For my test, I set up a test Quicken 2006 data file. In this file I created four accounts:
- A checking account
- A savings account
- A mortgage
- A brokerage account with a few different stocks
That last account I put in on purpose, knowing that Quicken Essentials for Mac has no ability to manage brokerage accounts. I wanted to know what would happen when the Quicken File Exchange Utility ran into this.
I also set up a couple of memorized transactions and a couple of scheduled transactions, again to see how well the Quicken File Exchange Utility would manage these items.
The Quicken File Exchange Utility comes with an eight page user manual that describes how to migrate from both kinds of Quicken (Mac and Windows) as well as Microsoft Money. Let me take this opportunity to repeat the most important eight words in this manual:
Create a copy of your current data file
Backups are important, people.
The Quicken File Exchange Utility is the only way to open up an old data file in Quicken Essentials for Mac. There's an Import option in the File menu, but if you use it and point it over to your old data file, you'll be prompted to launch the Quicken File Exchange Utility and convert your data file:
When you launch the Quicken File Exchange Utility you're presented with a three-step process (and yet another admonishment to use a copy of your data file).
You're then prompted to identify the data file that you wish to import. I picked my test data file:
and we were off and running. Conversion was quick, and resulted in a new data file:
So, how did it do? The data file retained all four accounts. Both the checking and savings accounts got copied over correctly, as did the mortgage. The brokerage account was copied, but with no data in it. Other details:
- I had several customized categories, each of which were moved successfully
- The scheduled transactions were transferred correctly as well, including the scheduled mortgage payment (which was a transfer between the checking and mortgage accounts)
Overall, I'd call this a success. Yes, it's lame that QEM doesn't support brokerage accounts, but it worked as advertised.
One final note -- I've tried this conversion several times with the same data file, and in one iteration I had an issue in which the conversion got stuck, stalling out with a window that said "Copying your file (this could take a while)". I did a force quit, and things were very bad -- not only did I not have a converted file, I could no longer open up my original data file in Quicken 2006. Like I said (and like they warn), use a copy of your data file, not the original.