If you are a big corporation that develops for Mobile devices, you would already have an accounting department in place, that would remind you about how you are going with your budget, every time you have a developer ask for an extra monitor or a new machine. If you are an Indie, what do you do? You have to keep your own accounts, It isn't easy. Even if you are not a developer but you are a small business owner that does not have the facilities of a Bookkeeper, and are forced to keep them yourself, what do you do?
I have worked in quite a few countries and am aware of the little nuances of how accounting differs from other parts of the world. Therefore, the accounting software used was different, Sage, Quicken, Peach Tree, MYOB and the list goes on. About a decade ago, I was forced onto Microsoft Money, the best part of that was it would synchronise with my PocketPC 2000 (from Compaq running Microsoft Pocket PC) So I could have my finances on the system and a snapshot with me on the mobile device.
Fast forward 10 years, there is no more Compaq, Pocket PC has been renamed and no longer exists, Microsoft discontinued MS Money, but the things that remained is the requirement to manage your own accounts and have a snapshot with you on a mobile device. Today the most commonly available mobile devices are the iOS devices from Apple.
When we heard of Jumsoft and their offering "Money", it was something that I personally had to have a look. When I used my Windows Laptop as my pre-dominant machine (up to when Vista was released), I would run the older copy of MS Money. When I changed to the Mac, it was a bit painful to run a VM just to run MS Money and I had to resort to some Excel sheets. So while reviewing Money, the expectations were high, after all this was a software for Mac, it had to have this Oomph factor in addition to the features expected.
On starting the application, it is quite simple to comprehend. The first logical step is to create an Account or create a Smart Account (Smart accounts are similar to smart folders, or in simple terms they are queries, where the results show up as the entries in that account). The types of account possible with Money are Bank, Cash, Credit Card, Investment or Loan. Give it a name, enter the institution (Bank) Name, an Account Number(optional), starting Balance (default is $0.00) select the currency and that's all there it to creating a new account. The option of WebBank at first prompted me to think that this would import the transaction directly and since Australian Banks do not offer such an interface, I could not try it out. Turns out that you have to download the transactions in a text/QIF format and upload into Money.
I did face some issues with Importing, The format that my Bank provides me data in is different from the standard transaction entry in Money. Where Money allows the user to manage the field types and select whether to import a particular field or not, the limitation on the number of fields available results in losing some information. Here's an entry from my Bank's transaction list
19-Jan-11,-40.00,,,TRANSFER DEBIT INTERNET TRANSFER,INTERNET TRANSFER SKYPE CREDIT,BALANCE_AMOUNT_HERE,
14-Jan-11,-AMOUNT.00,,,AUTOMATIC DRAWING,LN REPAY TRANS_ID BANK_NAME,BALANCE_AMOUNT_HERE,
The dates do not import well, so have to open the csv format in Excel, format the dates to numeric format and then it imports into Money. If this could be managed better, top marks to Jumsoft. This is where the software displays its weakness, but not one that would hamper productivity.
The user can open as many accounts as they might like. The next section in the sidebar is called Manage, and offers the option to track Bills, Invoices and Portfolio. Enter your bills, set the frequency and voila, it shall start to display all the bills that are due, paid, etc a very easy way to track them. (Wish that Jumsoft create a plug-in that allows for BPay of these bills from Money) The bills can be viewed in a nice coverflow interface. Jumsoft take this software up a notch by offering users to track their widget inventory and not only that but also generate invoices from Money. This functionality takes the software from a Personal Resource Manager (PRM) to a complete Small Business Support Software, perfect for Indies and Tradies. The invoices can be customised as required.
Reports are also easy to generate, set up the criteria and save them as a report for future use.
Not to miss the Budgeting feature, which works for everyone everywhere. We setup the budget monitor with a typical scenario of Phone Bills, internet connection, fuel, Insurances, Cellular, Mortgages, etc. Money could accept the amounts in different frequencies, in Australia, we pay Rates (Real Estate Taxes in US) which are levied twice a year, and Water & Sewerage which is levied quarterly. Money took all of it and provided us with a monthly/fortnightly monitor which made it easier to track against the pays (paid fortnightly in Australia) So it provided a clear picture of the income and the expenditure and also indicated that the investment we made into some new equipment was beyond our means (ouch!! too late for that now)
I set out to compare it with MS Money as that was something that I had used for such a long time, Jumsoft Money matched all of the features and it even scored in the looks department with a simple yet sleek GUI. The review would have ended here, but recollect that we wanted it to work with a mobile device. Unlike many other developers (that charge top dollars for their iOS versions), Jumsoft has decided to offer their iOS version of Money for free. The iOS version is not impaired in any manner, it is a standalone fully functional software that looks amazing on the iPad and works equally well on the iPhone/iPod plus if you are on the same WiFi network, you can synch all the data from the Mac to the devices.
Some slick GUI features also include the display of categories as icons, looks really pretty and slick, who said that a number crunching app has to look drab and lifeless?
Though an important feature of Money, Portfolio Management was not really usable by us and did not try to tweak it to get Australian share details. So, its a feature that's there for us in case we want to use it.
Jumsoft have done a wonderful job with Money, it is worth the money, it costs $39 and is available from Jumsoft's website or from the MacApp store. Compared to some other offerings at a similar price for personal finances, money beats them all. Add to this the iOS integration for FREE, there is just no parallel.
Note: The official name for the software is Money3 (on Mac App Store and looks like Money cubed on the website) we have used Money to refer to it throughout the review for ease of understanding.
Software : Money3
Version : 3.66
Publisher : Jumsoft
Website : http://www.jumsoft.com/money
Platform : Mac OS X (10.6.x or higher)
Demo : 30 days
Price : $39
Mac App Store : http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/money3/id402410845?mt=12
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