Quicken for Windows Review
Quicken for Windows Intro and Background
Quicken has always been the legendary gold standard of personal financial management apps. They maintain this status in part because every year Intuit the maker releases an updated version with at least a few new improvements to keep users coming back for more. While you could keep on using an older version of Quicken for Windows for a time, the firm's clever sunset policy of only allowing older versions' features and tools to work for three years after the version is released ensures that you as an existing customer will purchase a newer version of Quicken for Windows at least every three years, if not more frequently.
As a case in point, when you open up your new Quicken 2015 to set it up, you will be required to create a new Intuit login ID or log in with a previously existing one. With this ID, you will be able to connect with all of the services that now come with Quicken for Windows standard, plus you will be required to utilize this ID in order to register your licensed copy of the software. Such services include the ability to download your bank and financial company transactions, text and email alerts, utilizing Quicken's online bill pay from the software, and accessing the Intuit Quicken support and help sections.
New in this Edition of Quicken for Windows
The 2015 version of Quicken for Windows includes a credit score every quarter as well as new and improved simple to comprehend investment reporting. For the second year in a row, mobile apps are available for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices. You can take pictures of critical receipts then attach these to your online transactions as back up measures. Where before such image attachments became saved to your device, they are now cloud based. Both Alerts and Mobile portions of the software are simpler to utilize this year.
Quicken for Windows Tools and Features
- Budgeting – Allows you to create and oversee your budget through the year. You are able to set sending categories using a dollar amount per time frame, or you can choose to budget for a whole batch of related categories. In this edition, you can also exclude your transfers to savings account from your budget, as well as review the total of monthly rollover categories underneath the totals column.
- Personal Credit Score – We love that Intuit includes this new quarterly-updating feature, which is probably worth the extra cost of the new edition by itself.
- Cash Flow Reports – These are monthly reports that now detail how much money you have remaining after all expenses are covered.
- Downloadable Account Transactions – Help you to figure up and to reconcile your accounts.
- Data Synchronization – Now you can do direct synchronization between the desktop or laptop version of the platform and your no cost iOS and Android mobile apps.
- Email and Text Alerts – You can choose to receive such alerts as account activities and reminders of upcoming bills, among other types.
- Financial Reports – We think the rising competition must be getting to Intuit. A decent assortment of these reports are now available to you.
Quicken 2015 Deluxe Features
The deluxe edition of the Quicken for Windows 2015 version provides all of the starter Quicken edition offerings plus the following tools and features:
- Retirement and Debt Reduction Tools – These handy tools help with reducing debt, planning for retirement, and longer term budgeting to save up for purchasing a house or car, for affording college education, and for other big ticket items.
- Improved Tracking Utility – Allows you to better monitor loans and mortgages, as well as to keep an eye on your investment accounts, albeit with limited functionality.
- Quicken Attachment Support – Helps with taking and attaching pictures of warranties, receipts, and other items that you wish to include with your account statements and transaction records.
Quicken 2015 Premier Features
The Premier edition includes everything that Deluxe does, but also gives you analysis of your portfolio, better monitoring of your investments, and a feature called Portfolio X-Ray. This X-Ray displays your whole portfolio sector weighting and allocation of assets, individual stock holdings inside of your mutual funds, and your portfolio's performance comparison to the results obtained by the important indexes. Best of all, the results are put into layman's terms to help you know if you should change up your investments. Besides this functionality, it includes additional features such as:
- Tracking of capital gains and your basis of cost – also includes reporting for investment tax deductions and Schedule D for the Internal Revenue Service.
- Comparing mutual funds.
- Comparing your portfolio – versus important market averages.
- Graphical reports – showing allocation of your assets.
- Alignment of your portfolio – with your own stated return versus risk goals.
Quicken 2015 Home & Business Edition
This edition includes additional features useful for monitoring your expenses and income in your small business. While it does not replace full blown accounting software, it is helpful for independent contractors who do not maintain any inventory or have employees and who are running a small home-based business.
Quicken 2015 Rental Property Manager Edition
With this impressive edition of Quicken for Windows 2015, you are able to follow as many as 100 properties alongside your own personal finances. Besides the rental reports and income monitoring functionality, the Rental Property Manager version incorporates all Premier functionality as well.
Quicken for Windows Interface Screenshots
Quicken for Windows Fees
If only the fee structure were simple with Quicken for Windows 2015. Instead, you have five different editions at five different prices. We feel this is far too complicated for most people who just want to use Quicken and to not be confused by which edition is right for them and at what price point they feel comfortable getting involved with the personal financial management application. Here are the prices for this year's dizzying array of editions:
Quicken 2015 Starter Edition sells at around $40
Quicken 2015 Deluxe sells for $75
Quicken 2015 Premier sells for $105
Quicken 2015 Home & Business sells for around $115
Quicken Rental Property Manager sells for $165
In case you accidentally buy a version that is too rich for your blood or that is overly complicated for your personal needs, Intuit has got you covered with their no questions asked, guaranteed 60 day refund on any version that you purchase.
Quicken for Windows Safety and Security
Intuit assures us they are serious about stringent security. This starts with a promise that they never utilize your downloaded information in any capacity except for maintaining the One Step Update protocol. Besides this promise, they employ safeguards and securities lik SSL technology in the transmitting of any financial data between Quicken and your bank or financial company. They also encrypt it to be impossible to read when it moves through the Internet. As part of this, they run integrity checks that make certain no messages have been changed once you or they send it. All of Intuit's Quicken servers are firewalled within their data center.
They also give you a password vault in which to store your bank access passwords, as these passwords that your bank or financial company issues must be inputted every time that you sync up with them via the Internet. You choose the password that will protect this critical database of bank passwords which Quicken will then use each time it connects to your banks to sync up data. Each of your data files with Quicken may be similarly password protected if you wish them to be.
Quicken for Windows Ratings & Complaints
Intuit enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Although they have closed out 1,303 complaints over the last three years and 551 during the course of the last 12 months, this is considered to be a reasonable number of complaints for a company of Intuit's vast size. Not all of these complaints would have involved Quicken for Windows 2015 edition, in any case.
Final Words on Quicken for Windows
Quicken remains the personal financial management platform to beat in the space. This does not mean it no longer has any effective challengers though. Thanks to the rise of several major rivals who are making waves in personal financial management with creative and fresh new ideas, like PocketSmith, Mint, MoneyDance, and iBank 5, the Intuit people have to be constantly on their toes and looking over their shoulders.
One thing we distinctly do not like about Quicken is the confusing and complicated array of editions and their dizzying variances in pricing. Which Quicken edition is right for you has become a complex, almost philosophical question in recent years. If you can get past these issues, and in particular if you have always been with Quicken since they first made waves in the industry back in the glory days of their infancy, then the platform will still be for you.
Pros of Quicken For Windows 2015
- Your information is easy to export from all Quicken editions over to TurboTax's personal income tax program.
- Sixty day no questions asked refund policy.
- Bragging rights for using the still name brand personal financial management software.
Cons of Quicken For Windows 2015
- This personal financial management software is quite expensive relative to rivals.
- There is no free trial for Quicken 2015 editions.
- Intuit Quicken's sunset policy forces you to upgrade to a newer edition every three years or lose services and features functionality.
Quicken For Windows 2015 Summary
This is still the name brand in personal financial management software, but its rivals are rapidly gaining on it. The upgraded editions like deluxe and premier are more impressive than the basic, more simple starter edition. For investment monitoring and decision-making capabilities, Personal Capital is a superior platform and service.