More Money misery

Microsoft Money


When the credit union rolled over its "core systems" in July, they took away temporarily the OFX server that lets you download transactions directly into Microsoft Money. A recent inquiry to the credit union elicited the information that the OFX server was to be back online by 28-Oct. This morning I thought I'd find out.

I did. I didn't like what happened any more than I liked upgrading to Microsoft Money 2005 a couple of weeks ago.

I told Microsoft Money to update my online settings for my Addison Avenue credit union accounts. It was happy to do so.

Did Money just update the settings for my existing accounts? No, it insisted on creating brand new accounts for each of my credit union accounts, but without any transactions in them.

Then I noticed a new menu choice: "Merge duplicate accounts." That ought to work.

I matched up all the duplicate accounts (in fact I missed one — more later) and clicked OK.

"Microsoft Money has determined that one of the accounts you are trying to merge contains transactions. To avoid duplicate transactions, these will be deleted."

Holy crap, Batman! Isn't that the whole purpose of merging — to get all the transactions in the same place?

I cancelled out, backed everything up, and gave it a go. Contrary to my expectations, the old transactions were still there!

Wait a minute! There is still a duplicate account for my car loan. The original loan account was a loan, and the new account created by Money was classified as a credit account, and no way would Money let me merge those two.

Fine. I'll cut and paste the transactions from the old account into the new one. Edit | Cut... Damn! Cut is grayed out!

Where there's a will there's a way. I'll export the transactions from the old account to a file and then import them into the new account. Microsoft, in its omniscient wisdom chose to make it not possible to export from a loan account!

Oh, never mind! I'll just delete the old loan account — can't take an income tax deduction for the interest anyway.

There! Now let's do a regular update and check that everything is in synch.

I click on "Update online information." Money starts chunking away and eventually announced proudly that it is done.

Oh, f*! The regular update had gone out and retrieved all the old transactions back to July 1 when the OFX server went offline, and now every transaction was duplicated!

Hey, Bill! Don't you guys test these products out with real people to see if they really work?

In my humble opinion, a software company could make a killing by figuring out what simple things people want their software to do and then building software that did those things exquisitely well. Instead, we get these bloated monstrosities that don't really do anything well.