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Intuit shutting down Quicken Online, but will move some users' data to Mint

Intuit is closing the Quicken Online Web-based personal-finance program it developed before buying the competing site Mint, but it's giving users of that application some withdrawal pains.

intuit_logo.gif

Last week, Intuit e-mailed users of Quicken Online that it would close the site on Aug. 29. But the message did not clarify that the company had given up on earlier plans to migrate Quicken Online users' data to Mint.

That detail was left for users to find in a tech-support article, which blamed "the complexity of the different categorization tables, budgets and account authentication between Quicken Online and Mint.com" for the company's inability to provide the migration solution it had promised.

Intuit instead suggested that Quicken Online users download their data as "CSV" files, a crude format that often requires extra work before use in such programs as Intuit's Quicken desktop software. Annoyed users also complained that the late-August shutdown would leave them with incomplete records for next year's records.

Intuit now says that it will offer a more limited migration of data from its old site to the new one. Quicken personal finance general manager Aaron Patzer, who founded Mint, e-mailed Thursday night to say that "we have found a lightweight solution in the past two days which will allow Quicken Online users to keep all their 2010 data, for use in tax record keeping." He explained:

The solution is this: Users will be able to go into Mint.com, and search for "Quicken Online" as a "bank", type in their Quicken Online username and password, and all their transactions will be imported into a Mint account named "Quicken Online Historic Txns". Those transactions will be automatically categorized with about 94% accuracy using Mint's best-in-class categorization engine.

Patzer said the company would post more details in a day or two. He said about 60,000 people still use Quicken Online, while "Mint adds nearly that many new users in one week."

Note that Quicken Online users will need to re-create their old accounts in Mint to ensure they have a full year's worth of tax records.

Meanwhile, the third personal-finance Web application I reviewed last year, Wesabe, is days away from its own shutdown. Chief executive Marc Hedlund wrote on the startup's blog June 30 that it was running out of money and would close instead of letting its service or security deteriorate.

So at the end of next month, we'll be looking at one main Web-based personal-finance program (which, I should note, has worked fine for me) and a batch of smaller competitors: Yodlee MoneyCenter and the Web applications offered on the Web sites of individual banks. What's your forecast for this market: Will Intuit continue to own it, or will it get some serious competition?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 23, 2010; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  Productivity  
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Comments

and cloud computing is good why?

Posted by: adamg | July 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"and cloud computing is good why?"

Indeed, this is everyone's worry about cloud computing. It's also a reason why I won't sign onto "paper-free" access to my accounts. The companies need to figure this out if they really want to migrate.

Posted by: purpleaster | July 23, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I am one of the 60,000 people who have used Quicken.com for many years. It efficiently updates the cloud from the desktop application with my stock portfolio. I have been a loyal user Quicken and dutifully upgrade each year. It seemed a good value.

Now I learn that my group of 60,000 Quicken.com desktop users are not an important group to Intuit as Mr. Patzer indicates that Mint gets that many new users a week.

Seems to me that this loyal base of 60,000 would be important to Intuit. Time to rethink my future plans- especially renewing my desktop Quicken each year. And I thought customer loyalty was a good thing. Seemingly, not to Mr. Patzer and Intuit.

PS There is no way to download desktop Quicken to Mint. How hard is that? Works with ease at Quicken.com. I would be happy with that feature.

Posted by: wovose | July 23, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I am one of the 60,000 people who have used Quicken.com for many years. It efficiently updates the cloud from the desktop application with my stock portfolio. I have been a loyal user Quicken and dutifully upgrade each year. It seemed a good value.

Now I learn that my group of 60,000 Quicken.com desktop users are not an important group to Intuit as Mr. Patzer indicates that Mint gets that many new users a week.

Seems to me that this loyal base of 60,000 would be important to Intuit. Time to rethink my future plans- especially renewing my desktop Quicken each year. And I thought customer loyalty was a good thing. Seemingly, not to Mr. Patzer and Intuit.

PS There is no way to download desktop Quicken to Mint. How hard is that? Works with ease at Quicken.com. I would be happy with that feature.

Posted by: wovose | July 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

And this is a good example as to why I dumped Quicken 7 years ago and have been using Excel. If they own the file format, they own my data.

CSV??? Are they FFF kidding us?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Quicken has gone downhill fast. Wouldn't be surprised to see them out of business any day.

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit worried what this means for the Quicken desktop product. I've never used Quicken Online but Intuit seems to have no compunctions about abandoning long-term users.

Posted by: charodon | July 24, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm based in the UK and bought my first Mac a few months ago after years of indecision. Quicken was one of the main reasons that I delayed the move (along with MS Outlook) but Quicken at least had a Mac option or so I thought.

The first problem that I ran into was that Quicken had withdrawn from the UK market and their web site wouldn't let me buy the product from here. I tried a couple of other Mac financial products which were terrible by comparison. I finally managed to get a Quicken Mac version (Intuit changed the web site).

Next I found that the Mac and MS versions of Quicken were not seamlessly compatible so I spent a good deal of time migrating my data files only to find that the Mac version does not support multi-currency. Dead end. I decided to do something that I had resisted at all costs, install Boot Camp and run a dual OS PC. All so that I could stay with Quicken.

I love the product and have used it for over 10 years but I am finding the company's product management puzzling. They don't seem to take a very customer-centric view. I'm as loyal a customer as they could find but even I can see the writing on the wall. I'll start looking at other options (again) and in this case that really hurts.

Posted by: shamusg | July 24, 2010 4:31 AM | Report abuse

Hi - we at banktree.co.uk are a personal finance software company specialising in a desktop application for Windows. We are based in the UK, and we have had a huge interest from both the UK and overseas market since Microsoft and Inuit have exited the UK market.

While the online model initially had a lot of interest, and money thrown at it from investors it was not financially sustainable specially during a global recession, hence Inuit and Wasabee are running down their operations.

The only sensible option for investors looking at this market would be to find astute software houses like ourselves that can carry Inuit / Microsoft customers forward.

Posted by: wp_uk | July 24, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Try haiku:

Pulses quicken
Nourishing moist cloud
vaporizes in summer heat.

Posted by: rboltuck | July 24, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

This is not good. I moved from Quicken to MS Money back in 2003 or so when Quicken required all imports to be in the "QFX" format instead of the more open QIF format. Not being able to get info in, I dropped the product.

Now Money is going out of support in a year or so, and there isn't anything out there. Well, maybe "mint", but if my data isn't on my computer it could vanish tomorrow.

Kind of like Quicken Online. Bye bye decades of work...

C

Posted by: cz_man | July 24, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Don't knock CSV. The more I work with spreadsheets and databases the more I appreciate a plain, universal format not tied to some slick proprietary application format that is equally tied to tools of an equally slick proprietary operating system.

For example, i was downloading a dynamic database in Excel format. At some point I noticed I was losing data, ultimately due to the format limitations of the version of Excel being exported. We quickly switched to a csv format with no data loss. You don't need these limitations sneaking up behind you nor do you want your data in a suddenly unsupported format. Using Excel is fine for finance and if you have problems, export to Open Office almost without missing a beat. Since you set it up, you will know the linking and data formats. In fact it is wiser to export in a simple format and re-link and reformat to ensure no mis-linking or mis-formating has taken place.

I am pulling my hair because a laptop recently crashed. I have the backup proprietary data, but no application access. At least one backup should have been in a simple universal format export.

Posted by: Beacon2 | July 24, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

CSV can't hold all the relationship data, but it is human readable.

Why not XML? You would think that this would allow recreation to a different program given a custom unpacker - strikes me as cost cutting laziness, both CSV and XML can be opened in Excel, though XML requires mapping, making it more complex.

Posted by: kiosk | July 24, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Once you upload your data to the Internet, it might as well be scrolling on the signs in Times Square. You are a fool if you allow any of your sensitive data to even pass through your cable modem.

And don't think SSL is going to keep you safe, it has been broken and is subject to man-in the-middle attacks.

Really the only sensible option is to keep your data on your own computer. Buy a separate system for your sensitive data and don't even connect it to the Internet at all. It's the only way, esp. if you are running Windows.

Posted by: frantaylor | July 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

>"and cloud computing is good why?"
>
>Indeed, this is everyone's worry about cloud computing.

Always remember that if your data is in the cloud, it's their data. Not yours. No need for "probable cause" - it's very easy to get a subpoena to access it.

>It's also a reason why I won't sign onto >"paper-free" access to my accounts.

I have had several arguments with my bank about "paper-free" and whether they will digitally sign their statements. They won't so I'm still doing paper, thank you. I had a bank one time that "adjusted" an on-line statement for which I had no paper copy - never again.

Posted by: vdev | July 24, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Their support has always been bad, they nickel and dime you every chance they get, buy anything but Quickbooks

Posted by: dannyboyrules | July 24, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Been using Mint for about 6 months. It rocks. Not sure how Intuit can keep it running for free, but I'm not complaining. The "Goals" feature they recently added is great. It allows me to see my money in a way that I hadn't seen it before.

Posted by: CryoGen | July 25, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm an accountant and some of my clients use Quickbooks. Assuming Quicken and Quickbooks use the same background coding, it's written in an illogical format. Thus unable to transfer over cleanly to any other product.

Personally, I moved from Microsoft Money to Quicken earlier this year because of Money's shutdown. Quicken still frustrates me, but there isn't much else around to use.

Posted by: lamaccountant1 | July 25, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Just curious. Where is Simply Accounting in all of this debate?

Posted by: panamacanuck | July 27, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I've tried Mint but have not kept up with it as it does not have reports like Quicken.

The whole reason I use Quicken (desktop) is to quickly create reports of my expenses at tax time.

Posted by: wvp123 | July 29, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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