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How Does MoneyDance Do This?
Old 11-05-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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How Does MoneyDance Do This?

After another wasted 45 minutes dealing with the Quicken bugs, I'm once again looking for alternatives.

I realize that one major irritation is that for every bill paid via my VanguardAdvantage (VA) account, I must go through this:

  1. Manually edit the downloaded Money Market transaction to indicate that the money was transferred to the VA account.
  2. Accept it.
  3. Find the matching transaction in the VA account. If two checks cleared on the same day, the amounts are combined.
  4. Find the matching check entry in VA or add one and edit it. If I use a memorized payee, the amount disappears, and I must re-enter it.
  5. Accept the transaction.
Also, there are usually some quicken errors involved. For example, it may show the check as new rather than detecting a match with an entry I've already made.

Is this any simpler in MoneyDance?
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Is this any simpler in MoneyDance?
I am not sure I understand completely what you are asking but... that's not important. If you go to:

Welcome - Moneydance Support

the Moneydance Help/Forums page, you will find many people (six Staff plus a large User Group) that will answer your question(s). The thing I like most about Moneydance is this Support Structure that was completely missing with MS Money (and I suspect the same holds true for Quicken).

As I mentioned in another Post, these people are very customer/service oriented right now -- the "new kids" on the block Syndrome.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:37 PM   #3
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FWIW, I've been using Quicken for more than 20 years. I'm a software engineer, so I'm pretty critical of software. Quicken began as a stellar application (fast and reliable), and has steadily, in my opinion, degraded over the years as it's gotten larger. However, I'd still rank it in the top tier of applications I use, and I haven't gotten fed up enough with problems to go shopping for a replacement.

I'm sorry I can't offer any advice on your scenario, because I don't download any transactions into Quicken! My initial forays into downloading investment transactions didn't go well and, again as a software engineer, I know how tricky it is to reliably transfer data between systems. So I still manually enter all my transactions. I know where I stand at any time, and I don't have to trust the software to get all the conversion right and categorize the way I want. I realize I probably can't keep this up forever, but your scenario is a reminder of why I'm in no hurry to change.

Good luck: if you try Moneydance or something else, let us know how it goes!
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:07 PM   #4
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...Quicken began as a stellar application (fast and reliable), and has steadily, in my opinion, degraded over the years as it's gotten larger. However, I'd still rank it in the top tier of applications I use, and I haven't gotten fed up enough with problems to go shopping for a replacement. . . .
Software guy here, also. It seems like developers keep adding features over time in order to sell new releases. This complicates the software for both the users and the developers, and makes code more difficult to QA test and debug. I would rather have software that does 10 things and does them all correctly than software that does 100 things, 90 of which are right and 10 that are wrong.

I am currently using Quicken Premier 2008 and while it has some bugs, I have tolerated them well. I mostly just track expenses and investment transactions. I have opted for manually entering my data and not using the download features.

Al, what version of Quicken are you using?
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll ask on the forum over there.

I would like the process of recording a check to be a one or two step process.

Every few months there's a straw that breaks the camel's back. Today, as a result of the conversion from an investor fund to an admiral fund, the market value of the fund was wrong. It had the wrong security, so I fixed that.

But the Total Market Value on the transactions page was wrong by $40K, and didn't match the total shown in the bar.

Quicken.jpg

So I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally, rebooting Quicken fixed it.

That's not acceptable. If the error hadn't been obvious, I could have made a financial decision based on a mistake. What if I had been doing my taxes, and reported a value that was off by several thousands.

Each time the camel has had his back broken, he looks at all the hassles of changing to a new app, and sticks with Quicken. But this time.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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And here's an example of a typical annoying bug: Every time I download checking account data, Quicken matches the interest credit (say $.12) to an old interest credit of the same amount, even though the old one has been cleared and reconciled. So the reconciliation fails, and I have to manually unmatch it and declare it as "New."

Also every month it asks me if I want to rename "Anthem Blue Cross" to "Ross Dress for Less!"

And it always puts up an error-free error dialog after the one step update even though I tell it to show the dialog only if there is an error.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:01 PM   #7
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You may be able to tweak at least some of those things in Quicken Preferences.

For example, you might want to uncheck the box for "Complete fields using previous entries"?

Every six months or so, I research available alternatives to Quicken, and often download a trial copy and enter a little data to see how they handle certain transactions.

Last time I did that was only a month ago (including Moneydance and iBank), and still haven't found anything as good as Quicken. Sad, but I'm stuck with it for the time being.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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For example, you might want to uncheck the box for "Complete fields using previous entries"?
Right, but I want that feature in general. I need to uncheck a box that says "Complete fields using dumbass guesses that aren't even remotely close."
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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Aw, come on, Al. Tell us what you really think of Quicken.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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Al, instead of downloading transactions and fixing them, would it save you time to just enter data manually?

The manual approach will also save you from having to upgrade every few years. But I don't know if that helps with downloading mutual-fund closing prices.

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Last time I did that was only a month ago (including Moneydance and iBank), and still haven't found anything as good as Quicken. Sad, but I'm stuck with it for the time being.
I'm using Quicken 2009 Premiere but Intuit is offering Quicken Starter Edition with TurboTax in a few weeks.

I'm going to install the starter software on a laptop, transfer over all the data files, and see if it fixes anything in my corrupted Fidelity data or the other 140,000 transactions I've piled up over the last 18+ years...
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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I guess I'm curious what one actually gains from all this data entry/tracking?

Let me put it this way - can you give examples of this level of minutia providing some insight and corrective action that you would not have taken with much simpler measures? Like comparing a bill with last year or last month, which is pretty easy to do?

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Old 11-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #12
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I put on my Tractor Supply bib overalls and slowly write out checks and filling out/addressing each envelope.

I do use modern peel and stick stamps.

And I surf this forum while engaging in above activity.



heh heh heh - I've heard rumors about some of this new fangled stuff on the internet.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:46 PM   #13
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I guess I'm curious what one actually gains from all this data entry/tracking?



-ERD50
Well, I have electronic, searchable records. Makes it easier when tax times come. When I get charity requests I can search and see what I have given them this year or last year.
I'm losing this convenience which I had ever since using CheckFree in 1996 as more of my transactions are on various credit cards now and I have to search these at tax time.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:00 PM   #14
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I guess I'm curious what one actually gains from all this data entry/tracking?

Let me put it this way - can you give examples of this level of minutia providing some insight and corrective action that you would not have taken with much simpler measures? Like comparing a bill with last year or last month, which is pretty easy to do?

-ERD50
I seldom agree with ERD50, but I'm in agreement on this one. I stopped using Quicken at an early "upgrade" when they asked for some fee to continue the download feature and I don't miss it. I look at bank and investment accounts online, I know my income and costs pretty well and keep things simple. I give my self a weekly budget for out of pocket expenses, food etc and keep to that.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:06 PM   #15
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Al, instead of downloading transactions and fixing them, would it save you time to just enter data manually?

The manual approach will also save you from having to upgrade every few years. But I don't know if that helps with downloading mutual-fund closing prices.


I'm using Quicken 2009 Premiere but Intuit is offering Quicken Starter Edition with TurboTax in a few weeks.

I'm going to install the starter software on a laptop, transfer over all the data files, and see if it fixes anything in my corrupted Fidelity data or the other 140,000 transactions I've piled up over the last 18+ years...
Check this out, I don't believe you can merge/add files to Starter editions of Quicken.

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Old 11-05-2010, 10:08 PM   #16
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I've given up in using Quicken a long time ago.

I remember the days, when it was just a checkbook balancing and budgeting program. Then other features were added and was amazed that "it can do that too?". But somewhere along the line, I realized that it tries to do everything, but ends up doing it somewhat.

So, I've resigned to not use Quicken and use alternatives. Examples, I just rely on my Vanguard summary statements instead of having Quicken trying to recalcualte it for me. I use a different budgeting program. To balance my checkbook, an old-fashioned, checkbook register, bank statement and calcuator works fine for me.

That said, I must admit, I'm pretty satisfied using Turbotax from Intuit for my taxes.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:36 PM   #17
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Well, I have electronic, searchable records. Makes it easier when tax times come. When I get charity requests I can search and see what I have given them this year or last year.
OK, but for me personally, I wouldn't want to mess with a separate program for this. I just throw the receipt in my tax file, or maybe enter it in a spreadsheet that I keep for tax entries. Pretty simple.

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Old 11-05-2010, 11:11 PM   #18
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I used Quicken for years but gave it up when I started travelling a lot. I needed a web application then. I spent many hrs looking for a free web app that does basically what Quicken does. (I enter all transactions manually and don't use or want automatic updating of accounts.) The web app I finally settled on was budgetpulse.com. I'm fairly happy with it.

If anyone knows of another, I'd be very interested.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:10 AM   #19
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If anyone knows of another, I'd be very interested.
Currently I used YNAB - You need a budget.

Personal Budget Software - Finance Software for Windows, Mac & Linux

It is an amazing good program.

I started using software for financial stuff in 1988, way back when Managing Your Money was the king of the hill. I used it for many years but when it bit the dust I switched to MS Money. I had a love hate relationship with it.

Early on it was great at recording expenditures and had great reports. The budgeting part was OK, but not great.

Over years, they focused more and more on downloading and online stuff and great features that I didn't use. Their budgeting grew worse. They ignored problems with the register, etc.

So about 8 years ago I tried Quicken and found it no better and no worse so went back to Money.

Eventually I didn't like its budgeting philosophy (or software) and found YNAB which I've been using for almost 3 years. At first I used YNAB mostly for budgeting and continued to use Money. After a few months I realized that everything I wanted to do I could in YNAB.

It is a great program and the budgeting is great. It is not as complex as Money (or Quicken) but does what I need and the downloading stuff is straightforward.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I guess I'm curious what one actually gains from all this data entry/tracking?

Let me put it this way - can you give examples of this level of minutia providing some insight and corrective action that you would not have taken with much simpler measures? Like comparing a bill with last year or last month, which is pretty easy to do?
There is an old saying that goes something like: "If you take care of the Pennies, the Dollars will take care of themselves."

After several painful experiments attempting to disprove this theory, I stopped arguing with it... that was forty years ago. Besides, it is easier (for me) to keep track of Pennies -- I have more experience with them.
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