We have for more years than we care to mention used a personal Finance program to track all of our finances. The package we have used in known as Quicken developed by Intuit. Unfortunately back in 2005 they decided that it was not economical to continue with the UK version and thus it is many years since we last updated the package. In fact it is even longer than that since the version we use is/was dated 2001.
This isn’t quite as bad as it sounds since financial accounting hasn’t significantly changed over time and crediting and debiting amounts from an account still functions exactly the same. However the program runs/ran upon Windows XP, and even Microsoft have officially ceased XP support. We have even resorted to having a virtual machine just to run our old version.
This situation is not ideal but the main competitor Microsoft Money was also withdrawn in 2005. There are a few alternative from smaller producers available, but familiarity with Quicken is not one of their main considerations, not surprisingly.
In the States the version of Quicken is 2015 version, so we decided to see if it were possible to upgrade.
The first thing we discovered was that the file format of the Quicken data file has changed so even if we wanted to migrate to the latest US version we would have to go through an intermediate step to convert the files. Fortunately Quicken UK provide a free upgrade to Quicken 2004 R2, which can convert the file. We installed the update and the file was successfully converted. We performed the conversion on our virtual XP machine, after ensuring suitable backups etc., were taken.
We then wondered whether we could run this upgraded 2004 version on Windows 7 native. We found this post which mentioned that many people were able to use it on Windows 7. The posts were dated 2011 but with nothing to lose we installed the upgrade on Windows 7. It installed fine but when we tried to run it we received the error that the file MFC70.dll was missing. Again we found a post that provided a resolution. In our case we merely changed the install file to be XP compatible and reran the install. This time it ran successfully after reinstalling.
Then we loaded out backup QData file and we were back on track.
OK we have no official support for such an old version but it functions well, and having never had the need for support in over 20+ years, it is not a major consideration. Updated share prices and the ability to download from Financial institutions were both features that we rarely used so that they will (probably) not work is not a concern.
Next we have to look at obtaining and using the US 2015 version. In theory we should be able to use the US version by specifying our default currently as Sterling. We would probably not be able to use the Cloud storage and a few other ‘features’ either which begs the question is this something worthwhile doing?
The first problem is going to in obtaining a version from the US, since they are reluctant to send a US version out of the States, since we do not have a US Zip code. Amazon state that the product is only available to to customers located in the United States and who have a U.S. billing address. Since we do not this is a potential show stopper. EBay appear to have a few sellers but with postage such a large contribution to the total cost there has to be cheaper option.
So currently we have managed to ‘upgrade’ our version to the last UK supported version and can run it upon Windows 7, which is a cleaner solution that using a virtual machine with the 2001 version. This is progress and moves us further forward with a good working base but we are not running the latest US version which was our original intent. Something to look at again when we have some more time.