I’m So Done with Quicken, Maybe gnuCash?

I never really had a high opinion of Quicken from the early days (I’ve been using it since the early to mid 90’s). It seems every mandatory upgrade generally brought enough problems that I would have preferred to stay with the old. I have wanted to get rid of it for years, but there really hasn’t been a great choice. Being able to download transactions from multiple accounts and pay bills via bill pay directly from the register are really time-saving. Enough to put up with the crappy software.

My old version of Quicken is 2017, so this month I was notified of the mandatory upgrade to 2020 (if I still want to do transfers with my bank).

During the upgrade I was warned that Quicken Bill Pay (QBP) will go away on May 31, 2020. Quicken wants you to upgrade to the new Bill Manager. After some deliberation I decided the best course was to just upgrade and continue to use QBP for at least a month. I do not like to make a bunch of changes at once, especially where finances are involved. Being able to handle my finances is CRITICAL (hello Quicken, do you understand this is true for everyone??).

I did the upgrade and watched carefully. The interface isn’t any worse, that I can tell, and maybe they have finally fixed some of the focus-loss issues that have driven me crazy for years (I DON’T want to continually use the mouse and that has been impossible because the current window looses focus).

All was well for a week until I was ready to pay most of my monthly bills. They went into Quicken fine, but when I attempted to do the update to transmit them to QBP, it failed. OK, fabulous, I need to pay bills, and I can’t. My creditors don’t give a sh*t that Quicken doesn’t work. It’s Sunday so I figure I can get hold of support the next day, get the bills paid and have them delivered on time since today is Sunday.

Monday I started trying to work with technical support. After a lot of wasted time with Quicken (my bank tried to help as well to no real avail), apparently the answer is Quicken 2017 used the ‘old’ bill pay and I needed to convert to the new Bill pay. I tried that repeatedly with no success and the end of Monday was coming up quick.

To pay the bills, I ended up going into the QBP web site and paying them there, and then manually recording them in quicken as well (which is exactly why I don’t want to use a bank’s bill pay). That has at least resolved the immediate problem of getting bills paid.

I have done a precursory review of Bill Manager and I am unimpressed. I have to give BM login credentials to the websites of the various companies I pay bills thru. Um, I frankly don’t know that info. Part of the reason for using quicken is to have ONE place to handle all financial transactions. I tried to setup a ‘manual’ account, but that seems to be meant for writing one-off check and supplying all info (like account no) rather than pulling it from quicken.

If I don’t use Bill Manager and use a my bank’s bill pay instead, the most critical reason for continuing to use Quicken just went away. I know gnuCash is capable of (most?) everything else I would do with Quicken.

At this point, I need to review Bill Manager in more detail to see if there is some way to just write checks to everyone like I did with QBP rather than have to provide login credentials to the website of every company I do business with.

I’m also going to start experimenting with gnuCash to see if I really can use it to replace quicken.

The adventure will be continued…





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1 Response to I’m So Done with Quicken, Maybe gnuCash?

  1. AlexisS says:


    I appreciate your comments and trials.
I’ve been using quicken since 1987, and hating it for about that long.

    But, there isn’t anything else that does what it does.
The useful aspects for me are: the ability to download from multiple institutions (they seem to have a lock on that), and the ability to categorize while downloading.

I do not use the bill payment features. I might have tried a long time ago, but decided it wasn;’t for me. What I have wound up doing is paying every bill I can via credit card, mostly automatically (this was particularly useful when I was spending equal amounts of time on each coast). Then, when I download from the credit cards, I make sure everything is categorized carefully. I typically download every couple of weeks.
I’ve tried several alternates over the years, and never found anything that did these few things.

    Quicken used to advise us never to truncate our files, but since it seems pretty slow these days, and Q is now saying that’s ok, decided to I recently tried to use their system. 12 hours later, I’m back to where I started. Oy.

    I just found your description of what you did to make a smaller file. Maybe I’ll try it again, later… after I’ve recovered…

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