Looking for Mac OS X personal finance software

I’m pretty, ahem, _dedicated_ to keeping our finances up to date and accounted for, and traditionally have used MS Money on Windows for this purpose. Say what you like about Microsoft (I’m not their biggest fan, to say the least) but Money is an app that works well and is pretty simple to use. I started with Money 98 in 1998, then upgraded to Money 2000 two years later.

The thing is that we now use our iMac for 99.99% of our computer work, and it would be really handy to have a finance app on the Mac that works, conceptually at least, like Money. There is no shortage of accounting software for the Mac, of varying quality, but no big players are in the market. Intuit pulled out of the UK Mac market a few years ago (pre-OS X) and have just recently pulled Quicken out of the UK Windows (and therefore the UK as a whole) market as well.

I can’t believe that I’m the only one who needs personal financial software as a Mac user. I know there’s MYOB(Mind Your Own Business), and I’ve downloaded a trial version, but it seems much more business- than personal-focused.

Over the course of the next few weeks I am aiming to do a group test of various OS X personal finance apps, both freeware and shareware, that I have discovered.

So far my list consists of:

* “Accounts by Nano Software”:http://www.nano.com.au/
* “Budget”:http://www.snowmintcs.com/products/budget/ by “Snowmint Creative Solutions”:http://www.snowmintcs.com/
* “Cashbox”:http://wbyoung.ambitiouslemon.com/cashbox/ by “Whitney Young”:http://wbyoung.ambitiouslemon.com/
* “Checkbook”:http://www.splasm.com/products/productcheckbook.html by “Splasm Software”:http://www.splasm.com/
* Cocoa Account Plus by Tony S Wu
* Conto by Nicola Vitacolonna
* Economix X by Yannick Callaud
* Finance (if I can get a non-corrupt .sit archive)
* Gnucash (downloading via Fink as I type this)
* Grisbi (if I can discover how to install the .deb under OS X – anyone help?)
* iBal
* iBank
* iCash
* KuConta by Kualo Software
* Money by Jumsoft
* Phobos

I’m confident that I can whittle these down pretty quickly to a much shorter list, as I have quite particular requirements:

* Categories, not accounts, for income & expense categorisation. I’m not a trained accountant – all that double-entry stuff leaves me a bit cold…
* Similar look and feel to MS Money/Quicken.
* Easy setup of accounts.
* Loan amortisation functionality: input the interest rate, length of term, payment etc and have it work out the missing info.
* Support for investments, credit cards and liabilities as well as regular current/savings accounts.
* Budgeting.
* Something like Money’s Debt Planner.
* Reporting.

Not much to ask, is it? I just want Microsoft to port Money to the Mac, really. I imagine that would be one step too far for the Mac Business Unit, though ;)

294 thoughts on “Looking for Mac OS X personal finance software”

  1. Well, I came here looking for some budgeting software recommendations, but while I’m here I’ll comment on Nano Accounts, which I have been using for a number of years. Very simple, almost pencil and paperm, and it has been excellent. We run two businesses from it and have customised the accounts to match our IR tax forms. Customer support has been first rate and the only chink in the reliability I found was what appears to be a conflict with another program mentioned here–liquid ledger–which somehow seems to have destroyed my Nano Accounts data when both programs were up at the same time. The LL accounts also corrupted. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen and it’s never happened on my Mac in six years. Anyway, I highly recommend Nano Accounts if you are not interested in bells and whistles, just a reasonable way to keep accounts.

  2. A beta version My Money 2 of MTH is now available and I must say that, although buggy, it looks promising. Maybe more people can test it and publish their experiences.

  3. Hi all –

    Many thanks for your comments and recommendations above. Although Moneydance is surprisingly non-mac in its design and feel, I have opted for it since it seems to be the best product out there for non-US, Mac users at the moment.

    I'll let you know if I find anything more intuitive to fit the bill.

  4. WOW, what a history on this Blog. It sounds like MoneyDance is the way to go, but it's a US based company and relatively new and doesn't support any Australian banks as far as I can see. Does anyone know of, or recommend a package to use in OZ?

  5. I understand the leap from finance apps. Kinda like the move from Window to Mac…U have to ask yourself "what do I need?" I tried MoneyDance, Fortora, and iBank, but they all have some "Coming soon!" featured that need to be available now. My need is for envelope budgeting, so I'm using the new version of MoneyWell 1.4.8. The interface is much cleaner from the original release and it is the best Mac finance software if you use envelope(buckets!) budgeting. It direct-connects to most banks, has a great import/matching process, and the reconciliation process doesn't give me a headache…it's actually very quick. So, I wanted to add my vote AND two cents. nothirst.com

  6. What happened to the Forum? I get a 404. And the problem we all want to solve has certianly not gone away.

  7. Hi Jeremy,

    Sorry about that – I moved hosting, and it seemed that no-one was using the forum so I didn't bother migrating it. I will have a look into forum options.

    Regards,

    Tim

  8. We are all in the same boat and sinking! If nobody comes up with a good personal money program for Mac, I'll join the line for some suggestions.

  9. I'm starting to mull over the possibility of running windows on Parallels on my imac. Makes me nervous to taint the mac with anything like that though…

  10. It's been a while since My Money was first noted on this site, it looks very promising, although a few nitpicks which i will post to your bugzilla… i've just downloaded it and will give it a good run…

  11. I migrated to MAC over a year ago and have been struggling to find a solution.
    I am still using my old 'quicken' on the 'Mac' via VMWare-fusion.
    It works quite well but is not the long term solution.
    Have recently also operated 'PAZ' i.e Personal Accountz on the 'Mac' has a lot of good points but nothing like 'quicken' lacking currencies,investing,date controlled reporting.
    Now looking at 'Business Basic Accountz' as recommended at Apple Store.

  12. I am also on the hunt with so many of you, but I specifically need a program that can download an .XLS format since I cannot get Quicken format. Can anyone help??? Mint is the ONLY one I have found that can do it, but I can't edit transactions.

  13. I have only ever used Quicken for Windows before and it was easy and just worked and I assumed all the major programs were like that. I've recently gotten a Mac and I'm tearing my hair out. Quicken for Mac is useless. I've tried Quickbooks, IBank, Frontera, See, and I can't find anything that will just accept downloaded transactions from my online checking and credit card accounts and reconcile them. It's pretty basicstuff, not trying anything fancy but each program has been so hard to set up I've just given up in frustration. Help!

  14. Hi, I'm a relatively new iMac user (2009) and an old UK Quicken user (freelancer) desperate for a simple accounts package to use on the mac. Did you find one that you liked. Help!!!

    1. See Finance looks great apart from the fact that as usual it only supports US Banks… back to the drawing board…

    2. after trying a lot of programs (still waiting for new Quicken to be out on Feb 2010) I have to admit that SEE Finance is the most tempting switch for me.

      It looks elegant and imported all my accounts from my very old Quicken without a hiccup. Great program.

  15. Please keep me posted. I never overspend or carry a credit card balance, but saving is problematic. I have a MAC, so I would love to be apprized of your findings. Keep me posted. THX.

  16. Hi, I am a new Mac user and am flbergasted at the lack of this type of software. (Otherwise the Mac is brill……) I am completely perplexed by iBanks reconcilation process as it seems to assume one has access to on-line reconciliation (I don't, banking with Barclays in the UK). About to try MoneyDance

  17. I too am looking for personal finance program. Used Money on my PC….have not found anything comparable. Money rocks….come on Apple get together with Microsoft…we need this program.

  18. I have retained an old Windows machine just to run Money. Automatic reconciliation of transactions downloaded from my banks (Amex, B'card, Barclays, Halifax) is essential and Money is the only one that seems to do it for UK banks.
    This has got to be the best, though not ideal, solution until someone wants our custom enough to develop what should be an essential application.
    Six years ago I was running all this on Windows with sync capability to my Pocket PC. It's like someone forgot how to make a wheel.

  19. Very interesting thread. I have used spreadsheets, Money and Quicken over the years to manage my personal finances, but never really been happy with any of them. I have always thought of writing what I need (I have a bit of software development experience) and am currently learning to develop on the Mac as a lead-in to developing iPhone apps for my son to play with. So, I was thinking of combining the two desires and stumbled on all this. My approach to managing money is pretty simple. I have done the matching of statements and reconciliation thing which is time consuming and not really necessary. Instead I focus on what needs to be paid and how much money I have/need to pay it, with a bit of tracking/budgeting thrown in for the bigger stuff in life. This approach may appeal to some I have seen post on here, others maybe not. Anyway, if anyone is interested I would sure love input so let me know and I'll look at setting up a thread or blog somewhere.

  20. I have used Fortora for past year, but on upgrading to Snow Leopard the date order has gone haywire and can't be corrected. Fortora's tech support is useless – they have failed to reply to 3 emails now. Any ideas. or should I be looking at iBank instead?

  21. I have been using Moneydance but for the second time, over 2 years, it has lost my data and the result? I could only open from a much earlier backup copy as it said the other backups were corrupt! It cannot download statements from UK banks. It's fine otherwise for my needs but I need to manually key in my transactions from my statements. A total waste of time and I can't be bothered anymore. Two years ago I searched for the best application from reading reviews. It seems that nothing has improved much! need a financial program so that I can do all of this easily and keep a track of my finances. I wish I was a programmer, a good money earner I reckon. Why can't there be a Mac version of Money? It's by far the best program.

  22. Mac Accounts Software is a new site promoting the Mac version of Solar Accounts.

    It's a UK based accounts package, runs on a Mac or a PC (handy if you and your bookkeeper don't have the same), very easy to use and has a free trial download. It's also ICB accredited.

    We'll also be adding tips and tricks over the coming weeks too.

  23. It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  24. Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a terrific web site.

  25. I have my accounts in MS Money too in OSX via parallels !!!! and it just lost a months worth of records from last tax year, so am looking to switch to something on the Mac..I tried one or two but keep coming back to money..

  26. It is hard to believe that Microsoft discontinued its MS-Money program, which used to come pre-installed on any PC and thus was introduced to millions of PC users. Since it was -and still is- a great program, millions are still using it and are now finding out that they are left out in the cold when it comes to finding financial software for Window 7 and or a Mac. Perhaps even Microsoft's stock would rise if they did step up to the plate and came out with an updated version of MS-Money for both PC and Mac.

    It seems that Bill Gates is too busy taking care of world problems than to listen to faithful customers here at home. Charity begins at home Mr. Gates. You are alienating your longtime customers by discontinuing MS-Money.

  27. I've just found your page and wonder if you came to any conclusions. I'm looking for the same sort of programme for the same reasons

  28. I've just found your page and wonder if you came to any conclusions. I'm looking for the same sort of programme for the same reasons

  29. Hello~ I am a beginner at managing my money using my mac. For a couple of years now I have been working with this organization to better manage my finances. I am doing really well and ready to move from paper to computer so I am going to try the software they have available. After reading all that Tim posted…thank you so much Tim…very informative post… and much of many other posts, thank you all… I think this program has all that will work best for me … including detailed instructions on how to use it! Good luck to all of you. I will bookmark this page and return to give a report on my experience with it. There is a 30 day free trial period… I will report back at that time.

  30. Bottom line……..is there an alternative to "Direct Line Internet Banking Plus" for Mac?

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