Quicken Question

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From: E L


Greetings All
We've recently purchased Quicken Personal Plus to track our household expenses and also IPs, however we're having trouble setting up the IP section.

It seems you can't have IO loans or link the rental income back to the IP. The package seems very focused for share tracking but not property.

Any advice / suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cheers
EL
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1
From: Sim' Hampel


I have been using Quicken for nearly 10 years to track my personal finances and I now use it for my IPs (including company/trust structures) as well.

I do not let Quicken track my loans for me... I do that manually by creating scheduled transactions for P&I payments (easier for IO). The exact payment numbers are often worked out slightly differently by the lender anyway, and exact interest charges depend on the date that payments are made and so on, so it is virtually impossible to get this accurate enough to reconcile your loan statements against... my advice - don't even bother.

I use Quicken to verify that what I spend and what the bank thinks I have spent matches (reconciliation) and for reporting on my expenses for budgeting and tax, and for reporting on my current financial position. It works brilliantly for this. The loan facilities are useful to get an indication of how things might work - forecasting etc... but I prefer to do the actual numbers manually.

Feel free to email me if you want to discuss this stuff more.

One of these days I'll get to writing some documentation on how I use Quicken to track my IP finances.

 
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W

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Reply: 1.1
From: E L


Thanks Sim - much appreciated.

Guess I'll be spending another day understanding the dynamics of the software....

Cheers
EL
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Hey, it's taken me 10 years to get to know how to use it properly EL ;-)

Seriously, many people ask my advice on which is the better software, Quicken or Microsoft Money.

My advice is if you compare the latest versions, Money 2002 is very easy to get started with, nice wizards and such to help you on your way, and it does look better. However, the latest version of Quicken - Quicken 2002 Personal Plus (Second Edition is now out) has taken some hints from Microsoft and completely reworked the main interface to make it more web like and much more user friendly.

Also, Quicken is specifically modified to work with Australian terms and concepts, whereas Money is not.

In my opinion, Quicken is the much more powerful product if you take the time to get to know its more esoteric but powerful features. Just don't expect to become an expert in one day ;-)

I have spent many hours over the last 10 years playing with Quicken and tinkering with settings and reports and such, as my understaning of the product and of my own financial goals evolves.

 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1
From: E L


Thanks for that - I have a bad habit of wanting to gain knowledge overnight. Good thing I'm a little more patient with our IP's and am more than willing to sit it out for the long-haul (-:

Cheers
EL
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Patience, Grasshopper, you have much to learn.

;-)

 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Aaron Dwyer


I have used MS Money Australian Version for 7 years now to track everything.

I once tested Quicken earlier versions and found Money to be a more well rounded product. I'm sure they have the same features now.

I love seeing my income / expenses for 7 years charted as a single line graph. I can pick out just from looking at the peaks and troughs how they relate to what has happened in my life at those times.

--
Aaron Dwyer
Freestyler Novice
~ To know and not to do, is really not to know at all.
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


I agree totally... it's so encouraging to look at a graph of income and expenses over the history of my tracking it, and see how things have changed.

The net worth graph in Quicken is my favourite... getting ever closer to that first million net worth ! ;-)

 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Gordon Austin


Well over the last week I have spent a considerable amount of time trialing Quicken and MS Money. However I didn't look at the Shares and Super functionality in any significant detail because due to circumstances beyound my control it is best for us to invest in property. Hence my evaluation of the products was more in line with how they compare in terms of keeping track of personal finances, a multiple property portfolio and multiple entities such as individual family members and trusts etc.

Basically for every function I found in one package I would try to replicate this functionality in the other (after spending considerable time reading the related help topics). I also tried to make sure that I used as many of the advanced features (eg Classes and subclasses etc) for the whole exercise to be meaningful.

In conclusion I found Quicken to still be very clunky despite its redesigned interface. I found the way Money implemented classes and subclasses to be greatly superior to Quicken. Actually the way Quicken forces you to type in classes and subclasses is very poor. I can't help but think thank Quicken is a product that still carries around a legacy of its old underlying code and is constantly being bandaged on the surface without addressing some original design flaws.

In terms of complying with Australia's tax system including capital gains and dividend imputation etc Quicken is far superior. So if you are heavilty into shares, managed funds and super then Quicken is probably the way to go. However for me I am more interested in just being able to categorise and track our income and expenditure, record it against the relevant entity and the properties associated with those entities and flag transactions as needing to appear on the tax reports etc. In my case given that I always get an accountant to do my tax I would probably find Quicken to be difficult to use because it gets quite technical when you what to flag a category as a taxable item. I do know what I can claim but certainly don't know exactly where everything goes on the tax form etc.

Anyhow as I said this was only a trial and hence I obviously don't have the depth of knowledge that experienced users have. But at this stage, for my needs, it initially appears that MS Money is a far superior product in terms of design and user friendliness. However I haven't made my final decision quite yet and would be keen to hear any further opinions others may have would be appreciated.

And it was only recently that Microsoft and Quicken have formed an alliance here in Australia so perhaps we may only have one product in the future!

GA
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Considering I haven't actually used the latest version of Money, I can't really comment on anything exept hearsay. It's interesting to hear the results of your analysis.

On 4/13/02 10:41:00 AM, Gordon Austin wrote:
>Actually
>the way Quicken forces you to
>type in classes and subclasses
>is very poor.

Just on this point, you can have it automatically drop down a list for you to choose categories from, so you can drive it mostly by mouse. However, I mostly use the keyboard for driving Quicken (particularly for data entry), so I find the category/class data entry really quick and elegant.

For example, when entering the category and class for something like Property:Agent:Management/William, the keystrokes are literally "p:a:m/w", which works well for me. Just what I'm used to I guess.

One of these days I will acquire a copy of the latest version of Money and see how they have improved it. Only a few years ago, Money was berated by the press as a rubbish product and Quicken considered the only choice.

Of course, Microsoft don't tend to let products languish - improvements have certainly brought their product into much higher regard.

I would expect that the majority of functions are very similar now, and would be surprised if there were any particular features which would place one product significantly out in front of the other.

 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Gordon Austin


Thanks for some more info Sim. I need to remind myself that advanced users will tend to use the mouse less when entering data. You've given me some more food for thought.

I was in Harvey Norman today looking at these products and for MS Money 2002 the fine print on the box stated that it does not cater for GST. This I think will always be a problem for MS Money in that I doubt it will ever really cater for our taxation system. Something I need to think carefully about.

GA
 
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Sim

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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Also remember that Quicken is NOT an accounting package. If you need more advanced features, QuickBooks or MYOB might be a better call. Sorry to add to the analysis workload ;-)

One of these days I will get a copy of QuickBooks and evaluate it in comparison to Quicken for tracking IP finance.

 
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