Moving from Quickbooks to Quicken


M

Mr.Jan

I am about to take over as treasurer for our Homeowner's Association.
We also hire a bookkeeper and I am considering recommending that I
just do the accounting. One of the items would be that she uses
Quickbooks and I would prefer to move that to Quicken Deluxe.

Does anyone know if there is any downward compatibility here?
 
J

jslcr1

I am about to take over as treasurer for our Homeowner's Association.
We also hire a bookkeeper and I am considering recommending that I
just do the accounting.  One of the items would be that she uses
Quickbooks and I would prefer to move that to Quicken Deluxe.

Does anyone know if there is any downward compatibility here?
You will not be able to go from Quickbooks to Quicken.
You can go from Quicken yo Quickbooks.
There is no conversion of QB data file to Q data files.

Per http://web.intuit.com/support/quicken/service/unlock/6201.html

Converting from QuickBooks to Quicken
Quicken cannot convert QuickBooks data because QuickBooks data files
contain many elements for which Quicken has no support mechanism.
 
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J

John Pollard

Mr.Jan said:
I am about to take over as treasurer for our Homeowner's Association.
We also hire a bookkeeper and I am considering recommending that I
just do the accounting. One of the items would be that she uses
Quickbooks and I would prefer to move that to Quicken Deluxe.

Does anyone know if there is any downward compatibility here?
As already noted, there is no direct way to get data from Quickbooks to
Quicken.

But I think you might be able to get some data transferred by: exporting
one or more reports (probably "transaction" reports) to delimited files,
opening in Excel, reformatting as necessary, using xl2qif (or similar) to
export to QIF files, and importing to Quicken.
 
R

Richard

Mr. Jan,

As a former HOA treasurer, I would strongly recommend that you NOT convert
from QuickBooks for a number of reasons:

1. I found QuickBooks as easy to use as Quicken.
2. You get a lot more, and in my opinion, better reporting formats.
3. It's much easier to track association due receipts by owner, using
Accounts Receivable which really isn't supported in Quicken Deluxe.
4. It's also easier to track vendor payments through Accounts Payable.
5. I much prefer QuickBooks income/expense reporting capabilities.

Having said all of that, I do use Quicken for my own personal finances and
have for years. I just don't think it's powerful enough for tracking HOA
activity.
 
R

Richard

Mr. Jan,

I left out the most important reason:

6. At some point, you will no longer be treasurer. Your replacement may
not want to pick up these duties and the HOA board may again want to hire an
outside bookkeeper. It will be a lot easier, and most likely less expensive,
if they can pick up from where you left off in QuickBooks. I would doubt
very much if that person would want or be willing to continue with Quicken.

If I can be of any further assistance, just let me know.
 
M

Mr.Jan

Mr. Jan,

I left out the most important reason:

6.    At some point, you will no longer be treasurer. Your replacement may
not want to pick up these duties and the HOA board may again want to hirean
outside bookkeeper. It will be a lot easier, and most likely less expensive,
if they can pick up from where you left off in QuickBooks. I would doubt
very much if that person would want or be willing to continue with Quicken.

If I can be of any further assistance, just let me know.
Thanks Richard.

I don't own a copy of Quickbooks and don't want to purchase one for
our tiny HOA. The odd thing is the current treasurer has been "doing
the books" in Excel and ignoring the bookkeeper's reporting. I agree
about your comment on the next treasurer and it is my major concern.
Still, the question was "how to" and not "should I". It just seems
that if the current guy is ignoring her reporting, why are we paying
her?

I want to find out what the situation is before I make any
recommendations and one of those items will be how to capture and
convert her records to something we can use. I figure to check the
current treasurer's Excel against her records to see if they sync up.
Then ask her to prepare a budget and determine what report formats we
need. THEN, she will post them to our HOA site as a file every month.
After we do that for a while, I will decided if I am going to
recommend eliminating the expense.
 
R

R. C. White

?Hi, Mr. Jan.

I've never used QuickBooks, but in my opinion, Quicken is not suitable for
any third-party accounting situation.

By "third-party" situation, I mean one like your treasurer's job. In my
mind, when we keep books for ourselves, that's a first-party situation and
the accuracy and integrity of the accounting is nobody's business but our
own. Second-party accounting would for a situation such as managing the
finances of a close family member, where mutual trust is an essential part
of the equation.

But as treasurer for your association, your accounting and reports. will be
subject to scrutiny by officers and members of the association, plus
probably lenders and other outsiders. In any such situation, accounting
integrity should be guaranteed as much as possible by a system of internal
controls, such as splitting responsibility for writing checks from the duty
of recording those expenditures. Quicken's program offers absolutely no
"internal controls" to assure that all transactions are recorded and
reported properly. For beginners, any entry in Quicken can be deleted
without a trace at any time. Anybody with access to the computer can make,
change or delete any entry at any time for any reason, with no record of who
did it or when or why. If any discrepancy ever arises in your association's
accounting, you and the bookkeeper may be pointing fingers at each other,
and even at other people; you will want a clear "audit trail" that will show
who did what, when - and maybe why.

In olden pen-and-ink days, when I studied accounting and auditing, we
learned to always use permanent ink so that erasures or changes would be
evident. When necessary, we would "draw a single non-obliterating line
through the incorrect entry, make the correct entry alongside, and initial
the change". There's no way to create such a permanent record of
corrections or other changes in Quicken. Even today, I could go back and
change the payee on a 2008 entry in my system and there would be no evidence
that the entry had not always read as it would now.

In my own books, this is not much of a problem. But if some third party
were keeping books for MY company, I would want a more-secure accounting
system than Quicken!

Since I'm not familiar with QuickBooks, I can't comment on your question
about compatibility.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
(Using Quicken Deluxe 2010 and Windows Live Mail in Win7 x64)


"Mr.Jan" wrote in message

I am about to take over as treasurer for our Homeowner's Association.
We also hire a bookkeeper and I am considering recommending that I
just do the accounting. One of the items would be that she uses
Quickbooks and I would prefer to move that to Quicken Deluxe.

Does anyone know if there is any downward compatibility here?
 
A

Andrew

R. C. White said:
?Hi, Mr. Jan.

I've never used QuickBooks, but in my opinion, Quicken is not
suitable for any third-party accounting situation.

By "third-party" situation, I mean one like your treasurer's job. In
my mind, when we keep books for ourselves, that's a first-party
situation and the accuracy and integrity of the accounting is
nobody's business but our own. Second-party accounting would for a
situation such as managing the finances of a close family member,
where mutual trust is an essential part of the equation.

But as treasurer for your association, your accounting and reports.
will be subject to scrutiny by officers and members of the
association, plus probably lenders and other outsiders. In any such
situation, accounting integrity should be guaranteed as much as
possible by a system of internal controls, such as splitting
responsibility for writing checks from the duty of recording those
expenditures. Quicken's program offers absolutely no "internal
controls" to assure that all transactions are recorded and reported
properly. For beginners, any entry in Quicken can be deleted without
a trace at any time. Anybody with access to the computer can make,
change or delete any entry at any time for any reason, with no record
of who did it or when or why. If any discrepancy ever arises in your
association's accounting, you and the bookkeeper may be pointing
fingers at each other, and even at other people; you will want a
clear "audit trail" that will show who did what, when - and maybe
why.
In olden pen-and-ink days, when I studied accounting and auditing, we
learned to always use permanent ink so that erasures or changes would
be evident. When necessary, we would "draw a single non-obliterating
line through the incorrect entry, make the correct entry alongside,
and initial the change". There's no way to create such a permanent
record of corrections or other changes in Quicken. Even today, I
could go back and change the payee on a 2008 entry in my system and
there would be no evidence that the entry had not always read as it
would now.
In my own books, this is not much of a problem. But if some third
party were keeping books for MY company, I would want a more-secure
accounting system than Quicken!

Since I'm not familiar with QuickBooks, I can't comment on your
question about compatibility.

RC
Nicely put. In my accounting classes, the instructor always told us too
never to erase or delete an entry either. BUT, I wonder in QB has anything
inherent in it that prevents one from just altering or deleting an entry
without anything else being generated to detect it after the fact either? I
played with it for a while but didn't see any sort of 'audit' trail..
 
M

Mr.Jan

Nicely put.  In my accounting classes, the instructor always told us too
never to erase or delete an entry either.  BUT, I wonder in QB has anything
inherent in it that prevents one from just altering or deleting an entry
without anything else being generated to detect it after the fact either? I
played with it for a while but didn't see any sort of 'audit' trail..

--
I appreciate your comments. A piece of information I did not give was
that this is only an 11 home community so the actual bookkeeping is
pretty light. In addition to that, I would point out that the current
treasurer does not use the bookkeeper's reporting and does his own in
Excel. The community is only responsible for mowing of the common
area, plowing the parking area, and payment of a loan taken out to
resurface the parking area years ago. Frankly, one of our largest
expenses is for the bookkeeper. My thought is that for 6 checks a
month and not using her reports, we should not be spending the money.

I also think that Quicken would be quite sufficient to record this
much activity. I certainly will keep your comments in mind. I had not
thought of the ability to track changes. Good point. I plan to keep
things as they are for six months or so until I really understand the
dynamics. I may pick up a copy of QuickBooks at that time anyway.
Another software toy to play with.
 
L

Laura

Richard said:
Mr. Jan,

As a former HOA treasurer, I would strongly recommend that you NOT
convert from QuickBooks for a number of reasons:

1. I found QuickBooks as easy to use as Quicken.
2. You get a lot more, and in my opinion, better reporting formats.
3. It's much easier to track association due receipts by owner, using
Accounts Receivable which really isn't supported in Quicken Deluxe.
4. It's also easier to track vendor payments through Accounts Payable.
5. I much prefer QuickBooks income/expense reporting capabilities.

Having said all of that, I do use Quicken for my own personal finances
and have for years. I just don't think it's powerful enough for tracking
HOA activity.
From another HOA treasurer and bookkeeper:

Depending on your tax reporting needs Quicken does NOT produce a Balance
Sheet so you have no real way of tracking assets or reserve funds, for
example.

Financial reports in Quicken in general are not very good.

A/P and A/R in Quicken is terrible (only available in H&B).

Your HOA is a business. You are better off using an accounting program
that was designed for business.
 
L

Laura

Andrew said:
Nicely put. In my accounting classes, the instructor always told us too
never to erase or delete an entry either. BUT, I wonder in QB has anything
inherent in it that prevents one from just altering or deleting an entry
without anything else being generated to detect it after the fact either? I
played with it for a while but didn't see any sort of 'audit' trail..
QuickBooks does have an audit trail report. It is found under Accountant
and Taxes. In earlier versions it could be turned off. As of 2008 or
2009 it is now perm on. There are also reports that will report deleted
and voided transactions.
 
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L

Laura

Mr.Jan said:
I appreciate your comments. A piece of information I did not give was
that this is only an 11 home community so the actual bookkeeping is
pretty light. In addition to that, I would point out that the current
treasurer does not use the bookkeeper's reporting and does his own in
Excel. The community is only responsible for mowing of the common
area, plowing the parking area, and payment of a loan taken out to
resurface the parking area years ago. Frankly, one of our largest
expenses is for the bookkeeper. My thought is that for 6 checks a
month and not using her reports, we should not be spending the money.

I also think that Quicken would be quite sufficient to record this
much activity. I certainly will keep your comments in mind. I had not
thought of the ability to track changes. Good point. I plan to keep
things as they are for six months or so until I really understand the
dynamics. I may pick up a copy of QuickBooks at that time anyway.
Another software toy to play with.
The number of transactions is not the issue. The nature of the business
and any financial reporting/tracking needs really dictate it.

Is the bookkeeper an employee? Quicken can not do payroll checks or tax
forms.

Why would sticking with Quickbooks cost any money? Doesn't the HOA
already own a copy of the program?

And if she is not using the reports in Quickbooks then she is not using
the program to it indended use. Look for reports in quickbooks that will
match her reports. She may be exporting the reports from QuickBooks and
doctoring them up. There really is no reason to not use the quickbook
reports, imho.
 
M

Mr.Jan

The number of transactions is not the issue. The nature of the business
and any financial reporting/tracking needs really dictate it.

Is the bookkeeper an employee? Quicken can not do payroll checks or tax
forms.

Why would sticking with Quickbooks cost any money? Doesn't the HOA
already own a copy of the program?

And if she is not using the reports in Quickbooks then she is not using
the program to it indended use. Look for reports in quickbooks that will
match her reports. She may be exporting the reports from QuickBooks and
doctoring them up. There really is no reason to not use the quickbook
reports, imho.
The lady is an independent contractor and we pay her a fixed fee. She
owns the QuickBooks, not the HOA.

Since the current treasurer is doing all the bookkeeping in Excel and
ignoring her reports (see earlier posts), I could just do the
bookkeeping that way. This is VERY simple stuff.

For AR, I would set up an account for each of the 11 homeowners.For AP
I would use TAGs for each vendor. For the Balance Sheet, I would run
the account balances report by class and modify in Excel if I had to.
Same with any other reporting. BUT, I could be missing something.
 
M

Mr.Jan

The number of transactions is not the issue. The nature of the business
and any financial reporting/tracking needs really dictate it.

Is the bookkeeper an employee? Quicken can not do payroll checks or tax
forms.

Why would sticking with Quickbooks cost any money? Doesn't the HOA
already own a copy of the program?

And if she is not using the reports in Quickbooks then she is not using
the program to it indended use. Look for reports in quickbooks that will
match her reports. She may be exporting the reports from QuickBooks and
doctoring them up. There really is no reason to not use the quickbook
reports, imho.
I re-read your note and I see that I need to clarify our organization.
We have a treasurer who is a homeowner, a member of the board, and
acts as liaison with the bookkeeper. The bookkeeper is a lady who has
no other connection with the HOA and does books for multiple
organizations. I am going to take over the treasurer post in November
and will be working with the bookkeeper at that time.
 
L

Laura

Mr.Jan said:
The lady is an independent contractor and we pay her a fixed fee. She
owns the QuickBooks, not the HOA.

Since the current treasurer is doing all the bookkeeping in Excel and
ignoring her reports (see earlier posts), I could just do the
bookkeeping that way. This is VERY simple stuff.

For AR, I would set up an account for each of the 11 homeowners.For AP
I would use TAGs for each vendor. For the Balance Sheet, I would run
the account balances report by class and modify in Excel if I had to.
Same with any other reporting. BUT, I could be missing something.
Does the HOA also need to track reserve funds?

what tax return do you file? Have you discussed this with your
accountant or auditor?
 
A

Andrew

Laura said:
QuickBooks does have an audit trail report. It is found under
Accountant and Taxes. In earlier versions it could be turned off. As
of 2008 or 2009 it is now perm on. There are also reports that will
report deleted and voided transactions.
Thanks Laura - good stuff. Should keep RC happy as well as me!
 
M

Mr.Jan

Does the HOA also need to track reserve funds?

what tax return do you file? Have you discussed this with your
accountant or auditor?
It would be improper of me to discuss this with the bookkeeper yet as
I am not in the Treasurer's position and it is his job to act as
liaison. One of the questions I have is about the tax returns. Good
question. I do not believe we track fund reserves. If they do, I would
do that with Tags and split transactions in Quicken. I do appreciate
this discussion. It is making me think about what to ask and what to
consider. I assure you, I will not take dismissing the bookkeeper
lightly.
 
L

Laura

Mr.Jan said:
It would be improper of me to discuss this with the bookkeeper yet as
I am not in the Treasurer's position and it is his job to act as
liaison. One of the questions I have is about the tax returns. Good
question. I do not believe we track fund reserves. If they do, I would
do that with Tags and split transactions in Quicken. I do appreciate
this discussion. It is making me think about what to ask and what to
consider. I assure you, I will not take dismissing the bookkeeper
lightly.
Reserve Funds are equity accounts on the balance sheet. Typical HOA
reserve funds are for Capital Improvements/Replacement Funds (for major
replacement of common area) and Deferred Maintenance (painting, etc done
on a cyclical schedule).

Since these accounts are on the balance sheet, this is another reason
why Quicken or excel is not appropriate means of tracking your
financials. You need a true double sided accounting system to properly
track these funds (as well as your other expenditures).

In addition to the tax return you should also check your HOA & state
by-laws concerning annual audits to make sure you are in compliance.
 
M

Mr.Jan

Reserve Funds are equity accounts on the balance sheet. Typical HOA
reserve funds are for Capital Improvements/Replacement Funds (for major
replacement of common area) and Deferred Maintenance (painting, etc done
on a cyclical schedule).

Since these accounts are on the balance sheet, this is another reason
why Quicken or excel is not appropriate means of tracking your
financials. You need a true double sided accounting system to properly
track these funds (as well as your other expenditures).

In addition to the tax return you should also check your HOA & state
by-laws concerning annual audits to make sure you are in compliance.
Quicken Deluxe is a double entry accounting system. It does not have
equity accounts but I take your point. As I said, I have not seen the
books yet. I would like to establish a reserve account for tree
removal. I suspect we will have some trees that need to be taken down
or removed after they are blown down. Still, we are not reserving any
money for that now.
 
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Hi,
Im a freelance Bookkeeper with multiple clients. I use Quickbooks and Quicken (Windows & Mac versions) and my opinion is that you should choose the software that fulfills your particular needs/demands of your business. If your accounting is minimal and most like will not grow very large then use Quicken. Quicken is designed for people who are NOT professionals in the finance industry. So, if you want the option of hiring a Bookkeeper or doing it yourself then, use the simplest software (Quicken or other). If your business is small now but will eventually grow larger then use Quickbooks. Hire a professional Bookkeeper to come once a month for half day or one whole day. Most Freelance Bookkeepers will negotiate their rate.
With the Economy as poor as it is, I personally have lowered my rate to accommodate the budget and needs of my clients. Because I care and develop a relationship with them, it's understood a raise in pay is due when the ecomomy improves or their company improves.
Go ahead with Quicken unless Quickbooks if it is required by the HOA or Real Estate Association (whomever governs). Besides, you can always convert easier from Quicken to Quickbooks but, it's a very arduous time-consuming task to go the other way.
ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION:
The following company offers conversion software to help you convert the Quickbooks files and many other files. BIG RED CONSULTING
Luckily it's not very expensive. But, I recommend you do it yourself because it's timeconsuming. Remember, always create backup files before doing anything risky!
Big Red Consulting

Good Luck!
 

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