Moving from Quickbooks to Quicken

Discussion in 'Quicken' started by Mr.Jan, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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?
    Mr.Jan, Oct 2, 2010
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  2. Mr.Jan

    jslcr1 Guest

    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.


    Converting from QuickBooks to Quicken
    Quicken cannot convert QuickBooks data because QuickBooks data files
    contain many elements for which Quicken has no support mechanism.
    jslcr1, Oct 2, 2010
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  3. Mr.Jan

    John Pollard Guest

    As already noted, there is no direct way to get data from Quickbooks to

    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.
    John Pollard, Oct 2, 2010
  4. Mr.Jan

    Richard Guest

    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
    Richard, Oct 2, 2010
  5. Mr.Jan

    Richard Guest

    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.
    Richard, Oct 2, 2010
  6. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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

    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.
    Mr.Jan, Oct 2, 2010
  7. Mr.Jan

    R. C. White Guest

    ?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.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    (Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)

    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?
    R. C. White, Oct 3, 2010
  8. Mr.Jan

    Andrew Guest

    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..
    Andrew, Oct 3, 2010
  9. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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.
    Mr.Jan, Oct 3, 2010
  10. Mr.Jan

    Laura Guest

    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

    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.
    Laura, Oct 4, 2010
  11. Mr.Jan

    Laura Guest

    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.
    Laura, Oct 4, 2010
  12. Mr.Jan

    Laura Guest

    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

    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.
    Laura, Oct 4, 2010
  13. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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.
    Mr.Jan, Oct 4, 2010
  14. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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.
    Mr.Jan, Oct 4, 2010
  15. Mr.Jan

    Laura Guest

    Does the HOA also need to track reserve funds?

    what tax return do you file? Have you discussed this with your
    accountant or auditor?
    Laura, Oct 4, 2010
  16. Mr.Jan

    Andrew Guest

    Thanks Laura - good stuff. Should keep RC happy as well as me!
    Andrew, Oct 5, 2010
  17. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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
    Mr.Jan, Oct 5, 2010
  18. Mr.Jan

    Laura Guest

    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.
    Laura, Oct 5, 2010
  19. Mr.Jan

    Mr.Jan Guest

    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.
    Mr.Jan, Oct 5, 2010
  20. Mr.Jan


    Aug 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Oakland, Ca
    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.
    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!
    Day006, Aug 9, 2012
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