A while ago I wrote a review of the Quicken Business & Home 2017 (Canadian Version) . In that review I mentioned the Quicken iPhone/iPad app (I think there is an Android version as well). I have a better perspective on the subject, after trying them out.
Quicken 2017 Canadian Edition
I installed the Quicken app on my iPad and on my iPhone and initially I didn’t think about using it, but that has changed. Most of the time (when I remember), I will enter new transactions on the Quicken 2017 App, and sometimes even take a photo of the receipt.
The application itself seems to have some brains in it, as it will use the GPS and map data in your phone to try to guess where your expenditure happened. An example was when I was at Costco, and in the parking lot, I input the ridiculous amount that we spent, and the App filled in the “Spent at” field with Costco. You can override this capability, but this is kind of nifty (while being a privacy concern too).
Another Step in the Right Direction
If Quicken continues to support these adjunct programs for its Quicken system (in Canada) this may be a big plus to the whole program. My hope is that the Quicken Cloud has a high level of security around it. The information in the Cloud would be highly valued by hackers.
If they could make Quicken 2017 easier to track investments that would be better. Currently there is a lot of manual data entry to track your investments.
After the Quicken 2016 debacle, I was very leery to even think about purchasing Quicken 2017 Canadian edition. I did notice that there was a Quicken iPad (and iPhone) application, which said it should work with Quicken 2017 Canadian edition, so that tipped the scales for me.
Intuit has stepped away from this product, so it is back to being a Quicken product. Actually the Quicken brand is owned by HIG Capital, but it looks like they are letting the Quicken team run things. What this means for the Canadian Edition of the product? So far it suggests they are trying to make the Canadian product a more practical 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 interesting 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 get things set up so I could use the iPad and iPhone app, which is where things got interesting. If you want to use these applications, you will need to use the Quicken Cloud. The Cloud is not a back up of your data, but where data transferral can transpire. Quicken is very specific pointing out 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 2 weeks now, and it seems to work just fine. I have had no crashes (which I had many, with Quicken 2016), however, start-up is quite 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 update of the cloud seems relatively quick, but I never got the update with your bank automagically to work. If you download the file from your bank web site, this is not a problem.
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 has me concerned, but we shall see what comes of that. I also haven’t tried out the Premium Support part of my subscription yet, again 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 type 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.
One of the really lousy things that Intuit (or Quicken) did to Canadians, is they stopped having a version of Mac Quicken that worked in Canada for about the past 10 years. Mac Quicken 2007 is the last supported version of Quicken that runs on a Mac. This means works with Canadian banks, as well. I have read that Mac Quicken 2007 no longer works with either the current Mac OS, or the Canadian Banks.
There is a very good article about how you can use VMWare to run a PC version of Quicken on your Mac. The article outlines the steps needed, and is an excellent resource for those that feel they are nerdy enough to get it to work (thanks to InvestorJunkie).
Never in Canada is my guess that you will ever see Mac Quicken
The Mac Quicken Challenge
As my regular readers know, I am that nerdy, so I tried this out, and it worked, but, not the way I wanted.
The Mac I used was a MacBook Pro with 8 GB of memory running, Mac OS Sierra.
Download a trial version of VMware (which will give you 30 days to try things out). You will need to either have a spare Windows 7, 8 or 10 license hanging around. It can run on a trial Windows license as well.
The VMware Fusion documentation is really straight forward (IMHO) so setting up your PC environment while time consuming is straight forward. The hard part is figuring out how much memory and disk space you want your VM to use. On my system I gave it 4 GB of memory and 60 GB of disk space (which was on an external USB hard drive)). This seemed to be sufficient to get it all running.
You will also need to have a Quicken for PC license (click here to buy from Quicken). I had a license, so this cost me nothing, if you don’t have a spare license, I would think about whether you want to spend that much money on an experiment.
I installed Quicken, and then restored an old Quicken image and gave it a try out.
This hybrid Mac Quicken worked, no problem, however, I found VMFusion as being a cumbersome process on my laptop (it might work better if you were running on a Mac Mini or a desktop system, which might have more processing power or memory). I was also comparing run my Hybrid Mac Quicken to running Quicken on an older PC Laptop (Dell) that I had lying around.
Mac Quicken Findings
Both versions of Quicken worked fine (both PC remote and Mac VM). The advantage the VMWare version has is that I can run it on your Mac wherever you are. The PC Quicken, I had to have the PC available (using Remote Desktop) to make it work.
In the end I found the VMFusion idea a little too cumbersome for my liking. The system kept slowing my Mac laptop down. Unfortunately, bringing up Mac Quicken was slow to begin with.
I have stuck with running Quicken on my old PC laptop. This was a very interesting experiment. I am not saying this is a bad idea, it just didn’t work the way I wanted it to work.
Quicken has come out with a new version of Quicken (Quicken 2016), which has many great new features. I’d love to be able to write that, but there is no way I can. As usual the 2016 version (in Canada) is similar to Quicken 2015 in its complete lack of new features (in the Canadian edition).
Excuse me? It is not even copyrighted for this year? Suggests to me, this is a simple bug fix release, and not even a “new” version. When I downloaded it (however), the name given was:
Quicken Home & Business 2016 – Download
In fact, Intuit Canada, seems to have nothing to do with Quicken Canadian edition, you have to go to the Quicken.com/Canada web site to find information out about it.
Why did I buy this? My Quicken 2015 wouldn’t actually work anymore, so I figured I’d try the new version and that does seem to have fixed my issues, except I still can’t download investment information without it crashing. If you read the Quicken web site, you can see they are encouraging folks to keep upgrading your system:
In an ongoing effort to provide reliable high-quality products and services, Intuit periodically retires (also known as “sunsets or discontinues”) older versions of Quicken, thereby discontinuing online services and live technical phone and email support for these versions….. Sunsetting older versions of Quicken allows us to focus resources on enhancing our products and providing support for more current versions, which are used by the vast majority of Quicken customers.
Review of Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition
If your Quicken 2015 (Canadian Edition) is working just fine, then give Quicken 2016 a pass. Maybe something better will show up next year? Note there is no link to where you can buy this product. I do not suggest you buy it, wait and see what Quicken will do about this product.
I will continue to use the software, but that is because I have no other option. I am doing this even though I am mostly running in a Mac environment.
There is a new version Quicken 2017 that seems to be heading in the right direction, and you should try that one out.
So I tripped across an interesting feature in Quicken’s investment tracking feature where, in one transaction (well, it does the delete and add transaction for you from what I can see), Quicken transfer mutual funds from one account to another. Big deal you say? Well for me over the past few weeks, this has made my life simpler tracking my TD Mutual Fund Savings Accounts.
Next question, why do you have TD Mutual fund accounts, aren’t you a TD Direct Invest dude? Well I didn’t initially start with TD Mutual Fund accounts (remember there are 3 different silos in TD, the Banking Side, The Mutual Fund Side and TD Investments (there is also insurance and a few other sides, but I shall leave them out for discussion purposes)). When I first opened RESPs, and an “Emergency” account I was a customer of Canada Trust, and they didn’t really have an “Investing Wing” (and I wouldn’t have known what to do back then).
When TD purchased CT long ago (a transaction in terms of the TD computer systems is not complete, I’d like to point out), all my CT Mutual Fund accounts became TD Mutual Fund accounts. All of my CT mutual funds turned into I-series TD Mutual Funds (again, before I really understood the problems with higher MER Mutual Funds).
I finally got off my lazy derriere and have transferred all of those I-Series funds to E-series funds, using the same models as outlined in Ideal Portfolios :
TDB909 – TD Canadian Bond Index (e-Series) TDB900 – TD Canadian Index (e-Series) TDB902 – TD US Index (e-Series) TDB911 – TD International Index (e-Series)
To be able to use these Index Funds in your Mutual Fund account you must Mail (by Canada Post, no Faxes allowed) the following:
Your TD e-Series Funds account is opened after your original, signed application, and TD e-Series Funds Understanding and Consent form are received by TD Investment Services Inc. (TDIS). Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications by fax.
This is assuming you already have an account. If you don’t have an account, might I suggest going straight to TD Direct Investing (and not worry about opening a “TD Mutual Fund” account)?
Once you get all of your “OK you can use them” confirmations, you can simply go on-line and use Quicken transfer mutual funds to move the associated I-series fund to an E-series fund (and thus save on MERs and such).
Finally we have reached the Quicken part of the discussion, if you have your Mutual Fund savings account set up in Quicken (and why wouldn’t you?), you would go to the account and simply choose Enter Transaction .
If you search down the list of possible transactions (once the dialog box comes up), select Mutual Fund Conversion, and the dialog box will then only ask you for:
Date of the Transfer
The Mutual Fund it is coming “from”
The New Mutual Fund to use (you may have to create that in Quicken)
How many shares were created of the New Fund
How much the price was (per share) of the new fund
And let it run it’s merry way. Quicken removes the holdings of the old security and adds the new security holdings to your account, and you are now tracking the right funds.
I have always been pretty lazy when it has come to tracking my investments, but I am trying hard to keep a closer track of all of my various investment vehicles (as I close in on retirement).