I had been using Quicken and Quickbooks for Windows for over 15 years. I had heard nothing but bad things about the Mac versions of both, but especially Quicken. I have been switching over to a Mac for most everything but kept one foot in the Windows world with the financial software because I was reluctant to change. So for the past year I have been switching back and forth between a Mac and Windows computer. I finally decided to give the Mac versions a try.
I’ll start with Quicken. I looked on Amazon.com check out prices and reviews. Quicken for Mac is about $52 for the digital download. They offer a 60 day money back guarantee so you really have nothing to lose in trying it. The reviews were mostly bad. For some reason Intuit which owns Quicken does not put the same effort into the Mac version they do with the Windows version. That’s odd. Many programs that work on both types of computers are pretty similar. You can read the reviews at the link above. I went ahead and downloaded it on to my Mac. Before I transferred any data I updated it all and reconciled it too. I followed the instructions on transferring data and it went very well. I was a little bit off on one of my accounts. I use Quicken to track multiple checking and savings accounts. I have some transactions that are the same each month so I schedule them to be automatically entered into Quicken. For some reason a couple of the transactions were duplicated for the scheduled transactions. Luckily I was able to find them easily. I went back to a point where the balances were the same on the same dates for my Windows and Mac versions and then went forward from there and found the issues. I would suggest probably deleting any scheduled transactions before transferring to eliminate that issue and then you can always schedule it again afterwards. The look of the Mac version is different for the checkbook register. The default view is very different, but you can add in all the same categories so it will be the same, but not look the same. The next difference is when you auto download transactions from your bank on the Mac version it goes right into the register. In the Windows version you have the option to accept all the new transactions at once or manually match with what you may have already entered. Not a big deal, but different. The other major difference is in reconciling. The Windows version gives you all your debits on one side and credits on another in another window. The Mac version uses the register window for reconciling too. You enter in the dates for the bank statement and then it automatically reconciles every transaction during that time. You have to uncheck any that have not cleared the bank. Any checks that have not cleared, you have to uncheck them. Then the next month when you reconcile and enter in your dates, it will not automatically pick up checks that were not previously reconciled. You have to go back and check those manually. You had to do that with the Windows version, but the unreconciled checks automatically were shown on the reconciliation window and you could check them from there. So for example in the Mac version, let’s say you wrote out a check that was not cashed for two months, you have to remember to go back and look for it when you reconcile next. Not hard if you do multiple months at the same time, but if you’re doing it one month at a time you may forget and then not know why your account is not reconciling. All in all, it’s not too bad. I have become acclimated to it now and it works pretty well. Again, you have 60 days to try it. You can still keep your Windows version and still use that at the same time.
The Quickbooks version for Mac also comes with a 60 day money back guarantee. It runs about $175 for the digital version. The Mac version is much more similar to the Windows version. I switched from Quickbooks for Windows 2o13 to the 2015 Mac version, so I am not sure how much of the differences are the Mac version or the 2015 version. There are some differences in the appearance. Everything is very similar. Quickbooks is also owned by Intuit as is Quicken. I can download transactions from my local credit union on Quicken, but not on Quickbooks for both the Windows and Mac version. Not sure why Intuit can’t make it work the same for both Quicken and Quickbooks. If you’re holding on to the Windows version because you are afraid to switch to the Mac version, don’t be. It’s very similar and easy to use. Again, check the reviews and see if any pertain to your business first. Ask questions, look online for some answers to make sure it will work for you. Just like with Quicken, you can keep your old version and still use it at the same time until you feel comfortable.