It is time to finally admit it— not everyone absolutely loves Intuit's Quicken for Macintosh. Rival platform MoneyDance understands this, and is pleased to offer a standout alternative to Quicken. We are impressed that MoneyDance does provide some really good features, such as bill reminders, budget creation, and investment monitoring support. Best of all, MoneyDance is so confident that you will like its software that they will allow you to try it for free for an astonishing one hundred transactions.
MoneyDance Intro and Background
When you open up the MoneyDance software, the first thing that you notice is how it appears to be much like a ledger in format. While you have the option to painstakingly enter all of your transactions manually, we found it much easier to simply let our bank update the transactions. To do this, we had to first download these and then import them into the MoneyDance program utilizing QFX, QIF, or OFX types of files. For anyone who is excited about engaging in mobile access to their MoneyDance platform from literally anywhere they have a signal, this program proves to be a good choice for staying on top of your personal finances, investments included.
MoneyDance Supported Countries
MoneyDance is supported for Windows 64 and 32 bit, Mac 10.6 and higher, and Linux operating systems. While free apps are available for synchronizing with iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad, Android devices are not supported as of yet.
MoneyDance is fairly unique in the fact that it operates well in a number of different currencies and receives support internationally, unlike most of its personal financial management application rivals.
MoneyDance Tools and Features
• Budgeting Features – Budgets that you set up in MoneyDance permit you to know your category limits and when you are in danger of breaching them. They turn orange to alert you to close proximity to the limits. The home screen also helps you to monitor where you stand in this regard. It is easy to rapidly realize where you are with your spending for the month to that point. The color-coding really helps you to understand to which categories you are devoting your dollars.
• Bill Reminders – This is more than just a scheduled reminder for you to pay bills. It similarly lets you automatically enter your transactions. We like the free billpay service that MoneyDance provides. The homepage presents the bills for your perusal as soon as you start up the software. To the right is the helpful list of bills you owe that allows you to take in at a glance what you should and would typically pay.
• Investment Support – Good personal financial management software also lets you monitor your investments and overall portfolio. The helpful MoneyDance interface permits you to synchronize up to your investment accounts so that you can transfer your balances and trades. MoneyDance helps you to monitor the portfolio as well. Options can be customized, and the platform allows you to set up a download of current investment prices automatically. Using the software, you can figure up your stock splits and compute cost basis as well.
• Graphs and Reports – There are many different financial management programs on the market today, but practically none of them compares with MoneyDance for its fantastic reporting abilities. We love the many varieties of reports, including cash flow, budget report, and income compared to expenses reports. Besides this, some of the reports provide graphs and charts that help you to obtain a quick snapshot of the information, like net worth, account balances, and income compared to expenses reports.
• Mobile Utility – Like many of its competitors, Moneydance permits you to run a mobile version of the platform on your iPhone after synchronizing with the main platform on your desktop or laptop. Dropbox acts as the interface between the two devices.
• Syncing – This handy tool allows you to sync up with your financial companies or banks in order to copy over transactions and bank balances. It also prevents you from missing out on even a single important entry that can wreck your budget. You can bring over information from credit cards, checking accounts, and loans. Loans accounts also are comprised of peer to peer lending investments, making this service almost unique to the personal financial management space. You may similarly sync up to asset and investments accounts to monitor your investments and overall portfolio. Once you synchronize with your bank, you are able to reconcile your bank accounts versus your records from your budget. You can also track those elusive missing checks with this feature.
MoneyDance Interface Screenshots
We are very impressed with the fact that MoneyDance is so charitable with its free trial policy. They give you a full 100 first transactions for free. Once you use those up, the cost is a one-time $49.99 fee to keep utilizing the service. The good news is that there are no recurring charges after you pay the one-time licensing fee. If this is not enough to allay your skepticism, remember they also boast a 90 day money back guarantee should you decide that you are unhappy with them and their service whatsoever.
MoneyDance Safety and Security
MoneyDance is most concerned with you not losing your financial data that you keep in their desktop-based program. They recommend that you use their syncing capabilities with Dropbox to backup all of the information. Each purchase of the MoneyDance software includes a single free Dropbox account. If you do not take advantage of this Dropbox feature, then you should at least backup your financial data to either a USB drive or another storage service that is online.
As for password security, they encourage you to choose their option to encrypt your data file using a password. It is most critical that you remember this password, as you have no chance of recovering or viewing your financial data otherwise. That is what you call secure passwords.
Final Words on MoneyDance
We find that MoneyDance includes so many of the most critical features and tools for this personal financial management space that it proves to be a world class in the category offering. Since you are able to synchronize up with investment, loan, credit card, and checking accounts, you can remain well-versed on your transactions and balances as they happen in real time. The added bonus of using your smart phone and tablet to keep up with budgets and investments while out and about is appealing. It is so easy to setup and maintain your budget. The program's reports are fantastic and very helpful for you keeping on top of your personal budget. All of this combines to lead us to the conclusion that MoneyDance is among the best of the countless personal financial management software offerings on the market.
Pros of MoneyDance
- User interface is straightforward and intuitive.
- Powerful and easy to use budgeting program.
- Choose to sync up to banks and financial companies or to manually input and edit transactions.
- Mobile apps help to stay on budget while away from your desktop.
- Set up multiple accounts and budgets as needed for other groups of finances. They can work independently of one another or in a single budget.
Cons of MoneyDance
- Quicken transfers to MoneyDance are not so smooth and seamless.
- Sometimes duplicate transactions come in during the syncing and must be reconciled or removed.
- Mut use Dropbox in order for the mobile apps to work properly.
MoneyDance Review Summary
In the areas of reporting and budgeting, MoneyDance is standout for the personal financial management space. Its investment and synchronizing capabilities are also above average. The lack of support for Android devices is a minor weakness of the platform.