Accounting software

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Personal Finance Software Reviews

by Christi Milligan, October 3, 2009 (with a few updates as of October 2010)

These are my personal reviews of many Mac finance apps. They are a bit outdated. For invoicing I'm currently using Billings which I really like, and then my personal and home business accounting is currently being done using Quicken 2005. I have yet to find an application that will handle the tax side of things as well as Quicken can and the fact that it integrates so well with TurboTax.

I've also added a few other online options that are perhaps worth looking into. If you work for a non-profit, it is worth checking into them to see if they have non-profit pricing. I ask this question to a LOT of developers and you'd be surprised how many are willing to help out non-profits.

iBank 3.5.2

$59.99 (30% off coupon from Macworld (MWSF09))

  • review of iBank 4 as of September 29, 2010
+ iPhone app syncs now with wifi (Bonjour), MobileMe or any WebDAV server
+ Nice, active User Forum
+ Allows you to enter future transactions which are reflected in the running balance
+ They are paying $20 for people to switch from Quicken or MS Money to iBank through a rebate offer
+ Claims to export to TurboTax -- I need to research this further
- Pretty lame GUI (icons are large)
- Split transactions have a major bug that has not been fixed since Oct 2009-May 25, 2010 (keep an eye on this forum post to see if and when a fix is made. The bug is big enough to me (and others) that it instils a lack of confidence in the product's ability to really handle one's accounts. Here's another forum post to track.
  • Scheduled transactions can only be added to iCal -- they don't show up automatically in the register until they are due (NOT GOOD). However, I can manually post the scheduled transactions by hitting Post Now.
  • Allows you to attach a photo (and possibly a receipt) but the icon doesn't change nor does the view of the image increase in size to be legible -- this feature would need to be explored further.)

moneyGuru 1.6.6

$29.95 http://www.hardcoded.net/moneyguru/

- no iPhone app yet (if ever)
- no memo field (all info has to be typed into the Description field)
  • has forum but not sure how active it is
+ allows me to project bills and income ahead
+ imports and exports to QIF
+ great use of graphs to show Net Worth, Profit/Loss, etc
+ allows for reoccurring income and expenses
+ allows of split transactions
+ easily add new expense accounts
+ is in active development

iFinance 3.0 Public Beta

$20 review, another review

+ track your stock portfolio graphically
+ budget feature
+ repeat transactions
+ allows for split transactions
- too much mouse to keyboard requirements (slow data entry)
- Missing very basic features such as printed reports and account reconciliation

Quicken Essentials for the Mac

  • Update to Quicken Essentials for the Mac as of October 14, 2010. The list of updates includes:
Print checks.
Create spending reports.
Attach receipts and other files to transactions.
Manually edit investment holdings and balances, and accounts not automatically connected.
Export data into a tax file format and generating tax summary reports.
  • The comments below were based on the beta version back in 2009:
- no iPhone app yet
+ allows for split transactions
+ Works with many banks directly (BECU-Yes) and downloads directly
+ Scheduled transactions show up in the register and Control-click gives the option to Pay Now which then lets the amount change the running balanace (VERY NICE)
- Car loans that were downloaded from a bank (BECU) got placed under Lines of Credit instead of Loans and there is no way to change it
+ I can merge already entered transactions with BECU's downloaded transactions simply by dropping them on top of each other
  • It uses tags instead of categories like Quicken
  • UPDATE as of October 28, 2010: This has been updated significantly recently and I have not had time to look it over, but from the reviews I've seen so far, they have made a lot of great updates.

SplashMoney

Desktop version is free through Macworld by March 3, 2009

+ Has a great iPhone app ($9.99)
+ Good support forum
+ has a password protection feature
- People are having a very hard time getting it to sync correctly with the iPhone
- Does not support investment accounts

Money3.5

$39; or upgrade for $19 (I own version 2.0) -- review updated May 5, 2010

+ iPhone and iPad app is available (free) -- allows bill entry and sync
+ does allow for split transactions
+ has the ability to generate custom invoices
+ allows you to track investments
+ allows me to project bills and income ahead
+ allows for repeat transactions (Bills)
+ multiple currencies
  • requires Leopard
- support only includes 9 FAQs and then email support (no forums)
- does NOT sync with ANY banks -- all reconciliation must be done manually
- I don't think reconciliation works correctly
- Doesn't allow me to designate categories to their IRS tax code like Quicken but it does have a place for a code to be entered

ReceiptWallet

$39.95

  • keeps track of receipts and lets you categorize them somewhat
  • the reports would not be all that accurate since I don't believe split transactions are possible
+ works well with my Fujitsu scanner

NeatWorks

for Mac Software Kit -- $79.95

  • Another receipt managing software
+ Works well with my Fujitsu scanner

iCash 5.1

$39.90 review

- does not do split transactions easily (if at all)
- no iPhone app
- lame GUI

Squirrel 0.7.1

14.99 euros (http://www.squirrelapp.com/)

review

  • Leopard only
  • loosely associated with iBudget (or perhaps that's what it was called originally)
- not enough features yet
- no iPhone app

PocketMoney

$9.99 iPhone app; desktop version recently released (http://www.catamount.com/iPhoneApps/PocketMoney.html)

- no desktop app to complement the iPhone app but you can backup your files using SyncDocs (see their website for more details) -- UPDATE as of October 11, 2010: There is now a desktop app for the Mac, Windows, and Linux
+ allows for recurring transactions and even allows those items to be added automatically however many days in advance
+ has a password protection feature
+ you can export over WiFi (requires SyncDocs)
  • it offers a PocketMoney Lite for free so you can try it out first

iCompta 3.2

Free (http://angeman7.free.fr/iCompta/)

+ iPhone app $5.99 and nice sync capability
+ Works with BECU (but requires login and password)
- Only allows checking, savings, credit cards and investment type accounts -- there's no account for cash, loans, etc.
- Requires one's banking login and password to do transaction downloads using their inbuilt browser (can that be trusted??)
- allows for split transactions but the register just shows them as colors and not categories (but if you print the register, the category titles do appear)
- no reporting features at all that are printable and barely any that are viewable (see small 3 staggered lines icon in bottom banner) -- all you can print is a copy of the account's register
- cannot keep track of IRS-related info (and even if it did, there are no reports that would be useful to use at tax time)
- doesn't allow for bi-weekly or twice a month transactions

Checkbook Pro 2.0.2

$24.95 (or $39.95 for family pack) (http://www.splasm.com/checkbookpro/index.html)

+ has tax-deductible feature for all transactions but only for the main transaction, not available in the split view so, for example, sales tax cannot be marked as deductible and the rest of the transaction as not deductible
+ allows for numerous types of accounts and you can specify the default type of transaction which is cool
+ has a backup feature
+ has a password protection feature
+ will import (I need to test this feature out to see how well it works with Quicken data)
- won't allow me to move transactions from one account to another when I make a data entry mistake (which unfortunately does happen from time to time)
- limited reporting feature -- it does NOT allow you to select one category and get a print out of only those transactions (which I need when it comes time to do taxes)
+ nice scheduling feature that allows one to look ahead up to 90 days in advance and it prompts you for all scheduled transactions

Online options

I found Billing & Invoicing sites on a recent blog for designers:

Billing Boss

Billing Boss is a free online invoicing app and is a simple payment processing system on smartphones.

Harvest

Harvest is a gorgeous looking invoice app which handles invoicing and time tracking as well.

FreshBooks

For an extensive review of this famous invoicing app please visit “Easy Time Tracking and Invoicing with FreshBooks

WorkingPoint

WorkingPoint is a pit stop for your all your business management needs and we have reviewed it here.

FreeAgent

FreeAgent is a simplified yet powerful accounting app and you can read our coverage of the app here.

Some other suggestions

GnuCash

If you are into steep learning curves, and ugly interfaces, there's always GnuCash. But I don't know if they've improved its reporting abilities yet. I know some companies have used it for accounting, though it's ostensibly a checkbook app. It does rely on double-entry, though. - Jon Glass

I use GnuCash for home accounting and a UK-based charity; with some effort GnuCash can be made to do things well. It's the reporting side that is least flexible unless one wants to delve into the underlying code. I don't. Nevertheless, I find it adequate and like the discipline of proper double-entry book keeping.

GnuCash does invoicing, but that's not an aspect I have used or need. I imported from Quicken when starting and that went fine. - Tony Ford

MYOB

A number of years ago I looked into MYOB (Mind Your Own Business). They did all you asked. They now have a couple of different of packages, so you might want to give them a look. - Bob Zemeski

MoneyWorks

We use Moneyworks Gold in our business. It has single user packages as well as network versions. It is very flexible and allows for the import of a lot of data from external sources. - John Snyder

External links

Here are a few more comparative reviews and suggestions:

Credits

Contributed mainly by Christi Milligan, and others as stated, on the Mac Ministry list on October 29-30, 2010.