Author Topic: Home + Business Financial software / tool for Mac that also produces reports?  (Read 4761 times)

Ravenplay

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Here's my dilemma -- I have a freelance and consulting business (just me, no employees) and my husband has the regular paycheck coming in. For many years I used Quicken 2007 for Mac, which met all our needs for tracking expenses, both personal and business related, and allowed me to produce the reports and downloads I need come tax time. I now need a new financial software system or tool that I can use on my Mac (with mountain lion OS X 10.8) or online, but I seem to be falling between the cracks.
Surely I'm not alone! Help me Mustachians, you're my only hope!
Here are the issues:

- Quicken has bailed on Mac users -- Quicken 2007 is no longer supported for newer OS X versions, and only Quicken Essentials is available for Mac, which does not have the same functionality as Quicken Home + Business (Windows version) or the old Quicken 2007 for Mac.

- One option is to run Parallels and Windows on my Mac, splitting the drive so I can run the Windows version of Quicken Home + Business, but this also involves a substantial investment in software (about $300 unless I find deals - ouch). I'm also not quite sure how to go about doing this, not being a big computer wiz.

- Other friends with small businesses swear by Quickbooks for business accounting and invoicing, HOWEVER our bank (USAA) which has all our personal financial accounts does not do small business accounts and hence does not support QB, which means I cannot download USAA accounts into QB (they do not support download in IIL file format). So I can't use QB for both personal and business, and I'm not sure QB is designed to do so anyway.

- I tried Mint.com for several months and disliked it, but mostly because I could not do the kinds of transaction reports that I need for my wee business and print them out. I also found their front page and constant alerts really, really annoying and their charts pretty but next to useless -- I need transaction details. (sorry Mr. MM)

- USAA offers their own financial tracking tools online, which is fine for tracking account balances, investments and bills, but the system is very clumsy for viewing transactions by category and cannot print a report directly -- one has to download to Excell in csv and then tweak and add headers and detail to the spreadsheet. In addition, there is no ability to add memos for extra detail.

I really need something that will allow me do all our personal and business financial accounting and reports in one place. Your thoughts, ideas, advice? Surely there's a solution! Many many thanks!

gooki

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Xero.com? My electrician uses it as and thinks its fucking fantastic.

Fuzz

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I'm in the same boat and just spent ~5 hours trying to figure out an accounting solution for a simple professional services firm using Macs.

The Amazon reviews for Quickbooks for Mac are terrible. They flamed it to the point I don't want to download it and break my computer.

I'm trying out both Quickbooks for PC (and running it on my mac using bootcamp and windows 7, which I already had). Quickbooks for PC is $179 at Amazon and refundable within 60 days.

Xero is $30 a month for the functionality I need, and if I'm more successful probably $70/month. It's also set up for a VAT system (the tax system they have in the rest of the world, where it was developed). There are workarounds for US professional service firms, but they don't seem very satisfying at all. However, lots of people I respect like it, so I'm giving it a chance. $30 a month seems like a lot in comparison to QB, so I'm skeptical. But hey, it's a free trial.

Gnucash is an opensource accounting software with a mac version. Unlike Xero and QB it won't sync with your bank accounts. I think for committed tech savvy people, it would probably be fine. I'm not sure I'm willing to invest the time in learning a fringe software program. It would be hard to find a local accountant that is familiar with it.

Also, QB also integrates with a lot of other online services like freshbooks or project management software--but since QB for Mac runs a different database than QB for PC, QB for Mac isn't always supported by those online services. So if integrating QB with  something like basecamp or freshbooks is important to you, check for QB integration.

If you do get QB for Mac, let us know what you think of it.

beltim

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Can't you get the Quicken 2007 for Lion?  I thought that worked for 10.8 too

Ravenplay

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Thanks so much for your replies gooki and Fuzz. I've spent hours this week trying to research this and chasing rabbits. I agree with Fuzz that xero's monthly subscription pretty pricey -- at least for my modest needs. I've decided that QB just isn't the right route -- my business needs are quite simple and I really want to be able to take care of both personal and business accounting in one system.

beltim - thanks for the suggestion -- I'll investigate further. I was under the impression that Quicken 2007 was only available up to 10.7, but I'll dig and report back. Many thanks, everyone!

iamlindoro

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Quicken 2007 does indeed work in Mavericks.  Ugly as sin, but it works.

Ravenplay

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Thank you Mustachians! I was able to download the "new" Quicken 2007 for Lion for $15, it does indeed work with Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) and it looks like I'm back in business -- a considerable savings over all of the other solutions I was contemplating!

The Quicken site gives no indication that Quicken 2007 for Lion works with anything past OS X 10.7, so I assumed that Quicken wasn't keeping up. As it turns out, this version is their "major" upgrade, and all further updates are minor, so yes it should work with current OS versions.

Once I downloaded the "new" Quicken 2007 it opened to reveal all of my old account files sitting there, as though saying "where have YOU been?". It then took me several hours of jiujitsu to get 8 months worth of transactions loaded, categorized and reconciled to update all the accounts. In a nutshell, I had to export my banks' transaction files in CSV, convert them to QIF with an online converter, and then import the QIF files into Quicken for each account.

Quicken 2007 is a bit like clunking around in an old Datsun -- not pretty, but seems to get me around the block. Just wonder how long it will last until it starts hemorrhaging oil and dies with a shudder. But THANK YOU -- you saved me a bundle. :-)

Ravenplay

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An update: Although I was able to download the "new" version of Quicken 2007 to work on OS X 10.8 (mountain lion), which presumably works on Mavericks as well, AND it resurrected all my old data several years back, Quicken started crashing at unexpected intervals. I had this issue before upgrading to a new macbook and 10.8, and it seems Quicken 2007 is simply not stable.

So, I've been test-driving iBank for about a week on a trial. I was able to bring all of my old Quicken data into iBank by pointing it to the QIF data file -- a major benefit over starting afresh with Mint online. However, the software is about $60, and if you subscribe to Direct Access, which some banks require to download your data, that's an additional subscription fee ($5 monthly or $40 annually). My main bank allows direct download using OFX, which does not require the subscription, but I have one account that only allows download via Direct Access, so I would have to pay that fee. Further, I've not been able to connect to one US Bank credit card account (a security issue that I can't seem to find a way around) and a gov't retirement account (TSP). So, I can't really have all the financials under one roof. I'm also not impressed with iBank's tracking of and handling of investments, although our needs are pretty basic.

iBank has many of the features I used in Quicken, and I've figured out how to create the reports I need -- they are not as customizable as in Quicken, however. There are also other little conveniences common to Quicken that iBank does not offer -- for example, a drop-down menu when you are filling in categories. You must begin typing and it will show only those categories starting with those letters. If you don't know what a category is called you have to go explore a separate category page.

Yet another glitch: iBank suddenly began mixing up transactions between two savings accounts, importing them into the wrong accounts. With help from the iBank chat support, I took those accounts offline and then reinstated the bank connection -- that seemed to clear up the problem, but this does not bode well for iBank's system, in my opinion.

Bottom line: I am not thrilled with iBank, although it seems to offer perhaps the best of a bad array of options for Mac users. I guess it depends which set of frustrations you want to live with: iBank, Mint, or Quicken 2007. So onward, once more into the breach...