Cha-Ching for Your Mac and iPhone

When the words “financial management” come into mind, I’m sure you aren’t thinking about a fun way to spend your Saturday night. That must be because you haven’t given Cha-Ching from Midnight Apps a shot. Cha-Ching, available on both the Mac and iPhone/iPod Touch platforms. allows you to log your daily transactions, make and keep track of different bank accounts and helps you plan and stick to a budget.

Currently, the Mac version of the software is in its last stages of beta testing before its big 2.0 release. This means that you might run into some slight issues regarding features that have yet to be enabled but are sure to be included in the update. With that in mind, let’s jump right in!

Getting Started

Splash Screen

Splash Screen

Installing Cha-Ching is a snitch, and once you get past the splash screen, you will be ushered right into an empty database. The application is tastefully designed, with easy options to add accounts and view your transactions in a variety of ways.

The Main Window

The Main Window

This includes a iTunes like cover-flow view, which is great if you spend the time to add photos to each of the payments your make.



Cha-Ching also can help you manage tasks related to your finances,the scheduling of transactions (like your paycheck or electric bill) and all the different people who handle your money, known in this app as Payees. These features also translate over to the iPhone application, allowing you to view upcoming scheduled transaction and manage your Payees.

iPhone Payees

iPhone Payees

Adding and Editing Transactions

When adding a transaction, either on-the-go or in front of your Mac, Cha-ching pushes you to use the title of the transaction to describe who the money is coming or going to. Additionally, it leaves a space for a note about the payment, which is helpful in organizing. Categories and tags are also used to help keep everything structured and searchable.

On-the-go, adding a new transaction required a preset Payee, which can be found either through a searchable contacts list, by a favorites list or by locating nearby Payee.

Setting their location must be done on the iPhone/iPod Touch application and does not reflect the address information in the main Mac app, nor does it synchronize with the Mac application in any way.

iPhone Transactions

iPhone Transactions

All transactions are also either classified as Pending or Reconciled. This relates to whether the money has been transfered out of your account, or has been cleared on your charge card.


In this beta’s current state, there is no budget syncing between the mobile edition of Cha-Ching and the desktop application. However, you can set the application up to the point where transactions with certain tags will automatically become sorted into your budget of choice.

Simple Budgeting

Simple Budgeting

I personally prefer the category based organization in the mobile version compared to the tag based organization in the desktop application. Also, the mobile edition includes an overall budget which is not automatically set up in the desktop application.

iPhone Budgeting

iPhone Budgeting

The differences between these two version can become confusing, and I would hope that this feature would be adjusted before the program exits beta.

Security and More

Password Protection

Password Protection

Cha-Ching offers a password protection system that is required to open the financial transaction database. The mobile version of the application is similar, requiring a 4 digit passcode before allowing access to your financial data.

Synchronization between the iPhone/iPod Touch application is done only over Wifi, and currently only manually, however Midnight Apps have promised that automatic syncing is on the way.

iPhone Syncing

iPhone Syncing

Unfortunately, unlike several other applications like MoneyWell and Quicken, you cannot download your transaction data from your bank’s online website. This requires the user to manually enter each transaction, which can become tiresome. However, the application has a built in web browser for access to your bank’s online portal.


Cha-Ching is a simple and well designed application for managing your daily purchases and formulating a monthly budget. However, the current beta does restrict you from being able to use every aspect of the application. My main complaint with the application is the lack of automatic syncing and lack of budget syncing.

What do you think about Cha-Ching? Do you use something else to manage how many 99-cent apps you bought for your iPhone or iPod Touch?


Add Yours
  • Already tried cha-ching for a few days. It’s not my cup of tea. Primarily because it’s tons of work to manage your private finance this with this much detail. It wasn’t worth it for me. Though I love the mac design and iPhone sync ability!

  • It should probably be noted that in the latest beta the iPhone type budget shows up in the desktop version if synced and that automatic syncing now works =)

  • Your Midnight Apps link goes to an picture, of someone…

  • is the only way to go for money management. They have a plethora of excellent tools and a beautiful web interface. And of course, there’s a free accompanying iPhone app.

    • No way… I am not having entire financial life managed by an online application. Tried Mint several times and it was too much.

      I could NEVER EVER get ChaChing 2.0 Beta to even install. And when i di i was VERY underwhelmed.

      Squirrel does it for me!

    • Another vote for Mint. If you used any of your bank’s online banking feature, you are already using the system Mint uses.

    • I get worried when various people have access to all my data. I thought Mint had a security breach not too long ago?… which confirms my hesitation.

    • Sorry, but is pretty useless to people outside of the US, and there are quite a lot of us out there ;-p

      I’m still on a review hunt to try to compare iPhone finance apps, but so far Cha-Ching is moving up the list.

  • Like it says in the review, Cha-Ching 2 is infested with bugs. It’s unusable. Any other applications in beta that I’ve ever tried were at least functional.

    • That was my experience too… just too buggy and feature in-complete. I did really appreciate the UI though. I need direct downloads and I need category transaction reports. Until they fix the bugs and implement those two features, it’s of no use to me. They do those three things well, and they’ll have a huge winner.

  • There’s far too many apps in AppStore right now which are just junk. Apple has to raise the bar with their standards and force these developers to properly test their apps before they release it to the AppStore.

    Seen and used these apps. They list so much features but when you begin to use these features that’s when problems start to arise. There’s too many useless features or far too less or they just crash on you. And there’s always the data that keeps getting lost after your phone gets restarted.

    Use the Notes App that comes with the iPhone and do the math in your head. Works better and doesn’t crash.

  • In reply to, unfortunately for Canadian and Non-US Users, we can not take advantage of the service.

    • I’m glad someone pointed this out. How many years has Mint been around? They have no excuse to not be in other countries when many lesser known services are global. In my opinion, is a jingoistic organisation.

  • I’ve tried ChaChing, but could not get used to it… May for all you guys and girls Squirrel is a good alternative? It also has a iPhone / iPod app :) You can find squirrel at: It looks like a early version, but it just works as it should work!

    • I use Squirrel, it’s beautiful and easy. Clean interface, no clutter. Nice and sexy.

    • I really like Squirrel as well – really nice UI and the “Smart Folders” are really cool, but the same problems as Cha-Ching… too buggy, no direct download of transactions, and incomplete reports (e.g. category transaction report). But one to keep an eye on.

  • I have to throw a vote in for iBank. Out of the dozen I tested, it was only one of two (the other being MoneyDance which gets an honorable mention) that imported all my Quicken transactions correctly, has direct download, category transaction reports, and has been relatively well behaved. Just my experience, YMMV.

  • I’ve been using Cha-Ching since the early beta. The developers have been relatively active in dealing with found issues. I think recently they have put a lot of focus on bringing up the iPhone/iTouch version. Since then, they’ve released a new update for the desktop.

    At this point, I’m mostly satisfied with the product. I’m missing some of the charting and reporting side of things, but handling transactions is a breeze.

    As far as the review goes, I think the last paragraph needs a little further explanation. While Cha-Ching does not handle direct downloads, you are able to (with little effort depending on your bank) download your transactions via the integrated web portal. Once you download in Quicken format from there, Cha-Ching recognizes your transactions and you are able to add them into your account. It’s a little more involved, but not a deal breaker for me.

    Bottom line, beta software is not production software. It’s a work in progress. It’s important to factor that in when making a decision. It’s a given that you’ll encounter bugs. When an app gets through to a RC version or a .0 version, it should have been through the beta stage and had all (or all major) bugs squashed.

    I think that with more active development (and the developers haven’t indicated a slow down) that this app can become a standard in it’s category on the OS X platform. Let’s see what time brings.

  • Direct download is a waste of time and doesn’t give you a better hold on your finances. What Cha-Ching needs for me to become a user is to have better running balance / forecasting capabilities. The developers have been “working” on that for years now. I gave up holding my breath and use Numbers.

    • I have been using Numbers for forecasting using a spreadsheet I’ve revised over many years, but I now have a licenced copy of Cashculator and I must say it is a very interesting application for financial planning. I also have Money by Jumsoft, see my comment below.

  • I got Cha-Ching around 18 months ago as part of Macheist and was initially hopeful it would replace Quicken. Version 2 came out in beta (MacHeist users were supposed to get a license for version 2) but the initial betas were unusable – really bad, bugs galore and missing features. For example, you couldn’t sort by date, repeating transactions just didn’t repeat etc.
    It’s been in development hell ever since and I just gave up trying to follow each new beta. I downloaded it a couple of times recently and the thing wouldn’t even launch.
    Version 1 looked great. Version 2 I’m afraid has lost me, even though I already have a license for it!

  • I have a licenced copy of Money by Jumsoft which I actively use, it doesn’t have support for tags but does have graphical reports which in my experience often don’t work all that well. Recurring transactions and editing transaction works well in Money, haven’t tried that in Cha-Ching.

    However for some reason, despite less features, I do find Cha-Ching easier to use, and the inclusion of tags helps, but that is coming in Money soon.

    I just wish one of them would sync up with one of the online services, preferably Wesabe and/or BillQ. Wesabe is just fantastic in my opinion and they also have their own iPhone app.

  • Sorry folks, iBank is the way to go ever since Intuit garfed up Quicken for mac. Online finance managing software like Mint is just asking for trouble. *shun*

  • Cha-Ching is a joke of an app. I tried the beta for a while until I got sick of fresh bugs in every new release.

    What’s more, and arguably more importantly, it’s totally broken at the design level: its use of tags for budgeting (would work fine for reports) means that unless you’re careful, transactions can end up in two budgets and be counted twice! An accounting app that can’t count.

  • It also has my vote for the Mint. If you used a feature of your bank online banking, you’re already using the system uses Mint, thanks for the post!

  • it’s beautiful and easy. Clean interface, no clutter. Nice and sexy layout.

  • i like your comments about this blog. I like iphone i think iphone is the best in the world.

  • I like iphone i think iphone is the best in the worl… like ur blog

  • I like iphone i think iphone is the best in the worl .. i like ur blog site

  • I am planning on getting the iphone when it comes out. I would like to know a few things about it. What are the pros and cons of getting it? Anything would be helpful!

  • How do I get my facebook contacts on my Mac or iPhone contact book?

  • I have questions about the iphone if there is anyone out there that works for at&t or apple might be able to help me. 1) When is the new iphone coming out? 2) How much will it be? 3) Will it have video? 4) Will it have Instant messenger? 5) how much will the old iphone end up being? 6) Will there be a software you could buy to add all the new things to your old iphone?

  • It seems really useful for financial management

  • I have it, is it being updated ever?? I think it was bought by some other group and they don’t want to keep it up.

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