Ok, after digging a little bit more about how to manually import my transactions from VirtualBank and Presidential Bank into Quicken 2005, I find out… I can’t. Not only that, the reason is just stupid greed in my opinion. Both Microsoft Money and Quicken 2005 use the OFX format for exchanging financial data, but Money still allows you to import data using the popular .pif format. Quicken? Not only does it not allow you to import data using the .pif at all, it evens cripples your software to not accept OFX files unless your bank pays them.
Let’s review. Take a universally accepted standard, which banks pay to create and offer to their customers as part of their service, and then ruin it by making them pay more to let their customers actually open the freakin’ file. Intuit now charges each financial institution a yearly licensing, setup and maintenance fee to achieve the same functionality available in all previous versions of their software. I know they need to make a profit, but this is like Microsoft Word disabling opening .txt files unless each file creator paid them. I already bought Quicken! Make it work!
The result? Many smaller institutions, such as local credit unions (see example here), aren’t willing to pay this additional fee as they are trying to run lean operations. In addition, certain banks have a focus on high interest rates (i.e. VirtualBank 3.05% APY & Presidential Checking @ 3.0% APY), and paying extra fees is not going to help them do that.
Ok, so there is a work-around this, by importing a .qif date file as a ‘Credit Card’, and then cut-and-pasting the transactions manually as a ‘Checking/Savings’ account. But this too will be disabled in Quicken 2006. If this sounds confusing, it’s ’cause it is. And yes, this was disclosed on the box. But how the heck is any new user supposed to know “Quicken 2005 no longer supports the importing of .qif files” equated to “Certain banks no longer work with Quicken 2005. Period.”??
Ok, rant over. Looks like MS Money has regained the lead and is leading by a couple lengths now…