In short, when using Intuit Quicken 2005 Deluxe for Windows next to Quicken 2005 for Macintosh, you have to wonder why Intuit bothered with the Mac version. Intuit has waffled on Mac support in the past, and after using versions of the same software on both platforms I can see why Mac users for the most part hate Intuit and their software, and judging by the difference in the software for which Mac users pay $10 more I imagine the feeling is mutual.
You can see the pecking order right from the start when you visit the Intuit site:
Squint real hard and you may be able to make out the little Mac box there in the back.
I use Intuit products on both platforms by necessity. In a perfect world, I’d using something else but I like 100% compatibility with others. Same reason I use Word. I manage Mom at Home Design using QuickBooks Pro for Windows. I already explained my decision process for choosing this package, and I’m not sorry. Aside from the constant ads and nagging to “upgrade” to expensive services I don’t want or need, it’s not bad. In a few months I’ll be working with a CPA to make sure my books are in order before the close of my fiscal year and had I been using the Mac version (or another software package) this would be a much more painful process than it needed to be. My CPA uses QuickBooks for Windows, I use QuickBooks for Windows. All are happy.
For our home finances, I’m using Quicken 2005 for Mac. Eric and I exchange data and he has a PowerBook. I thought maybe it was just me, but could the interface be any less usable? Windows, windows everywhere. And managing categories is a nightmare. Quicken 2005 for Mac also has more than its share of bugs…like if you search for something in a register, and you get to the end and it says “Do you want to continue searching?” and you click “No” then Quicken says “Ha ha on you, stupid Mac user, I’m going to waste your time by searching through every single register in this file with absolutely no way of stopping the process or using Quicken for anything else until I’m done. So there!” I learned the very hard way that when I’m done searching, I better hit the “close” button to get rid of the search box instead. Now mind you, I only use Quicken to handle our banking accounts, credit cards, loans and budgets. I don’t use it for investment or long term planning.
Go shopping on the Intuit site and you’ll see a “View Demo” button next to the Windows versions of Quicken, but no chance to preview the Mac version. Good reason. Only good thing about the Mac version is that you are not bombarded with Services ads and come-ons.
So why am I comparing it with the Windows version? I am keeping the books for the school PFO and since everyone on the Board is a Windows user, I got the $50 Quicken 2005 Deluxe to keep all the data. That way it will be easier to pass the data along to the next Treasurer/Bookkeeper. Except for the aforementioned @#$@%^ ads, the user experience is night and day. Quicken for Windows keeps everything in a single, concise window that is clear to follow. Picking and organizing categories is a breeze. Setting out and printing budgets a no-brainer.
Mac users deserve better. Intuit, either make your products feature-for-feature comparable or stop stealing from us once and for all.
Note: The instructions for converting data from the Mac version to the Windows version are on the Intuit website here.