Just so everyone knows Quicken has provided me with a copy of Quicken 2013 Home and Business to review. The opinions in this article are my own and describe my experience with the software. For more about the giveaway head to the end of the article.
My Experience with Quicken
I often read reviews on products and software. The thing I like to know about the reviewer is their experience with the software and how they use it. As far as Quicken goes, I have been using a version of Quicken 2005 since late 2009. I am definitely not a power user but I use the software for what I want to get out of it.
I manually input all of my transactions as a way for me to mentally keep track of my spending rather than importing everything automatically. I mainly used Quicken as a way to keep track of my bank balances in all of my budget accounts and to keep track of my spending via all of the reports it could generate based on the data I input.
Quicken 2013 vs Quicken 2005
I was happy that when I installed Quicken 2013 they automatically asked to update my 2005 Quicken files to the 2013 version. I imagine they do this with any upgrade but it was nice to not have to hunt around and try to figure out how to do it myself. Once my data was upgraded and I had the program open I began to explore.
When I opened the new version I was happy to see that everything was still where I expected it to be. My accounts are still in the same area even though the interface looks much more modern than in my 2005 version. I was happy that they haven’t changed the bank ledger system much so I still knew how to enter my transactions.
The reporting in Quicken 2013 is much more intuitive and useful than the reporting in Quicken 2005. I like the default spending pie graph in the My Money section and how I can easily customize the time frame to whatever I need to get the information I want.
I can use the auto update feature now that I have a more current version of Quicken. This feature no longer worked when I was using Quicken 2005. I haven’t used it for my bank accounts but I did set up automatic updates with my Vanguard Brokerage account and it seems to work just fine. I have read that there are many users that have problems with certain banks but I have not run across any of these issues yet.
Never Used Quicken Before
If you have never used Quicken before and are looking for a software solution to track your expenses and provide reports I feel Quicken is a great tool. There are free options available other than Quicken but they don’t allow the same control Quicken does or they take a ton of time to use.
I personally used Excel before using Quicken. I could do whatever I wanted in Excel but it wasn’t a quick and easy process. You have to know quite a bit about Excel to get it do what you want in a fast and efficient manner. If you’re an Excel power user you could probably get by without Quicken but I didn’t mind spending some money on Quicken 2005 to save a ton of time and frustration.
There are other programs out there that will aggregate all of your data and generate some generic reports. The thing I prefer about Quicken is that I can manually enter all of my transactions which keeps me more aware of my spending. On top of that, I can customize reports to get exactly the information I want rather than the canned reports in some of the online expense aggregation programs.
Quicken Home and Business
The nice thing about Quicken Home and Business is that I can keep track of both my personal finances and business finances in the same software but I can keep them in completely separate areas and accounts. My business accounts show up in a subsection called Business and all of the accounts are subtotaled as just business accounts.
The business module of Quicken 2013 Home and Business shows a profit and loss statement, a cash flow statement and an account overview for whichever time period you pick. There are many other reports available to choose from including a balance sheet, accounts receivable reports and accounts payable reports just to name a few.
There are business tools such as project/job lists, estimate lists and a mileage tracker along with many more.
Another great feature is the fact that you can keep the finances of multiple businesses separate in the software. I expected it to only allow one business but was surprised by the option to track multiple businesses which may come in handy down the road.
An exciting feature released in Quicken 2013 is Quicken Mobile. While I do now have a smartphone this isn’t a feature I have tried out yet as I am quite happy with my current Quicken experience. Since I only update my Quicken file at most once per week I don’t feel the need to constantly check up on my finances via my phone or enter transactions as soon as I make them.
However I do see how this could be very useful if you often forget about purchases. Using Quicken Mobile to record a purchase right after you bought an item might be the most effective way to make sure you track all of your expenses. If you’re big on being always connected this new feature in Quicken 2013 may make it worth updating to the new version.
Overall Thoughts on Quicken 2013
Overall I was really impressed with Quicken 2013 Home and Business. It was easy for me to use and navigate through. There are even more options I can explore going into the future that I haven’t even touched on yet. I am a financial nerd so I love being able to dig into my spending and Quicken is the perfect tool to allow me to do this.
If you want to buy Quicken 2013 I have linked to the Amazon product pages for the different versions below. These are affiliate links and I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price if you buy through my link. I work hard to provide value to you, my readers, and greatly appreciate it if you went out of your way to click through my affiliate link to buy Quicken 2013. Thank you!
Quicken Starter Edition 2013 - This is the most basic version of Quicken. It let’s you track your expenses but doesn’t allow you to list loans, investments or retirement accounts. It won’t allow you to import your data from earlier versions of Quicken.
Quicken Deluxe 2013 - This version does allow you to list loans, investments and retirement accounts. It will help you create a custom plan to reduce debt, create savings plans to pay for large purchases (college, house, etc), show what you need to do to reach retirement goals and DOES allow you to import your data from earlier versions of Quicken.
Quicken Premier 2013 - This version, in addition to the features of Quicken Deluxe, helps you to manage investments and plan for taxes. It will continuously update quotes to keep your portfolio value current and track cost basis as well as create Schedule D tax reports for capital gains.
Quicken Home & Business 2013 - In addition to Quicken Deluxe, this version allows you to manage your business finances along side your personal finances while keeping them separated. It will also help create professional looking invoices and estimates.
Quicken Rental Property Manager 2013 - In addition to Quicken Home and Business, this version helps you to manage your rental property income and expenses. It allows you to track income and expenses by property and creates Schedule E reports to help make doing your taxes easier.