Messages: What Members Are Asking On-Line
by CI Staff
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Quicken & Money Data Integration: Member Stories
The following are letters we received in response to an invitation to members to share their experiences involving data integration between financial institutions and the personal finance programs Microsoft Money and Quicken.
I have three brokerage accounts and what is displayed in Money in all three cases does not agree with the brokerage houses. I have tried to figure out what the problem may be, but am unable to get them to balance. Checking account in another bank—OK.
Twice I have had Money load and then flash off my screen. The second time, Money support did help clear the problem.
Money completely erased one of my checking accounts, forcing me to reenter data from the bank.
I have had both Money and Quicken. I like Money better because the problems have been fewer than with Quicken and Money helps me track my situation better than Quicken—but it is far from being what it should be.
I am a long-term user of Quicken since DOS days. I switched to Money a few years ago, only to be frustrated by several damaged database issues. I finally gave up and went back to Quicken. I have 15 years of accumulated data in Quicken, and it was not possible to import that into Money.
I agree that the MSN Money Web site is outstanding and much better than the Quicken version. I use it faithfully, even though I must manually update the data.
Thanks for your recent very comprehensive review of these software applications [January/February 2005 issue of Computerized Investing].
A few months ago I purchased Quicken Premier 2004, primarily to keep track of my stock portfolio at TD Waterhouse. The Intuit salesman also led me to believe that I would be able to keep track of my certificates of deposit and money market accounts as well. I was seeking a convenient central portal for my investments. As a happy user of the Intuit Quickbooks program since its inception (I went from version 1 to 6), I anticipated an easy-to-use product.
I was completely disappointed from the start. No printed manual arrived with my program. I had to download a 115-page document—this was made especially difficult since the page numbers didnt match the index. When calling technical support, I was told to have my credit card ready for a $25 minimum fee.
First problem: I was unable to download my stock information from TD Waterhouse, even though all ads from both companies claimed this was easily done. Repeated time-consuming calls to Intuit tech support and to Waterhouse brought no satisfaction. Intuit finally told me to get another broker!! Intuit thought it would work if I had the 2005 Quicken upgrade; of course, I would have to pay for this. I am reluctant to put good money after bad.
Finally, I decided to use Quicken just for simple stuff like keeping track manually of my CDs.
I am very disappointed with the Quicken Premier 2004 program and with Intuit. Customer service made no effort to resolve my problem and in essence told me I was out of luck.
I would have answered the call in CI for Quicken data integration stories sooner, but I was in the midst of a massive Quicken data file rebuild! Specifically, the problem seems to be that when Quicken data files get bigger than about six to eight megabytes (according to my conversations with their tech support), the program is subject to data losses and corruption throughout its databases. Certainly, my program returned bizarre and garbled output—and finally started crashing.
More directly related to data integration, I have also experienced many of the same frustrations as member T. N. in your recent column [March/April 2005 Messages]. I use Vanguard and Wells Fargo, but encountered similar finger-pointing and problems communicating with call center staff in India. However, my impression overall has been that almost everyone wants to fix the incompatibilities we struggle with—its just that some of them are impossible to resolve or even identify. Most people I talked to were open with me about problems, and did not try to cover up anything as far as I could tell. I am a long-time Quicken user (since 1986), and occasionally threaten to quit but have yet to find anything better. Incidentally, I use Quicken 2004 Premier and held off on 2005 due to points made in your Comparison [January/February 2005 issue].
My current pet peeve is that data provided by Vanguard apparently cannot be integrated by Quicken in the same way you would track cash flow manually. Among many examples: buy or sell shares transactions show up in Quicken as add or remove shares events. That wreaks havoc with my sweep accounts, as holdings magically appear and disappear instead of flowing logically from one place to another. That means I have to go through and do detective work on each item, line by line. What should be an automatic process becomes a time-consuming bookkeeping job.
I have upgraded to Quicken 2005 and have had excellent setup experience. I had been a long-time Quicken 2002 user. I initially switched to Money Home and Business 2005 and had no problems with conversion of data and downloading transactions from Commerce Bank. I subsequently realized that you could not relegate transactions to classes and went back to Quicken Home and Business 2005. Occasionally, transactions are not downloaded and I have to run the download a second time to complete it. In general, I have no complaints with either program.