infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
[personal profile] infryq
Quick reviews of financing software, since that's what I've been into lately.

I'd been using Pear Budget since forever. They have an online service now, but online services sorta creep me out, so I stuck with the Excel spreadsheet. It was okay, and I was able to trick it out with as many Excel charts as I could think of, but I spent a significant portion of my time with it copying values from my online statement into the spreadsheet: no way to import sanely.

Time for a new dude.

First the crappy ones, so you don't waste your time.

Everybody hates Quicken. Plus they don't have a free trial. So not them.

GnuCash barely runs, leaves zombie processes everywhere, pushes windows off the screen, and imports half my deposits as withdrawls. So definitely not them.

P had a spare license for Checkbook, ancestor of Checkbook Pro. It's pretty flexible about importing files and allowing you to select what field the memo goes into and whatnot. It has a reporting feature, but the visualizations are bar charts. No way to do a pie, or otherwise show you what portion of your total spending is what. The UI is also a little obtuse. So not them.

iBank definitely has the prettiest visualizations. Those things are gorgeous and flexible and tell me everything I want to know. But it won't auto-tag, and when adding tags by hand it takes at least 4 precise clicks to exit the current record before going to the next one. Ain't no way I'll sit through that.

By contrast with these bozos, Moneywell is a high quality piece of software. When you add a tag, it brings up a window containing all the other records with the same memo, and allows you to add that tag to those records as well -- selectively, if you wish. That is smart. Importing is great. Problem is, it's impeccably designed for envelope budgeting, not analysis. You arrange your transactions into buckets, and you can see what your past history of spending is in that bucket, and you can set up what buckets should get what amounts from your income, and you can see how well you met your budget in that bucket, but you can't compare the buckets to each other. Which is a serious bummer, because these guys are way on top of their UI. If I imagined a feature, and imagined likely place to find it in the interface, lo! It was there. So if you do envelope budgeting, definitely go for Moneywell, and I'd say it's definitely worth the $50 they want for it.

The satisficed medium is Koku. It'll do pie charts, tagging (manual unless you use directConnect, which I couldn't get to work with any of my online accounts, even though in theory my banks are supported), tag breakdowns, custom reports, and everything mostly works. There are some UI hitches like it's easy to accidentally write into the name of a transaction instead of the tag field, tab behaves a little funny, and you can't turn imported transactions into account transfers (that was somewhat dodgy, since the trial only supports a single account and thus hides this bug). It does what I need, though, and isn't so obnoxious that I won't use it. So, this one!

Благодарность и уважение

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