Quicken has been sold. Now what?

Will there be a Quicken 2022? Will it be any good?
Will there be a Quicken 2022? Will it be any good?

Well, the wait is over. Intuit announced last week that it has unloaded its Quicken product to a private equity firm.

Millions of decades-long users (including me) are wondering what’s next. For its part, Intuit’s announcement last August that it was for sale actually came as a relief to many of us because Intuit has mastered the art of torturing users. (Update, April 16, 2016: Need more proof that Intuit is rapacious? See this Wall Street Journal article on Intuit’s sale of accountants’ client data.) Quicken has been a basket case for at least a decade and one of my small business clients who relies on QuickBooks to manage millions of dollars of other people’s money has been through what can only be described as enhanced waterboarding at the hands of Intuit support. (Brad Smith’s announcement talks about investing in QuickBooks — what he means is that the Windows product will be neglected in order to force users to the cloud version, a product so stinky it’s either the stinkiest cheese or foulest fruit you’ve ever smelled.)

The spokesperson for the boat people set adrift by Intuit — ahem — the “leader” of the new Quicken business tells us that he feels our pain and that the private equity folks are going to give him the resources to breathe new life into this ur-legacy product.

Yeah, right. And that girl I told in high school I’d love forever if only she’d let me…

Try this: use a product for nearly 20 years to manage your financial life. Make it the cornerstone of your financial plan. Over a period of years, watch it become the thing that makes you want to throw your desktop out the window every time you use it. Then listen as its creator kisses it off and sells it to the kind of people who think the AIG bailout was a good thing.

Try to make yourself believe — just for a moment — that the new owners’ promises are worth more than the electrons that streamed their drivel into your browser. Know that prices are going up, features will be dropped, support will get worse (yes, even worse than the barely-English-speaking people Intuit used to not answer any and all questions) and that there are no alternatives.

It ain’t a good feeling.

Now I know, with a fidelity I could never imagine before, what being a digital orphan means.







10 responses to “Quicken has been sold. Now what?”

  1. Ian Avatar

    Quicken has quite the history and…baggage. I think your opinion is probably about right.

    Banktivity FTW! (Only for Mac and iOS)

  2. Bill W Avatar
    Bill W

    I spent right at 6 hours on 2 different days this week trying to get the Sync feature to work between my Windows 10 computer and my Mobile Android Device a Galaxy S7 Edge. When you call Quicken (that is the only way I know to get support) there Chat Support I could never get to work. When you call Customer Support a person never answers a computer answers and gives you how many people are a head of you and a estimated wait time, both times I called them I was on hold once for 4 hours and 2 days later for 4 hours and 15 minutes before a person answered. The first day they never could get it working. 2 days later I decided to try again this time they got it working. Then 3 days later it quit.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Best regards,
    Bill W

  3. My Camel Avatar
    My Camel

    the real question is: “what will the new ownership DO to fix that which has been broken for centuries?” they know there’s no competitor worth their salts.(Does anyone KNOW of ANOTHER program so comprehensive as [i hate to say it: Quicken]? hmmmmm I wonder. maybe the change is occurring as we “speak”. my 2014 Rev 9 won’t load. Maybe change IS in the wind…no wait. that’s no change. that’s the same. oh well. back to considering retirement.

    1. Alex Neihaus Avatar
      Alex Neihaus

      Good question — and that’s the thrust of my original post. Promises? Both Intuit and now, the private equity folks, have made _lots_ of promises for many years. Yet Quicken remains buggy, bloated and unloved by its developers. I’d have preferred that the new owners didn’t promise anything and then delivered improvements we can see. They’ve set themselves up to (once again) under-deliver.

  4. Catherine Anderson Avatar
    Catherine Anderson

    First I thought that my decision to use Quicken of Mac was the stupidest financial decision I ever made. Time consuming, underwhelming lacking features the Windows version had perfected maybe fifteen years ago. But now that Bank of America transactions can no longer be imported I realize the larger scheme to make the Quicken brand the Edsel of the bookkeeping world. Get me out of here yesterday!

  5. handygal - Avatar

    20 year user. I feel like a frog in a pot of water. Someone turned on the heat a while back and I didn’t notice.

    1. Alex Neihaus Avatar
      Alex Neihaus

      Let’s hope they know how to fish out frogs.

  6. Bob Bowman Avatar

    Very insightful. I have been a user of Quicken all the way back to ChipSoft.

    1. Alex Neihaus Avatar
      Alex Neihaus

      Bob, thanks for your feedback.

    2. Nelle Avatar

      Me too. ChipSoft, Nolo, Parsons. Sigh.

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