If you use Quicken, you already believe in the importance of managing your money. That’s great. But are you getting all the insights and awareness into your personal finances you want or need? Perhaps you are looking to try a different approach.
Tiller lets you manage your personal finances with spreadsheets. We think this is a better way. A recent survey found 96% of the people who switch from a personal finance app to a spreadsheet are satisfied with using a spreadsheet and 92% are more aware of their spending habits.
Tiller doesn’t use just any spreadsheet. Tiller runs on Google Sheets, which are secure and collaborative. If you want some general reasons why you might want to use a spreadsheet, check out this blog post.
Here’s we’ll explore which Quicken features are found in Tiller and which are not. Since Quicken has different features across its various versions and platforms, we’ll stick to Quicken’s major features. Unlike Quicken, Tiller is the same for everyone and works on Windows, Mac, smart phones and tablets. Any platform or device that can access Google Sheets can run Tiller.
5 Quicken Features You'll Find In Tiller
#1. Track Your Transactions
Both Tiller and Quicken track all your financial transactions. In Quicken, you can view an Account Register with all the transactions for each account. In Tiller, all transactions are listed on the Transactions sheet.
It’s easy to sort and filter them to create your own customized views. For example, you can filter by a single account or category. You can also create separate sheets for each of your specific accounts. Searching your transaction data is quick and easy.
Tiller can bring your daily transactions and all your account balances right to your inbox every morning. You can also send a daily or weekly email that tracks your progress on your budget.
#2. Securely and Automatically Import Your Bank Transactions
Quicken automatically imports your bank, credit card, and other financial transactions. So does Tiller. Both use 256-bit AES encryption for powerful data security. Tiller has no access to your bank credentials, and no ability to move any of your money. No one at Tiller will see your private transaction or balance data, nor do we have access to your Google Sheet unless you specifically choose to share it with us.
#3. Categories and Tags
Both Quicken and Tiller provide some level automated categorization. In Tiller it’s the category hint column that you can add to any of your Tiller spreadsheets. Both make it easy to add and delete categories and subcategories. You can add multiple tags in both as well.
Quicken lets you split a transaction into various categories. Using a Tiller Google Sheets Add-on, you can split transactions in Tiller.
#4. Financial Reports and Budgeting
Quicken includes dozens of standard reports for your financial data. Tiller can match most of these reports, plus it gives you the ability to create any financial report you can imagine. Tiller comes with several pre-built templates. Tiller’s pre-built templates provide in-depth reporting around weekly category spending, monthly budgeting and net worth just to name a few. The Raw Data or Build Your Own templates are great places to start if you’re spreadsheet savvy and want to build out your own custom dashboards or reports.
The Tiller Help Center also offers many great resources on how to build your own custom reports. Tiller's not limited to just rows and columns of numbers. We show you how to add colorful charts to visual your transactions and spot trends or problems.
Both Quicken and Tiller give you several ways to watch your Account Balances and track your budget. In Quicken, you can only set up a budget the way the software allows. In Tiller, you can track your budget anyway you want. Tiller offers a powerful, yet simple, budget template, and has partnered with several personal finance experts to create different budgeting approaches.
In Quicken, your financial data can be protected behind a password to unlock the application. Since Tiller uses Google Sheets, all your financial data is protected by your Google password. Google places high priority on accounts security and combined with their 2-Step Verification (which we highly recommend you activate) you get an added layer of powerful security.
5 Quicken Features You Won’t Find In Tiller
#1. Auto Categorization
Quicken automatically categorizes your transactions. Sometimes it guesses correctly. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Tiller takes a different approach. We purposely don’t auto-categorize your transactions (other than the category hint). We want you to see each of your transactions and become more aware of your financial picture. By manually categorizing a transaction, you are acknowledging the transaction. This makes it easy to discover any charge that shouldn’t be there. It also prevents transactions getting put in the wrong category.
#2. How Transfers Are Handled
Quicken uses double-entry accounting principles. That means if you make a transfer from one account to another, Quicken will automatically place a corresponding transaction in the account where the transfer is being made. This system works as long as the transfer gets completed. Since transfers between banks and credit card companies usually take a few days, there might be a few days when a transfer is automatically listed in an account, but the actual transfer hasn’t yet taken place.
Tiller takes a different approach. For each account, transactions are downloaded and handled separately. Tiller won't automatically create a transaction in one account due to a transfer in a different account. With Tiller, you can assign each of these transactions to the Transfer category. When all your transfers have been completed, the transfer category should have a balance of zero. A nice benefit of Tiller’s system is you can easily identify what transfers might not have been completed if your transfer balance is not zero.
#3. Detailed Investment Information
Quicken keeps detailed information about your investment portfolios. You can view information about each stock, bond or mutual fund you own. Quicken also generates capital gain reports and tracks cost basis information for your investments.
Tiller keeps track of the transactions in your investment accounts, such as purchases, sales and dividend reinvestments, but, it doesn’t keep detailed records for each of your investments.
You can use Google Sheets to make your own portfolio and investment reports. Google can retrieve price, change, and dozens of other financial attributes by using the GOOGLEFINANCE function. Putting =GOOGLEFINANCE(“GOOG”,”price”) into a Google Sheets cell returns Alphabet’s (Google parent) current price. Using this function, you can build customized Portfolio views with Google Sheets. Learn more about using GOOGLEFINANCE with Tiller on our blog.
#4. Bill Pay
Quicken offers the ability to pay your bills inside of the application.
Since Tiller has no access to your money, it doesn’t offer any way to pay your bills. Many banks offer free bill pay on their websites. When using your bank’s bill pay directly, there is less chance something can go wrong with a third-party payment provider.
#5. Annual Releases
Quicken releases new software most years, which require a paid update. Currently, there's Quicken (Starter Edition, Deluxe, and Premier) 2017 for Windows and Quicken 2017 for Mac. Not all Quicken users have upgraded to the latest version, so they might be running older software. Usually new features are not introduced until a new version ships.
Tiller uses the software-in-the-cloud model. There's no software to install and you never have to buy or upgrade to new software. Both Tiller and Google Sheets are constantly making improvements and adding features.
Give Tiller A Try
Now that you have a better idea of what you can and can’t do with Tiller, give it a try. Tiller offers a free 30 day trial so you can test it out. You can run both Quicken and Tiller at the same time to see which best fits your needs. Tiller’s friendly support team can answer your questions and help you make the switch.