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Quicken Review

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Date Established
1988
Location
Menlo Park, CA

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Well-designed UI
  • Fair mobile apps
  • Ample financial reports
  • Strong budgeting

Cons

  • Moderate learning curve
  • Limited automations

Overview

Quicken is a personal accounting software that allows individuals to take control of their finances; this software has been one of the biggest names in personal financing for decades. Quicken was created back in 1982. In fact, it was the product that launched Intuit (the creators of QuickBooks) into what they are today. It was acquired by H.I.G. Capital in 2016, and so far the company has not disappointed.

While some long-time users dislike the new yearly subscription pricing structure, Quicken is the same reliable, full-featured finance management tool it has always been. The software offers expense tracking, budgeting, reporting, retirement planning, and more. It also tracks your spending trends so you can know exactly where your money is going.

The software can be unintuitive at times and the lack of automatic transactions downloads is a bit of a time-waster; however, the software is still a great option for individuals looking to manage their personal finances. Read on to learn more.

Pricing

Quicken offers three different pricing packages for personal financing software. Previously, customers were able to purchase licenses of the software, but the company has recently moved to a yearly subscription structure. While many users complain about the new yearly payments, Quicken is often running promotions on their site for discounted software.

There is no free trial of Quicken; however, there is a 30-day money back guarantee.

Starter

  • $34.99/year
  • Track income and expenses
  • See spending trends
  • Budget
  • Reports
  • 5 GB Dropbox storage

Deluxe

  • $49.99/year
  • Track income and expenses
  • See spending trends
  • Budget
  • Track loans
  • Track investments and retirement accounts
  • Reports
  • 5 GB Dropbox storage

Premier

  • $74.99/year
  • Track income and expenses
  • See spending trends
  • Budget
  • Track loans
  • Track investments and retirement accounts
  • Advanced retirement and investment tools
  • Track home’s market value
  • Bill pay
  • Schedule D
  • Reports
  • Premium customer support
  • 5 GB Dropbox storage

Quicken Basic and Quicken Deluxe users can opt to add premium customer support and/or bill pay for additional monthly charges.

Quicken also offers a Home & Business version that is ideal if you need combined personal and business finance management. Stay tuned for our full Quicken Home & Business review.

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Quicken is a locally-installed program, although internet access is required for certain features (like downloading bank transactions and bill pay). Unlike most locally-installed software, Quicken actually has mobile apps that sync directly with your installed Quicken profile, so you can access your data without being stuck at your computer. The mobile apps are available for iPhones (iOS 8+) and Androids (4.0+).

Hardware & Software Requirements

Quicken can be purchased for either Windows or Mac. The computer requirements vary for each.

For Windows, users will need:

  • Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
  • 1280×768 screen display
  • 56 Kbps modem or broadband internet (for select features and setup)

For Macs, users will need:

  • OS El Capitan 10.11+
  • 256 MB+
  • 1280×800 screen display
  • Broadband internet (for select features and setup)

Specific Size Of Business

Unlike most of the accounting solutions we review, Quicken Starter, Deluxe, and Premium are not designed for business use. Quicken is a personal finance management solution that is ideal for individuals who want to manage their money better. Quicken is best for more hands-on individuals who want a great deal of detail and control over their personal accounting and financial planning.

You can create multiple Quicken files using a single Quicken subscription.

Ease Of Use

For the most part, Quicken is easy to use, although some features are not as intuitive as they could be. The software is well-organized and there are plenty of support options to help you learn how to use it. Some features do take a while to learn and a few users have complained that they think the software could be streamlined.

Features

Quicken offers an incredible number of features to help you manage your personal finances. Here are a few of the most notable:

  • Dashboard: Quicken has a well-organized dashboard with graphs to show you where your money goes, any upcoming bills, the total you’ve spent, and if you’ve gone over your budget. On the side, you’ll also see the total for any checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, property, debt, or savings goals you’ve set up.

Quicken Review

  • Expense Tracking: You can manually enter income and expenses into Quicken or you can connect directly to your bank to download them. Transactions are not automatically downloaded, so you’ll need to refresh them each time you open the software. While this is a bit of a hassle, you can schedule updates. Quicken automatically categorizes your transactions and shows your spending trends. You can edit the categories as much as you like. You can also track projected transactions to see what your spending balance will be with any upcoming expenses deducted.

Quicken Review

  • Bank Reconciliation:  Quicken makes it easy to reconcile your bank account using your paper statement or your online balance.
  • Bills: You can connect your Quicken account to your online bills so you can track your upcoming bills. You can enter manual bills as well. Bill Pay, Quicken’s online bill paying service, is only available for Quicken Premier (although you can purchase the service for an extra fee each month).
  • Budgeting: One of my favorite Quicken features is budgeting. You can create budgets by month, quarter, or year. When you connect to your banks for the first time, Quicken will automatically create a budget for you based on your spending, which you can adjust as needed.  You can also base new budgets off of existing transactions and spending trends. Quicken budgets can be as basic or as detailed as you want.

Quicken Review

  • Savings Goals: Another great feature is the ability to create savings goals. Tell Quicken what you’re saving for, how much you want to save, and when you want to have it saved by and they’ll tell you how much you need to put aside each month. Quicken will ask which account the goal is tied to and will track your contributions to that account. You can set as many goals as you like.
  • Personal Property Management: You can add your assets, like cars, properties, etc., and their approximated value in Quicken. You can also add any debts, such as student loans or mortgages.
  • Investment Tracking: Quicken also lets you track your 401k or IRA investment accounts. Quicken Premier has added investment tools like a tax optimizer and Portfolio X-Ray tool. Premier also includes a lifetime planner where you can enter your retirement plan, assets, and expected living expenses to see how much money you’ll need to retire.
  • Reports: Quicken offers nearly 50 reports to help you analyze your finances. The budgeting and spending reports are particularly insightful.
  • Print Checks: You can print checks directly from Quicken.
  • Credit Score: You can check your credit score using Quicken as well.
  • Debt Reduction Planner: Though not always accurate, the debt reduction planner can help you gauge how long it will take you to pay off your debts. You can use the “what if?” tool to see how increasing your monthly payment or adding a lump sum payment can help get you out of debt faster.

Quicken Review

  • Tools: Other Quicken tools include a built-in calculator and calendar.
  • Importing/Exporting:  You can import data via .csv, .qif, or  .qxf. You can export files and reports via .qif, .qfx, or to specific programs like Excel.

Customer Service & Support

Happily, one thing H.I.G. Capital did not maintain after the Quicken acquisition was poor customer support (Intuit is notorious for terrible customer service). Phone support wait times are incredibly short in my experience, and I almost always went straight through to a representative. Knowledge varies from rep to rep, but I found most to be helpful. In addition to phone support, Quicken has tons of built-in support and the help search function works well.

Each support option below is available for every tier of Quicken. The premium customer support of Quicken Premier puts you to the front of any phone wait times.

  • Phone: With quick phone answering times, this was my go-to for quick answers. Phone representatives can also walk you through sharing your screen to solve troubleshooting issues or explain difficult tasks.
  • Help Center: Quicken offers a help center with articles to explain basic functions or troubleshoot common problems.
  • Community Forum: There is a community forum where you can ask questions or make suggestions to Quicken.
  • In-Program Help: The in-software help feature offers short how-to explanations for common questions and features tons of guides. There’s also advice on topics like getting out of debt or creating a budget.
  • Live Chat: Quicken’s website has a basic live chat feature, which is mostly useful for sales questions and basic inquiries.
  • Getting Started Guide: There is a detailed Getting Started Guide that can help you learn how to use Quicken.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

Quicken has been well-loved for most of its history; however, the recent acquisition and subsequent change from license pricing to subscription pricing has significantly increased the number of negative customer reviews. The software receives 1/5 stars on Consumer Affairs with over 400 logged complaints. Here’s what users have to say:

  • Long-Time Users Miss Intuit: Many long-time users are dissatisfied with the new Quicken product, saying it has more glitches and more expensive pricing.
  • Subscription Pricing Is Frustrating: For many, the appeal of Quicken was being able to buy a one-time license and renew that license only every few years. Many users dislike the new yearly subscription pricing model and several reported issues transferring data from past licenses to Quicken 2018.
  • Bugs & Crashes: Several users reported bugs and crashes. I, myself, never experienced any bugs but did find the software slow at times.
  • Issues Loading Transactions: Some users had issues getting their bank transactions to load correctly. Some had issues syncing their accounts at all, while others experienced duplicate transactions and others still saw incorrect totals. Several users request automatic transactions uploads to avoid this problem altogether.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Despite the negative reviews, Quicken is still loved by many and maintains a strong reputation in the personal accounting software world. It’s also important to remember the effect of negativity bias (and that some people simply aren’t good with change).

The software receives 3.6/5 stars on GetApp. Here’s what users like about the software:

  • Easy To Use: Users appreciate that the software is easy to use, making finances less of a chore.
  • Great Finance Management: The biggest praise of Quicken is that users are able to easily manage their finances and stay on top of their money. Users appreciate being able to track expenses and pinpoint their spending trends.
  • Good Feature Selection: Users like the feature set offered. Budgeting, reporting, and the planning and investing tools are some of the favorites.
  • Affordable: Many users find the software affordable and think yearly subscription is worth it for the features you get.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Quicken has seven add-ons and connects with thousands of online lenders and banking institutions so you can easily pull in your bills and transactions.

Security

Since Quicken is a locally-installed software, security is predominantly up to you. Quicken throws you a bone by allowing you to password-protect Quicken backup files. Read our post How To Keep Your Locally-Installed Accounting Software Secure to learn more about protecting your data.

Some Quicken features and the mobile apps require internet and have built-in security features like 256-bit SSL encryption. Quicken has read-only access to your banking information and all data is stored in a monitored database with firewall protection.

Final Verdict

Despite a number of complaints from existing Quicken users about the new subscription pricing, Quicken is still a great product and offers an incredible number of features. For individuals who are financially savvy or want a great level of detail regarding financing, Quicken is a great fit. The budgeting and savings goals features are also incredibly developed compared to other personal accounting software.

That being said, the sheer number of features and the slight learning curve may be overkill for individuals who want a simple way to manage their finances.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
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