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Quicken 2016 for Mac review: A solid investment for tracking your finances

Jeffery Battersby | Jan. 14, 2016
Quicken 2016 for Mac, the application resulting from this mini-morphing over the years, is a solid tool for managing your personal finances.

The quick report

One of the benefits of automatically mapped categories is that you have instant access to a reasonably good set of reports. Quicken 2016 ships with nine reports, such as account and category summaries, net worth, and monthly spending, six of which can be customized and saved for later use. There’s also a Spending Cloud report, which is a vestige of Quicken Essentials and is more of a toy than a useful tool.

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Quicken 2016’s Overview screen helps you keep tabs on your income, expenses, and upcoming bills.

Oddly, there is no way to create a custom report using any of Quicken’s menus. Instead you have to open one of the pre-defined reports, such as the Category Summary, select the date range, accounts, categories, and tags you want to use in your report and then select the “Save as custom report” checkbox before you click the OK button to run the report. Once saved, you can run or customize the report by selecting it from Quicken 2016’s sidebar.

In addition to Quicken’s standard set of reports the app also provides a quick overview of your transactions, income, and assets, and lets you see whether or not you’re meeting the budgets you’ve created for yourself.

The quick track on investments and budgets

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Existing Quicken 2016 reports can be customized and saved for reuse.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Quicken 2016 can track investment income and help you set budgets for every spending category. As with standard bank accounts, Quicken can link directly to and download transactions from you investment service if your investment service supports transaction downloads. Unfortunately, my investment account doesn’t offer direct downloads or offer the option to download transaction files. So for me it’s a manual only option for tracking my investment income.

Quicken 2016 can quickly pull a suggested budget from three months worth of existing transaction information. It uses your categories to create the budget and allows you to select which categories you want to have included in your budget. The app will create a budget amount based upon your average spending for a particular category, which you can then adjust to match what you want your budget to be. I was easily able to set up a budget within a matter of minutes.

Bottom line

Quicken 2016 is a good and definitely adequate tool for tracking your personal and small business finances, but it’s days of being a top tier personal financial app have long since passed. It is just one of many apps, some of which are far less expensive, that can connect to your bank, download transactions, and track your finances. While Quicken 2016 will serve you well, you’ll be better served looking at all your options before you put your money on Quicken’s bottom line.

 

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