Anyone in business needs financial management software to keep records of all income and expenses for tax purposes. With a vast array of online services, payment providers, online financial institutions, products sold and sales that an internet marketer needs to keep track of, good record-keeping and financial management is essential. Fortunately, your Mac can help you to do this.
At one time, Mac users had Quicken and that was about it, and even Quicken threatened at one time or another to leave the Mac behind, causing much trepidation. Nowadays, Mac users have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to financial management software, for the Mac, online and for the iPad and iPhone.
The biggest challenge today is not finding a good money manager program to track one’s finances but to choose the best one from the wide array of choices available, both freeware and commercial. Some of the choices include Buddi, Budget, Burn, Debtinator and iBank.
However, Internet marketers have special needs and requirements that must be filled and so care must be taken in choosing financial management software. The best way to choose may be through the process of elimination. Many of the software offerings available are not aimed at marketers.
Buddi is a basic financial manager that does not support online banking or multiple budgets. As its name implies, Budget is aimed not at marketers but those who want to get their spending under control. Buxfer is geared towards tracking shared expenses for groups of friends, roommates or coworkers-for example, who paid what part of a shared dinner check. Debtinator Is mainly for those who need to get their debts under control.
That leaves us with iBank and Moneywell. Oh yes, Quicken and QuickBooks too. And also the various online or “cloud-based” finance managers.
iBank (IGG Software – $60)
iBank is commercial software that allows you to import data from Quicken, keep tabs on your checking and savings accounts, cash and credit cards and investments, direct-download data from your bank, set up category hierarchies and assign categories to all your transactions and split transactions for detailed category tracking. It also offers detailed report creation, budgeting investment tracking and data syncing with your iPhone.
MoneyWell (No Thirst Software LLC – $50)
Moneywell is a commercial package with a strong emphasis on budgeting. It offers direct connect banking, envelope budgeting, and transaction and cash flow management in a tidy, single window interface. It can import data downloaded from your bank in QIF, CSV, OFX, or QFX formats. It has a “Smart Fix” reconcile feature that attempts to recognize the most common mistakes that occur while reconciling your account, and a running balance feature that lets you drag and drop transactions to reorder them within a date so as to match your bank register. It also has iPhone integration.
There is other financial software available for the Mac aimed at those who provide services and need to do billing and time tracking. iBiz 4 Allows you to manage projects, track your billable hours, and create invoices. ProfitTrain is an invoicing program that allows you to manage multiple businesses, track multiple clients who have different hourly rates, keep balance sheets and send estimates. Billings allows you to track time and expenses, do invoicing, keep track of overdue clients and send invoices.
Online or “cloud-based” services include Buxfer and Mint.com (now owned by Intuit). These have the advantage of being free, at least currently, although upgrade plans are available. They allow you typically to download transactions from credit card and bank accounts, tagging and categorizing your transactions, graphs and charts to give you information on your finances, and an iPhone interface that allows you to logon and view your transactions on the go.