The Top 10 Best Mac Money Apps To Replace Quicken, continued from yesterday, #10 to #4. As you can see from the countdown from #10 to #1, this list of Mac money apps gets progressively more complex, yet more useful.
Mac money apps tend to be simple to set up and use for financial neophytes, and range from a digital checkbook to full-fledged financial management systems. The Top 3 on my list are capable, competent, and friendly.
#3 – Money
If CheckBook is too simple, and the others on my list appear to be needlessly complex, you’ll like Money.
By now you’re aware of the basics—accounts, budgets, categories, transactions, reports, and online syncing.
Money gives you an interface that is truly Mac-like—easy to understand, yet with layers of features that you can grow into.
Money has Budget Planning, yes. And Invoicing for small business operations. Reports are a cacophony bar charts, graphs, pie charts and numbers which cover every Account, Category, Income and Expense, as well as an ongoing Budget.
Don’t let the eye candy fool you. Money is loaded. Manage different types of accounts. Budget from daily to annual and compare targets to reality using the Budget Monitor. Money even includes a Cover Flow look into invoices.
If you’re serious about your money, you’ll appreciate the Portfolio Summary, which graphs your shares over time, displays market value and compares your portfolio to various indices around the world.
And, there’s an iPhone version of Money which syncs to your Mac (not as feature laden as the Mac version of Money, but handy for on-the-go transactions.
#2 – MoneyWell
Is it possible to go from simple and elegant to more complex and capable? If so, MoneyWell does it better than any Mac money app.
Remember how cool envelope budgeting is? Simple, right? MoneyWell’s features span from envelop budgets to direct connect banking to cash flow management and does it all from a single window without add-on modules.
MoneyWell may be the most friendly of the more capable Mac money apps. In the left column are Buckets. Transactions. Income. Expenses. In the center are the individual transactions for each. In the right column are the details for each transaction.
MoneyWell lets you start simple and expand as your financial needs require. The learning curve is gentle. But the features are top notch, including Direct Connect Banking, Transaction Scheduling, and single-click Reconciliation.
What I especially like about MoneyWell is the attention to how money travels. For example, if you buy clothing using your credit card, where does the expense go? MoneyWell is smart enough to segregate the items on your credit card charges to go into the right buckets.
The MoneyWell single window interface means everything you need to know is a click away, including the all important cash flow graph which matches budget to expense to income. It’s the funnest of all the Mac money apps.
#1 – iBank
If you’re a Mac user then you understand about Apple’s fetish with iEverything. The only Mac money app that looks like it came from Apple’s app designers is the appropriately named iBank.
I prefer to think of iBank as what Quicken would be if Intuit actually cared about Mac users.
Unlike the new Quicken Essentials for Mac, iBank exports tax records to TurboTax. iBank gives you multiple choices for online transactions from your bank account.
Using Mac OS X’s Core Animation, iBank gives you a bunch of report graph options. Functional. And fun. Manage transactions in a Cover Flow environment. Manage your loans or other debt. Manage your stock portfolio using your MobileMe account and upload performance data and view it from any web browser (including iPhone and iPod touch).
Smart Portfolios can be set up to view segregated summaries—your IRA but not your mutual funds. Compare your portfolio against major indices. Transactions can be drag and drop onto the Scheduler. Add a category to a report via drag and drop. Other graph reports include asset and liability comparisons, and investment performance with Capital Gains and ROI Reports.
iBank has eye candy, too. Categories can get complex, so iBank has a bunch of high res images to match your multiple categories. Of course, doing what Quicken doesn’t do is sync with your iPhone using iBank Mobile. iBank isn’t as fun or easy as MoneyWell, but it has that certain professional feel in front of all the bells and whistles.
From what I can tell, none of the other 9 Mac money apps on my list has the same number of features as iBank. There’s even an iBank Dashboard Widget. Of course, those features mean complexity, and other money apps may be easier to use, but less capable. iBank may be as good as it gets for managing money on a Mac. It’s certainly more capable and feature laden than Quicken, and gets regular updates.