Personal Finance type software?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by garyd9, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. garyd9 macrumors member

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    #1
    I'm in the process of "converting" my wife over to OS X, and so far I've been able to replace all her Windows software with OS X stuff - except for the most important program: MS Money. Yes, she can still run it via Fusion, but the extra hassle of having to start and suspend a virtual machine is an annoyance...

    She uses MS Money MOSTLY for a checkbook register. She also keeps accounts for the various credit cards, and tends to make temp accounts to transfer money into when she's saving for something. (The money is still actually in the checking account, but it appears to be elsewhere in the register...) What she DOESN'T use it for is investment type things - or at least not the types of investments that are dependent on stock markets, mutuals, etc...

    My first thought was Quicken, but the most recent version of Quicken for the Mac is Quicken 07 - still a PPC binary, and I'm reading many people posting about bugs with it (though I have to admit that I've not read any examples of bugs.. only people complaining that it's buggy...) It also appears that Quicken/Intuit is dropping the ball with their mac products... They announced "quicken financial life" almost a year ago, but not even Intuit customer service employees have a clue when (or if) it'll actually be released.

    ... and that's as far as I've gotten with my research.

    What I'm looking for... First and foremost, this has to be STABLE and supported software. I don't want to get her on some shareware program only to have the author lose interest in developing it (and fixing bugs) after a year or two. It should be easy to use, maintained by the author/publisher, etc. Other than acting as a register for multiple accounts (checking, savings, credit card, personal, loans), it should also support (at least for the checking accounts) being able to download account register information from the bank (download new transactions), and should have some mechanism by which I can import her MS Money data into it (probably via exported QIF files.) Some type of support for re-occuring bills would be nice (not automated bill pay, but more like a bill nag reminder when a bill should be coming up due...)

    Is there anything out there like this? Would Quicken 07 for Mac work okay for this type of use, or would I have issues with bugs?
     
  2. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    #2
    Mint.com is the best finance place imo. Its a site, its not quite software, but the world is going cloud. Mint keeps all the things in order, talks to your bank, your cards, yada yada yada. If you download Fluid from fluidapp.com, you can make a secure mint-only browser in about a minute. A mint fluidapp icon is here.
     
  3. garyd9 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Okay.... umm... Another requirement would be that the software executes and stores solely on the physical machine my wife is sitting in front of even when it's completely disconnected from any network. If my bank's website gets hacked, it's up to my bank to make things right, and we have alternate accounts to fall back on.

    If all my personal finance is stored on a "cloud", and it gets hacked - and suddenly I find all my accounts empty, I'm completely screwed... (I don't use "iDisk" either...)

    Anyway, she wants to be able to do her update the registers manually even when there's no internet (or even local network) connection available.
     
  4. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    #4
    Your machine isn't as secure as that cloud, and your bank is insured to take care of you and make things right after any wrongful transaction, regardless of how it happened. Washington Mutual isn't very nice about it though... but I'll save my story for another day. It has nothing to do with a cloud.

    Here's what lifehacker users have to say about finance tools: five best personal finance tools

    Quicken 2007 stinks. Alot. You'd probably be better off installing MS Money 2004 with Darwine on your mac, than using Quicken.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    http://www.macupdate.com/search.php?keywords=finance&starget=google

    This link will show you some options in the OS X finance app area, although these are shareware/freeware.

    The only commercial/supported app I know of like you describe is Quicken. I still use the 2005 version of Quicken and it suits my admittedly basic needs just fine. I think some of the Quicken trashing you see is a little extreme. I have read of some advanced Quicken features that are present in the Windows version of Quicken that are not present in the Mac version, but apparently I don't use those features because it works for me.

    Don't be too concerned about Quicken being a PPC only app. I use it on my Intel Mac and the OS X Rosetta technology runs it as a PPC app with no problems.

    I am not a Quicken fanboy, but unless you have some advanced requirements that are not supported in the Mac version, it might work okay for you.

    I use Mint to track transactions across several banks/credit cards and it is fine for that... but in no way is it a replacement for Quicken IMHO.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #6
    I use Quicken 2007 on a June 08 iMac running Leopard 10.5.5 and I've never had any problems with it. I use it just for my checkbook and tracking savings accounts.
     
  7. garyd9 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    These are the types of comments I see all over the place about Quicken. WHY does it stink? What about it is buggy? If it corrupts data files, then I probably won't use it. If the problems with it are purely cosmetic... or related to a part of the program I'd never use... then I'll consider it more closely...
     
  8. kepardue macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #8
    I keep waiting for a Quicken killer in this area, but I haven't seen one yet. iBank shows a lot of promise, but you can't do online banking with it (automatic download, but no bill pay). Also, iBank isn't open source and I have a problem investing my dollars (and more importantly, the time to set up and manage my accounts) in tiny little companies that have closed source products. If the two or three developers decide to go their separate ways, I'm out of an updated program and my data is locked away in it.

    MoneyDance isn't open source per-se, but it is much more open. Written in Java, it does a respectable job of looking native to OS X but still doesn't quite get it right. It's pretty capable, has online banking and bill pay, but the online functions feel "tacked on." For example, you can set up reminders for yourself to pay a particular bill once a month, but there's no way to click the reminder and pay online from it; you can enter the transaction into the register, but that doesn't do any good if you have to enter a separate transaction to pay the bill online.

    I would personally hope that Apple would release a finance manager as part of an upcoming iWork suite. They added Numbers last year, and there were certain functions in it that would indicate that there might be some finance management aspirations there. It would also make sense for Apple to release an iFinanceManager because finance software has been a black eye on the Mac for general users converting from Windows for years. Quicken just isn't up to snuff.

    Currently I'm using MoneyDance, but waiting for something better to come along.
     
  9. tzus macrumors member

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    UK
    #9
    The best one I have found is without doubt CheckBook. Giive it a good look it has many nice features and is just right for basic home use.

    http://www.splasm.com
     
  10. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #10
    Luca - An Accounting System for Mac OS X Users

    This is professional quality, good for home to small business.

    It is totally free.
     
  11. mongrol macrumors regular

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    Jul 16, 2007
    #11
    On Mac the quality is a bit varied.

    www.moneydance.com

    Java based, cross platform, mature but heavy with non-unMaclike quirky interface.

    www.iggsoftware.com/ibank/

    A favourite amongst Maccers. I think its buggy and bloated with stupid features like Coverflow. Anyone who spends dev time on glitz like that can forget it.

    www.liquidledger.com

    Best I've seen yet. Full functional, relatively stable, good UI and fast and light. No idea why I bought Moneydance instead of this.
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    If you are looking for an open source application GNU Cash has all the features you could ever want. Probably more than Quicken does on the Mac, maybe even Windows as well.
     
  13. Tektonikk macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    Another piece of software that I found was MoneyWell. Has Bank Account integration and budgeting. Just something to help that you can check into.

    Link: http://nothirst.com/moneywell/
     
  14. macsteps macrumors newbie

    macsteps

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    #14
    +1 for MoneyWell. And it can import Quicken and MS Money files, too.
     
  15. Ashka macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

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  16. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I just can't get used to anything except microsoft money =(
     
  17. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #17
    After doing tons of searching for this I found a native open source Mac application that has loads of features and looks good.

    http://www.xtuple.org/

    If you look at the menu on the left hand side there should be a link saying "PostBooks Edition (SourceForge)" this is the open source version that you want to download and install. Just installing myself but if this works well it would certainly save quite a bit of cash for my small business startup.
     
  18. garyd9 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 30, 2008
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    Pittsburgh, PA area
    #18
    Attempting to slowly check out some of the alternatives... First up, iBank...

    I have to admit that I really wanted to like this package. It seems to offer a very compete feature set for what I need, and appears (at first glance) to be well maintained and supported.

    However, what I found after playing with it was a disappointment.

    The first thing you see with this is that "pretty" coverflow view. Real pretty, but I can't for the life of me figure out what good it does in financial software. Not a problem, though, if there's a useless feature... usually...

    It becomes an issue for me to see gold plating when the core product has bugs. In only 2 hours of playing with the software, I found issues with categories disappearing when trying to combine them, found that I could completely lock up the program by attempting to remove charts, found oddities in the interface for importing transactions, etc. I could make this software work, but it disturbs me that the developers spent time on eye candy and neglected to produce a bug-free product. I also take issue to paying $60 for something with so many issues. Finally, I see they are already planning for a new major version of the software before all the bugs are fixed in the current version. Paying for bug fixes is entirely too much like the Microsoft world I'd like to leave behind.

    My suggestions to the iBank developers: Concentrate on a stable, bug-free product with usable features. After a release, dedicate all resources to resolving bugs and issues. Eye candy such as "cover flow" for a financial package is useless, and I'm quite sure you've lost more potential customers to bugs than you've gained with eye candy. (If someone has an account on the ibank forums, please feel free to cut/paste this suggestion.)

    Next up for eval - moneywell...
     
  19. garyd9 thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Oh, I should mention that one "cosmetic" feature of iBank that my wife really liked was the ability to do color highlighting of transactions in the list view. She said it really would help her quickly do things like finding the last time she paid the electric bill, etc...

    One feature from MS Money she missed was the ability to right-click on a given transaction, and "show payee" (which essentially jumped to a page that reported on all transactions made to that payee.)
     
  20. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

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    #20
    I'm in the same both and that is the sole program I am using Parallels for.
     
  21. garyd9 thread starter macrumors member

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    Pittsburgh, PA area
    #21
    No luck with Moneywell. Wife didn't like the interface, and the concept of "buckets" instead of "categories" confused her (don't ask me why.)

    She's also now stuck on the idea of color coding the categories...

    Next stop: liquid ledger...
     
  22. marshallpd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #22
    garyd9,

    I'm in the same boat as you, keep the reviews coming. I haven't had the time to download some of these programs and check them out yet.
     
  23. southerndoc macrumors 65816

    southerndoc

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    #23
    When I talked to someone from Intuit, I was told that Quicken Financial Life would be released in late January.
     
  24. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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