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Intuit Quicken Deluxe 2000

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      23.05.2003 19:43
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      Quicken is one of those packages that I?ve been using for years, upgrading as I go, but, I suspect, never really making full use of the previous version before being talked into the next. Of course, Intuit Software are in good company here, MS Office being another case in point! My home accounts used to be a homespun MS Excel affair, which was merely a list of my known monthly commitments with room to add my income at the top of the list itself, with plenty of spare spaces left for visits to an ATM and credit card payments. Of course, being a spreadsheet, I could make the balance take care of itself, but it always struck me that there must be a better, purpose-built way. For instance, my monthly sheet wasn't very good at "remembering" quarterly bills like the BT Phone charges or worse still, annual ones like my AA subscription - that's for my car, not my drink problem! That?s when a magazine disk of an early, and soon to be replaced version of Quicken, caught my eye, and since then, I have scrapped all my paper records, apart from bank statements, as these could be construed as tax documents, and therefore need keeping for two years. Setting Quicken up is a bit of a chore, especially if you have multiple accounts and your financial life revolves around regular payments, direct debits, standing orders and the like. You need to have a comprehensive list of these to hand, with the amount payable, and periodicity detailed. (Quicken will handle monthly ? both lunar and calendar, quarterly, 4-monthly, 6-monthly and annually) If you know the actual date they are due, so much the better. If you?re not sure, get your bank to supply you with a list of known payments. The other thing you need is a specific point when you can safely say that your ?paper? version is as up to date as it?s ever going to be, before cutting over to Quicken as your main source of accounting. You will need to give Quicken an opening bala
      nce, and the future accuracy of what you are embarking on depends on this. Once set up, Quicken is a doddle to run. Your regular payments give you a prompt as they are due to be paid, and each account has its own tab, making switching between accounts easy. Those little extras like visits to the cash till can all be entered with ease, and once a new type of payment has been input and categorised, it will suggest this every time you input another from the same source. For example, if your first ATM visit was for £30, then this will be the suggested amount shown next time you start to type ?ATM? in the entry field. You can of course change it to what it really was. Transfers between accounts can be recorded from either the ?donor? or ?recipient? end, and reconciling the current state of play with your latest bank statement couldn?t be easier. Just type in the current end balance as calculated by your bank into the first dialogue box of the Reconcile process, ?OK? it, and a list of all payments not checked off since last time will appear. All you now have to do is to click on each one that matches your statement. ?Typos? and omissions can be corrected by editing the account main screen, and returning to Reconcile. After so many transactions, the software prompts you to back up the details. You ignore this at your peril, since having forsaken ?paper?, there is no real way back, without a lot of hassle! I back mine up to a separate d:/drive with the occasional further precaution of a back up to floppy ? yes the files are small enough. One small tip I would recommend to anyone setting up a list of standing orders on Quicken: - If you are monthly paid, it?s useful to know how the month will turn out after all standing orders/direct debits are deducted*. Therefore, when asked for a payment date for each item, by all means put in the real date per month, say the 28th for the sake of argument, but ask for 27 days notic
      e. This will give you a realistic feel for your cash flow throughout the month as all your payments will prompt to be taken off on the day after pay-day. Depressing I know, but this sort of software isn?t for financial ostriches! *As they say, there?s always too much month left at the end of my money! My only real criticism of Quicken would be that it isn?t a very ?Windowsy? product, in so much that it doesn?t integrate with anything, like Excel for example. But then, since it does what I ask of it, who?s complaining? If this was Ronseal, it would do exactly what it says on the can!

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        01.11.2001 12:08
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        • "PLEASE remember to back-up!"

        Quicken is one of those packages that I’ve been using for years, upgrading as I go, but, I suspect, never really making full use of the previous version before being talked into the next. Of course, Intuit are in good company here, MS Office being another case in point. My home accounts used to be a homespun MS Excel affair, which was merely a list of known my monthly commitments with room to add my income at the top of the list itself, with plenty of spare spaces left for visits to an ATM and credit card payments. Of course, being a spreadsheet, I could make the balance take care of itself, but it always struck me that there must be a better, purpose-built way. The monthly sheets were never much help at remembering quarterly bills like BT's phone charges, or annual ones like my AA subs (that's for my car, not my drink problem). That’s when a magazine disk of an early, and soon to be replaced version of Quicken, caught my eye, and since then, I have scrapped all my paper records, apart from bank statements, as these could be construed as tax documents, and therefore need keeping for two years. Setting Quicken up is a bit of a chore, especially if you have multiple accounts and your financial life revolves around regular payments, direct debits, standing orders and the like. You need to have a comprehensive list of these to hand, with the amount payable, and periodicity detailed. (Quicken will handle monthly – both lunar and calendar, quarterly, 4-monthly, 6-monthly and annually) If you know the actual date they are due, so much the better. If you’re not sure, get your bank to supply you with a list of known payments. The other thing you need is a specific point when you can safely say that your “paper” version is as up to date as it’s ever going to be, before cutting over to Quicken as your main source of accounting. You will need to give Quicken an opening balance am
        ount, and the future accuracy of what you are embarking on depends on this. Once set up, Quicken is a doddle to run. Your regular payments give you a prompt as they are due to be paid, and each account has its own tab, making switching between accounts easy. Those little extras like visits to the cash till can all be entered with ease, and once a new type of payment has been input and categorised, it will suggest this every time you input another from the same source. For example, if your first ATM visit was for £30, then this will be the suggested amount shown next time you start to type “ATM” in the entry field. You can of course change it to what it really was. Transfers between accounts can be recorded from either the “donor” or “recipient” end, and reconciling the current state of play with your latest bank statement couldn’t be easier. Just type in the current end balance as calculated by your bank into the first dialogue box of the Reconcile process, “OK” it, and a list of all payments not checked off since last time will appear. All you now have to do is to click on each one that matches your statement. “Typos” and omissions can be corrected by editing the account main screen, and returning to Reconcile. After so many transactions, the software prompts you to back up the details. You ignore this at your peril, since having forsaken “paper”, there is no real way back, without a lot of hassle! I back mine up to a separate d:/drive with the occasional further precaution of a back up to floppy – yes the files are small enough. One small tip I would recommend to anyone setting up a list of standing orders on Quicken: - If you are monthly paid, it’s useful to know how the month will turn out after all standing orders/direct debits are deducted*. Therefore, when asked for a payment date for each item, by all means put
        in the real date per month, say the 28th for the sake of argument, but ask for 27 days notice. This will give you a realistic feel for your cash flow throughout the month as all your payments will prompt to be taken off on the day after pay-day. Depressing I know, but this sort of software isn’t for financial ostriches! *As they say, there’s always too much month left at the end of my money! My only real criticism of Quicken would be that it isn’t a very “Windowsy” product, in so much that it doesn’t integrate with anything, like Excel for example. But then, since it does what I ask of it, who’s complaining? If this was Ronseal, it would do exactly what it says on the can!

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          04.09.2001 15:57
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          Since I have been earning money, I have always been slightly obsessed about keeping it under control (far too obsessed if you ask my husband!). In the early days, before I discovered computers, I would write down everything we spent or committed and try to keep tags on all our direct debits and standing orders. From there I moved on to a spreadsheet and then a simple database. That was when I discovered Quicken. Quicken has enabled me to feel in control of our finances. What I particularly like about it, is the ability to plan ahead. The 'forecasting' option allows you to enter details of all of your future income and expenses and then using information from your accounts, it will show you how this spending/income will effect your finances in the future. This is very useful if you want to take out a loan or set up a savings plan, because you can then accurately calculate how much you can afford. It also shows you how your spending actions of today may affect your finances in a few months/years. Another useful feature is the 'savings goals'. You can use this feature to 'hide' money in one of your accounts so that it does not show up on your accounts as money available. That way, you can save money whilst it is still really in your main account. The only problem with this is that you may forget you have hidden it! It is always nice to find money you have hidden though, when you are short! The 'scheduled transactions' section is handy as well, because it allows you to set up your standing orders and other regular commitments or income, so that it is automatically entered in the register on a specific date. This way you do not forget that a bill has been paid. I also like the 'reconciliation' section, which allows you to reconcile your accounts against your bank statements easily. That way your Quicken accounts are always nearly completely up to date. I wondered if the introduction
          of Internet Banking might make Quicken an unnecessary tool, but the financial modelling tools available within Quicken could and would never be reproduced by the banks on the web. Also, I always find it useful to have my own record of transactions because you can't always trust the banks to get it right all of the time! This tool can be extremely useful, but it needs to be kept up to date to be of any use. As they say (not sure who they are!), 'put rubbish in, get rubbish out'. If you are diligent in entering the information, you will find this software invaluable.

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            31.03.2001 19:59
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            I got Quicken 2000 Deluxe from amazon.co.uk for £44.99, and this included two free extra books, the first a UK Tax Guide, which was very useful for helping me to check my taxable income in the UK, as I am currently based overseas, and the second was a Motley Fool guide to investing. The Motley Fool Guide was of no particular use, since I am currently not in a position to start investing in stocks and shares, and so other than a cursory glance, that book has remained unopened. The tax guide however, produced in association with LloydsTSB has prove to be more useful, and I would imagine that it probably it a lifeline to those who don't have any other forms of tax guides to refer to. Hitherto my finances had been easy to manage - after all I was based in Britain, had really only just got a student current account and a savings account, and they could both be reconciled in MS Excel. However Quicken proved its worth when it came to being able to easily juggle my accounts in multiple currencies and in multiple countries. Whilst I do not make many transfers between the accounts, and therefore don't need to look at currency transactions that much, it was a useful feature that I could compare my accounts, via exchange rates that could be downloaded off the web. Particular useful to me, although I can imagine that others might not be so impressed, were the Quicken Reports which allowed me to see what was happening on a weekly/half-monthly/monthly/quarterly basis. Additionally it was able to handle different tax years in different countries (eg. 01/04-31/03 in Austria, 01/01-31/12 in Belgium and 06/04-05/04 in Britain) and calculate balances in Euro-countries in both currencies. As well as just reporting your past spending habits, and breaking them down so that you can possibly make lifestyle changes, there is the opportunity to also try and assign budgets for the future, based on your mandatory expenses and your other out
            goings. As someone who more or less exclusively banks online now, I found that the layout was very similar to my online statements from my bank in Austria (Die Erste) and the Royal Bank of Scotland, so it makes filling it all in a lot easier. This can take the pain out of budgeting - so if you implement your plan early, then you can easily see how you can achieve your budget without having to lead the life of a field mouse for the forthcoming months. Of course it won't guarantee that you will stick to your budget, but it will at least help you to actually form a plan to stick to. The audio tutorials provide a useful introduction and helps steps you through the first few transaction entries, and helps you set up your accounts and starting balances. It can annoy you after a while, but you can always turn the audio help off. One of the most useful features is the reconcile function, so you can compare your accounts on Quicken with your statements and see where you are missing items, so the normal panic involved becomes a thing of the past. The various reports allow you also to present assorted details, such as cashflows, and is particularly useful if you use Quicken for your business accounting too. As a freelancer I find it a convenient way to track my invoices that I have sent out, and monitor their status - in terms of when they were sent out and paid off, although this is really something that it is possible to manage in excel, so this would not really justify the outlay on its own. However, one area where it is very useful is where you have frequent transfers between your accounts, as this lets you see where your cash is going, and you can then draw up an overall picture of your liquidity, so that you can see where you really stand. The other side of Quicken is for more than your day to day finances, namely for controlling your portfolio, which is of course where money really can go in and out quicke
            r than you realise, especially given the present volatility of the markets. Quicken allows you to track all you stocks and shares, with provision made to cover countless stock types, and funds, as well as ISAs and TESSAs. Moreover, if you have a visit to a financial adviser then the printed reviews that you take with you can give him an accurate picture of the state of your finances, which will in turn save you time and money (i.e. his hourly fees!) if you are able to present an uptodate financial review to him. The Standard Edition will cover the needs of the mainly domestic user, and is slighter cheaper (ca. £29.99), although if you run your own small business, then an extra 20 quid outlay is not too much for added features. --- UPDATE 03.05.01 --- It is necessary to register Quicken 2000 Deluxe, otherwise a few weeks down the line you will get a nag screen which will eventually block your copy of Quicken until you register. You are best off registering as soon as you purchase it, to save the hassle later on.

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            25.10.2000 23:29
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            I've been using Quicken software for a couple of years now - first an old version that came free on a cover disk. With the year 2000 looming, I took the opportunity to upgrade to Quicken Deluxe 2000. And I'm glad I did. The user interface is reasonably simple - certainly not over complicated, and well presented - with nearly all of the features, both simple and advanced, easy to find and use. It certainly does make bookkeeping a breeze, allowing you to automatically enter direct debits & standing orders on preset dates, with facilities for varying 1st payment amounts, and finite length payments (loans for examples). You can track your assets & liabilities easily - credit cards & loans for example, right down to tracking the capitol & interest payments on a loan. You can set yourself saving goals, set up budgets to see how you are doing on a month to month basis, and keep a track of your portfolio using figures received directly from the stock markets via the internet - although this is something I've not used much, since I have no real portfolio. The reporting tools are excellent, with a wide range of standard reports, reporting against accounts, assets, liabilities or budget variances, and the option to modify all of the preset reports extensively - or create your own. All in all, an excellent product, and not something I want to go back to doing without, and streets ahead of the competitors in terms of useability & stability..

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            29.08.2000 17:08
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            We bought our first piece of Quicken software about 4 years ago, up until then I was using a double entry bookkeeping system, lots of pens and a calcualtor. Wow does this make the job easier. For starters it automatically enters standing orders, direct debits etc (once you've set them up) into your account list without having to remind yourself they are due. You can also set up virtual standing orders so that you can "hide" money that is in your current account if you are saving for something in particular. Its also incredibly easy to track credit cards, savings accounts, loans etc etc. There is a stocks and shares and investments part of it, but we havent used that part of it so I am unable to comment on how good it is. There are also lots of little features such as run a report on virtually anything, how much did i spend on going out in the last 3 months, or what did I spend my money on last month. You can set up budgets and ask quicken to tell you when you have exceeded your budget on one particular area.Also if you are self employed you can even set up a basic sales invoicing system on your pc. To be honest I couldnt imagine going back to the paper system now, I know instantly where we are with all our accounts and exactly how much money we dont or dont have overall. The big bonus for me is you can plan more effectively such as if I spend this now where will I be in 5 months time. Definitley one I would recommend

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