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Quicken Review – The Year of the Comeback?

After the Quicken 2016 debacle, I was very suspicious of even thinking about purchasing Quicken 2017 Canadian edition. I noticed a Quicken iPad (and iPhone) application which said it should work with Quicken 2017 Canadian edition, so that tipped the scales for me.

Quicken 2017 Canadian Edition
Quicken 2017 hopefully a better version than this one.

Intuit has stepped away from this product, so it is back to being a Quicken product. HIG Capital owns the Quicken brand, but they are letting the Quicken team run things. What does this mean for the Canadian Edition of the product? So far it suggests they are trying to make the Canadian product a more suitable product, but again, we shall see.

I ended up buying Quicken 2017 Home & Business with Premium Support, using the discount message from Quicken 2016, which brings you to a purchase page. The exciting part of this was that the price quoted was $80.77 for Business and Home (the deluxe version), but after I purchased it, there was no delivery charge or taxes charged either. I suspect this is a mistake they will remedy (i.e. Charge HST). The delivery was only a download, so maybe free delivery is OK too.

I am concerned that this is a subscription (that is what my invoice shows). I have not purchased anything, I have paid for a yearly subscription. My suspicion is this means I will have to renew this yearly.

The new version installed just fine and didn’t seem to have any issues with my huge archive of transactions (it is massive).

I then tried to set things up so I could use the iPad and iPhone apps, where things got interesting. To use these applications, you must use the Quicken Cloud. The Cloud is not a backup of your data but where data transfer can transpire. Quicken is very specific, pointing out that their Cloud is not a backup (you will need to keep doing that yourself). The Quicken cloud relies on having a Quicken login, so you will need to set up an account if you want to use these apps.

The cloud seemed to rely on being able to download automatically to your Quicken, so I tried to get that working with my TD accounts. It didn’t work, however, after a few failed attempts, the Cloud suddenly was getting the correct data, and that meant I could use the iPhone app.

The iPad and iPhone apps are good, and free too. Please note there are two separate apps, the iPad version works as an iPad app (i.e. it uses the whole screen and will rotate, and other nice features). The major things these apps let you do are:

  • Input transactions on your phone, which will then go into the cloud. It works quite nicely and gives you the ability to store a photo of your receipt as part of the transaction.
  • You can look at your current financial status, and you get some nice graphics that show where you stand, and get some elementary reports.
  • Other things I haven’t explored yet.

All in all I think the apps are worth using.

I have used the product for about two weeks now, and it seems to work just fine. I have had no crashes (which I had many, with Quicken 2016). However, the start-up is relatively slow. The startup on a regular PC Laptop with 8 GB of memory should not be this slow, and the need to log in each time slows things down too. The cloud update seems relatively quick, but I never automatically got the update with your bank to work. This is not a problem downloading the file from your bank website.

Verdict Quicken 2017 Canadian Edition

For the price I paid, and the added features of the apps, I think this version of Quicken is worth buying (especially if you haven’t bought it in a few years). The subscription angle concerns me, but we shall see what comes of that. I also haven’t tried out the Premium Support part of my subscription yet, another area I will investigate further.

The drawback is there is no official Canadian Mac version just yet. I have heard you can buy the U.S. version and it should work, but I wouldn’t chance that just yet.

One final concern is the Cloud. How secure is it? We have seen many security breaches in these types of data configurations. Let us hope this does not happen here.

Overall Review: A good restart on a product that needs a lot of fixing.

Quicken 2022 Follow On

A Canadian Mac version is almost up to date with the PC version. With your subscription, you have access to both. Integration with the Cloud works relatively well too. You can use it on an iPhone, an iPad or in a browser. I am still using it.

Also note that Canadian Banks do not like you connecting your online banking to the Quicken Cloud.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. “The drawback is there is no official Canadian Mac version just yet”

    Actually Quicken for Mac has ALWAYS supported Canadian FIs/Banks (including QM2007 to now, QM2019 subscription). And now they have officially included a Canadian setting but all it does is hide US specific features that do not work in Canada and set the home currency to CAD otherwise, it is the exact same software.

    1. Oh, one more thing…QMac actually supports FIs/Banks in both Canada and US within the SAME product, unlike QWin, which can only work with one OR the other.

      Of course QMac is not as feature rich as QWin, so YMMV.

    1. It works both on PC and IOS but still has idiosyncrasies. Do I like the subscription model? Not really, but it does seem to work OK. Gone are the unknown crashes, but there are still features that are needed.

  2. Thanks for the review!
    I’m a big fan of YNAB, I even bought the yearly subscription after paying month to month for over a year.
    Any areas where Quicken would be an obvious upgrade for personal use?

  3. The 300% was referring to the fact that you only needed to update once every 3 years to keep the online features… Now, it’s yearly.

    Another problem is that: if for some reason, they go belly up, since the application calls “home” every so often, you could effectively be locked out of your data… Maybe not this year… but what about in 2-3 years? It’s not like Office where you have alternatives… I have 20+ years of data… not sure it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Although I’m probably one of the few that upgrade every year but not this time…

    Also, once you’re locked in, what prevents them from raising the price to 500$ next year? Or 150$, if they lose 60% of their customers.

    It will be interesting to see how many “new features” will be added during the year. Intuit tried the whole subscription gig a few (many) years ago and didn’t realease anything. We’ll see…

    1. All excellent points. Seems to imply the backups are release encoded (you can’t use a new backup on an older version of the software), not sure if that is the case, but it would not surprise me.

      Excellent points, as you said, we shall see.

  4. Subscription means you have to pay 90$ a year which is effectively a 300% increase. I guess the biggest issue is that if you do not renew, you lose the ability to enter transactions – meaning you have read-only program.

    1. Not 300% for the Home Business version, that was always around $90 (or more), but the read-only part, yeh, that sucks, but at least it kind of works now. Again, it is a good restart, but…

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