is inflammatory language, but it is the exact inflammatory language Rick was trolling for, and I am in a giving mood today.

  8. Quicken sucks beyond belief. It makes no sense, has no relevance to simple accounting issues (unless of course you invented the software). It is the least intuitive program I have every experienced. Take a couple basic checking accounts, a savings account a business account… want to know how they all fair as checks are written? EEEEEEEEE!!! Sorry, something that f’ing obvious was not obvious to the makers of this useless program.

    Have a question? EEEEEEEEE!!! Got to pay for an answer from someone who barely understands English.

    I’m going to create an easy to understand, user friendly template for simple accounting based on Excell and make millions. It will be for all those out there who just want to know what they’ve got in the bank after the end of the bill paying day.

  9. What a pile of garbage! Tried the new 2006 version of a friends and it STILL cannot do basic importing of data from Brokerage accounts. This thing suuuuuuuuuuucks!

  10. I tried upgrading to Quicken Basic 2006 from Quicken 98. Quicken 2006 seemed to think my file was password protected and refused to let me in (though in fact I have never entered a password to access the file). The installation of Quicken 2006 uninstalled Quicken 98, so I went to another machine and re-installed 98 to confirm I could still read my data, which I could. Quicken support were no help at all, making me do useless things. I finally got it to work by adding a password using Quicken 98.

    Then I really got a surprise. Quicken 2006 told me the total value of my accounts was around $23,000,000! I guess I will just stick with Quicken 98. At least I know the workarounds in that version.

  11. You may, or may not, be surprised to learn that Quicken still sucks. It actually choked when I tried adding my financial information and the Quicken customer support was absolutely useless.

  12. I am planning to move to MS Money when MS releases Money 2007 (Since I cant convert Quicken 2006 to Money 2006. Quicken Sux..not to detail them, but many reasons..

  13. The CD received in the mail (9/2006) allows an upgrade for Quicken 2007 and it appears that it’s going to be free! WOW!
    But nooooooooooooo. The CD leads you to the Intuit web site where they quickly reach into your pocket for over $80, including state tax, which presumably they are paying. Then you get an unlock code. That doesn’t work and in order to resolve this problem Intuit wants you to cough up another ten bucks! What a f***ing company! Customer “Service” is non-existent and, as another guy wrote here, they will continue this way until there is competition.
    is MS Money good enough yet?

  14. I just bought Q 2007 Premier Home & Business. You’d think that with a name l;ike that, you would be able to import your Q2006 accounts (check, credit, cash, etc) from your “personal” file and then import into the same Q2007 file all the accounts in your separate “business” file (checking, bus credit card, etc.)
    This is a natural, so that one can record a check transfer from say, the business checking acct to the to personal checking account. but Noooo, after spending 40 minutes with their apology for a customer service guy (Rawenda Patik or something like that), I am finally told they can’t do that but it would be a good idea for me to suggest it to the “feedback” Quicken folks!!
    Please, somebody compete with them.

  15. Bad news for anyone planning on switching from one to another in order to get a decent program.

    They both are garbage. Just bought Money 2006 to get the heck away from Quicken – Among other things it won’t let me remove old transactions except by manually one at a time!! So I installed M2006 expecting to return to a better experience I left back in 1999/2000 ish, and lo! Money 2006 is garbage too! The user interface is build for people with poor habits! Entering a transaction in my checkbook to mirror a manual check or to pay a bill should not require me to change views to some crap call “adjustments” or click a menu item!! Do these people know what an adjustment is!?!?!

    What are these two pieces of software such garbage?!?

  16. Seriously….how can there be no decent app in this area? This is downright embarrassing. It’s like Google has to make every piece of software on the planet before people wake up.

  17. Sadly, I too own Quicken 2007 Home & Business and have gone beyond the 60-day refund period. It has popups asking to upgrade to the latest release version. When I click OK, it churns a bit before returning an error message called “Patch Engine Error.” Not fatal, if you know how to trick their FTP site. The other daily errors are CC-501 and CC-899, indicating the Quicken servers are down and unable to update your account balances. It also doesn’t play well with Washington Mutual bank, or play at all with Sallie Mae or Student Loan Finance Corporation. You’re better off with a pad and pencil than with this not-ready-for-prime-time beta.

  18. It is amazing to me how Quicken (Premier H&B) can get away with dropping support for anyone who has version 2004 or earlier. I just received notice that Quicken will no longer support on-line services as of April 30th. This means if you are using Quicken to download credit card statements and pay your bills (never mind the useless on-line help) you are simply sh– out of luck. You MUST upgrade to a later version…$80 thank you very much. This is an outrage.

  19. Quicken sucks because it limits the number of transaction entries in a credit card split to 30. If you have business and use your credit card more than checks, because it is easier to track, you are screwed. There must be a better system.

  20. I think that dropping support for companies that have 2004 or older version is not an attitude of a real company. How can a company cut the support it offers for the very own supporters?

    I have always felt a sense of deficiency with Quicken for Mac OS X, but today when I installed Quicken Premier 2006 on my Windows XP machine at work, I knew exactly how big of a deficiency I was dealing with on the Mac. It’s a HUGE difference! On the Windows version the UI is smooth like polished glass and the features are abundant. The Mac version is a totally different story.

  21. Good passwords are a combo of mixed case letters, numbers and special symbols. But don’t try to store a good password in the Quicken pin vault – it will not accept special symbols. Go back to your online account and replace your good password with a weak one. Now you can go into Quicken and store the week password in the pin vault

  22. It’s good to know that there are people in this world down on Quicken more than I am! I have been using it since 1998 and recently upgraded my 2004 to 2007. (Quicken “conveniently” forced me to change with this garbage about certain financial institutions no longer being able to download using 2004) Every other day I discover that entries I have made disappear! I sometimes enter the same entry 3-4 times over a week long period before it saves into permanent memory. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mutual fund entry, credit card purchase or a bank deposit. I back up my work EVERYTIME I finish and it still drops my entries. I’m going crazy over here! Please let us know when someone other than Inuit or Microsoft come up with decent personal finance software!

  23. It seems that the slimy folks running Intuit have found they can make money by selling a junky product, then charge users for “support” when the application doesn’t work correctly.

    Perhaps we can all get a slimy attorney to file a class action lawsuit on our behalf to get this slimy company to straighten up. Intuit will only change when their bottom line is affected (like so much of the corporate world). Right now, they are raking in cash, so they don’t have much incentive to give a thought to their customers.

    In fact, how have they survived for so long without being sued out of existence?

  24. How can you re-print reconciliation reports on Quicken XG 2006 – I have tried everything and am stuck. Also I don’t know why the reconciliation report prints out all the advance payments that are pre-posted when all i want is for the report to reflect the transactions of the month being specifically reconciled. Please help. I’m about to give up on this program

  25. How can you re-print reconciliation reports on Quicken XG 2006 – I have tried everything and am stuck. Also I don’t know why the reconciliation report prints out all the advance payments that are pre-posted when all i want is for the report to reflect the transactions of the month being specifically reconciled. Please help. I’m about to give up on this program

  26. Quicken 2007 also has a very bad FLICKERING problem. The forums say just turn down your video card performance until is stops. Well. I turned all acelleration off and still does it. Plus, computer slower now on screen draws etc.


  27. Does anyone know how to get Quicken to amortize future mortgage loan payments correctly? It displays the right breakdown of P&I in the reports, but when actually creating the mortgage loan payment itself, my principal amount is always lower and the interest part is always higher than they should be. My setup information is correct, I’ve triple-checked it.

  28. I had to get check numbers that are the same as ones I had before. Quicken 2006 prompts me that I’m using a duplicate check number after I post every single check. Can I turn off that message??

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