There’s now lots of accounting and personal finance software for Mac that are big on user friendliness but often this comes at the expense of functionality and features. BeanCounter is for all those that need a no-frills, powerful and straightforward bookkeeping, time tracking, and invoicing software on their Mac. While it isn’t the slickest accounting software out there, it’s very comprehensive and powerful when it comes to managing finances.
The number of features in BeanCounter are almost impossible to list here but include everything from essential features such as double-entry and accrual accounting to multiple currency support and time tracking. All of this is contained within a very simple and basic one-window user interface that might seem a bit drab for those who have used glossy SaaS accounting software such as FreshBooks, Xero, or QuickBooks. However, if you spend time getting to know it, you’ll find that BeanCounter is more than suitable for managing accounts, clients, projects, merchants and bills providing reports and graphs.
Location, location, location
BeanCounter allows you to add several different types of transactions with support for nine types of custom fields and file attachments. There’s support for multiple currencies but you can also create custom units and currencies and customize it for local taxes. You can attach pretty much any file type, including photos, scans, voice memos, receipts, invoices and other documents to each transaction.
BeanCounter is very versatile and can help you prepare budgets, apply filters, perform batch transactions autofill forms and split/repeat transactions. BeanCounter supports a wide range of import and export options including importing of CSV, QIF, OFX/QFX files and exporting to CSV, HTML, PDF, QIF and OFX/QFX files.
Automatic invoice generation
BeanCounter allows you to track project tasks and expenses for clients and includes a time tracker called Beantracker to time how long you’ve spent on a job. You can generate customized estimates and invoices and choose from up to five invoice layouts or designs or create your own. Beantracker is also very useful for simply keeping track of outstanding invoice balances, manage incoming payments and generate Balance Sheets.
BeanCounter allows you to create an an unlimited number of businesses, has support for self-proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. It also allows you to define custom accounting periods. You can create 16 types of accounts, set a budget for each account and create complex filters with any combination of transaction fields. There’s an advanced search mode for scanning through transactions and you can split transactions, create repeating transactions and batch edit transactions. If you’re dealing with repeat transactions and merchants, BeanCounter allows you to create merchants for tracking bills and payments, create repeating bills and make payments to multiple bills.
On the client side of things, you can create clients for managing projects with tasks and expenses and make payments to multiple invoices. You can send project estimates/invoices with itemized lists of tasks and expenses, as well as being able to choose from five invoice layouts with support for creating custom layouts. You can also create repeating invoices for return customers.
Limited reporting, help and tutorials
The reporting features are probably one of the weakest features of BeanCounter though with a limited range of 10 basic reports and display graphics that are functional but quite drab. The support for BeanCounter isn’t great either. There’s very little in the way of documentation, help videos or tutorials and the Help manual is very limited if you get stuck. Professional accountants may be able to muddle their way through BeanCounter but the uninitiated will struggle to understand some of the concepts, methods and features available.
The basic version of BeanCounter is free to use but it’s not much use for serious accounting unless you upgrade to the pro version for $59.99 which is still reasonable for a powerful accounting software on Mac.
BeanCounter isn’t as easy to use as established accounting apps such as QuickBooks or iBank but for those with a little accounting experience it is more powerful and worth getting to know. Overall, BeanCounter is a comprehensive, no fuss accounting and personal finance application that’s not designed to be aesthetically pleasing but it does keep your accounts in tip-top condition.
If you’d prefer a finance app that’s a little more user-friendly, why not investigate using a cloud-based accounting application on your Mac?