Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Warning about Quicken 2008! and more.

Good day.

I bought both of your books through your website using my husband's PayPal account. We are both indies and I was wondering when setting up categories on quicken if we should have two major categories of Diane and John and then subcategorize like entertainment - all this to make sure that we know who has what deductions. Also if you could send any updates or information to my email in addition to my husband's as i am the one responsible for bookkeeping and I am sure my husband won't even open an email about all this!


Hello Diane,

I just returned from a business trip in NJ where I worked with a client helping her set up her medical practice. I spent close to 11 hours on the phone with Quicken tech people. So, had I responded to you before that experience, my answer would be quite different.

I have worked with Quicken for 20 or so years. I have found that there is rarely a reason to upgrade to a new version of Quicken other than the Quicken Big Boys forcing it upon us. The new versions with their bells and whistles create more work and cost more money for us indies with no benefit.

That said, there is an insurmountable problem with Quicken 2008. The tech people insisted that it wasn't the program but with my experience I know they're wrong. The problem lies in what used to be called classes and is now called tags. In the 2008 program Quicken changed the procedure on classes and messed up the works. Stay away from 2008! [ A search on the web shows many many other problems with 2008, too.]

I'll give you two methods for your situation, one for an older version of Quicken and an alternative to use for 2008.

For 2007 or earlier:
When you have a reason to separate expenses by business or clients the class method is easiest. You set up a class -- similar to setting up a category -- for each business, in your case Diane and John.

Let's say you split supplies up into software and general office and some were for you and some were for John. Entries would look like this:
Supplies:Software/Diane .................. $200.23
Supplies:Software/John .................... $103.45
Supplies:General/Diane ..................... $20.40
Supplies:General/John ...................... $101.33
When you look at any of your reports you can customize by heading the column as "Class." You'd have a column for you and one for your husband. It works like a charm.

For 2008:
Classes, now Tags, don't work. One alternative is to make Diane and John a sub-sub category of every expense. That could be redone when Intuit fixes the problem
The above would look like this:
Supplies:Software:Diane .................. $200.23
Supplies:Software:John .................... $103.45
Supplies:General:Diane ..................... $20.40
Supplies:General:John ...................... $101.33

Another alternative would be your suggestion, making both Diane and John a major category and then make everything else subcategories.

I have tried to upgrade 2008 but every time Quicken's server has been down. If I find out there's a solution I'll post it.


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