Quicken 2012 Review

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Quicken 2012 ReviewQuicken was my first introduction to personal finance as an adult. With the magic of a computer and budgeting software, balancing my checkbook took seconds. It was easy to see where we were spending money. And the reporting tools made it easy to assess where we stood financially. So I jumped at the chance last week to review with folks at Intuit the new Quicken 2012.

The question with a new version of Quicken is always, what’s new. In the case of Quicken 2012, the new features are quite nice, but not revolutionary. The two key new features are improvements to the budgeting tool and a cool debt elimination widget.

Quicken 2012 Budget Tool

Quicken 2012 Budget Tool

If you’ve used Quicken in the past, you’re familiar with its spreadsheet-like budgeting tool. With the 2012 version, Intuit has borrowed from Mint.com (which Intuit purchased a few years ago), to introduce an automatic budgeting tool. Quicken will look at how you’ve spent money in the past, and create a budget based on your spending history. Using a bar graph, you can easily see how much you’ve spent in each category throughout the month.

Quicken has also made it very easy to edit each category. With a few clicks of the mouse you can increase or decrease your budgeted amount for each category. Check out the video below for a look at this new budget tool:

Debt Elimination Tool

Quicken 2012 Debt Reduction Tool

One of the absolute best moves you can make is to get rid of credit card debt. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. With Quicken 2012, Intuit has introduced a very useful debt elimination tool.

The tool looks at all of your credit card and other debt, and maps out how long it will take you to get out of debt making the minimum payments. It also tracks how much in interest you’ll pay.

You can then run through what-if scenarios to see how paying extra each month will get you out of debt faster and for less money. You can change the order in which you’ll pay down the debt (highest interest rate first, smallest balance first, or a customized approach). The tool also let’s you make a lump sum payment on your debt, and shows you the impact this will have on your debt repayment plan.

As much as I like this new tool, by itself it doesn’t justify the upgrade. There are plenty of similar tools (like this one from CNN) that do the same thing. Still, it’s a nice addition to an already solid personal finance program.

This video shows the debt elimination tool in action:

24/7 Support

Intuit has also added around the clock chat support. You can chat online with an Intuit representative to answer any questions you may have about its products.

Quicken 2012 Lineup

As with past versions, the Quicken 2012 product line includes the following programs:

  • Quicken Starter Edition ($29.99): For consumers who want a simple way to organize their finances and stay on top of bills
  • Quicken Deluxe ($59.99): For those who want to save more; helps create custom budget, savings and debt reduction plans.
  • Quicken Premier ($89.99): For those who manage investments and want to plan ahead for tax time.
  • Quicken Home & Business ($99.99): For people who want to manage their business and personal finances in the same place
  • Quicken Rental Property Manager ($149.99): For rental property owners looking to manage their personal, business and rental property finances in one place.

You can check out each of these Quicken 2012 versions at Amazon.

Should you upgrade?

If you don’t have Quicken, the decision comes down to whether you want to pay for the desktop program or use Mint.com for free. I use Mint.com, in part because I run Macs (Quicken 2012 is for PCs only). I’ve been very happy with Mint, although Quicken 2012 no doubt offers more features. And some folks don’t like having their financial data accessible to Mint.

As for those looking to upgrade, it really comes down to the budgeting tool. If you use Quicken for your monthly budget, the upgrade is worth the cost in my opinion. If you don’t use Quicken to budget, then you may want to pass on the upgrade.

I’ll leave you with an overview video of the new product:

Published or Updated: October 10, 2011
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Randal Stokes says:

    Macintosh is again a booming platform. Why are you ignoring it?

  2. David Boden says:

    After pestering Intuit for many years, it is so good to see they have finally returned to a fully edit-able spreadsheet budget, and tied it to a color bar control panel to boot. This is best for those of us who spend from a budget rather than budget from spending. Thanks for the review.

    • DR says:

      David, interesting distinction between “spend from budget” rather than “budget from spending.” I had never looked at budgeting from that angle, but that is a big difference. I think I fall into the budget from spending category, which is less ideal from a money management perspective.

    • Bear says:

      David, Am I paraphrasing you correctly.
      Budget to tell your money where to go, rather than budget to tracks where your money went.

  3. Fastidious says:

    I am a long time Quicken user. Has anyone notices how slow 2012 seems to be? On-line updates take upwards of 15 min, when 2011 did it in a few. Same with entering data in accounts: it pauses. I am running under Windows 7 32 bit. It is not the hardware; 2011 was simply faster.

    • Mikeos says:

      I have the same problem. Have you received any suggestions? I was running 2009 deluxe just fine but was told that quicken would stop supporting that older version so I upgraded tonight and the speed is horrible!

    • Trvlcam17 says:

      I have the same problem intermittently. It seems the primary culprit is updating Historical Prices for me. I would like to go back to version 2011 which was much faster.

    • Jason says:

      Have to add my voice to those complaints about the One Step Update speed. Not sure what’s taking so long, given that the older version was much, much faster. What’s up with this Intuit? Lame.

  4. Al says:

    received my 2012 Quicken upgrade for what appears to be the PC. What’s a PC?

    • WineAggregate says:

      It’s what you’re running Quicken on now :)

  5. Sun says:

    One Step Update is extremely unstable in Quicken 2012. It crashes the software all the time if you have a big list of accounts or any corrupt data. Terrible software.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Sun, thanks for letting us know. I use the Mac version (Quicken Essentials) and I’ve had no problem with the one-step update. Have you reported the bug to Quicken?

  6. wayne golden says:

    can’t find a phone number to contact about purchase of a product. now using
    premier 2007.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Wayne, the easiest way to buy the current version of Quicken is online from Amazon. Here’s a link to Amazon’s Quicken page.

  7. Robert Hutcheson says:

    I am currently running Quicken Premier 2009. Recently I received a 2012 Upgrade CD. I deeply resent being forced to upgrade to the new version, especially since I have to pay for it. I don’t need many of the features on the 2012 version but am being forced to upgrade because you will no longer support the 2009 version. I believe Quicken should older versions for longer than three years.

    • Jeff says:

      I paid the price too for the upgrade. Now I can’t do online billpayment. 2009 worked fine. Now I had to pay for a version that doesn’t work. Bring back Microsoft Money!

  8. Robert Kraml says:

    I am using 2010 at this time. I have used Quicken since Quicken 6 in the 90s. I upgrade begrudgingly because as one user above alludes to, every version has noticeably worse performance thane what came before. They keep changing the interface without much attention to whats under the hood. As a software engineer myself, I shudder to think of how much indirection is going on to make a product so slow on multi-core multi-GHz hardware. Did they hire on the MS Vista team? I’ll be keeping my 2010 for awhile (and which I could still use Quicken 2000 as it did everything I needed, fast!)

  9. dave says:

    Purchased Quicken Deluxe ay costco for 39.99. Today I see the same on my aol e-mail for 29.99. What gives? I have used intuit products since 2000 . I am now unemployed and could stand to save a buck or two.

  10. Ralez01 says:

    I bought quicken deluxe 2012 a little while ago, it appears that I can’t get my checking account balance right with bank online account, there is always a difference. when making an adjustment to get the balances even(quicken& online bank account) a while later a new difference shows again. the numbers and transactions are accurate online and in quicken, but at the end the balance is difference. I tried to uninstall and re-install quicken 2012 but same thing happens again, so I am back using 2010 which works perdectly. Any ideas about that?feels like I wasted my money on 2012.

    • Bob says:

      I will have the same problem if I download from my credit union after the start of a normal work day. It seems, the credit union will, only, allow transactions that are posted on the previous day or earlier to be download; but the current balance downloaded is exact to the minute. I resolved the problem by downloading the data between midnight and 8:00 AM.

  11. Wildcat says:

    I have used Quicken happily since its inception but Q2012 is garbage! Unuseable budgeting tool, period.

    • chump says:

      Amen! Cannot make any sense of the budget “tool” at all. And the choices it makes for me are just absurd. A waste.

  12. B Kirk says:

    I just asked for a refund for my Quicken 2012. After spending my whole morning with tech support at Quicken (via live chat, not number that you could actually call) without being able to fix the way Quicken interfaces with my banking institution, and my bank accounts being blocked three times as a result requiring tech support at the bank, I have decided it’s not worth it. I loved my 2009 version that came free with my computer.

  13. John Smith says:

    Quicken 2012 crashes on every easy update. Support line couldn’t do anything and pretended they new nothing about the issue, yet I find references all over the web about it, even in their forums!

    Frustrated. Have lots of data, and was fine until Quicken forced me to upgrade. Not sure what my next plan is… uninstall? Abandon for??

  14. CHUCK says:

    I THINK QUICKENS 2012 IS AMAZING! BOUGHT IT, DOWNLOADED IT AND IMMIEDIALTLY MY CHECKING ACCOUNT GREW BY 22,000.00, NOT ONLY THE ONE ACCOUNT BUT EVERY ACCOUNT I HAVE GREW, BY DIFFERANT AMOUNTS, AND THE BEST THING IT WOULDN’T LET ME GET RID OF IT, SO NOW I HAVE TO FIGURED WHAT TO SPEND THIS NEW WINFALL ON? ANY SUGGESTINS?

  15. CHUCK says:

    THE PEOPLE AT QUICKENS, IF THERE ARE ANY, DON’T READ THESE BLOGS OR CARE, THEY GOT YOUR DOLLARS AND THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE, I HAVE USED QUICKENS FOR MANY YEARS UPGRADING ABOUT EVERY 2 YEARS. I FEEL LIKE THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME! TIME TO FIND SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!!!!

  16. Rusty says:

    I am not sure what everyone is complaining about. I have had no issues whatsoever. when I updated from Quiken 2010 Deluxe, everything transferred right across with no issues. I like a few of the new features, but haven’t tried everything yet. My banking downloads work correctly, it doesn’t seem slow, I guess its all a matter of perspective, but I think it works just fine.

  17. JohnA says:

    I guess we see those who have problems posting here in frustration rather than a true picture – I have been using Quicken 2012 since it came out, going back a couple of versions since converting from Money. I can say that Quicken 2012 is rock solid and gives quite a good experience with the software in trying to manage one’s finance. While not perfect, they do respond to problems. My guess is that those who are having slower download speeds in Quicken 2012 and not in previous versions probably are doing something different such as using Web connect rather than Direct connect on some accounts which is not as efficient and can give longer download times. My advice is to try and get it right – it will be invaluable to you.

  18. Janet says:

    I’ve been using Quicken since 1987, upgrading every couple years or so. The 2010 version upgraded to 2012 version smoothly and everything seems to be correct. I have found that the new features in 2012 aren’t of much use to me. I would like to see a more user friendly budget feature — 2012 is too automated for my taste. The only real complaint that I have with Quicken is a problem that I have trying to reconcile the investment accounts. The banking and credit card accounts reconcile fine, but not the investment accounts. I have too many years of investment information to take a chance on something being wrong — so I make sure the accounts match the brokerage numbers every month, but not through the reconciliation process. I’m in a rural area using a satellite connection and have not had any noticeable problem with downloading information — it’s faster than it was when I was on dial-up.

  19. Ken Kilmurray says:

    Quicken 2012 is a disaster. If you are forced to upgraded, go to 2011 and hope 2013 corrects the bugs. The budget, which to most is the most important feature is now unusable. The “automatic” features cannot be turned off so many functions are a mystery…you just have to “trust” the calulations to be correct. The budget doesn’t show plus (+) or minus (-) signs but does use them in the calulations…you just can’t tell where they are being applied. The budget now “rolls” for 12 months, so you can’t go back and fix previous months if you are just starting or estimated incorrectly.

  20. Curt says:

    I think that products should improve with each release when they have been around as long as Quicken. Intuit has an interesting strategy of forcing users to buy new releases by discontinuing the online functionality of older versions. Quicken 2012 doesnt seem to offer any noteworthy improvements over version 2009. However, there are bugs that make the update feature work sporatically and take significantly longer to update accounts that older versions. It is disappointing that there seem to be inherent bugs or conflicts.

  21. Marlene Minegar says:

    ORDER DATE: JAN 10, 2012
    ORDER # QSTWO4823230596
    USER ID: MSLOU83642
    NAME: MARLENE MINEGAR

    I AM STANDING IN A VAST WASTELAND OF QUICKEN TECHS? WITH NAMES I CANT PRONOUNCE. THEY ALL PRETEND THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE HAVING THE PROBLEM OF THE ONE-STEP UPDATES BETWEEN 2012 AND BANK OF AMERICA.
    I PURCHASED AND DOWNLOADED QUICKEN VERSION R5 ON JANUARY 10, 2012. ON MARCH 2, MY ONE-STEP UPDATES STOPPED TRANSMITTING. IT HAS BEEN 2 MONTHS SINCE MY LAST DOWNLOAD AND I HAVE SENT IN MY LOG FILES TO YOU INNUMERABLE TIMES WITH NO FEEDBACK OR SATISFACTION. BANK OF AMERICA SAYS THEIR END LOOKS GOOD, QUICKEN-INTUIT SAYS ITS MY FAULT. COME ON !! I WOULDNT BE SO TICVKED OFF EXCEPT I SEE ABOUT 80% OF YOUR USERS HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS AS I DO… EXACTLY… BANK OF AMERICA AND QUICKEN NEED TO GET THEIR TECHS WORKING ON THIS THING TOGETHER. IT MAKES BOTH COMPANIES LOOK VERY BAD.
    NEVER MIND ABOUT “WORKING ON IT”, JUST GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK ($52.99) IF YOU PLEASE ! I HAVE SPENT HOURS AND HOURS ON THIS PROBLEM AND MOSTLY ON THE PHONE WITH PEOPLE WHO KEEP SENDING ME E-MAIL AND “FIXES” THAT DO NOT WORK. I AM THROUGH WITH YOU PEOPLE !

  22. Ira Radnick says:

    I am very tech savvy, provide high end consulting services to large companies, write custom applications for commercial use, etc. I was forced to upgrade to Q2012 from Q2009 in order to be able to continue to perform banking account updates. I grudgingly did so as I detest when a company forces users to purchase upgrades under the pretense that the older product, which worked fine, is no longer supported, therefore magically one day the banking online update routine stops working with a little message saying that “As you know…” No, I did not know, you jerks. But I pay for the upgrade to 2012 and install it. It looks like it is going to work, and after the conversion to the new file format for my data everything looked like it was fine – until I attempted to run the Online Center Update/Send routine. Yep, the very routine that had been disabled in Q2009 and forcing me into a Q2012 update. Well, guess what? Every time I try to perform the Update/Send my Q2012 app closes! No warning, no error message, it just closes.

    So I use the online chat support on the weekend, and get one useless goof who had me do some cleanup routines, then told me I had to uninstall and reinstall the app. Of course that requires a reboot so he wants me to get back to tech support if there are any other issues.

    There were other issues. I performed the uninstall and reinstall, suspecting I had just been blown off. Sure enough, it did no good. So I get back with another tech support rep, and he tells me I have to uninstall again, then delete all directories before I reinstall. I advise I did that with the prior uninstall (as directed). He then says I have to manually create the directories on Drive C before performing the reinstallation! What a fphooking idiot! On top of that I had to create a new administrator level user account to install the app with after deleting the prior administrator level account. I advise I use the Windows default administrator account, connected to a Domain Controller, and there was no way I could delete the administrator account even if I wanted to. Further, if I were to create a new admin level user account migrating all of my apps and data files for our 34 machines to keep access consistent for all PCs was not a reasonable thing to do in an effort to try to be pretending to fix the problem Q2012 created.

    I can’t begin to say how irritated I am without my blood beginning to boil. This is the most fouled up piece of krap I have had the displeasure to have been stuck with. Nice job, Intuit. You have alienated a previously satisfied user.

  23. joe villarosa says:

    2012 Quicken is a piece of crap! Takes to long for One-Step Update….some account updates do not occur. What a waste. Will be looking for other financial software in the future.

  24. Jeff Doyle says:

    I had been a satisfied Quicken user since the DOS versions. Starting with the 2009 I have had stability problems. I have upgraded to 2010 then to 2012. These versions do not work any better. After long and difficult hours I have spoken with tech support several times. There answers are always uninstall, delete and re-install. Having done this “fools errand” several times the problems have only gotten worse. While updates work ok for me, the program goes into loops of “not responding” at random times when I enter data or change entries. The only way to stop the “flashing” as “not responding” is for me to go to Task manager and “end process” the re-start Quicken. This has gotten to the point where I am afraid to use Quicken any more. I hate to switch to another product after all these years, but I need a financial program I can depend on.

  25. Jim Lyles says:

    Have been using Quicken since version 2 of DOS. The “Rolling” budget of 2012 is nearly useless. There are users like me out there that plan our lives, so plan I finances. Have had to go to a spreadsheet. Is there a way to roll back to 2011? Unbelievable! Looking for a new program!

  26. john muench says:

    i own a carpet cleaning business and have used quicken to print the checks and keep track of the expenses. i have a canned program for the invoicing of the business. 2012 was a upgrade from 2009. i liked the memorized feature better with the 2009 version. 2012 keeps all the transactions memorized and doesn’t give me a chance to just save the latest check paid on a monthly acct. a couple of times i also had the check register go goofy. i had to go to options to get the check register restored back to normal.
    i do like the backup feature and the reminder. really quick to backup to a flash drive. because of that i see no need for carbonite of quicken to save the data. over all i was hoping to not upgrage again as i will retire in 5 yrs. but i think i will upgrade in 2013 as i think 2012 has bugs.-jbm

    • Rob Berger says:

      John, thanks for sharing your experience with Quicken. It’s helpful to hear the perspective of a business owner.

      • john muench says:

        i am ruinning 2012 home/business because the 2009 version was not going to be supported anymore. i use quicken only to write checks and keep track of expenses so i can send out 1099′s at the end of the yr. 2012 has been ok but 2009 version would save my latest check written in memory but 2012 doesn’t. reconciling requires more clicking. not necessary.
        i recently had a new computer built and i am old school. i mean real old school. this computer runs window xp professional so i can run a dbase II program and a foxpro program. there from the 1970′s . 5 yrs. to retire then the whole thing can blow up. I WON’T CARE!!!-jbm

  27. Neville says:

    One comment is that Quicken 2011 (and I think this would be true for 2012 as well) really started to get processor bound on my older Celeron 2.4 GHz computer. This was in part due to on-board graphics that also ate processor cycles. The combination with Quicken trying to refresh those graphical screens just slowed the machine to a crawl. I could not use Quicken while surfing the net or playing music (the music would skip and stutter).

    I recently changed to a dual core i7 laptop, wow, what a difference. Also updating got faster again. Updating from 5-7 online accounts went from taking just under 6 minutes to about 40 seconds…

    So folks using 2011 or later who have performance issues-consider going to a faster processor machine or at least one with a dedicated graphics card.

    Hope this is helpful to some.

  28. Alice Schroeder says:

    I just updated from Quicken 2000 to Quicken 2012. I would have kept using Q2000 but my old computer died. I was able to get all my data in to Q2012 but when I run a Profit and Loss statement it says there aren’t any transactions. I read about tags which are new to me; my reading indicated that if you are only running one business through Quicken then you don’t have to tag the transactions. I did tag a few transactions just to see if the P&L would pull them in but no luck. Can anyone help me figure out why the P&L won’t work? I get data when I do a transaction report but nothing on the P&L. After tagging some transactions my P&L is now showing uncategorized transactions but that is all I am getting.
    During conversion here was a prompt asking if I wanted to bring my existing reports in to Q12. The tech quy helping me setup the new computer and Q12 answered no. I didn’t think anything about it because they were just reports. I figured I could create a new report easily enough.
    Any help is appreciated.

  29. Judy A. Johnson says:

    I plan to upgrade to 2012. I now have 2009. I do not want to load 2009 to the new quicken. Can I load 2012 and keep 2009? jaj

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