With the release of Mac OS X 10.7 imminent, Quicken 2007 will be dead. Knowing that this day has been coming, I’ve been periodically checking out Mac financial software over the last few years, but have never been impressed with the alternatives. Sadly, as clunky as Quicken 2007 is, it has a very robust feature set that (apparently) can’t be easily replicated.
Here are some notes for current alternatives. I didn’t actually check out the online banking in any of these, I’m just taking them at their word. If (when) I do think I’ve settled on one, I’ll have to check out the online banking in more detail.
iBank has come a long ways over the last few versions and could replace Quicken, but not without some sacrifices. For the first time it actually successfully imported all twelve years of Quicken data without any troubles. All the different types of accounts (including investments) seem to work. The layout is good to very good.
The big problem with iBank is the lack of reporting and graphing. From my experimenting, it’s really, really limited. With Quicken I like to (for example) blow up my net worth graph, binned by month, to my full 30 inch screen and examine the details. With iBank, I can’t even seem to get more than twelve bins, nor does it expand beyond 8.5 x 11 inches. Why the heck would they try to format to printed pages? I thought we were using computers these days, no?
So urgh, I really, really want to love iBank, but given that there’s (essentially) no graphing or meaningful reporting, it makes it difficult. It will probably work for balancing my accounts, but that’s about it.
Okay, I tried version 3 and that simply didn’t have enough of the basic features to consider. It was able to import all of my data, but not without fouling up in the investment accounts. Version 4 looks good, but is currently in beta and very unstable. I managed to get data into it (after much waiting) by importing to version 3 and then upgrading, but it said that my investments were more than four billion dollars in the red.
The graphs are definitely better than iBank, but I still couldn’t get them to do some of the basic bar graphs over time.
Hands down the most flexible of the lot, but hands down the ugliest too. It actually does the graphs and charts that I want, but their aspect ratios and fonts are oddly distorted. The whole program is just one big UI mess. It’s so bad that I won’t support it with my money — I don’t want to encourage that kind of shoddy development. Perhaps it goes without saying, but it’s cross-platform.
Thanks to Brian for pointing this out, this one might actually be the winner. Imports appear to all be successful and it does have the graphs and reporting features that I want. I have some more experimenting to do, but this seems to be the winner at this point.