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Quicken 2011 a Review

For my regular readers, you know I use Quicken as my Investment and Spending tracking software, and have been  using it for over 10 years, so when I was offered a free copy of the software if I wrote a review for it, I felt that it was in no way a conflict of interest on my part, however, for clarity, I received this copy of the software for free, so I guess I was kind of paid for this review, in free software, but I am not receiving any other compensation for this review (call me a sell out, but I love free stuff, and view this as a sucker bet, since I used the tool already, but don’t tell them that!).

I use Quicken as a Ledger book for my family spending, and I use it to track my investments (although I really wish it was easier to integrate transactions between TD Waterhouse and Quicken (that is a TD issue, not a Quicken one)). I have Quicken records going back to about 1997, so as you can tell I am a pretty die hard user, so as you can also guess this is not going to be an overly critical review of the software, I think it’s great, but I may mention a few areas where I’d like the software make my life simpler.

I am also using Quicken Home and Business 2011, which is useful because I can use this for my wife and my home businesses as well (there is a Cash Manager version for those who don’t have as complex spending habits).

What is new in this version of Quicken:

  • Cash Flow Graph:Shows how much money you’ll have after upcoming bills and income, useful if you can’t guess how your expenses are going to look like in the future.
  • Bond Maturity & Investment Transactions Reports:Available in Home & Business only, but this is quite useful for me, as I have a fair amount of CSB’s to track.
  • Improved Customizable Register:haven’t really used this too much yet, but will explore if this helps me understand my spending more.
  • Other categorization enhancements as well.

How do I Use it?

As mentioned I use Quicken for day to day tracking of expenses, and it can create Reports on your spending (or fancy looking graphs too), which I find very useful when I try to figure out why I have not achieved my savings goals (yet again).

I also use the “Calendar” where I have set up when my regular bills are normally due, and they appear in my Register about a week before I must pay them, thus making it even harder to not pay my bills on time (I still do occasionally, but this is not the fault of the tool, but of the user).

I track my investments with Quicken, and it’s ability to download stock, mutual fund and the like prices in daily helps me track the value of my investments, which is very useful.

The best part is the ability to download transactions from my bank, and from most of my credit cards directly into the tool, and thus I can track expenditures with a “double check” capability. If I have entered the transaction, Quicken tries to match it to the input transaction from the bank transaction. If I have forgotten a transaction, Quicken will add the transaction to the Register (and my wife and I then argue about who’s fault it was that we didn’t track that purchase). Many times things like cheques are NOT cashed quickly, but with Quicken I can see if a cheque or transaction has gone through and thus have the actual balance of my bank account (not just the current balance which may have MANY outstanding transactions still to come through).

Overall Quicken 2011

I think this is an excellent tool, which I swear by for keeping track of my spending and making sure my bills are paid on time as well. I recommend this tool for anyone who feels that they need to get more organized in terms of their Personal Finances. This newer version of the tool adds some useful new tweeks, as well.


Quicken has gone to a subscription model so you should really be using this version to keep up to date with things.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I too am a 20 year Quicken (Canadian) user, currently using XG 2006. I wanted to EXPORT one account (only) so that I could IMPORT it on my wife’s new laptop. 2006 only EXPORTS a QIF file format, but it will not IMPORT a QIF file!! Go figure! The reason it will no longer import QIF (it used to) is because my “licence” for that service has “expired” and INTUIT CANADA will not renew it. So when I asked support which files 2012 Cash Manager would IMPORT/EXPORT, they replied (this morning) as follows:

    File formats that can be imported in Quicken : .QFX, . QIF, Address file, CSV file and MS Mooney file.

    File formats that can be imported in Quicken : .QIF and . QFX

    Notwithstanding the spelling error and the (I assume) erroneous “imported” on the second line (likely meant “exported”) I’t completely conflicts with the statement in AJP’s March 10th comment! I have emailed Customer support AGAIN for clarification.

    I am COMPLETELY disgusted with the “buy the new version” answer they give for every problem and, while they DO reply to emails they don’t seem to actually read, or at least understand(English is obviously not their first language) your questions! I have downloaded a trial version of AceMoney…it is not as “polished” as Quicken but it’s cheaper, all future updates are FREE, and it does support QIF files!

    QUICKEN…a great product with LOUSY customer support and a “force new versions down their throats” marketing attitude!

    1. Hit the nail on the head. Cash Manager 2011 budgets cannot be relied on. Their answer is that no fix will take place. Buy 2012.

      My answer. Going to another product.

  2. I changed from Excel to Quicken, so much easier to use. A good program to transfer data into Quicken is ImportQIF. It will import OFX (MS Money), CSV, XLS (Excel) files into QIF files. It has been fine tuned to work with Canadian version of quicken

  3. I’d like to thank Trevor B for his comment of Oct 26th. I’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide which SW to purchase. Poor customer support is a sore spot with me and I’m not interested in any product that is not well supported in the Canadian marketplace.
    Thanks Trevor, I’ll steer clear.

  4. I current have Quicken H&B 2010. I am a long time user of Intuit products. My problem is I have recently aquired alot of investments and would like to keep track of them in Quicken H&B. I have not been able to find a teacher or web site that specializes in Quicken. I find Intuit Support is too vague and all they really want to do is sell you the current version.

  5. I have used quicken since 2006, I am vary unhappy with the latest revisions, currently I am using Quicken 2009 which no longer supports automated downloading from the bank, furthermore if your Canadian looking to use there financial tools good luck. I have requested technical support but in 8 months I haven’t seen a reply.

  6. I upgraded from Quicken 98 (which I was happy with)to Quicken Home & Business 2011 using XP. The conversion went OK but what a piece of crap it is! I have tried for several months to adapt to it but its hopeless. New windows don’t size properly, its slow, shows incorrect balances and has completely lost touch with its original ideal of “being intuitive”. I haven’t had to pay for support help but neither have they been able to come up any solutions.
    I’m going back to Quicken 98

  7. I have been using Quicken for nearly 20 years and I am currently running Home & Business 2008. During a recent attempt to download transactions from my bank, I discovered that Quicken had released version 2011 and 2008 was no longer supported and that I have to upgrade to 2011 ($110) in order to download bank transactions! I find this policy be to shear blackmail. Quicken in essense is forcing me to spend $110 even though I am 100% happy with 2008 version. By not allowing downloads, it forces me to spend much more time making the individual entries. This a sick way to generate more revenue in my opinion and shows Quicken’s true colors in terms of customer service or satisfaction. Higher revenue rules it appears!! Totally disappointed and I now motivated to find ulternative product to use.


  8. I currently have Quicken Deluxe 2001 and use it for all my banking since 2001. It is great if you want to go back to see what I paid for different items. It now time to upgrade to the latest Quicken Cash Manager.

  9. I have been a quicken fan for many years. I’m totally happy and have upgrading annually. I use Quicken for my personal accounts and also for a couple of volunteer accounts. I would love to upgrade to Quicken Premier 2011.

  10. Cash manager 2011 is very conveluted, compared to my old 2002 quicken, which was much simpiler, and easy to use. The new version looks as though you have to be a CGA, in order to use it. When you make a budget, it locks in numbers and you cannot easily manipulate it. It got so bad, we are now using the old version again. try a copy of 2002, it still works way better!

  11. Hello,
    I was wondering. With Quicken Cash Manager, can you customize the spending to different people (ie. track the individual spending of more than one person)?

  12. I purchased Quicken 2011 after my Quicken 2009 stopped working and have been very disappointed. After purchasing the new version and converting my old Quicken files into the new version, when I open it it keeps thinking I’m a new customer. I have to open my old (now restored) financial transactions and continue as before. Customer support on this issue has not resolved the problem so far.
    Further, when I go online to MasterCard and download the transactions, it doesn’t seem to be able to import QIF files anymore from online banking, although there is an icon at the top of the program screen for this. When I contacted customer support about this, the email reply stated: “I would like to inform you that in Quicken we only support the QFX import format for downloading transactions.”

  13. Hey I’m wondering what it will take to make this post interesting to win this copy of Quicken! Ok, I’ll share my experience with financial software and that may be interesting/relevant to others. I started using Buxfer about 3 years ago and was pretty regular with entering my finances and budgeting, etc. Recently, there have been problems with buxfer, primarily with the website server being down. Also, a large amount of my transactions on buxfer were deleted, which is quite a disappointed. After much research on online budgeting tools, I decided to give a try (also since it can sync with my RBC account). I have been using it for about a month now, but I must admit, I am not terribly impressed. There are certain errors like my transactions appearing twice or some transactions not being shown,etc. Now I have decided that I’d like to go with a reliable software such as Quicken, even though it’s a paid software. Who knows, I might be the lucky winner of the Quicken Cash Manager 2011! 🙂

  14. Hi Canajun,

    I’ve been reading many personal finance bloggers who have been highly recommending Quicken. I’ve been taking a more disciplined and watchful approach to finances in the past couple of years – all thanks to personal finance bloggers who share their knowldge and opinions.

    Winning Quicken here would be really exciting!

    I’m kind of nerd that way, but as a personal finance blogger, you’d probably get what I’m saying.

  15. I’d love a copy of Quicken. It would be so handy to manage my personal finances. I’ve been using excel and no, it’s not fun!

  16. Is this giveaway still going on?

    If it’s still on, I hope I can still join it.

    I have a copy of MS Money right now and unlike you mentioned in the recent post on managing health care expenses through Quicken, I find that managing the insurance payments / my spending / calculating the tax dedcution on MS Money is a nightmare.

    I’ve been looking at Quicken, right now the finances are too tight to be able to buy one – but I’d be thrilled to win a copy.

  17. I’ve really never used software to track spending and expenses, I just do it all in my head. But I’m very frugal and detail-oriented, so thus far that has worker for me. But I’ve taken on a DIY approach to my investments in the past year, and would be interested to see if this software will help me track my returns on investments, and asset allocations. I hear good things about Quicken – would like to try it out!

  18. Chuckle. I’ve been using MS Money 2000 for a decade now and every now and then I wonder what features Quicken has and if it might be better – but I’m too cheap to buy it and try it out . . . winning it would satisfy my curiosity at a price point I like!

  19. I use – is it comparable, but with more security? In the sense that your info isnt recorded elsewhere? They are the same company i believe

  20. I’d love to win this copy of Quicken Cashmanager 2011.

    We were (still are) using MS Money which is no longer supported and have limited capabilities when compared to Quicken. I’ve heard very good things about Quicken’s ability to handle money paid by health insurance and HSA.

  21. I’m currently using GnuCash. It’s an open software, so it’s free, therefore I can’t really complain (and it actually does a good job for me), but I’d like to see what Quicken offers.

  22. I use Cash Manager 2009. What version are you comparing to? Apart from the improved customization I’m wondering if there is any other reason to update (I’m reasonable happy right now). /C

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