Why I’ve Abandoned Quicken, But Not Intuit

3/19/10Follow @wroush

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time saver. I pay most of my bills this way, but I have to do it through the Bank of America website, or through the websites of the individual payees, like my electric utility NSTAR.

I’d love it if Mint added some kind of bill paying system, since this would save me from having to go back and forth between different sites to manage my finances. That’s something I’d probably be willing to pay for, which—since Mint hasn’t earned a dime off me to date—would be good news for Intuit as well. (With the number of people willing to pay $60 or $70 for a new version of Quicken every year likely to keep dropping, the company certainly needs to figure out additional ways to monetize Mint, beyond the commissions Mint earns for recommending financial products.)

The bottom line: For anyone who doesn’t have an enormously complicated financial situation and just wants to know how much money they have or owe, I think Mint is a perfectly suitable (and obviously much cheaper) alternative to Quicken. Intuit was smart to put Mint founder Aaron Patzer in charge of its personal finance group. Fortunately, as one blogger put it a couple of months ago, “It seems like Patzer is having more of an influence on the Quicken team at Intuit than Intuit is having on him.”

Briefly noted: Amazon has been promising for months now to bring out a Mac equivalent of the Kindle e-book reader software that it released for Windows computers back in October. Yesterday, that happened. I’ve tested the app and it works great—I’m now able to read all of my Kindle editions on my Mac as well as my iPhone and, of course, my Kindle. This just might be fodder for a future column, so please feel free to send me a note at wroush@xconomy.com if you’ve also given this program a test drive.

For a full list of my columns, check out the World Wide Wade Archive. You can also subscribe to the column via RSS or e-mail, and you can download Pixel Nation, an e-book version of the first 80 columns, as a free PDF file or a $4.99 Kindle edition.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • 15-month loyal mint user

    I agree with Wade that Intuit made a great move acquiring Mint. I have used the service for over a year and love it. My wife and I manage our funds separately outside of Mint to allow different investment styles, but we now aggregate all our accounts into one Mint view. The Mint iPhone app is really great. When i’m on the T or waiting in line, i go through transactions to edit tags. If you are OCD, you may find yourself checking your net worth 20 times a day though (i have real estate and mortgages included). One concern is financial institutions control the content and at some point may shut off the dataflow unless ever-increasing fees are paid by Mint which would be passed to users. However, as long as there is adequate competition…maybe we just go to a different financial institution if that happens.

  • Mike

    Great article, but where you do you get that Mint.com was a company that could put Intuit out of business? Turbo Tax is Intuit’s main business, not Quicken, and they have several other flourishing lines of business like Intuit Financial Services(formerly Digital Insight). TT is their biggest money maker and IFS is their fastest growing unit.
    You also left out the web version of Quicken. If you were stuck on an old version, you could’ve migrated your data and used Quicken OnLine for virtually the same price.

  • Verinder Syal

    I, for one, am one of those people who have a more intense need for the various features of Quicken and have been using them almost from their inception. (Also use Quickbooks). Over the years, I have gone from being a raving fan to someone who detests them, but still uses them for lack of viable alternatives. This company went from being customer-centric to one who has used its near monopoly power to gouge, and even worse, make the lives of their customers miserable. Their model calls for making changes each year, and then every 2-3 years forcing customers to upgrade.

    Last year I was forced – yes forced, because I needed some features like online bill pay and portfolio downloads to preserve 20 years of data- both Quicken and Quickbooks. The conversions take time, and then the programs invariably take even more time to work properly. To add insult to injury, I had to call some number and read out some verification code over the phone to a person who’s aspiration is to be promoted to a job at the TSA.

    A great company who has lost its rudder.

  • busy mom of three

    I have been using Mint since November of last year and dumped Quicken because I really needed a web based application I could access from where I really live, my office. I tried quicken online before it’s demise and found Mint just easier to use overall. However, with Intuit’s acquisition of Mint I am a bit worried about the products longevity….

  • Tried Mint

    I agree that this was great foresite on Quicken’s part.

    There are a few things about Mint that exasperate me and apparently other potential users. Mint uses subjective descriptions such as “shopping” rather than objective category descriptions. That would be OK if you could create your own categories. Not possible, you can only create subcategories. Hopefully a fix is coming!

  • bill

    I’ve got a really old, sixteen-bit version of Quicken that still does exactly what I want, and only what I want. Not that I wouldn’t like some more help — I keep financial spreadsheets with macros to do some crunching, and it’d be nice if Q did that, too. In search of that, I did upgrade once, and was aghast at the plethora of ads and suggestions for other products that the version popped up. I’ll keep using this old Quicken as long as it’ll boot.

    I share Busy Mom of Three’s concern. How often does an acquisition like that result in ‘improving’ the product? Not for me, thanks. I’ve seen Intuit’s idea of improvement.

    Now, if I could just find where that missing QFNGLU16.DLL file went….

  • Rose M Hewlett

    looking for mobile phone software compatible with quicken. I want to be able to sync moble phone “checkbook” with desktop Quicken.

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