Quicken’s Dirty Little Secret

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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…

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  1. I still think you should check out mvelopes.com. It’s better, I’m telling you!

  2. That’s good to know. I’m anxious to know what the final outcome of this duel will be.

  3. now, u shud just try http://www.yodlee.com and let us know how that compares. It is free!

  4. I’m fairly certain that he already uses Yodlee on a regular basis.

    if you’re wondering about it, you should just check it out. takes minutes to setup and doesnt require much effort.

    – Cap @ FreshBacon Blog

  5. If he is using Yodlee, why does he need quicken/money?

    what do u think quicken/money provides that yodlee does not?

  6. So far I am disappointed in Money 2005. I can’t get it to import all my accounts properly and it won’t update the 401(K). If it can’t do them all properly, then what’s the point in using it?



  7. Crap, I just found out that Bank of America charges $9.95/mo for the online banking through Quicken. It is free if I go to BoA’s web page first and then download the transactions, but if I have Quicken make the connection to the bank automatically, then they charge the monthly fee. It sucks, but I do have several accounts with BoA, so it is almost worth it for the added convienence. I may start using the online bill pay more often now that I know I’m paying something for it.

  8. Anonymous says

    “what do u think quicken/money provides that yodlee does not?”

    Quicken/Money allows you to categorize each transaction, so as you go along each month, you can see how much you’ve spent on dining out, groceries, gas, etc. Good for budgets. It also can keep track of your stock trades to make your taxes easier at the end of month.


    I’m actually doing OK with Money, some accounts take a while to update, though.


    Yep, it’s annoying with Quicken. BofA charges for both Quicken & Money, unless you link up through Money’s Yodlee syncing to BofA. It’s very confusing, I just made it work by accident!

  9. Oops, posted anonymousy above.

    Bryan, I will check mvelopes out, as they have a free trial.

  10. I paid about $3.00 for Quicken 2006 Deluxe at a thrift store.
    Not being able to import data into quicken makes is completely useless to me.
    I had hoped to be able to use it.
    Fortunately, I only wasted $3.00 on what I now see as a useless program.

    The good thing about this is that I did not pay the full price only to find out that I cannot use it with my credit union account.

    The bad thing for quicken is, they lost me as a customer.
    People may think I’m a bit off the wall on this, but I don’t pay companies for handicapped products. If I purchase a product, even at a discounted price as I did with this older version of quicken, and find that they intentionally screwed it up, I black list that company and will no longer purchase their products.

    I am real tired of purchasing software and finding out that the no brainer, should have been done, functionality is left out of it for some future version or that it will never be in the product because some nazi manager decided that his idea of an interface is better when it in reality makes it harder to use the program.

    Well, I got a quick glance at quicken today as I attempted to set up my accounts. I wanted to import data from the website so I would not have to reenter everything. Can’t do it so good-bye quicken.

    I’m glad I saved over $45.00 by purchasing an older version at a thrift store. Now I know not to purchase the product at all.

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