Intuit Inc. promised to ease the 'taxing' process of managing personal finances for Macintosh users with Wednesday's announcement of Quicken 2001 Deluxe for the Macintosh.
Tagged at a retail price of US$59.95 for new users of the personal finance software with a $20 rebate for users of previous Quicken versions, Quicken 2001 is expected to become available next month. The software will be compatible with MacOS version 8.6 and above and will require 32M bytes of RAM (random access memory) to run.
Quicken 2001 has been built more as a more Web-enabled product compared with Quicken 2000 for the Mac, Intuit said. "We are moving more and more resources to the Web," said Adam Samuels, product manager at Intuit, in a phone interview Wednesday. He added that a lot of Quicken's functionality has been moved to Quicken.com, the company's online personal finance Web site. "Users can substitute Quicken.com for Quicken's desktop edition, though not completely," Samuels said.
Quicken 2001 itself has a number of new features, that help make management and organization of finances easier, according to Samuels.
The software's most important feature is the "missed bill reminder" feature, Samuels said. "An average American pays 17 bills a month, or 204 a year, according to the Bill Payers Association of America," he said, adding that "the consequence of not paying a bill could affect your credit." Quicken 2001 rummages through data files to alert users on when monthly bills need to be paid, like mortgage or credit card payments, Samuels added.
Intuit has aligned itself with more than 1,400 credit card companies, banks and financial institutions to provide various services to Quicken 2001 for Mac users, including online financial services, online banking and investment services. "Users will be able to check their balances, view transactions and make e-payments with the online banking service," Samuels said. Users can also avail themselves of free online consulting provided by financial experts, he added.
Quicken 2001 has remote capabilities thanks to Quicken.com. "Users can export a portfolio from a Quicken desktop on to their account at Quicken.com, and view their data from anywhere using a browser," Samuels said. Asked whether users can export data from Quicken.com to Quicken 2001 on the desktop, he answered, "Not yet, but we aim to implement two-way export of data in the future versions."For investors, Quicken 2001 uses the Internet to download the latest stock and company information to help them make informed investment decisions, Samuels said. The software also uses the Web to link to stock evaluators like Standard & Poor's and Comstock, he added.
Intuit has made management of 401 (k) accounts easier with the new 401 (k) Advisor, according to Samuels. "Based on certain parameters, the 401 (k) advisor can help figure out asset allocation, which is the biggest challenge in managing 401 (k) accounts," he said. Samuels added that Intuit has partnered with more than 1,000 corporations, 40 U.S. state governments and 30 IRA (individual retirement account) providers to provide users access to their 401(k) accounts. Advisors will be on hand to provide free online personalized advice, Samuels said.
Among other new features in Quicken 2001 are a proactive tax alert, which lets users know when tax deadlines are approaching. Users will also be able to compare rates for automobile or life insurance online. Users will be notified of software upgrades via an online tips window, Samuels said. The global find-and-replace feature has been enhanced to search all the accounts at once, as compared to Quicken 2000's searching one account at a time, according to Samuels.
Intuit, in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-944-6000 or at http://www.intuit.com/.