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Quicken to MoneyDance? GnuCash?
Old 02-20-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
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Quicken to MoneyDance? GnuCash?

I have been using Windows 7 since 2010 and, while I was initially looking forward to Windows 10, I have become resentful of Microsoft’s heavy-handed efforts to upgrade personal users and, in following tech security media, disgusted with the ongoing and broad amounts of “telemetry” that 10 is reported to collect. I have decided that Windows 7 will be the last Microsoft OS I use (at home anyway, given that I have no influence of what is implemented at w*rk). Security support will be provided to Windows 7 until January 14, 2020, so I have a few years, but time is ticking. Two to three years ago, I transitioned to using a Linux (currently Debian Jessie 8.0 with Gnome) finance-only computer for my investment/banking transactions. I now want to switch the software I use to Linux as well.

My problem is this. I have been a happy Quicken user since 1997, with investment transactions entered all the way back to 1991. I like the reports that help me know where we spend our money, and because DW and I invest through multiple fund companies (not by choice, but due to a combination of 401(k) plans and non-employment investment companies), the portfolio asset allocation feature in particular is very important to me. I supplement the reports available in Quicken with simple spreadsheets, to improve my portfolio review and enhance my periodic projections toward retirement. Unfortunately, while Intuit has done little to enhance Quicken after MS Money was discontinued, they also never developed or sanctioned a version for Linux, e.g. to run on Wine or other emulation software. I am now seeking financial software that provides the same cash/bills/investment management and reporting abilities.

I have heard of GnuCash and MoneyDance. I wasn’t all that impressed with what I have seen written about GnuCash, but the reviews I have seen for MoneyDance while dated, are positive. It is reported to be able to import Quicken-originated files, which would permit me to transfer old data. Before I sink $50 into the software, I would welcome any reviews/comparisons/opinions from users of these software, especially if you have prior experience with Quicken.

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:09 AM   #2
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Moneydance has a free trial period, so just download it and give it a try.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:51 AM   #3
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I use Quicken premier 2010 with Linux Mint 17.2 ( I use the KDE version) with no problems with the Wine emulators. Of course, since it's an older Quicken version it doesn't support automatic updates and bill paying but I never used those features anyway. Being retired I don't have/want a lot of financial complexity in my life. I think I read somewhere that Wine is supposed to work with newer versions of Quicken but I have no first hand experience with that. Quicken 2010 works just fine and I have no intention of updating.

I tried the following linux programs: Gnucash, Kmymoney, and Grisby. After using Quicken since 1992 I found the transition to another program daunting and my Quicken files are so large that they all had a lot of problems importing and classifying the Quicken data. A lot of manual editing of transactions would be needed. Probably not worth it. I think I would start from scratch with a Linux program if I wanted to get away from Quicken altogether.

When I was trying to decide which Linux version I liked best I tried Linux Mint 17.2 (Cinnamon, KDE and Xfce flavors) and Ubuntu 14.04 (same flavors) and found that Quicken 2010 (under Wine) worked fine with all of those. I'm not familiar with the version of Linux you are using so I'm not sure if it would work OK in your case.
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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Gnu cash: tried it once, couldn't get it to work using W-7.

MoneyDance: great checkbook manager, mediocre budget manager, poor reporting. If you are comfortable with exporting to Excel, you can create any reports or analysis you need. I transitioned from Quicken, and had no problems with importing the data.

If you use Quicken's method of budgeting, you will quickly find MD Budget Manager tedious. You can budget for a range of months, but months with differing amounts require individual budget entries.

For more about functionality, browse the discussions board. Welcome - Infinite Kind Support

You can create an account, and ask questions. Most responses will come from users. You will see administrators working with individuals to solve problems. Customer Support is well-intended but lightly staffed. If you dislike Quicken, this seems to be the only alternative at the moment.

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Old 02-20-2016, 10:18 PM   #5
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Linux user since '08. Using Linux Mint KDE LTS right now. I've used Moneydance since '09. I left Quicken because the edition I had became so buggy that it made it unusable. Interestingly, at the same time Intuit was constantly bugging me to update. I don't know if the two were related but I was so frustrated with the program I certainly thought so.

I did have issues with MoneyDance. It is not as polished as Quicken. Importing was hit or miss (more hit that miss). I felt I had two choices. Go through all the records to correct errors or start from scratch. I chose the latter. I know that's a deal breaker for many but I had access to things like investment history and performance at other locations/sites. I needed online bill pay software, a check book and check printing. MoneyDance does all these things very well. Additionally, I was pretty certain I was going to be Windowless so even if I wanted to go back to Quicken, I couldn't. I needed to move forward. I have not missed the records I left behind. I don't even think about them now. But it did bother me at first.

Since that time, I've entered my investments in MoneyDance and can track them although reports and graphs are mediocre, at best.

I've used MoneyDance for seven years. Quicken, when not buggy, is better. I'm a full-time Linux user so it's not an option. I'll stay with MoneyDance as long as it's supported.

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Old 02-21-2016, 06:36 AM   #6
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get a linux maching and load the wine package. Install quicken using wine. See if it works for you. I have installed windows programs on my linux machines... many without issues.
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:51 AM   #7
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Thank you for sharing your experiences with Linux/MoneyDance/GnuCash. I am cautious about trialling new software. DW and I have spent a lot of time tailoring our systems and network for security. While that has the benefit of increased peace of mind, it also means that changes such as installations and removals don’t always go smoothly, whether with Linux or Windows.

Using Quicken with an emulator such as Wine seems to be highly dependent upon which version of Quicken one is using. Wine’s website indicates that my version, Quicken 2015, has a minimal success rate.

As for MoneyDance, I did come across an older posting from the Bogleheads website indicating that it does categorize funds by their allocation to Stocks/Bonds/Cash and Large/Small Cap, which I found encouraging. I appreciate the warnings that conversion of data from Quicken, especially of large files, is a chore. I continue to be reluctant to let my old data go, so when I do install the program, I will plan to spend a few days reconciling everything. I expect to parallel entry in Quicken and the new software when transitioning. I am very comfortable with spreadsheets, so I am psyched to hear that MoneyDance has an export function. I don’t use the budgeting functions in Quicken, so I won’t miss them with MoneyDance. I appreciate the link to the discussion board. After posting yesterday, I also skimmed through the MoneyDance manual, with plans to read it more thoroughly later.

I have no doubt that Quicken is more polished than MoneyDance. With what is going on with Windows, and Intuit putting Quicken up for sale last August, I am feeling motivated to move on to a Linux-only setup. Again, I appreciate your comments, and welcome anything else you would like to share about using MoneyDance and/or GnuCash.

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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Couple of others to look at




AceMoney Personal Finance Software - Quicken Alternative - AceMoney
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:12 PM   #9
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A bit late to this thread, but I'd say give Moneydance a shot. I went to Moneydance from Quicken over three years ago and it works great for me. A big plus is that when you find an issue in Moneydance, the chance of getting it fixed is very good. I've reported a few issues and in some cases, have had a fixed version within a few days.

I didn't import my data from Quicken. I did try it, but it didn't import cleanly. I did go back and make sure all my investments were entered correctly (that took a little bit of work) but I really don't care about old transactions. I figure if I ever need to look something up, I can load up my old Quicken file and take a look.
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gnucash, intuit, moneydance, quicken, windows

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