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Software Review of:
Quicken 2002


Pete Araiza

From the March, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Quicken 2002, Basic installed on Windows, 98. My computer is a couple of years old. It is a 300mz Packard Bell Pentium. The disk went in, the installation started, and I got a ď _delisĒ error, close or ignoreĒ. I closed the error, Quicken continued on with the installation, asked me 3 questions on whether I was single, or married, business or personal, and would I like to register. I said no to register. Then the ďset up new accountĒ screen came up. I choose to tell it that I already had a Quicken account, since I often get into my Bank of America Web site and see the Quicken download logo. I figured the download would have my information. I was right. Why bother setting up anything. By the way, in case you wondering about the help and read me file, it will ask you if you want to read them, but I like just getting into the program. Iíll ask for help if I need it.

The listing for banks was extensive, but it seems that if your bank already has the ability to download the information, there is no need to go through the setting up.  I was able to connect directly to my bank, Bank of America, from Quicken, put in my passwords, and go to the download screen. On the download question of save or open, I choose open. The program downloaded right into Quicken and I there was nothing to do but see where all my money was going. Yep, itís going to the same place as before, bills. I also downloaded the savings part with ease. With my saving, that was about a 5-second download. This information also transferred to Quicken.

Most banks now offer on-line banking and most of it is free. I did not try the online bill payments because my wife is an accountant and prefers to track everything her way. The less time she can spend on the Internet, the better. Besides, I have never understood why my satellite provider and others think it is convenient for me to pay my bills automatically.

The program is easy to install, easy to run. You can get complicated with it. You can download stocks, track your credit cards, and other finances. You can find out if refinancing your home is worth it, or get a credit report. On installation you can watch a video, but not to worry. If you donít, you will get another opportunity to watch more videos at the Web site. Before I was through with the program in less then an hour, Intuit had already sent me e-mail asking me to visit the Web site. Iím looking forward to more e-mail. 

My wife has been doing accounting for 28 years. One thing that does not seem to get to accounting software makers is that 2 + 2 is 4, and it always will be. Intuit is good about updating their programs. I had to update this one already, for free, for now. You can look forward to looking at update screens before the year is up. The last time I used Quicken was under the DOS version. So that was a few years back. If you entered your information then, you could get a report. Now you can get all your financial information from the Web, download your information, input your stocks, input your credit cards, track your mortgage, track your IRAís, Mutual, and other investments, and get a report.

The stock quote screen  is just a matter of clicking and getting stocks. Of course, you have to know what you are doing. I do not track stocks, so therefore, did not know what stock to input. 

I did not call tech support because I did not have to. Itís just a matter of clicking here and there. Most of the information you input can be changed anytime, including the accounts.  The whole software is tied to the Web. So your bank opens up in Quicken. Your help files and product updates are all in Quicken. I think using this program is just a matter of reading the screen, and entering some figures if you are not able to download them off your banks Web site. I hope your bank is listed. Even if you bank in the Yukon, Yukon State bank was listed. There on the front page is a listing of everything you would want to do in the financial world. Set up on line banking, set up quotes watch list, property and loan, etc. Just click away, and start using it. Careful, with this version, many of these online services are not free. You will have to pay to track your stocks, and you do pay for online bill paying.

The street price for Quicken is $29.99 or $23.95 at Samís Warehouse. But, for now you can get it free if you purchase Turbo Tax. So you are better off buying Turbo Tax even if you do not need it. Quicken Deluxe is a much better program and offers more according to the box. You get the Deluxe version at Samís for buying Turbo Tax. 

Like my wife Sylvia likes to say, ďdonít forget the basic rule of accounting, 2+2 = 4, no matter which way you add it upĒ. Remember this and you can do accounting with any old software. Everything else is just bells and whistles. Happy taxes.

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