One of the nice perks of this blog is that folks like to hear my opinions on books and utilities, and this time I was lucky enough to get a copy of Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition. For full disclosure, I am a Quicken “fanboy”, as I have been using it for about 15 years, I will try to have a balanced point of view on the utility (but I do use it, and will continue to use it).
I am using the full blow Quicken Home & Business, so this is the full-blown version (of Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition). I should use the business functions more, and if I do that I will have a separate review of that functionality.
It was interesting that Intuit seems to have changed their file formats so the first thing that the install does (after removing the old version of Quicken) is convert your data files to a new format. This always worries the hell out of me, so it would be very prudent to make sure that you do a full back up of your Quicken files before you do the upgrade.
I didn’t get a “boxed” version of the software, so I have had to do some sleuthing to find out what is new with Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition, but the first thing I noticed is that in the US Version there is a feature called, Portfolio X-ray, and it does not appear to be included in the Canadian version. I keep hearing rumors that the Canadian version of Quicken may be discontinued and this doesn’t help give me a warm fuzzy on the topic. The other missing feature from the American version is a free credit score check.
After my initial sadness about these missing features, I did go on to find Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition did have some useful new tools for me. The official website says the following features are useful:
- Helps you choose the TFSA account type when setting up an investment account
- Lets you review and work with transactions from your spending, asset and liability accounts with the All Transactions register
- A projected account balances graph that shows you how much money you have left after upcoming bills and income
- Bond maturity report
- Investment Transactions report now displays a shares subtotal
These are all useful things for investing folks (like me) to help with tracking their investments. The fact that a TFSA is an account type is very useful as well, although I suspect this was in Quicken 2012 as well.
I also like that they have added an ability to “look forward” in your spending, for an extended period, using the Show Reminders function (it’s a little alarm clock in the upper right corner). I “look ahead” at the reminders I have at least a month ahead to remind me of the bills that I have set up as reminders in Quicken (a very useful function). The reminders are now marked with a clock to show that they are coming soon.
Another interesting feature (that is not new in this release) is the ability to attach images (like scanned receipts and such) to a transaction, thus you are able to track those things and can produce the receipt if requested (as well).
Given the time of the season Quicken is a great way to organize yourself for the holidays and plan your finances for the new year.
I think this is as good a tool for most folks to track their spending. There are other tools around, but this tried and true tool works great (for me) and can make your life simpler.