Customer Review

316 of 325 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In the words of Intuit's CEO Aaron Patzer: "Holy crap!", February 25, 2010
When Intuit's CEO Aaron Patzer joined the company, he remarked, "Holy crap, we haven't put one of these out in three years."

Amazingly, he added: " It's called 'Mac Essentials' because it's got the essential features used by 80 percent of the users we've surveyed and talked to."

Patzer's notion is that something is better than nothing, and that next year he will issue a more complete version, bridging the gap between 80 to 100 percent, to make it fully functional. No, Mr. Patzer, sometimes nothing is better than something, especially when it's software like "Quicken Essentials" that was pulled out of the oven half-baked, served up on a silver tray, and dished out to Mac users who are going to find out that it's just cardboard cuisine.

Mr. Patzer, as a longtime Quicken user since its inception, I've got to say: I've used financial software packages for a long time, from various companies. I know them well. And this latest 'Mac Essential' is no software financial package worth our time or money; it's hobbled beyond human imagination, robbed of one of its most essential -- yes, essential! -- feature: to pay bills online or pay bills by printed check, neither of which is supported by this new, "improved" software.


For $60 prepub and $70 at full retail, this product is the worst piece of Mac software for the financial market ever coded. Others have, rightly, railed against all of its other deficiencies, but the lack of a financial package that won't allow bill payment is such a colossal error that it'd be like engineering a car and deciding there's no need to put an ENGINE in it because you should just park it and enjoy the view. (This software allows you to VIEW your current financial picture. You just can't use it for much of anything else. Looks pretty, but that's about it.)

The inability to export data to TurboTax -- another essential feature that's present in the current version -- is also missing.

This software just ain't ready for prime, and don't let Mr. Patzer convince you otherwise.

I'm sending this back to Intuit for a full refund, with a letter addressed to Mr. Patzer explaining to him that in the software business, the presumption is (a) when you offer a so-called improved version that's a giant leap backward, don't charge $70. As is, this software pretty much offers nothing but a quick picture on your finances--it can't DO anything with that data, however. Furthermore, on that basis, it'd be worth, maybe, $10 to me; and (b) I had to check my birth certificate, which clearly shows I was not born yesterday.

I'm sticking to my current version, which has all the features this version has omitted.

Mr. Patzer should fall on his sword for this one. When he said "Holy crap" upon finding out that the Mac version of Intuit had been ignored for three years, he was right to be surprised. Ironically, we, too, have been surprised: Who'd have thunk that after three years of gestation, this "new, improved" version is the best they could come up with?

Unfortunately, he seems to think we, as long-time customers that have supported his company with our dollars and entrusted his flagship financial product, Quicken, with our fortunes (large and small), will be happy with this misbegotten, rushed-to-press, hobbled, inadequate, unimaginative, and largely dysfunctional/nonfunctional software, for which we should be happy to pay $70.

Bottom line: I, and a legion of Mac computer users, can only quote his immortal, telling words, which should be emblazoned on every piece of "Quicken Essentials for Mac": "HOLY CRAP!"

In my considered, informed opinion, this product is wet, moist, and odoriferous. It's a piece of -- should I even have to say it? -- crap.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 26, 2010 8:43:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2010 8:44:57 PM PST
Beam Me Up says:
George Beahm here with an addendum: For years I've entrusted my finances to Quicken and Turbotax, so to find this latest release such a retrograde was a massive disappointment: This isn't an UPGRADE but a DOWNGRADE, and it's really "Quicken Nonessentials for Mac." Quicken can do a lot better, and it have to do so if it wants to win back the fans that have bought the product over the years--including me. Please don't read my review and glean from it that I'm angry and just venting; I'm not. I'm saddened for all Mac users who, now, will have to wait another year, or so, to see a proper upgrade to this classic software. In the meantime, I'll be using the previously published edition.

Note to Intuit's CEO: Perhaps you can intuit from the comments here, at the Mac message boards, and everywhere else in the known universe that fans are disappointed and unhappy with your Edsel. Please go back to the drawing board and make a list of the critical features people want, and put in the time and effort to get it right the next time. Along with a legion of other Mac fans, I am rooting for you: no matter what you do, please don't disappoint us again . . . because by then, there may be another company out there who will decide that they'll take care of your customers, if you can't or won't.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 2:46:33 PM PST
Kathryn says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2010 6:20:43 PM PST
Beam Me Up says:
Dear Kathryn: I will do just that. I'm rooting for you guys, but this one fell far short of the mark. It really is a downgrade, albeit pretty eye candy, and I've bought every version for the Mac that your company has manufactured, so my comments are based on many years of experience with Quicken and Turbotax.

I have never given anything on Amazon a one-star rating, and did so only after a great deal of thought; I hope all the comments here and on the Mac boards will be carefully considered so that, in 2011, we see a product worthy of the name QUICKEN.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 6:56:40 AM PST
Dear Kathryn:

I've been using quicken for years. Since Quicken hasn't listened to your loyal users, why should we think you will now? How many decades will it take before you have a MAc version that is functionally equal to your Windows' version? Because of the lack of features provided on the Mac platform and its difficult conversion I've been running Quicken for Windows under VMWare (Mac). Now that you are dropping support for Quicken 2007 for Windows, I'd have to upgrade my version of Windows as well; something I don't plan to do. To be honest I planned on running VMWare as a temporary measure as I waited for a Mac version to be released. Unfortunately I think its finally time accept my loses and take my needs elsewhere. Obviously Intuit isn't serious about its Mac community. Why do you think our financial management needs are less then Windows users?

Howard Richburg

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2010 2:46:30 PM PDT
J. Nelson says:
Howard - in answer to your question, I think it's fair to assume that Quicken will be able to launch a Mac version of Quicken that is functionally equal to Quicken 2007 for Windows no later than 2018. All three remaining loyal Quicken users will really enjoy its retro styling. Everyone else, of course, including me and probably you, will have migrated to a software title that actually provides the features we need WHEN WE NEED THEM (i.e., now), like Moneydance, or, less likely, iBank.

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 3:11:47 AM PST
Lylismom says:
George, thanks for a thorough, detailed and humorous post. I am continuing my search for a software program for both personal and business purposes as I transition to Mac. It appears that anything Intuit is not the answer. However these posts have given me direction for my search! Hopefully the handwriting on this wall and others will get so thick that it will collapse and be used by some capable entrepreneur to pave the way to a whole new product. I became a Mac fan the first time I tried to print and my Mac Air found the printer on its own and downloaded it! To be printing in 2 minutes or less when I barely knew how to navigate the programs is what I call "user friendly." obviously Intuit doesn't get it. Me thinks the latest management team worked at Eastman Kodak before moving to Intuit. I'm sure there is a young Jack Welch or Steve Jobs out there somewhere who sees the awesome potential of this market sector and will put this organization out of it's misery, and in the process make life easier for all the people in this world who want to manage their money or their businesses easier and more productively.

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 12:23:04 PM PDT
A great review. Let me add a comment as one of the users that Aaron Patzer was probably thinking of when he said: " It's called 'Mac Essentials' because it's got the essential features used by 80 percent of the users we've surveyed and talked to." It does very poorly at even the very limited things that I want. I desperately need something that can handle the arithmetic of balancing a bank book better than I can and a way to predict expenses. It can do the second. As to the first, it makes constant errors in matching transactions, I'd say close to 50%, skipping the transaction from yesterday to match it to an expense next month with the same amount. Or else it enters a duplicate transaction that has to be removed. I spent yesterday matching the expenses of the last three days. One of the annoyances if Quicken is that you cannot match the order of transaction in the register to the online figures. Anyway, after way too long, I had it matching item for item and penny for penny. The Reconcile feature insisted that it was off by $2.00. It is so laborious that I now keep only essentials accounts and don't even hope for budgeting information.

The software is also too clever by half, incorrectly assuming what I would like to do and quietly doing things that have to be undone.

The reason I still have it is to keep my older records "live". I am going to have to work on transitioning to a spreadsheet, which will do as much. You may decide to get it for the same reason, if you have very limited needs, but I urge you not to start with this if you are beginning with a new system.

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 9:34:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2014 3:46:54 PM PDT
George, great review -- as fresh, original, humorous and accurate today as it was when you posted it. As at this date, Quicken Personal Finances 2007 for Mac [OLD VERSION] has not had a version update in more than *seven years*, since it was released in August 2006. Intuit just patched it three or four times when its bugs and incompatibilities stopped it working in updates of Mac OS X. Then there is this later "Quicken Essentials For Mac", which, despite being a later release, actually has even *fewer* essential features than Quicken for Mac. No wonder QEFM is a running joke in the knowledgable Mac user community, and a meal for comic talent such as you.

IMHO, iBank 5 [Download] is the current best solution. iBank is almost everything that Quicken for Mac 2007 should have been today, had Intuit actually listened and acted on the advice and needs of its Mac customers. Coming from a Mac OS-specialist maker, iBank lacks a direct cross-platform counterpart product in Windows -- but, hey, so does Quicken for Mac, despite coming from Intuit, which is allegedly a cross-platform software maker. I migrated my 14 years of Quicken for Mac data to iBank 4 in late 2012. My only regret has been that I did not do it earlier. iBank 5 is even better than iBank 4.

Intuit's failure to properly update and support Quicken For Mac since August 2006, combined with the farcical later release of this "Quicken Essentials For Mac" downgrade, are the worst betrayal of customer loyalty in the entire history of Mac software.
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