My Accessibility Journey with Quicken 2015

I spend a significant part of my professional and personal life working in the area of software accessibility. I’m pretty familiar with all the positives and negatives of various operating systems, strategies for accessibility on those environments and the various tricks and techniques one can sometimes try to work around challenges when they come up. Then too, unfortunately, there are times I’m reminded of the consequences when a solution does not exist.


I’ve been a long time user of Quicken for personal financial management. Entries in my current use of the program go back more than 15 years. And yet every three years or so there’s been this race I play against the current level of accessibility of whatever version of Quicken I’m forced to update to and my ability to resolve issues to the point of continuing to be able to use the program. If you want to use the automatic transaction download features of the software, most, if not all, financial institutions cut off support for older versions of Quicken at versions older than three years from the current year. Looking back through my software archives, I find copies of Quicken I purchased in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and most recently 2015.


It has been quite some time in my experience that Quicken has worked with ease for me and I suspect others who use screen reading software. But I’m pretty comfortable with all the advanced features of screen readers so have managed to keep things working throughout the years to the point that I felt the trouble in using the software was offset by the benefits. The automatic download of financial transactions, categorization, reporting and investment tracking all combined into a single app have made the program worth continuing to try to keep using for me. I know I can do much of this myself in programs such as Excel and I do some of this today. Still Quicken has, until now, been at the cornerstone of what I’ve used, even if more and more of my analysis and such has moved to Excel.


Earlier this year I knew the clock was ticking on the version of Quicken 2012 I had been using to support automatic transaction download. I took the plunge and purchased Quicken 2015 a few months ago. My luck with the program wasn’t good when I first tried to use it. But the deadline hadn’t quite hit for the older version to stop working so I kept trying different techniques without any luck.


But after several hours invested over the last few days really trying to make things work and the fact that automatic transaction downloads stopped working about 85 days ago for me, I’m now faced with the reality that my time with Quicken is about to come to an abrupt end. Manual transaction entry hasn’t worked right for several years with all of the screen readers I use which is why the automatic download has become so critical and most financial sites only allow 90 days of data download. To be clear this is only one of the challenges and for what I need to do not nearly enough of Quicken 2015 works right with the screen readers I use and I use pretty much all that exist.


In the grand scheme of challenges, I recognize whether I can use Quicken or not is not high on the list. I write about it here mostly I suspect as a bit of catharsis because at an emotional level there is some level of frustration when an environment you’ve been using stops working. And with so much of my time spent in the accessibility space, I have no illusions about some magic behind the curtain. I understand about development priorities from all the players involved. It is just not fun to be on the wrong side of where the line gets drawn and this still happens far too often when it comes to accessibility.

4 thoughts on “My Accessibility Journey with Quicken 2015”

  1. Hi Kelly
    I can understand your anxiety about your Quicken running out of time. We made many improvements to accessibility in Quicken 15. Our biggest priority was solving basic keyboard accessibility. After that, we made significant progress on button and form labeling. However, we recognize there’s still room to improve and are preparing to kick off our beta testing for Quicken 16. The Quicken team is committed to making the product accessible.

  2. I have used Quicken since around 1995 and bumble along with each upgrade I evenly attempt. I’m still doing manual entries as I couldn’t get my automatic downloading to work, even with intuit’s help at one time. Nonetheless, with each passing day that I lose more vision, I dread the thought of giving up this one stop location for all accounts with so much spending history saved inside. People will suggest Cash Manager or other apps, but the reporting capabilities of Quicken is one of the big reasons I find value in this program. I need that ability to run year end tax itemization reports and to show my husband how much we’re sending in different spending categories. And, let’s face it, I don’t like learning new things. So, I hope that all the focus on QuickBooks will spill over to Quicken for home users so that I may continue the Quicken journey with Window eyes.

    1. Hello Kelly,

      I’ve been working with Quicken since the 90s, about the same time I started working with JAWS. It will sort of work with JAWS with some view modifications…use classic menus and enable pop-up registers. JAWS will read the register and in 2017, some of the short-cut keystrokes are working. They have people testing for accessibility, but progress is slow. One other thing, I use the JAWS OCR a lot with Quicken—not ideal, but a workaround.

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