Quicken: Months 1 through 3


J

Jonathan

This is a follow-up from my previous "Quicken: Weeks 1 & 2" post
(included at the bottom).

Now that I have 3 months under my belt, I feel all the more qualified
to discuss my experience. Basically, everything I said in my original
post continues to hold true (with the exception of my mistake on not
being able to create sub-categories, which you can do extensively).
The Quicken interface remains a tangled nightmare. Furthermore, I've
uncovered additional issues.

1. Quicken "remembers" your bank login information and stores it in a
password "vault", which is great. Unfortunately, Quicken prompts you
for the vault login... oh... about every 30 seconds. Just rebooted
your computer? Enter your Quicken login during the boot-up. Now you
want to open the Quicken application? Need that password again. Typed
in the password to boot and again to open the application but now you
want to update your accounts? What is that password again? Some nights
I awake from bad dreams in which I am repeatedly entering my Quicken
password. The crazy part is that there is a specific feature in
Quicken which is supposed to result in Quicken asking you for the
password once only during the boot-up... but this just adds yet
another prompt without stopping any of the others. It's really that
crazy.

2. Quicken is update happy. It seems to want to update constantly. I
see it updating on my own all the time, and it prompts me to update
every time I open or start working in the application. I scheduled the
updates, but still it's doing them constantly at all other times of
the day and prompting me to do it every time I open the application.

3. Quicken has a little "red flag" which is driving me crazy. The flag
shows up next to accounts that supposedly have a pending transaction
you need to accept. The only problem is, sometimes they show up when
there are no transactions to accept, and there's nothing you can do
about it. You shake your head looking all over for some issue which is
causing it to flag the account... but there is no issue. The flag just
sits there... taunting you. Worse yet, Quicken won't let you perform
some functions on the account because you supposedly have some
transactions waiting to be processed (it must also be looking at the
red flag).

4. I've found Quicken's "Bill and Income Reminders" to be useless.
They remember things you don't want them to, and "remind" you of
upcoming transactions you aren't actually expecting. They are the most
useless when trying to use them in coordination with paychecks. I've
done everything I can at this point to turn them all off.

Overall, the problem with Quicken is two-fold:
- The application is too visible. I see icons and flags and updates
and password requests all over the place. I don't want to spend so
much of everyday thinking about the Quicken application. I shouldn't
hear a peep from it except when I want to.
- I avoid the Quicken application. It's been such a nightmare to deal
with I noticed that I've been avoiding updating my account regularly.
Worse yet I almost never run reports due to the difficulty with doing
so.

A far cry from my happy days with Microsoft Money, where I happily and
eagerly updated my accounts, always knew my current financial picture
and was never bothered by the application when I didn't want to be...
Quicken has been filled with unhappy days of wading through poor work-
flow, repeatedly entering the same password, trying to trouble-shoot
issues, getting annoyed, not knowing my full financial picture, and
generally avoiding the application as much as possible. As hopeful as
I was that Quicken would delight me when I made the switch, I am
decidedly undelighted. For all those years I read the reviews of Money
vs. Quicken which made them sound fairly equal, if not in Quicken's
favor, wondering... is Quicken a better product? Am I wasting my time
with Money? It all seems so funny to me now.

Good luck to everybody. I am sure we will all look back fondly on the
good days.
 
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J

John Pollard

Jonathan said:
This is a follow-up from my previous "Quicken: Weeks 1 & 2" post
(included at the bottom).

Now that I have 3 months under my belt, I feel all the more qualified
to discuss my experience. Basically, everything I said in my original
post continues to hold true (with the exception of my mistake on not
being able to create sub-categories, which you can do extensively).
The Quicken interface remains a tangled nightmare. Furthermore, I've
uncovered additional issues.

1. Quicken "remembers" your bank login information and stores it in a
password "vault", which is great. Unfortunately, Quicken prompts you
for the vault login... oh... about every 30 seconds. Just rebooted
your computer? Enter your Quicken login during the boot-up. Now you
want to open the Quicken application? Need that password again. Typed
in the password to boot and again to open the application but now you
want to update your accounts? What is that password again? Some nights
I awake from bad dreams in which I am repeatedly entering my Quicken
password. The crazy part is that there is a specific feature in
Quicken which is supposed to result in Quicken asking you for the
password once only during the boot-up... but this just adds yet
another prompt without stopping any of the others. It's really that
crazy.
You're the first person I know of to report this. I have never had it
happen to me; I am asked for my vault password no more than once per
Quicken session ... and only if I tell Quicken I want to do a One Step
Update.

If you have told Quicken to run "scheduled updates" (which it can do once
a day), you were asked at the time whether Quicken should prompt you for
the Password Vault password "at Windows startup", or "before each
scheduled update". If that was involved in your prompts to enter the
password, it's a trivial matter to turn off "scheduled updates".
2. Quicken is update happy. It seems to want to update constantly. I
see it updating on my own all the time, and it prompts me to update
every time I open or start working in the application. I scheduled the
updates, but still it's doing them constantly at all other times of
the day and prompting me to do it every time I open the application.
Something else I never see, and don't recall reading about. See also my
previous reply.
3. Quicken has a little "red flag" which is driving me crazy. The flag
shows up next to accounts that supposedly have a pending transaction
you need to accept. The only problem is, sometimes they show up when
there are no transactions to accept, and there's nothing you can do
about it. You shake your head looking all over for some issue which is
causing it to flag the account... but there is no issue. The flag just
sits there... taunting you. Worse yet, Quicken won't let you perform
some functions on the account because you supposedly have some
transactions waiting to be processed (it must also be looking at the
red flag).
That little red flag can mean several more things than downloaded
transactions to process. If you place your cursor on the flag, Quicken
will tell you what it signifies.

And, yes it's true, you can't deactivate an account for downloading, if
there are downloaded transactions that have not been accepted.

This is one area (downloaded transactions that can't be seen, so can't be
Accepted) where Quicken has had some problems. I have only personally had
the experience once, when I was testing Q2007, and a complete reinstall
cured the problem. That has not been the "solution" for all users however
.... though several other fixes have been reported as working, so there may
be multiple causes of this problem.
4. I've found Quicken's "Bill and Income Reminders" to be useless.
They remember things you don't want them to, and "remind" you of
upcoming transactions you aren't actually expecting. They are the most
useless when trying to use them in coordination with paychecks. I've
done everything I can at this point to turn them all off.
Odd. They are one of the most useful features for many users, myself
included. Both the paychecks in this household are Quicken scheduled
transactions, and they work just like I expect them to. One that's always
the same is entered in the register automatically by Quicken; the other
which varies from payday to payday, prompts me so I can modify the
necessary split lines.

I use Q2008 Premier everyday, and I test with Q2009 RPM nearly everyday.
 

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