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 view of the utility (but I use it and will continue to use it).
There is a newer version of Quicken out there, and I have reviewed Quicken 2016.
I am using the full-blow Quicken Home & Business, so this is the full-blown version (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) converts your data files to a new design. This always worries the hell out of me, so it would be very prudent to make sure that you do a full backup 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. Still, the first thing I noticed is that there is a feature called Portfolio X-ray in the US Version, and it does not appear to be included in the Canadian version. I keep hearing rumours 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 found Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition did have some useful new tools for me. The official website says the following components are helpful:
- 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 valuable things for investing folks (like me) to help with tracking their investments. The fact that a TFSA is an account type is beneficial, although I suspect this was in Quicken 2012.
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 to remind me of the bills that I have set up as reminders in Quicken (a beneficial function). The reminders are now marked with a clock to show coming soon.
Another interesting feature (that is not new in this release) is attaching images (like scanned receipts and such) to a transaction. Thus, you can track those things and can produce the ticket if requested (as well).
I took advantage of the update to set a password on my file so that if it somehow got into the wrong hands, it would take a little work to get the data out of it. I am still wrestling with the automatic update function with the banks. I think TD doesn’t like Quicken talking to it without me being involved.
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.
This is a good tool for most folks to track their spending. There are other tools around, but this tried and accurate tool works excellent (for me) and can make your life simpler.