Intuit Forced Upgrades
May 4, 2009 6:18 AM   Subscribe

I use Quicken, Quickbooks, and Bank of America. Right now they are working like a champ, but Bank of America has announced that they're pulling support for 2006 versions of both Quicken and Quickbooks. Normally this would be OK; I'm thrifty, but not so much so that I'd complain about $150 every three years. The problem is that all the versions to upgrade to have lots of problems; what to do?

Although all these products have problems, I'd prefer not to switch any of them (especially Bank of America, since there's an ATM right down the street from my house).

Ideally, there would be a way to continue using my current versions and keep downloading financial statements anyway.

Upgrading to the 2007 versions is least objectionable, but also least helpful, since I'll be looking at the same problem in 12 months.
posted by portabella to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Personally, I'm tired of this anti-consumer crap from Intuit. I purchased Quicken 2007 but soon afterwards decided that it would be the last Intuit product I ever bought. When it stops working due to their no doubt planned obsolescence, I'm going to switch to GnuCash or Money.
posted by grouse at 7:12 AM on May 4, 2009

Lots of problems? Based on what are you saying that? Quicken has bugs in every version... you're just used to the bugs in your version.
posted by smackfu at 7:40 AM on May 4, 2009

Pulling support just means they won't actively help if you have a software issue on that version. It doesn't mean that software will suddening stop working.

If it's been running fine since 2006, it will probably work fine for a few more years, until OS's change to the extent that older apps won't run at all.

I've been upgrading as rarely as possible since 1991, and haven't had any issues. I'll probably stick with 2006 for another 2 or 3 years, if the pattern holds.

It's a little unrealistic to expect Intuit to maintain & support multiple versions of software that is years old. I've been pretty happy with their response when I have had issues.

An open-source quicken would be pretty great, but I don't think there is one yet.
posted by Aquaman at 8:45 AM on May 4, 2009

In this case, pulling support means that Bank of America downloads will no longer work... they WILL, in fact, "suddenly stop working"... and that IS a big deal; I'd rather not enter the transactions by hand.

For details on what sucks... look at any of the Amazon reviews of Quicken or Quickbooks 2007, 2008 or 2009. Pretty dismal.
posted by portabella at 9:02 AM on May 4, 2009

An open-source quicken would be pretty great, but I don't think there is one yet.

There are, they just tend to suck. It's the classic "big app" problem: everyone uses 10% of the features, so they consider it bloated, but they don't all use the same 10%, so it's impossible to trim it down easily.
posted by smackfu at 10:11 AM on May 4, 2009

I am in the same boat but unfortunately don't have many good suggestions. Intuit is by far the most consumer-unfriendly software company I'm aware of; they make Microsoft look like a charitable organization by comparison.

Your alternatives are either to bow happily to your overlords and accept whatever crap they deign to let you use once they kill the old version, use MS Money, or try GnuCash. GnuCash — at least last time I seriously looked at it — doesn't offer direct download support for many US banks (although BoA may be okay), and instead requires you to periodically download QIF or OFX files from your bank in order to import transactions. (Apparently in some European countries, Germany in particular, the banks use a standardized open format for transaction downloads and support is much better.)

Quickbooks is even worse; as far as I can tell, there aren't any free products that will get your data out of QB (GnuCash won't and says they have no plans to add it, because the database format is so obscure and undocumented), so you're pretty much hostage unless you want to leave your old data in QB and put everything new going forward in something else. MS Office Accounting apparently has a Quickbooks Import wizard, so perhaps that's an option, but I know nothing about it.

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only person feeling screwed by Intuit; hopefully as more people get annoyed at the periodic tithing to them for nothing good in return, we'll see some real alternatives. But for now, the bottom line seems to be that you can pick your poison: Intuit or Microsoft.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:31 AM on May 4, 2009

an alternate solution is to switch your accounts to
they rock in how advanced they are technologically and how reasonable they are in their services.
posted by shalam at 12:04 PM on May 4, 2009

MS Money has the same "rolling clock" problem, where support for downloading data from your banks expires (i.e. stops) after 3? years.

After I reached that limit with MS Money (which I switched to from Quicken a while back), I now just use because they both (Intuit + MS) pissed me off so much.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2009

You can either switch banks or switch software. I suppose that's obvious though. I use iBank though that's Mac only. I've heard good things about mint though I have not used it.
posted by chairface at 4:12 PM on May 4, 2009

You can switch to mint or any of the other yodlee-using services, or perhaps Wesabe.
posted by deeaytch at 9:14 PM on May 4, 2009

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