An Update from Eric Dunn, Quicken CEO

Coach Natalie
Coach Natalie Administrator, Moderator admin
edited August 2 in Announcements
Dear Simplifi user,

I am writing to provide an update on the state of Quicken Inc. as we pass the five-year mark as a standalone company. I want to highlight the accomplishments I am most proud of, share some work in progress, and give a sense of our direction going forward.

In terms of accomplishments, I want to start with the team. Of all the things we have done at Quicken Inc, the best thing we’ve done is to build a great team — smart, practical, focused, no-nonsense people, but with a sense of humor and fun.

These folks have been working steadily to make our products better. Quicken for Windows, our most widely used product, has been transformed from a complete but dated-looking and somewhat fragile piece of software into a reliable, modern personal finance application with many of the kinks ironed out — and we’re hard at work on the remaining ones. Quicken Mac, after being in “catch-up” mode for several years after the Quicken Inc. spinoff, has become a full-fledged rival to the Windows product, with cutting-edge MacOS features such as Apple Silicon support and (coming very soon) Dark Mode, as well as outstanding reliability and performance.

Meanwhile, Simplifi by Quicken, the newest member of the family, is off to a great start. In its first year on the market, we have been able to refine and improve two of the key Simplifi innovations — the Spending Plan (now with “planned spending”) and Projected Cash Flow — while also adding some important Quicken capabilities, such as the ability to receive bills online.

Both Quicken and Simplifi are backed by the best Care team in the personal finance industry. We are particularly proud that we have been responding to contacts (calls and chats) consistently in around a minute, and also that due to improved training and tools, our Care agents are typically able to solve an issue in 1/3 less time than 5 years ago … meaning you get off the phone with the right answer more quickly!

Moving on to what is in progress right now, a big focus this year is rewriting the “middleware” of our online banking system to improve the quality and reliability of downloads. About half of our new Simplifi and Quicken users are now on this system, and we are already seeing better reliability for them. We will be moving other users over to the new system later this year. A couple of notes: (i) these changes do not affect Direct Connect (“OFX”), and (ii) although we and our aggregation partner have modernized our systems, many of the “last mile” connections to financial institutions are unchanged; over time, as these connections are replaced with modern APIs, you will see your connectivity quality improve.

On the product front, we have a slew of new investing features lined up for Simplifi, as well as continued work on categorization, Spending Plan, Savings Goals, and Bill Scout. In our Quicken products, we are building on the success of the modern dashboard in the Web App by bringing similar capabilities into Quicken Mac and Quicken for Windows, as well as continuing to refine existing features. We are also making important technical updates to improve mobile performance.

Another focus for us this summer is the work environment for our employees. We are shifting from 100% work-from-home during the Covid pandemic to a mixed post-pandemic work environment. Although we have demonstrated that we can be productive working remotely, having at least a few days per week with our employees in the office together helps with the creative parts of the work we do. This change will take effect in our US locations after Labor Day and a little later on in India.

Looking further ahead, our direction going forward includes continuing investment in financial institution connectivity, with the long-term goal of having multiple ways to access data for any account, in service of reliability and data quality. We have also started to put together product teams to support Quicken and Simplifi in two important areas: machine learning/AI and “orchestration.”

Our immediate goal with machine learning is for our products to get better at things they already do: categorization, identification of recurring bills, and so on. Over a longer time horizon, we believe that machine learning can increase the value and specificity of the financial insights we provide to Quicken and Simplifi users. “Orchestration” is our term for doing financial tasks in the real world for our users: Bill Manager’s QuickPay service is our first example of this. In the years ahead, we plan on continuing to expand the real-world financial tasks you can carry out within Quicken and Simplifi.

Overall, our ambition is to keep finding more ways to make Quicken and Simplifi the most capable, the easiest to use, and the most reliable personal finance software products available.

Even as I relate our ambitions for this future, however, I want to reassure you that the most important things won’t change: Quicken Inc. will continue to be a company that is passionate about getting the software right, that backs up our software with great Customer Care, that listens to you, and that is easy to do business with.

Thank you for your support.

Eric Dunn

CEO, Quicken Inc.