Intuit’s Quicken was the de facto money app for the Mac up to 2007, the last version of Quicken for many Mac users. The new Quicken Essentials doesn’t even match the features from Quicken in the Mac’s PowerPC days. And that old Quicken doesn’t run on Mac OS X Lion.
Are there worthy substitutes? Plenty. If MoneyWell is what we consider Quicken Lite, what’s Quicken Ultra?
Stack The Features High And Wide
It would be easy enough to list Mac apps with more features than Quicken (we’ve done that a few times), but what we’re after is a Mac app that does more, but doesn’t cost much more.
That’s iBank. We consider it what Quicken should and could have been if Intuit were not so fickle with Mac users through the years.
There’s plenty to like in iBank, though even this feature laden app misses a few features that were prominent in the Quicken of 2007.
The Setup Assistant helps you import data from Quicken (Mac or PC, but not all data gets imported), Microsoft’s defunct Money, and other financial management apps.
iBank’s claim to fame is a robust feature set that starts with categories and category hierarchies. Every transaction gets tracked. It even pulls down data from many banks for one-click updates.
Even with more features, iBank has a gentle learning curve reminiscent of MoneyWell. That’s right? Envelope budgeting. Plan expenses, then save money in envelopes until the bills are due. Quaint, but effective.
iBank has eye candy. Reports give you details on all accounts and their balances, expenses in each category, but unlike the lightweight apps, extends money management to investments, and net worth.
While iBank isn’t a stock management app, it tracks investments. Record the shares in your portfolio, track prices over time, analyze your investments and view it all in glorious color reports. Track almost everything from credit cards to retirement accounts. Even monitor savings and checking accounts, mortgages, and loans.
If your bank is one of those that doesn’t reconcile with iBank, the built-in reconciliation features will do the job. Take a statement from the bank, create a statement in iBank, check transactions that match, and adjust as needed so accounts balance the way you want.
All the basics you expect are there (except online bill paying), including multiple currencies, scheduled transactions, and an attachment system I dearly love. Add photos, receipts, statements, other files to any transaction. Trust me, your tax man will love you.
Speaking of taxes, iBank also exports data for TurboTax (among others). More good news. iBank has an iPhone version, and a 30-day trial version, and is available on the Mac App Store. The only real negative is that iBank costs more than Quicken (which costs the same as MoneyWell), but delivers more, too.