Improvements Overdue

  • 6
  • Question
  • Updated 1 month ago
I have bee using Quicken/Reckon Personal then Home&Business since Aug 1993. No that is not a typo. It has been invaluable to me. However support seems to be waning? Visually it looks very dated. As of 2018 it cannot automatically open my file every time I start. After getting nowhere with support and doing my own research it is because my data file name is more than 8 characters long. So I had to change the name of my file after 25+ years.

I  still cannot find an app to synch with it while travelling. Compared to the US version that is way more updated and now has a mobile app not available in Australia. Note that Quicken used to be able to export alll transactions (several accounts) in one QIF file - this handy export feature was removed some years ago perhaps in a bid to prevent people going to the competition?

What is the future here - it seems to be withering and Reckon have cut ties with Intuit? The personal range needs some focus and attention to bring it back to current and relevant.


David
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb

Posted 2 months ago

  • 6
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
You're absolutely right, David, but don't hold your breath.  Like you I'm a long term user and am equally frustrated, bit I don't see any sign the Reckon has any intention of maintaining, let alone updating RPP.
Photo of Charlene Carpenter

Charlene Carpenter

  • 102 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Absolutely David, the fact I can't open my file when it starts, and I have to go through the Getting Started screen absolutely frustrates me.  In Australia, can we purchase the US version????  I tried, but I couldn't get past the 'what state in the USA' do you live in.  Any suggestions as I am really fed up with Reckon's version.

Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Charlene, that problem is caused by a long file name.  Several years ago now RPP stopped recognizing file names longer than about 8 characters - it's not an absolute limit as I have one file of 10 which will still open automatically.  You can open files with long names, but if you close RPP with one active, then the next time RPP opens it won't open the file on start-up but instead asks if you're new to Reckon!  The way round it is to rename your files to something shorter.  If the Rename option inside RPP doesn't work, which it may not, you need to rename the 5 files manually.
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
You should be able to buy Quicken.  I suspect you could put any State, as it probably loads State Taxes, but I'm not sure.  Haven't used the US version for nearly 30 years. The US version won't save Imputation Credits automatically, but there is a work around.  Create an Asset Account then use a Split Transaction for the Dividend to transfer the Franking Credit into that Asset Account. 
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Will the US version open the data file directly or do you need to build history by export out of AU and then import into US via QIF files?
Photo of Charlene Carpenter

Charlene Carpenter

  • 102 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Diver Dave, spot on. I changed the file to 4 numbers (2019) and it works great. I had to reinstall the program "again" as it opens about 4 or 5 times for me ok, then it just refuses to open. On the 20th or so click, it might decide to open ... so frustrating. I had Quicken2012 that worked like a charm for years, but when I had to upgrade to Windows 10, it refused to load, so I had to go to Reckon Personal Plus 2019, and that is when the nightmare started.  
Thank you Diver Dave for the advice.
Photo of st

st

  • 2,250 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Dave, I feel your pain, I too am a long time user.   In relation to the export feature, what they (Reckon) did is hide the Export to QIF file.   To unhide that feature, when Reckon is running, issue a CTRL-ALT-Z command.   That will activate the Export to QIF menu item.   You will find that under the File Tab.  (I'm writing this from memory, haven't got Reckon installed on my work computer).

Steve.
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Thanks Steve - It's Ctrl+Shift+Z to turn it on. It still does not have "All Accounts" option like it used to years ago instead of one account at a time...but agree it's better than nothing!
Photo of Mark Brookes

Mark Brookes

  • 72 Points
Hi Everyone,
I agree with people here as I too have been using Quicken (Cant call it Reckon) since I was in my 20s.
I haven't had the opening problems that many of you seem to have, but I do agree on the upgrading/changes. I have been paying the ever increasing ($10/year) annual fee to maintain connections to the bank as well as other functionality, but I have not seen any changes to the system in a long time. Even aesthetic changes which are easy, are not made such as more options for colours or fonts.
I think I read somewhere that they were looking to stop major support for the desktop client. However there was no viable option to replace it. 
I nearly gave up on this programme but I have been using it too long to make a change without a viable option. 2 years ago I did in fact look at the online option Reckon One. I did the trial for Reckon One as I liked the portability option for Quicken as I am not always at the computer with that licenced version of the software. If I need to quickly look at transactions, I need to wait until I get home.
The online version was very simple and did not have anywhere near the same or even similar functionality. I would have to "water down" what I did with my many different accounts.
As I said though, this was nearly 2 years ago, maybe I should look again as they may have spent time upgrading the online version more.
Mark
Photo of Michael Quadrio

Michael Quadrio

  • 208 Points 100 badge 2x thumb

Hi David,

I too have been using this appalling product since the 90's. I absolutely loathe it, the lack of support, the restrictive practices to stop users migrating to another product, and the huge increases in price each and every year in an era of zero inflation. I have raised all of these issues repeatedly with reckon, they simply don't give a toss.

I must admit though, your "support seems to be waning" comment gave me a good laugh. THERE IS NO SUPPORT. They simply do not care. This site is monitored, however I guarantee that Rav will not comment on this. He is well and truly aware that reckon (I can't give them a capital), are only interested in milking what cash they can from it, without any improvements in the product itself. The same software issues which have been inherent in the program itself for years are still there, and will be until the product/company finally dies.

I note also that no-one seems to stock RPP anymore, so the only alternatives are to get ripped off by buying direct from the company, or, as I will, wait until it no longer runs, and use an alternative from the US.
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Hear, hear.
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
I am keen to try the US version somehow, but I would also like to keep my 26+ years history also. I will probably try the US version one day since it's a digital download, I wonder if it will read the file directly?
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
I suspect it will open the file, David, but not sure.  Can you download a trial version and try it out?
Photo of Graham Boast

Graham Boast, Accredited Partner

  • 11,254 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hi all

I too have been a long time user of the software, and one of a small number of accredited partners who support it. Every user I speak to is a 20 year user, which itself speaks to the utility of the product even if, as one poster has stated, they have hated it for 20 years!

I don’t think it is any revelation that it is no longer being developed. The entire codebase is very old, and there is a rapidly diminishing pool of developers who can program in the languages required. Moreover, ma y of the issues occurring now are really caused by changes in the windows technology dropping support for things that used to be core functionality.

The question is for most is, where to now?

I have found that there are generally 3 categories of user: businesses, usually farmers; people who want to track personal income and expenses; and people wanting to track shares.

For business and farmers, the Reckon business range is generally more suitable. The Hosted product, in particular allows better connection with their accountant and offers single Touch Payroll functionality for employees. Reckon One is also getting stronger all the time with a strong payroll and a great now bank feeds feature recently added.

People wanting to track personal expenses should also give Reckon One a look. The bank feeds again will save you lots of data entry, and the cost is more than reasonable.

Tracking shares is the difficult issue. I tracked my own shares in a SMSF using Personal Plus until very recently. I ended up moving to the same share tracking platform as my accountant used because to me it seemed senseless doing all the data entry twice. I still miss the reporting and graphs! If, however, you just want to track share performance, then this is still an unbeatable program for the functionality and price.

Let me dwell on the price. $170 per annum is not an outrageous price for the program, for the home inventory add on, and for the share price downhloads. My current share tracking program has an option of share downloads at $44 per annum per fund, but only available for the edition that has 5 funds minimum.

My ideal for share tracking is that Reckon partners with a developer who does the share stuff really well, and develops a strong integration with Reckon One as the accounting backbone. In all honesty though, I don’t think the company’s head is in this space.

Personal Plus Is now 25 odd years old. Think of it in the same way as a 70s car - admire its retro styling, brag about how the interface was miles ahead of anything at the time, rave about its reporting, still holding its own, and proudly say you are a 20 year user of a software product that has stood the test of time. Love it for what it is.

Happy to talk to anyone wanting advice on the best way to migrate to Hosted or Reckon One

Graham 0409317366
graham@reckonhelp.com.au
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Well put, Graham.  I'm a long term user - since the DOS version in fact - but don't express "hatred" of the product.  I think it's brilliant.  As you suggest it was way ahead of it's time and the easiest most intuitive software I've used.

My frustration is the glitches which keep occurring, and Reckon are slow to respond to or rectify.  I recognise a lot of it relates to Windows and changes there, but it shouldn't be such a challenge for Reckon to address that without needing a full re-write.

I'm in categories 2 and 3 of your list.  I particularly values the stock price downloads for Oz and the US.  I like the functionality of Quicken, or RPP, and just want to be able to keep using it.

Tjhe problem is what to do if it dies?  I guess it will be RIP! 
Photo of Michael Quadrio

Michael Quadrio

  • 208 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Hi Graham,

I disagree regarding the pricing. $170 wouldn't be an outrageous price for the program, but it doesn't actually BUY you the program. Just a license. The program (and the license) continue to rise in price annually by 5 or so times the CPI. With little to no support. At the same time, the myriad problems that have beset the program for MANY years, are still in place. Additionally, they have of course altered their product to make it almost impossible to migrate data to a competitor, one who may actually SUPPORT their product.
Retailers have all dropped the product, reckon hardly supports the product, and yet, the annual price increase rip off continues.

If I may take the liberty, reckon, when it finally collapses, will be an economics Professor's dream example of what happens when customer service (particularly for long standing/suffering customers, is last on a company's list of priorities.

Again, where are you Rav????
Photo of Graham Boast

Graham Boast, Accredited Partner

  • 11,254 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hi Michael.

Reckon have never ever sold software, just the licence to use it.  Even the older versions people think they own are actually perpetual licences.  If you look at the Terms and Conditions of most software, it is exactly the same.

I can't comment on their pricing policy, but the CPI probably has little relevance to the issue.  It may be tied to US licencing costs - so how would a CPI reflect that?

In regard to data migration - welcome to my world! I am yet to find any program that allows you to seemlessly dump out your data from one program into another - and this is something I do a lot.  The best you can hope for is the ability to drop a report down to a excel file, and this is an ability that Personal Plus has via Print > Export To.

In regard to support, this is again difficult.  This usually falls into two areas: software support (how do I install this) and accounting support (how do I process the GetBusy demerger from Reckon Shares for example).

As someone who does this for a living, it can be difficult.  Why does my company file "my superfund name" open ok in Windows 10, when others need to shorten the name to 8 characters?   Windows is such a complicated beast, and Micosoft will just drop stuff out from their standard installation like the Visual Basic runtime components.  There are just some installations that seem to have intractable issues.

In terms of accounting support, Reckon aren't allowed to give out taxation or financial advice.  This is what a forum like this is designed for - so users can help each other.


Graham
Photo of Michael Quadrio

Michael Quadrio

  • 208 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Graham,
You sound very much like an apologist for reckon's many years of poor corporate behaviour.

To your first point regarding reckon "never selling software". I purchased it numerous times from the '90's onwards. Software, on a disc, in a box. With a perpetual license. We are however, splitting hairs regarding this.

My mention of the CPI is VERY relevant. Each and every year, the price of this product increases substantially. If "you can't comment" on the pricing policy, there have been many on this site who have, none positively. reckon know that many of their users have 20+ years of data locked up in their product, so they don't hesitate to ramp the price up each and every year, by many multiples of the CPI.. If, as part of the deal, they actually FIXED some of the issues with their products, perhaps, just perhaps, the situation would be tenable. But the same problems arise constantly in the forum, illustrating reckon's utter contempt for their users. 


You suggest that it "may" be linked to US licensing costs. It may, but it may not. reckon certainly have never used this excuse as a mitigant when responding to our collective complaints, so I would suggest not. It is simply gouging.

As for data migration. There WAS a product that would allow it. It was called Quicken personal plus. But to stop people moving to MS Money many years ago, they changed the data files. I remember this well, as I had a letter published in Personal investor regarding their shonky practices.

The company, as evidenced by it's flagging share price, is in trouble, wallowing in debt. Users of rPP are being asked on an annual basis to pay significantly more for a product that is simply not being updated, not adequately maintained. It doesn't take a genius to see why.


How long until Rav deletes this I wonder......

Michael
Photo of Graham Boast

Graham Boast, Accredited Partner

  • 11,254 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hi Michael

I'm not sure anyone in Reckon would describe me as an apologist.  I am willing, however, to try to call it as I see it.

The annual deal with Reckon is this: they offer the product as is. they offer 2 years share price downloads. the product is sold without support. You know the price before you buy it. Take it. Leave it. 

You do have options: rather than buy an annual licence, pay a little more and buy an upgrade.  You have owned a perpetual licence in the past, so you are eligible for an upgrade.  You get share price downloads for the next two years included.  After that, you can manually enter your daily share prices - it should take more that 30 mins a day to look up and data enter for your portfolio, and you will have the satisfaction of denying Reckon the $3.27 a week that they outrageously demand for this service.

Or, you could just move to another platform!  Nobody is asking you to drink the cool-aid.

Graham
Photo of Michael Quadrio

Michael Quadrio

  • 208 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Can't hear you Rav!!!!!


Photo of st

st

  • 2,250 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I am also a long-standing user, paid my licence fees every year, and every year prices going up for no noticeable improvement.   Last year I bit the bullet, paid the outright price for the product so I can continue to use it for as many years as I like.   I know that I will only have 2 years of share downloads, but after that, I'm prepared to enter them manually, at least I won't be forking out $150 p.a. and probably more.

What Reckon have done to hide the export feature to QIF is a straight out b....... act.   What's even worse, is that when unhiding that feature (CTRL-SHIFT-Z) you can only export one account at a time (how the hell does that help anybody without a programming/database background)?   

The QIF format is a dogs breakfast but I have been able to transfer that format into my own double entry style format (SQL), I'm still tweaking it a little but I'm preparing myself for when Reckon lets us all down.
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Are you sure you've bought the product outright, ST?  Have you checked the Licence Information Tab under Help.  Share price downloads last 2 years, but my product licence is only 10 years.  From memory this changed about 2004, but I could be wrong.
Photo of st

st

  • 2,250 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I just got home and this is the licence information:


Ok, there is an expiry date but it's 19 years away.   So can't complain about that.
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Folks - I have been doing a lot of research over the last week as I have a lot of time on my hands after being retrenched (anyone looking for a Supply Chain Manager?). Anyway the US market is in a similar position with Intuit selling off the personal product range back in 2016 because it contributed less than 1% to their revenue and a disastrous 2016 which cut off all their customer base from online update and caused them to get written up by the equivalent of the ACCC as one of the worst customer service experiences in the US. It has been a management buyout by Eric Dunn and private equity fund HIG. The good news is that the new owner has invested in it as a result and produced 2018/2019 version which include online account (mirrored data) and access over the web or apps. What is clear though is the AU product is not going anywhere, Quicken US now separate to Intuit have little incentive to strike an agreement with Reckon Australia.

There are a number of alternatives that I looked which are listed by a google search which I wont go into but they include Personal Capital, Mint. Most them US centric or only cloud based. Moneywiz seems the most viable which can import Quicken data and link direct to AU Banks. 

However I have decided to pursue using US Quicken directly (Windows). Yes you need to provide a US address but with digital download they will never send anything. I have begun testing with US Quicken 2013 which is a free download as part of the migration path to 2018 (similar. I opened my file (~50MB) directly in US 2013 and it converted the database to one file with all my 25+ years of history without any issue. I am still testing it - but it has no issue with A$ as home currency, no issue with date format as dd/mm/yy which I fully expected to be a problem somewhere. It was a useful exercise to highlight I needed some edits in my own AU file. Some cost base were wrong and I uncovered another hidden feature to recalculate investment registers to fix this by hitting Ctrl-Z while cursor is in a date field of a new investment transaction. All categories, all transfers, loans, portfolios, price history etc, converted. Even the US 2013 version looks better and is faster than AU 2019.

There are some issues with share investments, namely US do not know anything about Franked vs Unfranked. So Investment transactions with Unfranked dividend categories map across as Employee Share Options and therefore screw up the values. To get around this am contemplated editing all AU file transactions to Div instead of DivUF some 400 transactions (I have the time!). Also US version picks up your ticker symbol and updates it from US exchange (Cochlea COH becomes Coach xx ) also screwing up values - no option to specify the exchange. So automatic updates need to be off - or make tickers unusable eg. "ASX:COH" not just "COH". Other than that I have not uncovered any issue and the next step would be setup an ID and load the file in 2018 version. 


I will update some other details later - assuming Reckon does not delete my posts. You can send me a PM on sendtohunt at gmail dot com and I will draft a document to send back (no warrantee or commitment to assess your individual details expressed or implied). More later I hope. 
Photo of Maxine Ellis

Maxine Ellis

  • 102 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
If you don't mind running two separate programs, an Australian product for share investors is Topshare. You get a 1 month free trial with wonderful customer service.
I absolutely love it.
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for you post, David, and commiserations on your retrenchment.  Stay positive and the future will be bright.

Interesting about the US story - wasn't aware of those changes at Intuit.  

Re using the US version, can you download Aussie prices?  On the company codes, you can avoid the problem by adding ".AX" to each code - tedious, but avoids downloading a bunch of unrelated prices to as stock you hold.

Re franking credits, I'd suggest running an Asset Account for the accrual and use a zero split transaction in the receiving account to transfer the credit to a Franking Account.  I use that for GST Refund accruals, and suggetr it ti ST for his housing project.

Re CTRL+Z, I wasn't aware of that short-cut, but what errors did it discover?  I've just run it on one stock and not sure what it did?!
Photo of David Hunt

David Hunt

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
If Ctrl-Z comes back with nothing but bumps you to the top of the register, then all is well on your register. On the one I had a problem with (negative cost base somehow) it popped up a little dialog with number of records it checked, number with errors and the number it managed to fix.

Cannot download AU prices in US version. Adding AX does not help, but prevents them being mistaking for something else on the NYSE. Now looking for website that I can download a watchlist of prices. I really only need end of month not daily. Marketindex.com.au has end of financial yea. I can search through downloads on ASXhistoricalprices.com.au but thought there might be an easier way.

Not sure what you mean zero split what categories or transfers are netted off each other? 
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
Thanks, David.  Re Australian stock prices, I use Yahoo Finance - actually works for any exchange in the world, so I use it for UK, Swiss and Japanese prices which RPP doesn't download.

For any stock you can download Historical prices to a CSV file, which, after editing, can be imported into RPP.

Re Aussie dividends using the US version, I had assumed a linked account was being used.  In that case, if a Dividend is entered, the cash amount will be transferred to the linked account.  In that account, enter a transaction with Payee Company Dividend on the date it was received in the account, value zero as a Split Transaction.  Inside the split transfer the Franking Credit to the Franking Asset Account and then negate it, with no category - make sure your turn off Alerts for uncategorised  transactions.

Happy to discuss in more detail off-line at david.stewart@optusnet.com.au if you like.


Photo of John Campbell

John Campbell

  • 3,822 Points 3k badge 2x thumb

I have given up on the AU:RPP share price download for a while now (5 years !!). I download end of day prices from asxhistoricaldata.com or comsec into my own text file database. I have written a Fortran program that can scan the .qph file and then create a .csv file of missing price information to be imported. (This goes back years, rather than RPP 7 day limit)

Effectively I was a RPP user type 2 and 3, but am now only a user type 2. (Graham's definition)
However I do need to pay the annual maintenance to be able to open RPP and access my .QDF data; I don't think that can be avoided. The annual maintenance is paid so I can continue to access my historical records, the most important are the share buy/sell transactions.

At the moment I am updating my (bank) account transactions about 3 times per year, as my day to day recording of "bank" accounts is in a .xlsx file with a number of pivot tables (month, quarter and Fin year) This simple spreadsheet, now with 10 years of records is more useful. My RPP is currently updated to Sep-18 !

Once a year I do a download of transactions, share dividends and share sales for tax reporting ( after I have updated to 30 June )
It will only be a matter of time before I create a share trading database to replace the capital gains and dividend reporting and then all will be in a .xlsx file, with .csv exports.

One day RPP will stop allowing us to access our binary files, so we need to keep text file backups.

ps: Does anyone know a way to dump share purchase/sell (also reinvestment) transactions that report prices accurately ? There are problems with some reports that are not accurate enough, although matching the transaction to the total $ amount can overcome part of this. 
We need a user group database on how to export/report the different transaction types, for when RPP is no longer supplying updated user keys !
Perhaps this could be a .qif file viewer ?
(Edited)
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
John, can you expand on your PS?  Do you want to Export from RPP or Import?
Photo of John Campbell

John Campbell

  • 3,822 Points 3k badge 2x thumb

Hi Dave,

I am wanting to export share transactions to either a tab delimited or comma delimited .csv, .txt, or .prn file.
I keep forgetting the file format result using print to file or export report.
I also forget which command provides the best reporting.

I keep a dataset of superannuation where I trade down to 0.00001 units of shares and unit price to $0.0001 to track buy/sell of units. This enables trading to nearest cent (monthly fees etc), while tracking super fund changes accurate to better than 1:10^6.
It works well in Excel (using appropriate use of =round) which provides input values for RPP, but getting old values out of RPP has become an unexpected problem.
It may be my design problem, rather than RPP, although RPP does track share numbers and unit prices to these accuracies; just some report formats provide lower accuracy.
Photo of Diver Dave

Diver Dave

  • 4,868 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
John, you can export any RPP Report in tab limited (Excel Compatible) form via Print.  If you want detailed transaction history make sure each transaction is expanded in RPP before Printing.

The txt file can then be imported into Excel and manipulated, then saved in xls or xlsx format.