01More New Features and Improvements
If you've used Quicken before, you'll notice when you start up Quicken 2015 for the first time that you need to either log in with an Intuit ID or create one if you don't already have one. This ID is required for access to all the services that are now connected to Quicken, and you'll need it to register your software. The connected services are features like downloading transactions from your financial institutions, using online bill pay directly from Quicken software, email, and text alerts and getting access to Quicken help and support.
I found budgets to be a bit easier to work within Quicken 2015. If you like to be exact with your budget, you can now view cents in budgets amounts so rounding up or down won't mess with your figures. Budget amounts can be set for the year, for a spending category based on an amount per time period and you can budget for an entire group of associated categories. Other enhancements include the ability to exclude saving account transfers from the budget and to view the sum of rollover categories (if you use this feature) for the month below the Totals row.
A new version of Quicken has released annually, and although prices have remained the same compared to last year, it's not inexpensive personal finance software. Upgrading annually is not necessary, but Quicken's sunset policy calls for upgrading every three years to avoid losing services and features. You could possibly buy Quicken 2014 for less (compare prices online) and still use the software for a couple of years before having to upgrade, but the credit score in Quicken 2015 alone is worth the cost difference. Prices may go down a bit after the first of the year, and I've included price comparison links to each version listed below.
Data can be exported from any Quicken version to TurboTax personal tax software. If you're going to do this, use spending categories very carefully to accurate report tax deductible expenses.
There is no free trial for Quicken 2015, but there is a 60-day money back guarantee. I've listed the features in each Quicken 2015 version below, and you can visit quicken.intuit.com for more information.
02Quicken 2015 Starter Edition
Quicken Starter Edition is the most basic version available. A good set of features includes those for budgeting, tracking account balances, transactions and spending and keeping bills organized, so they are paid on time. If you're using a higher version of Quicken and want to downgrade to Starter Edition, don't try. Starter edition can't import data from higher versions.
Quicken 2015 Starter Edition includes:
- Quicken Credit Score, updated quarterly.
- Tools for setting up and maintaining a budget.
- Monthly cash flow reporting that shows what's left over after expenses.
- Download account transactions and reconcile accounts.
- Sync data between the desktop software and the free iOS or Android mobile app.
- Alerts via email and text for upcoming bills, account activity and more.
- Assorted financial reports.
Quicken 2015 Starter Edition retails for around $40. Compare prices for Quicken Starter Edition before you buy.
03Quicken 2015 Deluxe
Quicken Deluxe builds on the features in Starter Edition. This version will import data from other versions if you want to downgrade from Premier or higher to Deluxe. You will lose the new investment reporting feature by not using a higher version, though.
Quicken 2015 Deluxe features:
- Tools for reducing debt, retirement planning and long term expense planners for buying a home, paying for college and more.
- Track mortgages and other loans, basic investment account tracking.
- Support for Quicken Attachments, images of receipts, warranties and anything else you want to keep along with transactions or account statements.
Quicken 2015 Deluxe retails for $75, but check for Quicken Deluxe deals.
04Quicken 2015 Premier
Quicken Premier adds advanced investment tracking, portfolio analysis, and the new Portfolio X-Ray to the features in the Deluxe version. Portfolio X-Ray shows the asset allocation of your entire portfolio, sector weightings, stock holdings within mutual funds and compares your portfolio performance to various benchmarks and indexes. Results are explained in plainly so you can make decisions about changing your investments if you want to. Other features include:
- Compare your portfolio to market averages.
- Compare mutual funds.
- Track cost basis and capital gains, with reports for IRS Schedule D and investment-related tax deductions.
- Align portfolio with risk and return goals.
- Graphical reports include asset allocation.
Quicken 2015 Premier retails for $105, but there are online deals available.
05Quicken 2015 Home & Business
Quicken Home & Business adds features for tracking small business income and expense to the personal finance features found in Quicken Premier. Quicken Home & Business won't take the place of accounting software, but it's a good solution for hobby income or contractors with no employees and no inventory in a home business.
Small business features include:
- Income and expense categories specifically for business expenses.
- Quicken Home & Business can automatically determine whether a transaction should be categorized as personal or business (you may need to do some tweaking at first).
- Profit and loss report.
- Flags tax deductible business expenses and create reports for IRS Schedule C.
- Create estimates and invoices.
- Basic receivable income and business bill payments.
Quicken 2015 Home & Business retails for around $115, but compare prices before you buy.
06Quicken 2015 Rental Property Manager
Quicken Rental Property Manager can be used to track up to 100 properties and your personal finances. This version has all Quicken 2015 Premier features with rental income tracking and reports.
Quicken Rental Property Manager features include:
- Reports show expenses by property, paid and unpaid rents, profit, and loss by property.
- Tax reporting, software finds rental-related tax deductions.
- Schedule C and Schedule E tax reports, which can be exported into TurboTax tax software if you prepare your taxes, or send the data to your accountant.
- Rent Center with tenant contact information, lease terms, security deposits and payment history.
Quicken Rental Property Manager retails for $165, but check for online deals before you buy.
Quicken 2015 Review with Versions, Features and Prices
Free Credit Scores and New Investment Analysis Tool are Top New Features
Quicken 2015 adds a quarterly credit score and robust yet easy-to-understand investment reporting this year. Both of these features are really useful and add value to the fully-featured personal finance software for Windows. The desktop software is complemented with mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad that were introduced last year. Use the apps for tracking your accounts and budget from anywhere, and snap photos of important receipts and attach them to transactions for back up. Image attachments are now saved in the cloud, and the Mobile and Alerts section of the software is easier to work with.