Back to basics: Quicken Essentials for Mac released

Quicken Essentials for Mac goes on saleMac owners still have deal with a lack of proper Mac compatible versions of many popular programs, although the situation is improving. For the past few years this shortfall has included personal finance software such as Intuit's Quicken, an issue that has finally been addressed with the release of Quicken Essentials for Mac.

This new version of Quicken for Apple owners is the first version of Quicken software which has been written from the ground up for OSX, partially thanks to Intuit's purchase of last year.

Notable improvements over the last version of Quicken for Mac (from 2007) include:
  • New Mac-like user interface
  • Connects to 12,000 banks and financial institutions
  • Better categorization using an algorithm similar to
  • Conversion software to help you bring your data from earlier Mac versions and Windows versions of Quicken or MS Moneyeds.

While some users will be excited to have a new version of Quicken for Mac, tech pundit Walter Mossberg wasn't too hot on the new version for its lack of features that come standard in Windows versions such as Bill Pay, TurboTax integration and the ability to view or edit transactions in investment accounts.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has the best description of Quicken Essentials for Mac's lack of power features, calling it the "iPhoto for your finances" and suggesting alternatives for users who need more advanced tools.

These are notable omissions for individuals looking for a rounded and robust personal finance tool, but as Intuit points out, this version of Quicken Essentials for Mac is just that; the essential personal finance tools.

"We're bringing a completely new Quicken experience to Mac users, helping them answer essential money questions – what do I spend, what do I earn, where do I stand on my budgets, what is my net worth, and where can I do better?" stated Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit's Personal Finance Group, in the press release describing Quicken Essentials for Mac.

For the time being, Users who want access to more than the essentials will need to use Quicken Mac 2007 which will still be supported by Intuit. The company encourages Mac users who want to help shape future versions of Quicken for Mac to join the Quicken Inner Circle and provide feedback on features they want to see.

Quicken Essentials for Mac is available today for $69 online from Intuit and at also at local retailers. If you are a Mac user who wants a desktop product to help you answer the basic personal finance questions, take a look at Quicken Essentials for Mac. If you are comfortable using an online tool you should see if the free Mint personal finance tool meets your ne
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