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Old 07-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
Irene
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Quicken replacement review: See Finance

After realizing that Quicken was not going to work with the new OS, Lion , I looked for an alternative and I have found a good one.

I have tried out many alternatives to the increasingly unreliable Quicken App. I was never too enthusiastic about any of them because of the way they handled splits, categories, sub-categories, and reports. The entering of the data often did not feel natural. I want to enter the information about to whom this check is made out, for what amount, and any memo and categorization of it on what appears like the lines of a paper check register, not somewhere else on the screen.

I have my own list of about 25 categories some of which contain up to 8 sub-categories. I like to total by sub category and category. I use split transactions. I want to be able to print out reports showing all this information. This is useful for my own understanding of my finances and indispensable at tax time.

I downloaded See Finance which is made by Scimonoce Software LLC. http://scimonocesoftware.com/seefinance/ You can download a fully functional copy free, and use it as long as you want, if you pay you avoid a screen at start up asking would you like to pay. It is software worth paying for. It's also nice to be able to try it first, and not with a mere 20 or so entires.

It can import Quicken Files easily, and it was easy to do the import in two batches: transactions to mark as reconciled and those not to be so marked. Most other software does not make the import so easily accomplished with all the details retained. The reconciled status, the categories and the splits all came through properly.

Entering the information about checks is intuitive.

It can do reports very similar to the detailed category reports for which I have relied on Quicken. See Finance reports can be easily saved in the CSV format for import to spreadsheets.

Initially I could not have See Finance show the Memo line in those reports and I wrote to them about that and got back a response within 24 hours although I wrote on Sunday and the following day was a National Holiday (July 4th!) The response told me how to see what I could do (although it said right click and since I said I was using a Mac I think they should say Control Click) but didn't say how I could do what I wanted. I replied saying that. They replied and said I could do that by following their earlier instructions. I replied again with a screen shot from a Quicken report and said I needed screen shot step by step help because I didn't understand how to accomplish what I wanted. They then replied with a screen shot and a red arrow drawn on the screen shot -- I don't know how to add that!-- and I realized they were using a different report view which had different commands enabled. That reply recognized my gentle chiding when I used tern control quick and used the more Mac-friendly wording!

The Support was quick and responsive. Support responded to my inquiry about Dropbox saying people do store the files there but that as company policy they do not endorse any off site storage.

I am equally excited and delighted to give the highest ranking to this product and to begin using it.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:14 PM   #2
wendell
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You might check with Quicken. I received a notice from Quicken today that Quicken Essentials for Mac will work with Lion.

<http://quicken.intuit.com/support/articles/gettingstarted/upgrading-and-conversion/8207.html>
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
chabig
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Quicken Essentials contains nothing but the barest "essentials" and isn't a suitable replacement for Quicken.

In preparation for Lion, I switched to See Finance about three months ago and love it. It's powerful, imported all of my Quicken data quickly and accurately, and the customer support is top-notch.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:48 AM   #4
benwiggy
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Here's a round-up of alternatives to Quicken. Quicken won't work on Lion.

http://www.tuaw.com/2011/07/09/quick...re-those-blue/
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:18 AM   #5
chabig
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That article forgets to mention See Finance, unfortunately. Don't take the omission as a slight against See Finance. The author apparently just missed it.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:27 AM   #6
Doodle
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See Finance

I have just received an email from Intuit warning me that Quicken 2007 will no longer work when upgrading to Lion. Intuit's response is that I have two alternatives: Use Quicken Essentials for Mac (this is a serious downgrade for me as I use Quicken for tracking Investments) or to use Quicken on Windows. But here is the kicker - they warned me that Quicken for Windows cannot import the Investment transactions from Quicken for Mac. For 22 years worth of transactions this would be a serious loss of data.

I have run a dummy test on See Finance and it was able to import 22 years of my Quicken data. I only did one import not multiple. No data was lost. But it can only do two levels of categories and in many cases I have 3. So, in order to do the move - I will need to rethink how I lay out my categories.

Irene is correct. The application is easy to use and the graphics are good. I have two concerns for this application: It presently lacks Asset management capabilities for mixed asset mutual funds. I wrote to See Finance about this and within 24 hours I received an email stating that they are working on this for future release. My other concern is that they are here to stay. I would not like to build up another data base of my finances to find that the app that drives it - moves on. So, I am waiting to see what impact they have when they release Version 1.0.

If you are looking for an alternative to Quicken 2007 - give See Finance a try.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
chabig
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I'm very happy with See Finance and also look forward to version 1.0. I agree that the customer support is great. They answer questions quickly and are very helpful. They seem to be serious.

As for them moving on, I wouldn't worry too much. If they can get the data import down so well, I'm sure the export is also very good.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
Doodle
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How secure are all the financial software apps that use your passwords and other account information to download the transactions? How does one know if this data is being compromised?
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:10 AM   #9
chabig
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You just have to trust the security foundations of web transactions made with https. The apps don't really have much to do with it. For me, I just download the transactions from my bank directly and import into my financial software. Quicken never supported direct connect with my banks anyway.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:21 AM   #10
Doodle
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thanks chabig but what about the application itself? Surely one could write code in the application to phish this critical information?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:45 AM   #11
Wordman
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I did my own testing of five Mac Quicken replacements. I did not try SEE Finance, though. I'll give it the same testing this weekend.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #12
Irene
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I am continuing happily to use See Finance and printed out a six month report (January 1-July 1) with it. The program is good and the tech support is excellent.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
chabig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodle
thanks chabig but what about the application itself? Surely one could write code in the application to phish this critical information?

I suppose you could write a trojan horse to do that, yet. But we're talking about responsible developers here, writing real software.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:03 AM   #14
Doodle
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Chabig, how do you know that they are responsible developers? You are making an incredible leap of faith? Financial software today, has access to all of your bank account information? Don't you think some certification board should be approving all this software to make sure it is 'clean'?
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:21 AM   #15
chabig
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You could ask the same question about any piece of software, but here are some clues that the developers of See Finance are legit:

- They have a real product, quite fully featured, that does what it's supposed to do.

- They operate out of the United States.

- They provide excellent product support.

- They say they will soon be in the Mac App Store.

- The product is being used by real people and there are no complaints on the net about malware.

- There are some positive reviews on the net.

Those things are enough to give me confidence that the program isn't a well crafted trojan, out to steal my information.

Financial software only has access to the information you give to it. If you're not comfortable sharing that information, don't provide it. The software is still a fantastic record keeping tool even if online banking features are turned off. As for a certification board, I think you can probably take some comfort with software from the Mac App Store. I don't need a formal agency to review software. The marketplace does a good job. If something is crap, you'll hear about it online.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:54 AM   #16
Doodle
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Chabig, My question about security - is a general question about all the Financial software currently available and that is becoming available. The ease of use that most of these packages provide to users (namely auto downloads and bill pays) is a potential achilles heel for exploitation. I feel that banks need to work on this aspect so as to permit these software packages from making access easy for users but also providing some security.
Thank you for your responses.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:03 AM   #17
Doodle
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I wanted to keep this posting separate from the last one as I do not want to link one financial software with what is a general concern about security.
But I do want to agree with chabig about See Finance in terms of the actual software. As I said in an earlier posting, I am currently testing See Finance as it appears to be the most serious contender to replace my Quicken 2007. I am just waiting for a few more features to be added before I make the switch.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #18
borisoff22
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SEE Finance is great!

I have personally corresponded with the developers of this app a lot during the last year to ask questions and make suggestions. SEE Finance is an ingenious app. It has so many clever features that it reminds me of Microsoft Office. Yet, all eye-candy and items and functions that are too much for a particular user can actually be turned off in preferences. So SEE Finance can be as simple as pie or more intricate depending on the user's inclination.

I have found that the developers not only provide expert, quick, and complete tech support but that they are people of integrity as well. For instance, in its early stages, SEE had some stability problems which now no longer exist. But the developers felt i was dissatisfied with the app and so took the initiative to refund my money in full. I emailed back promptly and told them that I had just re-bought the product because I was impressed by the fact that they told me that in the future they hoped to "earn my business".

SEE Finance has not reached version one yet because it is a very ambitious app. It just will take longer to completely reach version one, naturally. But all main features are in place already to make an awesome product that rocks! All reported bugs in the app are fixed quickly and completely. The developers are fully tuned in to the requests and critiques by the users. They do something many other companies don't do...They are listening!

As to functionality, other people on this forum have described the craftsmanship of this app so I need not reiterate what has been said.
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