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Moneydance review: Personal finance Mac app offers good tools with a few UI quirks

Jeffery Battersby | June 12, 2014
Several years have passed since I last reviewed Moneydance, a Java-based personal finance application created by The Infinite Kind. While Moneydance hasn't changed much in the intervening years--it's still a good personal finance application--in its latest iteration, The Infinite Kind have enhanced and upgraded Moneydance, adding iOS syncing using Dropbox to make managing your money that much easier.

You can now link PDF files and other image documents to any transaction in Moneydance, allowing you to include receipts for purchases with their transactions. There is also a new Quick Entry option that lets you use the application's search field to create new transactions. Simply type a number for a dollar amount, and the name of who you made the payment to, say, 2.65 Peet's Coffee, and Moneydance opens a small Quick-Entry window you can use to edit or enter the transaction. Similarly, you can use the same field as a calculator similar to how you use Spotlight for calculations.

The application offers over 25 reports and graphs to help you track your financial information, including reports for missing checks, current net worth, and budget tracking. As was the case with transactions in the registers, graphs in Moneydance weren't as good as they could have been largely because they lose their shape when Moneydance's main window isn't exactly the right size. So, for example, if you had to stretch your window a bit in order to see all your data in the checkbook ledger, all the graphs and their associated text will looked stretched and out of shape. In order to get them back into shape you have to resize the window to make them look right.

The Infinite Kind have enhanced Moneydance's budgeting capabilites, now making it possible to take data from your checkbook ledger to use as a starting point for your budgets. In order for this feature to work, you need to take the time to map data you imported or entered by hand to specific categories. But once that process is complete, Moneydance categorizes any new items as they're added to your ledger.

Bottom line

Moneydance isn't perfect, mostly due to its UI anomalies, but overall the application offers good tools for managing your personal finance info. While it doesn't offer all of the automated download capabilities of apps such as iBank, its collection of reports and easy data entry features make it a tool worth looking at.

 

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