Quicken Has Been Sold…What Is Next?

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Intuit has sold Quicken to H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. Capital according to Wikipedia has $19 billion of equity capital under management. Just to give you perspective, Quicken in 2015 generated under $51 million in revenue for Intuit. Unfortunately terms of the sale were not disclosed.

If I were willing to make a guestimate, I would guess Quicken sold for around $200–300 million and hope certainly for under $500 million. Especially with a YoY declining revenue base.

With the sale of Quicken, it’s akin to the old house that needs upgrading to modern standards. Quicken needs a new kitchen, bathrooms, central air and upgraded boiler – in other words a complete gutjob. Putting new vinyl siding might make it look nice if H.I.G. is looking for a quick sale, but the issues will shine through when you do an inspection. For at least the past 5–6 years Quicken has been piecemealed together, and this is what led them to where they are now.

I’m glad we know at least at some level the fate of Quicken, but of course new questions pop up. What new functionality will be added if any? What I constantly hear in my head is a song from the band The Who.

“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” – The Who

From CEO on down, many of the existing management and employees will remain at Quicken, though the CEO did promise additional head count, especially for programmers.

Quicken is definitely in need of fresh blood to improve functionality and increase reliability. The question I have is: Was Quicken's degradation caused by a lack of funding H.I.G. promises to bring on board, or was it simply staleness from within the organization?

What I can say from my discussion with CEO Eric Dunn is Quicken does have a longstanding commitment to maintaining the online connectivity with financial firms, and integration with TurboTax. So you have no fear that these features will discontinue any time soon. Worst case, there are competing technologies like Yodlee that could replace Intuit’s infrastructure.

Part of the announcement of the new company was improvements in Quicken for Mac.

“In addition to the investment news today, Quicken is also announcing a new, free budgeting feature for its Quicken 2016 for Mac customers. The next monthly product release will include Quicken’s 12-Month Budget tool, which is the top feature requested by Mac users. The new feature makes it easy for consumers to set a budget, track progress, and analyze “what if” scenarios. It also provides the flexibility to account for monthly and annual expenses, giving customers a flexible, comprehensive view of their spending.”

Eric did state they are committed to improving the Macintosh version to make it more equivalent to the Windows version. So this is good news for Mac users.

When speaking with the CEO, he was tightlipped about other new functionality. I hope the new entity does right with the disfranchised Quicken user base. Otherwise, as I stated previously this will be a slow, long and painful death for Quicken users.

As for me personally, I have moved on from Quicken to Personal Capital. Unless Quicken adds additional functionality that's missing, I'm not sure if I will switch back. I'm sure the same question remains for other customers who have already left. Here's a breakdown of Quicken alternatives by features:

Feature Recommended Service
Budgeting Personal Capital
Bill Pay Banktivity
Investment Tracking Betterment
Bill Management YNAB
Retirement Planning Personal Capital, PocketSmith
Tax Reporting Banktivity
Transaction Reconciliation YNAB

Now that we know the buyer of Quicken, what is your take on the matter?

Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig was the founder and editor in chief of Investor Junkie. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in computers and a minor in business. Back in the ’90s, I helped create some of the first financial websites for firms like Chase, T. Rowe Price, and ING Bank, and later went on to work for Nomura Securities. He’s had a passion for investing since he was 20 years old and has owned multiple businesses for over 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife and three children.

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29 Comments

  1. As a long time user of Quicken for Windows, I switch to Quicken for MAC when my PC died at the end of 2017 and I did not want to invest in a new PC for just the one program that was needed. I had always heard that Quicken was not written as well for the MAC as for Windows but I was assured by their support department that it had been changed. While I do not know what it was like previously, it certainly was not anywhere close to what the Windows version was.

    In early 2018, after receiving a mass mailing from Eric Dunn, applauding themselves on the improvements they made, I sent him a response, pointing out the following changes I felt were needed:

    1. You cannot set up print checks to automatically change date to date printed from date due.
    2. There are too many steps to get to point when bill reminders are printed checks. You should be able to set this up when bill reminders are initially set up so that when you click on “Mark Paid” it automatically is posted as “Need to Print” – THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED.
    3. Reconciliations (especially banking) do not have entries for interest earned or fees charged.
    4. In banking transactions, there are no ATM or DirDbt indications only Check #.
    5. You cannot end the year and start a new year only bringing forward uncleared entries. and balances, as well as customized reports. It was suggested to me that I duplicate my current file and then delete transactions. If you start a new file and delete everything, you have to re-enter uncleared items & balances.
    6. You cannot add icons or tasks to toolbar i.e. print checks or write checks.
    7. You cannot set up Folders in Reports where you can store customized reports i.e. Tax Year 2017, etc.

    To me the most important items lacking is #5. This is just basic accounting.

    Since my initial letter to Eric Dunn, I have sent the same letter to him in response to his “let me pat myself on the back” email sent out in the beginning of each year. In anticipation of receiving yet another mass mailing, I wrote again in October of 2019. I received an email response today suggesting I make an appointment to speak to someone to “go over any concerns, issues, or questions”. I now have an appointment for 4PM this afternoon. It will be interesting to see what they tell me.

  2. This new company that took over Quicken is GREEDY…….Best way to put it and they wont let us use our purchase in peace they keep tacking on banners or extra steps to take to enter in a transaction and they wont take down that large banner that says You are missing out cause you wont renew!!!!! I was told I didn’t have to if I didn’t use the online features . They have become an annoyance and I am leaving them after 32 years of business and many purchases. So sad that INTUIT sold out on Quicken It USE to be my favorite program now just a thorn in my side!

    1. Yep they sure are greedy. I recommend Moneyspire if you are looking for something without a forced subscription. It’s a great app.

  3. I’ve been a Quicken user for decades and wonder what is going on over there? Standard features, like showing the little blue dot for new, unchanged transactions, aren’t working correctly. Also, it is changing downloaded transactions to manually entered transactions and auto-filling the memo fields. These things have created so much extra review and recategorizing work that I’m considering changing to a new package at the first of the year.

  4. the last straw is a subscription based soft ware. When I buy home software I expect to own it not rent it.

  5. Please stop the upgrade to 2018 popup every time I open the program! Dispite checking the box to remind me later it still happens ever time I use the program. I have no intention of ever upgrading to a subscription model and your constant nagging reinforces my decision every time I use your product,

  6. I just found this site. I am feeling so vindicated with respect to Quicken. I too, have been a Quicken user since 1987 — 30 Years. Quicken has really dropped to the bottom of the bin. They now hold your data hostage unless you active your online account. Time to leave.

    I once used Moneydance (for linux) and it worked. I see there are other products available. Thank you all for the reviews. I can research now.

  7. The biggest issue with Quicken is lack of support. Only DIY support exists, which means when you have a problem, you are done unless you are prepared to spend hours and hours scanning through other people’s issues. Not for me.

  8. It’s been over a year and not much new on the Quicken front. Today I installed the R13 update to Quicken 2015. It looks like for the time spent I got a new login screen and a couple of other very minor changes that are not tax-related. Everything else appears to address issues with the tax features. I should mention that an hour later I received a “welcome” email indicating I had signed up to receive alerts. Yeah, I did – like two years ago. They’ve never worked properly. Maybe now they will.

    Quicken as a local application needs to die. Move it to the cloud like every other modern piece of software. There is no need for separate Windows and Mac applications sitting on a local computer. Work out the security issues and data structure implications and get it done. And, as much as some might hate me for saying it, go to a subscription model and drop all this versioning stuff and annoying upgrade ads. That’s the only way I can figure Quicken has a chance to survive and even thrive, and my guess is that is exactly what H.I.G. was thinking when they bought it.

  9. Like many users I have used Quicken since the days of installing with 3.5 disks . I have been using Home and Business since it became available. I am currently using Home&Business 2017. Most of it I like. Invoicing, multiple accounts creation. The biggest problem I have with it, is online transaction downloads. Online account updating. I am constantly having to reset my online accounts in Quicken. Transactions are unreliably downloaded and are never current. Many times, not current for weeks. On occasion, I have had to delete the entire credit card accounts and re-establish them to get transaction updates to keep current. I also have Mint, Personal Capitol, and YNAB. They do a very good job of communicating with the bank servers. Why can’t Quicken do the same? This particular problem has been going on for a many years and versions now.

  10. Personal Capital is no substantiate. Great presentation and easy of use, but no flexibility. I have a number of accounts that are not downloadable, and I like using Quicken savings goals. I am also concerned with security of plugging in all my IDs and passwords. Do I trust that they will not be hacked? Do I trust that their internal financial reps are not consuming all my data so they can call and annoy me about signing up with them for consulting?

  11. I agree with other reviewers that Quicken’s functionality is light-years ahead of Personal Capital or other cloud-based tools for fully integrated personal financial management. Improving reliability, connectivity, service support (please, not India!) and analytical capabilities (integrating Portfolio x-ray was a great first step) while maintaining / enhancing interface with Turbotax and Quickbooks are what I am looking for.

    1. I have spent all day researching and trying other replacements for Quicken desktop that I have been using since 1985!! Nothing else works. Personal Capital has no reports!! It has no sub-categories. It has no “memo” line. It has no Split transactions. It will only do dollars. I do not understand the high ratings you give it? [Are you getting a share of the management fees?] Mint doesn’t let you edit categories or follow investments. I’ve found nothing that comes close to doing what Quicken does. I also like having my data to myself, not all online in one place. I keep regular backups in my G-drive in case of PC failure. So, after a day of trying Moneydance and Personal Capital and CountAbout, I’m sticking with Quicken.

      1. I too have been very busy over the past week looking for a potential alternative to my Quicken habit. I extensively tried out Moneydance, Moneyspire, and SEE Finance. After the dust had settled, SEE Finance was the clear winner assuming you’re on a mac. Flawless import of QIF file from QM2007, split transactions, powerful reporting once you spend some time to configure them, very responsive support (got a response to a mortgage loan question via email in 15 minutes), no cloud storage of data, flawless downloading of transactions from USAA and Vanguard (have to manually download/enter transactions from Ally Bank), and finally a one-time payment of $29.99.

        SEE Finance is definitely on par with QM2018, but I will admit that the Windows version of Q is more feature rich is you are interested in Life Planner and Tax Estimator, and more investment data than you can stand to look at. Finally, the one thing I can’t stand about all these new personal finance applications is you can’t make use of these modern large screens (27″) to show multiple windows like I can in QM2007. In this older version, I can have as many account registers/reports open as the screen can handle. But all the recent applications (post 2010), only allow one item on the screen a a time. What a waste.

    2. I have spent all day researching and trying other replacements for Quicken desktop that I have been using since 1985!! Nothing else works. Personal Capital has no reports!! It has no sub-categories. It has no “memo” line. It has no Split transactions. It will only do dollars. I do not understand the high ratings you give it? [Are you getting a share of the management fees?] Mint doesn’t let you edit categories or follow investments. I’ve found nothing that comes close to doing what Quicken does. I also like having my data to myself, not all online in one place. I keep regular backups in my G-drive in case of PC failure. So, after a day of trying Moneydance and Personal Capital and CountAbout, I’m sticking with Quicken.

  12. I am using quicken 2006 personal plus still!! It’s a pain in the proverbial. I have to run windows xp on parallels on my mac. Now with the latest Sierra update the mouse is not moving round the quicken program properly anymore. So I’ve bought Quicken for mac 2017 based on the positive reviews on amazon. Had to get a workaround as my bank doesn’t offer qfx files!! I’ve tried YNAB, didn’t like it at all.

    I track multiple accounts, shares, multi currency, the lot, so a lot of the alternatives out there just don’t have all the features I need. Quicken 2006 is still a better option. I can’t even import my 20 years of data over from quicken as the file is locked due to the quicken being an nz version. Spent a lot of hours looking for an alternative. Might just find a simple cashbook software and track my investments on a spreadsheet.

  13. I have read the review Re: Quicken…my problem I use Quicken Rental Property…I have been so frustrated as were the tech’s I have spent hours w/them as they have build “patches”..they were nice & HOW I appreciate that..they even updated me from 2015 – 2016 FREE..!! Still here we are at almost the end of the year I am still trying to get certain date to “fit” on a page..can anyone HELP me ???

  14. The sale of Quicken by Intuit is welcomed by me. I am a longtime user of Quicken since 1991 when data was put on diskettes. So you can imagine the size of my data file now (actually I will tell you – 129MB and I don’t use images or receipts) . Unlike what was recommended by Quicken, I did not summarize/consolidate my data every year to shrink the data size because I wanted to have the large data history for searches. I have been totally discouraged by the terrible quality of the product the last few years. Many times the tech support reps would tell me my data file was too large. Not the right answer! I would call in to get support and they would promise me a fix and every year that I would get updates, the quality got worse. Some bugs have been there for years. I was considering moving on to another product but which one could import all my historical data and make good use of it? A few months ago when I called in for support, I finally got a hint that something was changing – the support team were not from India it seemed and they knew more about the product. Recently, I became part of the beta team testing out Quicken 2016 product fixes and later 2017 because I thought testing the product with my large data file would be helpful. I can say so far I am impressed with the intent of the developers appearing to desire to not only fix the problems but deliver enhancements. It looks like the culture has finally changed. I am finally thinking that I won’t have to move on if they truly keep going their current direction. I am going to give them a little more time now. I am finally optimistic.

  15. Personal Capital is not within a million miles of personal finance software that is 8+ years old, versions of Microsoft Money and Quicken still pull rank above what Personal Capital has put forth which is no more than two things:
    1 – A basic aggregation service – good, covers many, but not all for most people, but it’s just a data pull with no meaningful logic applied to memorize categorization or any other basic functionality (budget, reporting, etc.)
    2 – A sales tool to get your money under actual investment management, with high fees relative to performance. The pitch is good, the idea is good, but this entire platform is fundamentally a sales tool.

  16. There has been a lot of discussion on the shortcomings of Quicken I see to advance this product it should replicate neat receipts, a system that can recognize scanned in receipts and then categorize them software has this capability it needs the investment to get there. 2017 Quicken I can only hope it’s better than its predecessors.

  17. My take? As a user, incredibly frustrated. I’ve been a bit hot under the collar with Intuit for some time before the sale. Then, after being forced (again) to purchase a new software package, I’m pulling my hair out. The thing is, for more than 15 years I was a huge fan of Quicken, even promoting the product which is something I normally don’t do. I was also all in – meaning, I took pains to take advantage of everything Quicken produced, including but not limited to TurboTax. Now, I’m seeking other options.

    As an investor, I have no reason to believe H.I.G. is all that interested in producing a better product as much as they are interested in turning a profit. Admittedly, I’m not savvy enough to understand the terms of the acquisition, so I cannot speak to those dynamics. I just know that usually a product won’t improve if the company is bought by someone new to the industry. Haven’t heard anything about H.I.G. and their past experience with financial software products.

  18. Thank you very much for this information! The sale explains a lot about the downfall of Quicken. Apparently Inuit has been bleeding the company dry for the past few years and not caring too much about its reputation. There are several causes for their less than stellar software.

    1. Quicken has tried to go into the “software rental” business like a lot of popular companies (Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, etc.). Its customers are literally forced into buying upgrades every year or so. The problem is that the software developers have not been able to keep up with this pace. And instead of making functional improvements the developers are told to concentrate on more bells and whistles.

    2. The software writing is being farmed out to idiots in India. Because of the speed of each new update’s release the software cannot be tested. The retail versions in the pretty little boxes are little more than highly unstable beta versions. Attempts to add new features to justify the “new” yearly version add to the instability of the product. If the buyers are lucky one or two patches are issued, but three months into the “new” version the software developers are reassigned to work on next years version. Desperately needed fixes to the software fall by the wayside. This has been the situation for the last five years or so.

    3. Customer service, if you can call it that, has also been farmed out to India. Nothing can be more fun than to try to speak about technical financial software problems with someone that can barely utter a few words in English. Plus, the reps are only reading from a script so the hour you spent “on hold” was a total waste of time.

  19. Quicken 2016 is some of the buggiest software I’ve used, and I’ve been using Quicken for decades. I’ve tried iBank and MoneyDance and You Need A Budget. I went back to Quicken 2007, but now I can’t update my OS, because Quicken might just stop working. I’m also a trained bookkeeper who uses business-end software. I’m hoping the new owners of Quicken can pull it together and put out something excellent for 2017, or I’m just going back to using a spreadsheet.

  20. I just upgraded to Quicken Deluxe 2016, because I couldn’t download bank data with my 2013 version anymore. I am furious at my main bank, which has started to charge $10 per month for direct connect, and doesn’t offer a qfx download. I’ve opened an account at another bank. I wish I had read your blog before I upgraded, I was not aware that Quicken had been sold.

  21. As discussed on your other thread, Personal Capital is no substitute for Quicken for anyone who manages many accounts and needs to track expenses by category and subcategories. I think the new owners will eventually want to integrate some sort of brokerage account (like Personal Capital does) but they start with a much better tool.

  22. It cannot be worse than it is now. quicken for Mac 2015 was actually pretty good IMHO until 2.6 came out last fall, then it I was update after update of continued broken functionality as the foisted untested code changed on us. It is why I haven’t moved to Quickwn 2016. Not giving them more money right now. I am actually paying $100 to use EveryDollar Plus annually because Mac Quicken has no budget and I’m not waiting.

    I’ll see how it goes this year. I monitor the forums. Either quicken 2017 will earn me back with features and a repaired reputation for quality, or I will move EVERYTHING to YNAB, which looks promising.

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