Quicken for Mac and Alternatives for 2014

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Apple’s Mac computers have become more omnipresent in recent years and Intuit is slowly catching up with it Quicken Essentials for Mac to provide the best possible financial management product. As mentioned, this catch-up is a rather lengthy process. Whether technological challenges or critical mass needed to make the product successful, Quicken for Mac does not provide all the options Windows based users enjoy. Despite the lack several features, the software can still help you get a better grip of your financial situation.

Intuit does not update Quicken Essentials for Mac every year and the current available version offers these features:

  • Categorize expenses – you decide what groups you want to track and see where your money goes.
  • See all accounts in one place.
  • Handy snapshot of important information related to all your accounts – your spending patterns, current assets and net worth.
  • Set up reminders for all type of payments you make and avoid late fees.

Differences with Quicken Mac 2007

Originally released in 2010, Quicken Essential for Mac is a little bit different from Quicken Mac 2007. Because Essentials was not built on Quicken Mac 2007 but a completely redesigned platform, you shouldn’t assume that all the features included in Mac 2007 automatically transfer to Essentials.

Besides a fresh interface, there are actually more similarities than differences. You can track your investments but this version only displays an overall value of your portfolio. If you want to track more details of your investments, you can either log in to your brokerage account or consider Quicken for Windows.

Another important feature of Quicken is ability to export financial information to TurboTax (available for both versions). If you prepare taxes on your own, this saves a lot of time by assigning many transactions into the appropriate category. When filing taxes, your job is to go through them and confirm that the data transfer was correct (for more on TurboTax, see here).

Other things you can do in Quicken Essentials for Mac: print checks, transfer data from Quicken Mac 2005, 2006, and 2007 (not possible if you are using OSX 10.7 Lion; a utility file has been released to do that process, more information here), convert Quicken Windows 2007 – 2010 and Microsoft Money 2007 and 2008 to Essentials. And few things that you cannot do as comparing to Quicken Mac 2007: bill pay, import or export QIF files, doesn’t have business and rental property features, lifetime planner, ability to forecast cash flows, help reduce debt, plan for taxes, or manage home inventory.

If you’re dead set on running the best possible version of Quicken on your Mac, you would have to purchase one for Windows. You can then try software such as Parallel Desktops or VMWare to run Windows on your Mac.

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