Major Reconciliation Problem With Quicken for Mac, CheckFree Bill Pay and BankAmerica

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Date: Thursday, July 18th, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive

A major reconciliation problem exists when using Intuit?s Quicken for OS X, CheckFree (CF) Bill Pay and BankAmerica(BA) that is centered around Quicken?s OFX reconciliation function (OFX is a new electronic banking standard). The inability to properly reconcile can throw off your checkbook balance by major quantities.

The problem is innumerable unwanted repeat entries into the Quicken checkbook register that have been previously reconciled, perhaps months earlier. When new payments are made, BA looks for recognizable previous payments made. With OFX, these recognizable payments do not always include those with the lightning bolt symbol that BA and CF had, on prior sessions, entered [in your Quicken register] to verify received requests for future payments. In fact, the lightning bold is frequently deleted from previously accepted payments. Deleting the duplicate entry that CF would suggest means deleting the register entry with your split and category data!

CheckFree acts as an intermediary in this process allowing one to make bill payments. They suggested on the phone via tech support that they may not be supporting Quicken for Mac much longer. BA also states that there are so few, relatively speaking, Mac clients, they may also terminate future support.

Therefore, it is impossible to use Quicken for Mac with CheckFree Bill Payer to electronically make payments, at least to BA. Intuit acknowledged that there is a reconciliation problem. After multiple calls to Intuit support with multiple technical personnel, no one knows or can say when the OFX problem will be solved, and there is no timetable for support of Quicken OFX with BA.

Considering a switch? The Windows version of Quicken affords the luxury of accepting or rejecting reconciliation data, thus avoiding the duplication problem. Unfortunately Mac?s version of Quicken does not have this option.

To reiterate, one cannot use Quicken for Mac to reliably make CheckFree Bill Pay payments to BA. Another solution does exist yet it requires a slight level of duplicate entry, opening the door for possible human error, but it might save you a few duckets. This is to use BA web site to make bill payments directly through their online payment system. This requires you to list your payees on their Web site. Fortunately, this is only a onetime setup. Thereafter, you merely enter a payment amount and date with a selected payee – not the split data. Split data is manually entered as usual into the Quicken register. The bonus reward for going through this step is that you save $9.95 per month by eliminating CheckFree from the equation, and more importantly, prevent the massive grief. Goodbye CheckFree! The only apparent down side is that it may take a few additional minutes each month, depending on your connection speed.

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