October 9, 2009 | For just over a month, Microsoft Money has been popping up an extremely annoying pop-up warning that "Your online services will expire in ... days" and providing two choices: "Extend online services" or "Remind me later." Note, "Stop bothering me" was not one of the choices. Also note, clicking on "Extend online services" led to a helpful page on Microsoft's website that said, "Sorry, you are S-O-L — we're not doing that any more." Well, not those words, exactly, but you get the idea.
The explanatory note about what stopping online services would actually mean was ambiguous enough that I decided to just wait and see. The only online service I ever used was downloading transactions from my financial institutions. Surely they wouldn't disable that meagre functionality! Famous last words.
Then came the dreaded "Your online services have expired" and Microsoft Money was dead in the water. Of course, I could have gone to each website and downloaded a QIF file and imported it into Money, but who wants to do that?
At first I thought I would just muddle through to the end of the year, but it was only a couple of days before everything was out of synch, and I couldn't tell which bills I had paid, which bills I only thought I had paid, how many trips to the ATM I had made, etcetera, etcetera.
I thought to give Moneydance another try. I had used it briefly a few years ago (see Chronicles, March 2005) after getting disgusted with Microsoft Money, after getting disgusted with Quicken, but I found Moneydance not quite ready for prime time, and went back to Money. There have been a lot of improvements in Moneydance since then, but when I downloaded a trial copy, I found there were still some quirks that I didn't like. So, reluctantly I went back to Quicken (same price as Moneydance).
Quicken's website promised an easy migration:
Oops! They forgot to mention that this super-duper conversion tool will be in Quicken 2010 and only Quicken 2009 is available now.
Having read a lot of horror stories from other Microsoft Money users trying to transition to Quicken, I decided to simply let Quicken download my transactions rather than go through the hassle of exporting a file from Money and then importing the file into Quicken umpteen gazillion times, once for each account I keep track of.
Quicken is seriously mis-named. A more apt name might be GoSlowen. Quicken quickly established a connection to each financial institution and very quickly retrieved my account information. Looking good! Oops! Spoke too soon. Quicken took at least 10 minutes to download transactions from each account (Moneydance had done the exact same task in about 30 seconds). And it didn't give me a chance to say "Start with January 1, 2009" (or whatever date) — it simply sucked down every transaction it could get hold of — which in most cases went back to some time in 2007 (nothing convenient, like January 1).
Then, of course, it wanted me to check and "accept" the transactions. Since I wasn't about to go through thousands of transactions one by one, I just clicked "Accept All." That was fast, but it left a complete mess in the registers.
Seeing that mess, I decided I would do the export/import routine for my investment accounts — at least I could control the dates and I would know what I was getting. Managing those accounts requires an accurate record of all the transactions.
Right! Oops! So sorry, Quicken does not import QIF files for financial accounts! I'm quickly remembering why I got disgusted with Quicken in the first place years ago.
So now I have bank and credit card accounts in Quicken, which I won't be able to use at tax time because nothing is categorized, and investment accounts in Money, which won't do online updates.
And I just know that it will be only a matter of days before I start getting emails from Quicken exhorting me to update to the new and improved Quicken 2010!
There ought to be a law!
Last updated on Aug 28, 2016