Quicken 2007 Might Work On Lion, Not Right Away

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Long-time Mac users who manage their personal finances on their computers have something to fear with the release of Lion right around the corner: Quicken For Mac 2007 (and earlier) will not function on Lion as it stands right now. This is because these versions of Quicken are still running PowerPC code, while Rosetta, Apple’s transparent translation engine that allows PowerPC code to run on Intel Macs, is reportedly NOT going to be included with Mac OS 10.7.

TMO took the time today to chat with Aaron Patzer, VP/GM of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group, today about this. The executive came to Intuit at the end of 2009 when it acquired Mint.com, a company founded by Mr. Patzer.

Quicken 2007 for Mac

A Blast From The Past

Mr. Patzer explained that the PowerPC codebase for Quicken For Mac 2007 was started decades ago and has many intricacies — including its own custom-built database engine — that are very much PowerPC specific. Simply porting this code over to Intel is not possible and would require a significant amount of work. So much so that Intuit decided to focus those resources on developing an entirely new application, Quicken Essentials for Mac.

Unfortunately, Quicken Essentials’ initial release left a lot of Mac users wanting more — or less, as the case may be — and many folks simply remained with Quicken Mac 2007 despite its older codebase.

For those users, though, Quicken Essentials is still an option. It does run under Lion, will import all your old Quicken data, and may suffice. Note that it is missing two potentially critical functions: bill pay and detailed investment tracking (including its inability to track stock lots and other tax-specific activity).

Mr. Patzer’s original product, Mint.com, is also an option. It’s online, it’s free, and many people are quite enamored with the service. The unfortunate drawback is that it will not currently import data from Quicken, though Mr. Patzer says that’s likely coming in the next six-to-nine months.

Quicken 2007 On Lion?

Some might ask, “why not just get Apple to let us run Rosetta in Lion?” Apple likely has its own answers to this question, but the good news is that Intuit is working closely with Apple to possibly do just this. The project has been underway for the past few months, with Intuit working to possibly embed specific Rosetta libraries into Quicken For Mac 2007 to get it to run. This, too, is not a simple project and may never come to fruition. Mr. Patzer indicated we would all know that answer by the end of this summer.

What to do?

If you’re the type of user who will want to upgrade to Lion on day one — and, let’s face it, aren’t we all? — then you’ll need to either jump to Quicken Essentials (or iBank, which we gave a 5/5 rating, or Moneydance, which received 4/5), or possibly move to the Windows version of Quicken under Parallels, VMWare Fusion, or even CrossOver (the last of which does not require you to run or manage a Windows installation).

Intuit and The Apple Ecosystem

In talking to Mr. Patzer today it’s clear that he has a passion for the Mac and other Apple (i.e. iOS) products. He’s a Mac user himself, and clearly there is a team at Intuit developing for our favorite platforms. Indeed, even an iPad app for Mint.com is being worked on, and we’ll hopefully see it released in the next few months. While Intuit definitely has stumbled before, this reporter isn’t counting them out of this particular race. 

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22 Comments Leave Your Own

dave

Of course, the ‘team’ consists of 3 people.  Mr. Patzer and two actual developers.

DocRoss

Mint.com is good in theory, but an absolute nightmare in practice. I tried to use the service for 4-5 weeks, and had continual problems logging on to my bank, not saving information, and generally being a pain in the rear. Things may have improved since then (December 2010), but I don’t have the patience for it.

Intuit has a history of screwing things up. I used Quicken for Mac from 1989 or 90 through 2007 and then was abandoned by Intuit when they dropped Quicken 2005 and my bank had trouble with 2007.

Not another penny!

wab95

When Quicken Essentials first came out, as I have an intuit account, I automatically upgraded. Reading the reviews here and elsewhere around the internet, I continued to use Quicken 2007.

I heard from Intuit a few months ago that they had fixed some of the problems with Quicken Essentials (QE), and they asked me to evaluate it and give feedback, so I gave it whirl. You are correct, you still cannot do bill pay or investment tracking, although my investments do automatically update.

Apart from a few of my accounts being duplicated (which you can deactivate), QE works reasonably well. It’s not perfect, and for some reason one of my accounts consistently does not update from the account screen, but overall the update feature works better than that of 2007.

Recently, I have begun to use QE as my principal money manager, and simply work around residual bugs. It may or may not meet everyone’s needs.

geoduck

FWIW I gave up on Intuit and their promises. A year ago we moved to MoneyDance and it does everything we need and cost less that QE.

Also for running Windows on my Mac I use VirtualBox. Does everything I want and it’s free. Of course that does bring up another question. What Virtual systems will run under Lion?

wab95

FWIW I gave up on Intuit and their promises. A year ago we moved to MoneyDance and it does everything we need and cost less that QE

I hear you. Perhaps the one reason I have continued using it is that, since I have to pay US taxes, porting my financial info from QE to TurboTax (TT) has been a timesaver (our tax situation is complex, but I can manage it with TT), as well as insurance (documentation) in case of audit.

If I can find a similar pair up, with similar acceptability by the IRS for tax filing, I may switch.

Randy Singer

By my count there are over 30 alternative personal finance applications for the Macintosh, if you want to ditch Quicken/Intuit completely.  You might want to check out these two:

SEE Finance $30
http://scimonocesoftware.com/
(I’m told that this program does a particularly good job of importing data from Quicken.)

MoneyDance $40
http://www.moneydance.com/

Steve Stofiel

The way I see it is Intuit has neglected the Mac community for years with a substandard version of Quicken.  Because of that they fell so far behind there is no catching up, at least from their perspective.  They give no reason to purchase Mac products from them so I for one am planning to switch to one of the many other products available.

tscheck

I have been using Quicken since 1998.  I currently use 2007.
I bought Essentials, tried it, and was extremely unhappy with it. 
I complained, and Intuit was great; refunded my money, and also upgraded me to 2007 (from 2006) for free.  More than I expected.

I, and millions of other users, rely heavily on Quicken.  I cannot imagine anyone who is a serious Quicken user liking what they did with Essentials.  No BILL PAY?  Forget it.  I use it daily. 

The entire change of user interface turned me off immediately.

I do hope that Intuit and Apple can work out a solution that will let us 2007 users upgrade to Lion.  If they don’t, then for the first time, I will NOT immediately upgrade to the latest Apple OS.  This disturbs me greatly. 

Tim

LVChris

See Finance really is good. It did import 15 years of Quicken data without error. I switched two months ago so I’d be ready for Lion. The developer is also very responsive to support email, and they told me they plan to be in the Mac App Store soon.

relever

History shows Intuit is not committed to the Mac, never has been, and may never be. Maintaining and upgrading the Windows version of Quicken is consuming any meaningful resources Intuit has for financial management apps.
Intuit for Windows is arguably the best in class actively supported full strength personal financial management app. Having said that, there are plenty of options for the Mac user who wants a basic financial tool
Those on Quicken 2007 for MAc are migrating to Lion should consider carefully the wisdom of hoping that Intuit will provide a meaningful bridge.

wab95

No BILL PAY?? Forget it.? I use it daily

Undoubtedly, people have different priorities with the software, and this is one that is a priority for many. I have never used that feature, and have not found Intuit’s (or any third party bill pay app) sufficiently robust to accommodate variable and inconsistent due dates. My online bill pay practices vary by creditor.

The primary value of Quicken for me has always been as a financial record repository, and second as a financial planner, both of which QE addresses.

But your point is well taken; Intuit can clearly do better by the Mac community, and if it doesn’t, will continue to shed market share in that sector.

Joe

I’m way overdue for a new MBP and I’m planning to get a new MBP (and Lion) sometime in July. I’m currently using Quicken 2007.

I know Quicken Essentials for Mac is bashed a lot, but for people who only want/need simple checkbook-style tracking of expenses, income, etc., does QE do a solid job or are even simple functions like those prone to bugs, unreliability, data loss, etc.? Thanks very much.

wab95

I know Quicken Essentials for Mac is bashed a lot, but for people who only want/need simple checkbook-style tracking of expenses, income, etc., does QE do a solid job or are even simple functions like those prone to bugs, unreliability, data loss, etc.


That’s a tough question to answer, generically, because financial service needs are very personal. As you can tell from the discussion thread, there are different priorities with QE.

If what you need is to track your accounts, track your investments (as noted above, there are some missing features here - but you can see your investments and get updates on stocks), track your expenses by category, see where you spend your money over time, map out a budget, and otherwise do some basic financial planning, then QE may address your needs. It does all of the above. As several people have noted, there are other packages out there that do most of these, and in some cases, an even better job for less money.

In my case, I have a complex income, holdings and tax situation for which QE provides a tidy solution as an information and tracking repository that ports seamlessly to TT - probably not the most common usage.

Your needs may vary. You may want to take a look at Money Dance and Finance and compare to QE before deciding.

Rauser

There’s only one party to blame for this situation, and that is Intuit. Apple’s OS roadmap has been clear for years, and since when have they deviated from their plans for any application vendor? Apple didn’t do it for Adobe or Microsoft in the Carbon migration days (when both of those companies had much more important products for the MacOS ecosystem), so why should we expect any difference for Intuit.

What every dedicated Quicken 2007 user was hoping for Aaron Patzer to announce was a concrete solution with a timeline. It may not have even mattered what the “solution” was, whether it be an upgraded “classic” Quicken for Lion or a full-featured version of Quicken Essentials. Instead, we are right back to the same situation we have lived with since 2008—no assurance that there will ever be a full-featured financial software package for the Mac from Intuit again.

I for one will not be strung along any further. Change is hard and with 16 years of data in Quicken I am not excited to have to move on. However, by my reckoning the Quicken franchise has already left hundred of my dollars on the table from potential upgrades since 2009. I am willing to spend some of that money to support a different company. After this weekend’s final round of reconciliation, I have exported all data from Quicken 2007 into my freshly-bought copy of SEE Finance.

I’d advise any remaining Quicken 2007 users to come to the acceptance that Intuit does not have a plan, capabilities or resources to deliver a full-featured Mac OS finance product. Mr. Patzer’s feeble explanations do nothing to demonstrate this. It’s time to move on, this story is over. Good luck! My hopes are now that some enterprising small company will remake personal finance software genre into everything it has the potential to be (Mac OS and iOS clients sharing data, scanning OCR of receipts, etc.)

FantasticRealitiesStudio

Port a feature parity version of the Windows product, add an import tool and get back to me.

But I’m not all that interested in a product that treats me as a second class citizen for using a mac. Aren’t the window’s products coded for intel? Sitck a crowbar into your TurboTax revenue and hire some developers and code a proper product, you lazy prats.

LVChris

Aren?t the window?s products coded for intel?

Developers don’t code for the CPU. They code for the OS and the compiler generates the code. To Intuit, we are all second class citizens, and always will be. They made a bad business decision.

david

I can’t believe Intuit won’t just tell us if they’re going to add financial tracking and bill pay features into Quicken Essentials or not. If they are, I’ll wait and buy QE. If not, I’ll forget about Quicken and move to another product.

But refusing to discuss their plans shows contempt for customers who have years of data in Quicken, and who depend on the product. The longer Intuit goes without explaining their plans, the more I loath the company.

Tim

Apple has over $30 billion in cash. Just buy Intuit, do to the Windows customers what Intuit has been doing us for over ten years and then wait for more Windows users to want to go to Macs so they can get the full featured and better Mac version that we Mac users should have had for years.

I just bought an iMac and will use Rosetta with Snow Leopard until I can get a firm grasp of what Intuit is going to do but in the meantime I will be investigating Finance and Money Dance. As long as they can import my years of Quicken data, handle Bill Pay and do a decent job of tracking both investments and purchases I may well be happy to make the switch now rather than wait and if I do that I will never look back at Intuit. And to think of the close association between Apple and Intuit because of the head of Intuit being on the Apple board for years and years and yet they have always treated us as second class citizens.

Brian

I switched from Quicken to Moneydance a year and a half ago.  I’ve never looked back.

LVChris

I just bought an iMac and will use Rosetta with Snow Leopard until I can get a firm grasp of what Intuit is going to do

Wake up! Quicken for Mac has lagged the Windows version in features for over a decade, and Intuit hasn’t updated the product since 2007. If it’s not clear to you by now what Intuit is going to do, it never will be.

LKH

You won’t believe what Quicken’s done with the Mac 2007 to Essentials upgrade “path” - IT WON’T WORK ON LION!! If you’ve upgraded to Lion, Essentials won’t upgrade your 2007 data. Instead, you have to reinstall 2007 on an earlier OS Mac along with Essentials, do the conversion there, then move the Essentials data back to your Lion Mac.

This is the most irresponsible move I’ve seen from a software vendor in years.

Of course, I upgraded to 2007 four years ago via download and didn’t retain the disk image, so I then had to go back and plead with Intuit to give me access to another, which I have done. I’m now watching the install process make no progress from “Items remaining to be installed: 641” for the past 20 minutes. I have a feeling this little odyssey is going to take my entire Sunday morning…

Kent

I could live without investment tracking - just set them up as assets and manually handle it.
I could live without bill pay - I don’t use it now.
But….if I cannot set up my mortgage amortization, with escrow amounts, etc., THAT’s a deal killer.  How could this slip by?  Isn’t that one of the basics of a personal finance manager?
I’ve tried iBank, SEE Finance, Moneydance, Quicken for Windows, and each has failed me in some way (Quicken for Windows was the latest - after importing all my data, I’ve found many, maybe hundreds, of transactions that did not import into my checking account.  Although I’d love to think I’ve got several hundred thousand dollars on hand, I know better…).  And going through 18 years of transaction history to find them is enough to make anyone crazy.

I agree - Apple could do it much better, and they’ve got the resources to do so.  People say Apple’s not a software company, but what about making it a module in iWork?

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