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New Interface Makes Using Quicken Easier and More Customizable for Mac


Intuit Inc. announced new versions of Quicken and Quicken Deluxe for Macintosh with a streamlined interface that makes getting started easier for first-time users and lets more experienced users customize Quicken for greater efficiency in day-to-day use. The new Quicken for Macintosh also includes powerful new financial planners that guide customers step by step through analyzing their net worth and creating action plans for debt reduction and retirement, plus over 30 improvements and shortcuts that make performing existing Quicken functions faster and more efficient. "As with previous versions of Quicken for Macintosh, this new Quicken was designed specifically for Macintosh users," said Scott Cook, chairman and co-founder of Intuit. "We reviewed more than 2,000 customer suggestions, surveyed feedback from hundreds of users and conducted usability tests with more than 150 Macintosh users while developing this latest Quicken. The result is an intuitive, fresh and clean design that gives Macintosh users tools they can use to be even more productive with Quicken."

Streamlined Interface Makes Quicken Easier for First-Time Users

Quicken's new interface organizes Quicken into five financial activity areas -- Banking, Investing, Planning, Assets/Debt and Reporting. These areas are displayed in an activity bar that is always on-screen, making it easier for users to see what Quicken can do at a glance and get the tools they need with one click. Once users select an activity area, like Banking, an icon bar appears and presents only those tools related to that specific area. The combination of an activity bar representing financial activity areas and an icon bar offering related tools results in a cleaner, simpler interface that helps customers stay organized and focused on their financial tasks. Additionally, the new Quicken offers first-time users a guided start-up sequence that takes the guesswork out of getting started with Quicken. And when users are ready to learn new things, step-by-step instructions track the user through the completion of any task. As a result, users can learn new Quicken functions effortlessly.

The New Quicken is Customizable and Flexible

For more experienced users of Quicken, the new version allows them to customize Quicken by creating personalized workspaces in any or all of the five activity areas. Users can lay out windows exactly how they want to see them and modify icon bars to show only those functions they routinely use. For example, the banking area can be customized to include only the check register and online banking and online payment screens. Once users personalize their workspace, Quicken remembers how it was organized and presents it to users each time exactly as they designed it. And, the personalized workspaces can be customized by users quickly and easily at any time. "During usability testing, our existing customers told us that this new version is like the Quicken they know, only better," said Cook. "The software is still familiar, but it's easier to use Quicken functions they already know to get work done and even easier to learn the rest."

Powerful Financial Planners Create Step-by-Step Action Plans

In response to Macintosh customer requests for more robust planning tools, the new Quicken Deluxe includes new net worth, debt reduction, and retirement planners. Rich in functionality yet easy to use, these planners guide users step by step in creating action plans with "what if" analysis to give them more control over their financial lives. The new Net Worth Analysis provides a starting point for financial planning with a snapshot of where users' finances stand on overall net worth, emergency reserves, and debt as a percent of income. The new Debt Reduction Planner is a step-by-step tool that evaluates users' current debt situation and then helps them create a personalized action plan for getting out of debt. The resulting plan will help users find the least expensive and fastest way to get out of debt. Also new is a Retirement Planner that helps users answer the question "Will I have enough to retire?" and helps them create a plan to get there. The Retirement Planner walks users through a series of questions about current savings, projected contributions and returns, investment allocation, and the effects of taxes and inflation to create a personalized retirement plan. For experienced individual investors, the new Quicken Deluxe includes Investor Insight, an optional investor service that is completely integrated into Quicken's investment portfolio. Investor Insight delivers financial news, historical and current stock prices, including high/low/close prices and trading volume, from top sources like Dow Jones and BusinessWire, directly into Quicken with a single click.

Over 30 Enhancements That Improve Overall Speed and Efficiency

The new Quicken includes over 30 shortcuts and customer-suggested improvements to make some of its most commonly used features faster and more efficient. These include register shortcuts, new and improved graphs and reports, new investment features and additional online banking and payment features. Because the most frequently used feature within Quicken is the checking register, the new Quicken includes register shortcuts such as account, category and calendar pop-up lists to speed data entry. New features make reporting, analyzing, and printing information easier than ever. For example, new Print Preview and Print to Fit options make printing easier. With new Easy Answer graphs, Quicken answers questions in easily understandable terms and creates graphs automatically. With new Memorized Graphs, users can customize graphs to view their finances in the way that makes the most sense to them. Expanded investment features provide more meaningful ways to track the progress of individual investments. A new Security Detail view captures on one screen all the information in Quicken about a particular stock or mutual fund. A price alert feature lets investors know when a stock or mutual fund rises above or falls below targeted prices. A new Asset Allocation graph lets customers see how their investment portfolio compares to broker or newsletter recommendations. Also new are the ability to choose stock lots for tax purposes when selling, and more customization of price history charts. Additionally, the new Quicken adds online payment through banks and other financial institutions to the existing banking service and makes using these services more efficient. For example, customers can now download statements, transfer money, pay bills and send e-mail to their financial institution in a single online connection. Online payment brings bill payment to all Quicken users with checking accounts at any U.S. financial institution. With the addition of online payment and third party processors, the number of financial institutions offering online banking will significantly increase for Quicken for Macintosh customers.

The anticipated street price for Quicken 7 is $39.95, less a $10.00 rebate for upgraders; for Quicken Deluxe 7, $59.95 less a $20.00 rebate for upgraders. For the Investor Insight service, a monthly fee of $9.95 allows investors to follow up to 500 securities.


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