Money management software review: Moneydance

Published: 1 February 2008 By Fergal Barry-Murphy 10 Comments
Updated: 20 August 2011

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In the last two weeks we looked at the two heavy hitters of the personal finance software world, Microsoft Money and Quicken. This week we look at a lesser known but equally attractive option, Moneydance.

If you followed our last two articles you will have seen that while Microsoft Money and Quicken are powerful applications, the UK versions of both haven’t been updated in a few years.

So we decided to dig a little deeper to see if we could come up with an alternative.

We found Personal Accountz, now called Home Accountz –  a powerful piece of money management software.

Our search also uncovered a very useful piece of software called MoneyDance, which we’ll now review.

This was open source and free a few years back, but you now have to pay $49.99 (about £31) to download it, which isn’t bad at all. You can download a limited free trial to see if you like it.

Perhaps the biggest issue with MoneyDance, and most other money management software, is that it is geared towards the United States market. This can make things tricky when it comes to online banking and online bill payment as it does not connect directly to UK banks. You can, however, download your statements in .QIF format from your bank and use this to update your MoneyDance account. This isn’t ideal but is not really that difficult once you get the hang of it.

If you get this set up, then you can begin to get the most out of MoneyDance. It is worth a mention at this point that MoneyDance is available for all platforms – Windows, Mac and Linux. Also, if you currently run Quicken or Microsoft Money, you can easily import all your details and accounts to MoneyDance.

The software uses the double-entry bookkeeping system at its core, but at a user level it is much simpler than that. You just enter figures and transactions and MoneyDance takes care of the rest for you and will keep your various accounts balanced.

As with a lot of accounting software, MoneyDance will take a bit of getting used to if you haven’t used software like this before. That said, it comes with clear instructions that will get you up and running fairly quickly. Also, the more you put into MoneyDance the more you will get out. To really get the most from it you should input all your transactions, no matter how small, as it will give you an amazingly accurate view of your finances.

So, what kind of features does MoneyDance offer? Well, the landing page of the application is fairly simple, containing a calendar, your account balances, reminders and exchange rates. You can, of course, customize this page to your liking. If you are used to Quicken or Microsoft Money you will think MoneyDance looks basic and primitive. While it is no beauty on the outside, there is a lot going on under the bonnet and it should have all the features to keep your household or small business finances in order.

The calendar is useful for setting reminders for paying bills and other transactions. Other handy features include graphing, cheque printing, VAT tracking, budget management and investment portfolio management.

While Microsoft Money and Quicken have fallen by the wayside, MoneyDance has stepped up to the mark and comes highly recommended. You can download this from the Moneydance website.

Comments

10 Responses to “Money management software review: Moneydance”
  1. C..E.Ribbons says:

    I bought Tescos personal finance and cannot get past the 3 options page . How do I getinto the user guide?

  2. Maggie says:

    I agree, Moneydance is an excellent piece of software. Using subaccounts, it is possible to use the envelope style of budgetting with it, so the software can double as historical tracking of your finances, and proactive forward planning. Very good value for the price, and updates come free.

  3. jack boe says:

    I really do not know about money dance but really a very informative post.
    I have used mint, yodlee and quicken in the past but could not find them suitable for my requirements.
    currently I am using manageME and really find it suitable.
    Its in development phase.one thing I really like about manageME is that it give due regard to consumer feedback.
    manageME can also be a great resource for money management.

  4. jack boe says:

    one thing more I would like to add that these guys are coming with new enhanced features at http://www.manageME7.com

  5. Chandrakant says:

    Does this really work like Quicken or mirosodt money? I have been trying to put account details, and open Bond accounts,but to my failure? How many Bond /savings accounts can I put and trace. Does it calculate interest on maturity dates of the bond?Many questions arise?
    shah

  6. jack boe says:

    I have recently signed the exclusive pre-launch offer of manageME7 and I am happy to get the early discounts which they are providing on using all the enhanced features.
    Now I can also use their enhanced features such as multiple currency support.

  7. Vincent says:

    Since moving over from Windows to a Mac I have been searching for a Mac equivalent to Microsoft Money – an excellent programme. Finally I have found the solution in Moneydance! I would recommend it to anyone who seeks MS Money for Mac.

    • Chris Powell says:

      I totally agree. I think MoneyDance is very close to Microsoft Money which of course will not work on Macs. It’s very intuitive and easy to use – I tried trials of Home Accountz (Could not get it to work, shame because it’s a British company), iBank, SEEFinance (which I thought was quite good until I tried to reconcile my accounts with printed Bank statements).

      • Jasper says:

        I am currently evaluating Moneydance – I have used Micosoft Money for years and found it very good but as they have abandoned the UK (unfortunately) I think that we have to assume that one day it won’t work under some future version of Windows and so needs replacing.

        I am getting the hang of Moneydance but have found it almost impossible to import my old data and also find it more cumbersome to use – for example:
        – you cannot associate a particular suppiler which a standard category (eg – petrol station with fuel)
        – the new transaction selector is in the top right hand corner of the screen and the input form at the bottom left (my mouse is getting tired!)

        However I have found their support to be very helpful and made a suggestion via their website http://help.infinitekind.com/ – it good to see how active this site is which indicates a lively user base.

        I too looked at Accountz but do not find them helpful or response and so have abandoned my evaluation of their software

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