8 Troubleshooting Tips for Quicken 2014 - dummies

8 Troubleshooting Tips for Quicken 2014

By Stephen L. Nelson

Sometimes step-by-step information about how to use Quicken 2014 doesn’t cut it. What you need instead, is troubleshooting advice — techniques and tactics that can solve the inevitable problems you’ll encounter while using Quicken in real-life settings. What follows is my list of the best troubleshooting techniques that I can offer you.

Use the Quicken Help file

You might be thinking that you have some problem that you can’t solve by using Help, and it’s either a bug or some glaring error in the Quicken documentation.

Maybe you’re right.

But about half the time, the only problem is that you don’t yet know enough about Quicken to know what to do. People simply experience a mechanical problem, and they can’t make the program work because they haven’t used Quicken enough to figure out how it works. Therefore the right way to solve this sort of problem is to find out more about Quicken and try again. For example, if you’re having problems printing a report, just finding out more about printing and reports often solves your problem.

Usually, you should be able to find the information you need in the Quicken Help file. To find information in the Quicken Help file, choose Help→Quicken Help to display the Help window, click on the Search Quicken Help tab, and then enter the word or phrase that you want to look up.

Visit the Quicken Product Support website

Another really good resource for troubleshooting is the Intuit product support website for Quicken. This website supplies a rich database of troubleshooting information.

To use the website, you select the version of Quicken you’re using. After you click your version, you see a web page that lists common categories of problems or questions. You select a category, and you’re on your way. The product support website then displays a list of troubleshooting articles that may help you solve your problem.

Check the Microsoft website

Keep in mind the possibility that your problem may not be a problem with Quicken at all, but rather a problem with your computer and its hardware or with Microsoft Windows. If your problem stems from the hardware or the operating system, you can consult the hardware or software maker’s product support website for troubleshooting information. The Microsoft product support website is phenomenally rich in information.

You can find troubleshooting information about Intuit products at the Microsoft product support website. If the solutions that the site offers aren’t very reassuring, at least you can find out whether others have experienced the same problem. Microsoft may suggest that you contact the vendor (which is Intuit) or that you upgrade to a newer version of the Quicken software. But knowing that the problem you’ve encountered is a real problem that Microsoft has logged into its product support knowledge base (that’s what Microsoft calls it) and described in some technical detail is often useful.

Check the hardware vendor product support website

You can usually find the hardware maker product support website easily by using a good Internet search engine. For example, to locate Dell Computer’s product support website, type something like “Dell Computer product support” into Google.

Contact Intuit directly

If the Intuit product support website (above) wasn’t helpful, you can contact Intuit directly by visiting the Quicken support page and clicking the Contact Us button.

If you’re willing to wait for your help, free support is available by e-mail (consult the Intuit support website for current details). Finally, the Intuit site also offers a free chat service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Try the Quicken Live Community

If your problem with Quicken isn’t a program bug or you’re tried to solve it on your own, you can sometimes find help by consulting other Quicken users. One of the easiest ways to do this is by browsing the Quicken Live Community forums.

Community groups really amount to free-form — and, sometimes, meandering — discussions among users. That means that sometimes, you could post a great question and still not get an answer. And good community forum etiquette suggests that, if you’re going to ask questions, you should also try to answer questions.

Install and use antivirus software

If you can’t solve a problem and you have Internet access and you’ve been downloading files or accepting e-mail messages with attachments from strangers, your computer may have a virus. And it may be that your Quicken problems (particularly Quicken problems that you can’t solve in other ways) stem from the virus.

In this case, buy, install, and use antivirus software such as Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan. Consider one of these software programs just another part of the price of Internet connectivity. You can download antivirus software from either Norton AntiVirus or “McAfee VirusScan.” You can also try Microsoft’s free antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials.

Contact your CPA

If you use a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent to prepare your federal and state income taxes, you can probably get a quick (and perhaps free) answer from him or her. CPAs and enrolled agents, as you may guess, have spent years learning about and working with accounting systems. Commonly, the problems people have with Quicken aren’t technical software problems but accounting or bookkeeping conundrums. So what you think is a Quicken bug may, er, really be an operator error.

Even if you don’t use a CPA or enrolled agent at tax time, you may want to find one whom you can ask for help and then pay him or her. If you’re using Quicken for a small business or for real estate investing — something a wee bit complicated — an hour or so of personalized training is often all you need to get all your questions answered.