Though it’s not due to ship until Aug. 21, Quicken 2003 for the Mac was announced today by
Intuit. MacCentral got a sneak peak prior to the announcement. According to Adam Samuels, Quicken 2003 is designed to take the headache out of financial management by taking the time and hassle out of financial management.
“Americans are working longer hours and have less time to spend with family, let alone manage their finances,” he told MacCentral. “Manual data entry is a major complaint of personal finance software users. With the current economy, people are less optimistic and more concerned with their finances. Our focus with this version of Quicken is to make users’ finances even simpler to manage and to better help them track their investments.”
An easy setup guide in Quicken 2003 guides you step-by-step through setting up your accounts online. Once you’re set up, you can download your banking, credit card, and brokerage right into Quicken instead of typing them in by hand. Quicken works with over 1,000 financial institutions. And the upcoming version adds some new brokerages into the mix.
What’s more, you can schedule when Quicken should go online and download your data. Mac users can set up different schedules for different accounts; users of the Windows equivalent only have a global scheduling account. And reviewing downloaded data is now faster and more streamlined, thanks to a single window that lets you choose each account and review your recently downloaded transactions before accepting them into your account register, according to Aruna Venkatachalam, Intuit product manager.
“Customers that download their transactions are more satisfied overall with Quicken,” she said. “We’ve designed Quicken 2003 to help explain what online banking is and the benefits of it to those that haven’t tried it. If you click the Download button, you’ll get a walkthrough tutorial that has a link to the Set-Up Assistant for online transactions. It’s also now simpler to track more complex investments like stock splits, mergers, spinouts, and spin-offs.”
The One Step Update feature lets you batch update all your accounts, if you wish. You can access all your PINs via one master PIN.
Quicken 2003 will let you track when you deposit into or write checks from your brokerage account. A Capital Gains Estimator lets you compare the potential tax impact of selling different stocks and mutual funds before you actually sell. By optimizing your gains and losses, Quicken helps you keep more money, said Venkatachalam.
“We want to give customers more control over their accounts,” she added. “For example, basic check writing features have been built right into the Brokerage Register. And we’ve introduced some advanced investment actions, part of our efforts to give customers more power with their investment options.”
Buttons have been redesigned to meld better with the Aqua interface of Mac OS X; they’re more photo realistic. And an improved, customizable toolbar lets you modify the standard set of controls to fit your personal style when using Quicken.
“Mac users love to customize their products, so we want to make it easier for them to do it,” Venkatachalam said. “For example, you can view your data as icons and text or, if you wish, text only.”
With all the changes, Intuit expects to have a successful upgrade on its hands. Especially as there are over one million customers who currently use Quicken for Mac software. In fact, it’s one of the top 10 applications for the platform, according to NPD Techworld data.
Quicken 2003 for Macintosh will cost US$59.95. There’s a $20 rebate for upgraders. You’ll be able to pre-order it at the Intuit Web site on July 25.
System requirements are a Power Mac with 128 MB RAM, 75 MB of hard disk space, and a 56 kbps or faster Internet connection for online features, including online account access and payment. Quicken 2003 for Macintosh is built for Mac OS X (10.1.4 or later), but runs on Mac OS 9 (9.2.2 or later), Samuels said.