OSX Personal Finance Software Alternatives

Is it too much to ask for a decent personal finance software package for OS X? I have used Quicken on PCs since 3.0. MS Money is also nice although I never really used it for more than trying it out.

I had heard Quicken for Mac was not as far ahead as the Windows version. But I thought, “the Windows version is so good, how bad can it be?” Boy was I wrong.

The app looks and feels like it’s put together in a rush, with no attention to detail, by people who got their first course of OSX development about a week ago. It is BAD.

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Tried contacting support a couple of times because it cannot seem to download quotes. Yeah, that was fun – the feel is that they don’t use the product, and they keep asking you to try it some other time, hopefully enough time away that the issue “expires” (I can read the status on the support incidents, thank you). Seems to me they are more worried about their issue resolution reports than actually solving the user’s problem.

I’d be willing to bet that even Microsoft, with their office codebase already mostly running on OSX (so yes, it feels a little weird, but it works great), would wipe out the Mac personal finance software market in the two days that takes for FedEx to deliver the software.

Anyway, enough ranting. Since I refuse to keep a Windows partition just to count money, I’m looking for alternatives. I don’t have time to play with all of them, but I’m listing them here for now.

Full-featured

  • Moneydance – Commercial Product. I hear good things about it but I’ve looked at it for about 2 minutes. Has a developers API.
  • GNU Cash – Tried it a looong time ago. It didn’t work out for me but that’s because I tried it so early (pre-1.0, had to compile it myself). Probably worth another try although needing X11 is a bit of a turnoff (someone seems to be working on that though).
  • IBank – Looks very nice, and it integrates with iCal. Uses core data (I wonder if I can write SQL against it?)

Basic functionality

I doubt these will be a full solution, but it may work for some people with only basic tracking needs.

  • PLCash – I used Arachnophilia way back when, this is the same guy. Written in Java.
  • Cashbox – Pretty.
  • Cha-Ching – This looks awesome. This is what a professional app for OS X should look like (listening, Intuit?). It imports QIF. They don’t mention reporting or investment tracking.
  • CheckBook – small and underfeatured. It does support transaction downloading though.

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