Accounting App

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by matt-h, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. matt-h macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I am a little stuck at what would seem like the first hurdle to writing a program on my mac.

    I am proficient at programming C and VBA but have never had to choose a platform / language for myself before; all my previous work coding has been performed on an existing system either at work or during my degree... (given that I am an engineer not a programmer I have never had to do the ground work).

    I digress. Essentially what I'm trying to do is write an app which will open a .csv file full of my bank transactions and write the entries into a database. I want to be able to then list the entries within the database and either manually or automatically (i.e. with some logic) assign each entry a tag (e.g. 'fuel payment' 'rent payment' 'shopping' e.t.c). Then I want to be able to write a front end to the database which can sort for the aforementioned tags and display them in a dashboard so I can see where all my money is going!!!

    I am aware there are apps already existing for this but... 1) I am extremely sceptical about putting anything which could be used against me into an app 2) they usually cost something and I see no reason to pay someone for something I could do myself.

    Excel and VBA is something I am familiar with and I have a fairly good idea of how I would go about this but the program is fairly clunky and not very neat (not to mention I'm not learning anything new by doing it that way).

    Thanks in advance.
    Matt
     
  2. WarDialer macrumors member

    WarDialer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #2
    Define the problem space more clearly first.

    Problem: You already have an Excel/VBA method to do this, but its not pretty enough?

    Solution: Find an existing dedicated Expenses app (or Database-derived "app") that is pretty.

    That would be more efficient than building a new app with virtually no experience at all. Yes they cost money (mostly), but you don't work for free do you so why should someone else who makes things work for free?

    Your data is on your Mac in the app's storage files, unless you use a remote or Cloud-based expenses app. And, really, if you are concerned about your transactions you are already pretty far gone using any bank, credit or debit card, non-cash transactions of any kind. Try BitCoin or some crypto-currency. I hear there are literally dozens of places around the world that accept BitCoin now.

    If you want to learn programming start smaller and build a simple app that ingests a CSV file and prints it in a new text window with some tabular formatting. Expand from there. I don't think many people go from zero to TurboTax in one step.
     
  3. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #3
    I agree with WarDialer. Let's say you spend 100 hours on it ( this is really a joke, 100 hours is just a single hard week for a coder, we typically will roll with a hard month right before going golden ). 100 hours even at 1$ an hour is, well about $100 bucks. Many applications can be purchased that will do exactly what you want for $100 bucks or less.

    Scenario:
    You want to brush up on your skills or expand them. Excellent. I recommend starting with something like Atom Electron:
    https://electron.atom.io/

    100 hours can get you something working. It will not be pretty, nor handle any but the most simple workflows, but there you have it!

    1000 hours and you could even have something workable. Possibly close to 'going gold' yourself.

    2000 hours and you will have most of the bugs crushed and workflows figured out. Heck, it will probably even look fancy.

    PS. I mostly use Swift to code on the Mac now.
     
  4. Gator1pk macrumors newbie

    Gator1pk

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    #4
    Excel is the best spreadsheet program (sorry Numbers, not even close). You can import all kinds of data, in different formats, csv being just one example. You can analyze the data to your hearts content. But a spreadsheet is NOT an accounting app by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a CPA, I know. Buy a program like Quicken, or even Mint. if you want a good personal finance program. A real accounting system would be Great Plains Dynamics, SAP, Oracle to name a few, which of course are very $$$$ and only for use by bigger companies to huge NYSE publicly traded companies.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 12, 2017 ---
    Excel is the best spreadsheet program (sorry Numbers, not even close). You can import all kinds of data, in different formats, csv being just one example. You can analyze the data to your hearts content. But a spreadsheet is NOT an accounting app by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a CPA, I know. Buy a program like Quicken, or even Mint. if you want a good personal finance program. A real accounting system would be Great Plains Dynamics, SAP, Oracle to name a few, which of course are very $$$$ and only for use by bigger companies to huge NYSE publicly traded companies.
     

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