Quicken 2004 will be in stores on Aug. 15, adding features such as a redesigned investment portfolio, new performance indicators, and iCal integration. And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Quicken family, the product’s box has a new, updated look.
“Quicken has outsold every other personal finance package,” Intuit Product Manager Aruna Harder told MacCentral. “The first version of Quicken for the Mac was introduced in 1988. Since then, we’ve continued to keep in touch with the Mac community to make sure we stay abreast of what their needs are. After Apple released Mac OS X in 2001, Quicken was one of the first products to embrace the new platform. And with Quicken 2004, we want to help customers manage their complete financial picture more efficiently and in less time.”
The new version has a redesigned investment portfolio with over 25 new performance indicators to make it more customizable. For instance, you can determine which columns you wish displayed and take advantage of security measures or implement automatic categorization of your portfolio.
“Also, the portfolio manager has a new look for Mac OS X,” Harder said. “We’ve found that a higher percentage of Mac users use Quicken to track investors than do Windows users.”
Quicken 2004 offers one-click access to online information that may impact your holdings, such as financial news and stock reports. It also lets you monitor diversification across asset classes and industries. Mac OS X users will appreciate the iCal integration; with one click, you can add scheduled financial transactions to iCal calendars.
“Quicken 2004 is smart enough to know to add all recurring transactions,” Harder said. “This is great for users who may only open Quicken once or twice a month and may not see its reminders about impending transactions. Now there’s no headache with having to be proactive about going into Quicken to see what bills need to be paid.”
Another improved feature is Quicken Bill Pay, which facilitates the paying of bills right from Quicken. The feature works with up to 10 accounts and lets you pay a bill directly from the Quicken register and transfer funds between accounts.
A new Emergency Records Organizer has been added as a central place to store your documents. You can store information on loans, insurance policies, even contact information and medical records. The Organizer can be password protected with either the same password you use for Quicken or with a separate password.
“The Emergency Records Organizer can track all those physical documents that most of us have scattered here and there, in desk drawers, in our heads, etc.,” Harder said. “The disadvantage of having them in so many places is that if something happened to you, there may be no good way to get necessary info to family members, friends, or lawyers.”
Quicken 2004 will cost US$69.95. Upgraders from previous versions get a $20 discount.