Frustrated With Microsoft Money

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I really appreciate how Microsoft has really opened up many of its internal developer groups. I only wish this also applied to more of their consumer products.

For example, I am trying to set up online services for a bank within Microsoft Money. My bank allows passwords up to 32 characters. Microsoft Money allows me to enter 8 characters and that’s it. WTF!? With all this emphasis on security, you’d think they would support more than 8 characters in a password, especially when the bank does.

So I try going to the support site and there is nothing helpful. Since my copy is over a year old, I get the lovely option to pay $35.00 for a support incident. Heck for that money, I might as well upgrade, but how do I know this problem is even fixed in the latest versions? I don’t.

So following the support instructions, I head over to the Microsoft Money community newsgroups to be greeted with the message…

Service Temporarily Unavailable

We apologize for this inconvenience. Please try again later.

Great! It appears there is no way for me to register a complaint or have someone tell me whether this is fixed in the latest version of Money for this institution. Maybe I should have bought Quicken.

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12 responses

  1. Avatar for Nathan Hartley
    Nathan Hartley January 17th, 2006

    You can download a 90 trial of the latest version here...

    http://www.microsoft.com/money/default.mspx



    I tried testing the password length issue out on the copy I downloaded a couple of weeks back, but I keep getting the following message no matter what I try...



    "Money could not set up your accounts because your sign-in information could not be verified. Close and reopen Money, and then sign in again online."



    I do know that they are actually using an (India-)Indian account aggregation company named Yodlee (http://yodlee.com) to do the magic account synchronizing. It could be that Yodlee has incorrectly set the maximum length of your FI's password. May want to try a different FI just as a test.



    Personally I would avoid Intuit products. Their practices as of late have be rather underhanded. You wouldn't believe the setup and subscription fees they charge FI's just to offer their QFX (hacked OFX) exports.

  2. Avatar for Maxx Daymon
    Maxx Daymon January 18th, 2006

    MS Money may be frustrating, but I have found Quicken is many times more frustrating. I have tried to switch to Quicken at least 6 times (and have a stack of Quicken boxes to prove it). It's a frankenstein monster of code from Windows 3.1 to XP, completely stupid non-standard controls, and quirks seem to be the rule rather than the exception. It also has brain dead data manipulation. When I imported my Money data, it classified my credit cards as savings accounts, and you cannot change them to credit accounts. You don't so much use Quicken as try to persuade it into doing what you want.



    Money has a set of bank access definitions. Those definitions are not updated in your 'bug fix' updates, but rather in entirely new versions of Money. I had the same problem and had to upgrade to the latest version when my bank switched to alphanumeric passwords. Depending on when your bank rules changes, a later version should fix it. The definitions for the site access are very specific, not a free form field as you might expect.



    If you are willing to try a little guy, however, I'd recommend looking at a product called MoneyDance (http://moneydance.com/) I've tried it a couple times, but I haven't been able to make the jump yet. I may at some point, but it just hasn't made its way up my priority list.



    Also, you might be interested in reading this blog from a former Money developer. It explains a lot about some of the past iterations of Money:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/philipsu/archive/2004/07/01/170682.aspx

  3. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked January 18th, 2006

    Thanks Maxx. It seems that the latest versions of Quicken have been universally reviled, especially given certain underhanded practices Intuit allegedly engages in. I'll stick with Money.



    It's too bad that updated bank definitions do not come in product updates. I shouldn't be forced to upgrade if the product I have meets my needs.

  4. Avatar for Jason Knapp
    Jason Knapp August 4th, 2006

    I had the same "verified" problem as Nathan Hartley, but then I figured out it's because I had my computer set not to accept all cookies. If you tell it to accept cookies from msn.com, live.com, passport.com, passport.net, and microsoft.com you should be all set.

  5. Avatar for Ryan Daley
    Ryan Daley January 5th, 2007

    I'm having the same problem as Nathan Hartley. How did you fix it Jason Knapp? I went into IE (the default for Money) and told it to accept all cookies, but I'm still having this problem.
    Also, when I click Show Full Category List in Tools:Settings:Categories it tells me -The standard categories have been added to your list of categories.- I then click OK and nothing happens. Anyone know how to fix this?
    Thanks

  6. Avatar for Mark
    Mark June 20th, 2007

    I tried to end a checking account at the end of the year and start another one. It's been 6 months, I've given up balancing the new one, now I'm trying to piece together the old one. It's got 6 years worth of checking in it. It's getting to damn big! Anybody with this kind of money (microsoft) should be using it to help their customer out! Hell I might even think about buying full versions of their software if the would SUPPORT it. Rat Bastards!

  7. Avatar for Jake
    Jake June 21st, 2007

    This same problem has been annoying me for months.
    I fixed it by clicking on the Check MSN Network Status in Money. This opened a website basically reminding me that after 2 years you cannot access online banking without an upgrade. This is out of the question as I run W2K.
    Anyway, there was a certificate you could download and install. I did that, and now it works again....

  8. Avatar for David
    David July 8th, 2007

    I am Using Money 2005. Occasionally if for gets how to add. At first I thought that I was making a mistake when balancing an account, but I could not figure it out. When I balaced an account, the starting balance would match my statement from the previous months closing, I would enter the new closing balance. I proceed to check off all the transaction listed on the staement. The difference between my statement and register comes down to zero. I press proceed and a window tels me that my starting balance is now wrong, but money filled it in from my previous sucessful balancing. It only does it occassionally (3 times this year). It has been off between a penny and ten dollars. I found a place in the register this last time where there was only 1 transaction that month (an 18 cent dividend) and I took a screen shot of where money could not add the 18 cents and come up with the correct number.

  9. Avatar for Bonnie
    Bonnie June 18th, 2008

    I have installed Money 2007 on my new Laptop with Vista OS, but as soon as i open the program , it gives a message of Windows has stoped to run this program, and it closes. Can anyone help me to fix this problem please?

  10. Avatar for Rodger
    Rodger September 25th, 2008

    Has anyone figured out how to close accounting files for one year and start afresh in January of the next? Is this even a good idea?
    Tks,

  11. Avatar for normarae
    normarae January 2nd, 2009

    I'd like to add my complaints too towards MS Money. EXACT same problem as Nathan from 2006. I recently downloaded & purchased MS Money Deluxe and am having much grief with my passwords (bank wants 11 characters, Money wants only 4-8 and they MUST match). Where does a person turn? My advice to anyone thinking about this software - DOWNLOAD TRIAL FIRST don't pay for it until you try it out. Any knowledge on solution much appreciated!

  12. Avatar for cris
    cris February 5th, 2009

    I want to work with two checking accounts on Microsoft Money, but at the end of the year when I'm in category spending to run off a spread sheet of expenses and income, both accounts run together showing all sub categories from both accounts. Is there a way to seperate them.