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October 6th, 1999


Quicken 2000
Contact and Other Information
Manufacturer: Intuit
Product Info: Quicken Deluxe 2000 for Mac
Description: Personal Finance Management Software
Address: Intuit Inc.
2535 Garcia Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043

Price: US$49.95 Retail

US$39.95 after rebate at Outpost.com


Telephone: 800-446-8848
Requirements MacOS 8.1 or later
PowerPC Processor
32MB RAM
CD-ROM Drive
60MB Free Disk Space
Internet Access for online features

System Used For Testing Power Computing Power Center 150 with MacTell 400 MHz G3 Upgrade
Review

Quicken Deluxe 2000, A Must Have Update
by Dave Hamilton

Quicken seems to be one of those programs that, no matter how many times Intuit updates it, there are always new features that you wonder how you lived without. Quicken 2000 certainly falls into this category, adding a few key features and simplifying the interface at the same time.

Keeping Tabs

The first thing you notice when you start up Quicken 2000 is the tabs at the top of the screen. Instead of just having ONE set of windows and toolbar, Quicken has tabs at the top of the screen and each tab has its OWN windows and customizable toolbar associated with it. This way you can keep your Windows set, without cluttering up your screen. If you go to your "Banking" tab, you can have your check register and account list already open. But when you go to your "Investments" tab, you only get the Windows you've chosen to associate with your investments. Quite nice in that it allows easy navigation, less clutter, and all the information you want at the same time!


Quicken Deluxe 2000 Tabbed Toolbar
(Click on the image for a larger view)

Very Insightful

The next new feature that stands out is the "Insights" window. With this customizable screen, users can see a snapshot of their financial status. It can contain your account balances, security reports, contextual web links, and analysis of your investments and credit cards, all on one, easy-to-read screen.

Insights Screenshot
Click on the image for a larger view)

Quotable Quotes

One very welcome feature of Quicken 2000 is the ability to download historical quotes directly into your Quicken data file. You can go back as far as 5 years with Quicken 2000, whereas with previous versions you were limited to the data that was downloaded day-by-day. If you missed a day, you had to enter it by hand or not get it at all. Once the data is in there, all your graphs and reports will be able to tell you far more information than they could previously, which is a big help to the serious investor. Additionally, you can research quotes on the web with links built directly into Quicken 2000. Just click the "Research" button in the toolbar, select your stock from the pulldown menu that appears, and you're instantly brough to a web site containing historical data, news, and detailed quotes about the stock in question.

Online Banking

We couldn't mention Quicken without mentioning online banking. There are a few new features here as well. Intuit has added quite a few financial institutions to the list this time 'round, and the overall experience feels a little snappier than it used to feel. Also, support has been added for two new types of downloads available from banks: OFX and WebConnect. These two technologies are emerging standards for downloading and importing banking transactions. With them, access to credit cards, small community banks, credit unions, and Canadian banks is possible. However, despite the fact that they've added a whole slew of new banks and download options, there's still no real support for investment account downloads. While Quicken for Windows, users enjoy the luxury of being able to download their E*Trade accounts directly into Quicken, but there's no way for us Mac users to do that yet.

Free Taxes?!??

Yes, it's true -- Quicken 2000 lets you file your taxes for free online. Capitalizing on the success of WebTurboTax (400,000 returns filed in tax year 1998!), Quicken 2000 includes free electronic filing for one Federal return with WebTurboTax. After you've diligently entered and categorized your data all year long, you generate your numbers with Quicken 2000, go online, enter the data into the secure WebTurboTax server, and file your return electronically. There's no lengthy paper forms to fill out, and they do all the math for you!

All that other stuff...

Yeah, every Quicken Deluxe user knows that Quicken comes with a whole bunch of other modules that no one ever uses, right? Well, think again. You may find some little gems mixed in with your Quicken 2000 application. With its enhanced World Wide Web integration, Quicken now contains some very valuable research information right out of the box. From finding the best rates on mortgage loans and car insurance, to planning for that new baby on the way, the additional research tools really round out the full Quicken experience. Don't skip them over... they're just as valuable as the rest of it.

The Verdict

Go get it. Run... hurry! It's great. It's always surprising at how much better Intuit can make the Quicken experience with each revision. The Insights screen and the historical stock data downloads are worth it alone!


Final Score (Maximum score is 5 Gadgies)
4.5 Gadgies
Pros Multiple, customizable views
Insights screen
Downloadable historical stock prices
Web-based research materials
Cons No investment account downloads.



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