Friday, January 2, 2015

How come Mint (an Intuit product) can track the TSP (Federal Government version of a 401K) but Quicken can not? Quicken continues to come up short.

Over at Intuit Support we read: The TSP is the Federal Government version of a 401K. One answer that was posted basically said that it is up to the financial institution to allow downloads. So let me get this straight... The Federal Government is allowing a small web based company to download and not a large company that has been around for 20+ years? I doubt it. It is more likely the way that they are obtaining the data. Quicken needs to incorporate Mint technology into their product.
For a couple of reasons:

1.  Mint uses screen scraping (at this time) to get your data, meaning that it logs into your accounts at the financial institutions (FI) website, "scrapes" what it "sees", then uses a script to translate that scrape into transactional data that can be presented in the app.  Depending on the FI, Quicken may or may not use screen scrape to get data from the FI.  This is why Mint can show you your pending transactions (for better or worse), while Quicken cannot.

2.  Depending on how Quicken connects to the FI, there can be a delay in the data the gets presented to Quicken.  Quicken Canada only offers Direct Connect & Web Connect, which means that you're most likely using Direct Connect and getting the data that the FI is creating and transmitting to Quicken via OFX.  Quicken can only get what the FI sends.  If you're using Web Connect, then there's no reason for you to not get the latest cleared/posted transactions unless you're selecting a different date when creating the Download For Quicken (QFX) file - Web Connect is completely controlled by the user and the FI, with no Quicken intervention.

Quicken and Mint should not be compared as "equal" applications simply because they're provided by the same company.  They are wholly unrelated in everything from the ground up - local data file vs. cloud database, different methods of getting data, different interfaces and different relationships with 3rd parties (including financial institutions).
BigDaddyBigD...........   Quicken Tamara has given you a very good explanation ...   Consider doing as I do and use both Mint and Quicken.  Each Intuit offering has lots to offer.  In the upcoming years, I am in hopes, that Intuit will come up with a blending of Mint and Quicken offering. (with a cloud database)  I do believe they will and that such an offering is not to far off.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for explaining everything. I wasn't sure which product to use (Quicken vs Mint) but now that I actually know how that Mint can track TSP I think I know which one I will choose.
    Thanks for helping out! Nice post!