Financial Software for Mac: 7 Great Apps

Managing your personal finances is often somewhat of a pain, particularly if you’re suffering from a lack of funds to manage! Fortunately a variety of different applications are available for assisting with the process. Whether you’re trying to save a few extra dollars each month or have an enormous investment portfolio, there’s something for you.

These apps will assist with tracking your spending, paying bills on time, planning a simple budget, displaying detailed reports, and (in some cases) entering transactions on-the-go from your iPhone.

Cha-Ching

Cha-Ching

Cha-Ching

Available for both the Mac and iPhone, Cha-Ching is a thoroughly well designed application for managing basic finances. You can track where you’ve spent money, ensure you’re reminded to pay bills on time, and access online banking through the in-built WebKit browser.

Price: Beta / $40
Developer: Midnight Apps
Requires: Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

Money

Money

Money 3

Money supports five main types of account out of the box: Bank, Cash, Credit Card, Investment, and Loan. It has a colorful and eye-catching interface, and also offers a facility for creating invoices.

Price: $39
Developer: Jumsoft
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later

Squirrel

Squirrel

Squirrel

Get storing a few dollars away for the winter months with Squirrel! Not just that, you can also automate regular transactions (so you never forget to pay a bill), watch your expenses and earnings, and view a history graph that shows your account’s balance at any given time.

Price: €14.99
Developer: Squirrel Team
Requires: Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

Moneydance

Moneydance

Moneydance

Moneydance can process transactions exported from most online banking facilities, generate useful reports, and help manage a budget to ensure you don’t over-spend in certain areas. If you’re lucky enough to have a big investment portfolio, this too can be tracked through the app. Not the most appealing interface, but a solid contender.

Price: $39.99
Developer: Moneydance
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3 or later

Moneywell

Moneywell

MoneyWell

MoneyWell takes the traditional approach of “envelope banking” and applies it to a modern Mac app, automatically connecting to your bank account or importing a data file. You can allocate what you have to spend in various categories at the start of a month to ensure you don’t go over-budget.

Price: $49.99
Developer: No Thirst
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later

iCash

iCash

iCash

iCash intends to control your personal finances, keeping track of income, expenses, credits, debts and bank transactions for you. The interface is certainly somewhat dated, but a range of features make it a potential contender. It doesn’t come cheap (at around $60), but does also have a Windows version if you require a cross-platform app.

Price: €46.00
Developer: Maxprog
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3 or later

Quicken

Quicken

Quicken Financial Life (Coming Summer 2009)

Quicken is only available in the slightly aged 2007 version at present, though a new “Financial Life” app is due to launch in Summer 2009. Hopefully this will offer an improved experience over older software, and a more Mac-like interface. The proof will be in the pudding, and we’ll keep you updated with information when it launches!

Other Apps & Conclusion

After asking for your thoughts on Twitter, a few other applications were suggested:

This area of software seems to be one where everyone has a very distinctive personal taste. You may enjoy the pretty interface of Cha-Ching, or prefer the envelope banking style of MoneyWell. It’s certainly worth taking an in-depth look at the website for each app and, if you have time, giving several a try before settling on one.


  • http://www.twitter.com/yppy joris

    Although not specifically for mac (compiles with Darwinports), when looking for managing more complicated financials, Gnucash is also a good choice (and compatible with quite some financial formats!)…

  • Barron

    Another one I’ve read about is iBank ( http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibank/ ). I haven’t used it, though. Anyone out there used it and have impressions to share?

    • Dominick

      I’ve used Moneywell, Money but am now using Ibank. Felt it took to many clicks to add transactions into money: it didn’t feel right.
      Moneywell was good but some transactions got lost while I saved the file, and if I work with several currencies, which means that sometimes a transaction is only visible (on my bank statement) after a few days, so I had to be able to add transactions in the past (not in order), and Moneywell couldn’t handle this too well.

      Another con of Moneywell is their report tool, if you have several accounts, you will find out that they will count transfers (one account to another) as expenses, which makes your expenses stats looks huge.

      I now use Ibank because the interface is clean, they do have to provide a decent manual though,but their support responds within one businessday which is ok to solve my problems.

      I liked the Moneywell Iphone App more than the Ibank Iphone app but the Ibank software is better so I ended up using that one on a daily basis.

  • Double Entry !

    What is needed (and inexistent) is a simple double-entry personal accounting software: it’s much easier to follow the flux of money with double-entry (debit-credit). For the moment, one has the choice between simple-entry softs (as above) which are easy to use or complete double-entry softs which are a burden because they follow all the legal constraints. My dream is a simplified double-entry soft without the legal stuff.

    • Bertie

      I use Moneydance & it’s a fairly simple double-entry accouting program.

  • http://www.twitter.com/phillipsmn Mason

    I have Cha-Ching and the thing about it is that it is mostly beta software. The developers are fairly active, but there are a number of bugs/issues with the app. The iPhone version is really nice, and both the iPhone and desktop apps sync, which makes managing your finances on-the-go relatively simple.

    I have been rooting them on from day 1, but I feel that the development schedule is fairly slow. (That’s probably due to the effort they made to build an iPhone version which took time from the desktop app development).

    All in all, though, it is an app that shows great promise to be the standard for personal finance.

    • Adam

      Agreed. It was great before Cha-Ching 2 went on beta. Now it’s so buggy that it’s not usable for me at all. Can’t wait for the stable build.

  • http://www.tylertate.com/ Tyler Tate

    I’ve used iBank for 2+ years and have been pretty happy with it.

  • http://www.hellonemo.com Caesar Aldhela

    iCompta is enough for me :)

    • http://www.rossgardt.de Benedikt R.

      Surprisingly, I also think iCompta is the best application in this list. For me, it offers two major features:
      - iPhone application
      - an handy user interface

      So, I am very happy with that app and I think I will also buy the iPhone app (http://tinyurl.com/mbdh6t) for about 5 €.

      Another cool app is indeed Squirrel – but only the iPhone version (it’s also for free and works pretty well). Unfortunately the usability of the MAC version is rubbish :-( – I simply can’t handle this application.

  • Shayne

    This is pretty much the only lacking since I converted from Windows to OSX a year or so ago. I used Microsoft Money so much that I had to install a Parallels VM just to continue with it. Far more feature rich then most of the ones listed above and for about the same price. Seems like a potential gold mine for a developer out there with the skills.

    • http://gorillathemes.com Carlos

      I agree, I have VM Ware Fusion installed just to run Microsoft Money and a couple of other apps. The killer thing about Microsoft Money is their “Forecast Cash Flow” where you can see and predict how much money you will have in a week, month, etc after you setup your bills, paychecks and budgets, Mint is a good alternative but if you look in the forums, everybody is asking for this Forecast cash flow feature.

      Anybody knows an app that provides this type of forecast?

      • Ross

        I’m using iBank for this. It’s simple and works quite well.

  • waffles123

    Casbox http://tinyurl.com/qsrwe5 Is a free app for managing your money. I really don’t need all of the fancy stuff that the expensive apps have. It suits me.

  • Smyge

    There is also http://homebank.free.fr/index.php
    but I can get it to run on my mac… problem with macport installation I guess,
    seems nice and have been around since Amiga days. If anyone get it to work on intel leo please confirm, thanks!

  • http://drewjoh.com Drew

    No mention of iBank? Really? Maybe I’m just missing it? I recently spent a significant amount of time testing financial apps for Mac and iBank came out on top for me.

  • Kim Stewart

    do any of these apps work with Canadian banking? i would love to set one of these up to look at my online bank statements and add charts and other useful elements. thanks!!!

    • Marc

      I have the same problem with international banks. I live in Ireland where I have 2 bank accounts and 1 loan and I have a couple accounts in the UK. I’d love to see someone with the foresight to include compatibility outside the US. I’d love any suggesstions

      • Kim Stewart

        agreed! if anyone knows of either an online app that works with non-USA banking, or a Mac program, please let us know. thanks!

  • Jeffrey

    I think another area for financial apps are those online apps. Mint, Wesabe, etc are great examples. What I want is one of those desktop app to work together with online app, so everything is in sync. Maybe even provide an remote wipe feature in case I lost my laptop.

  • Kyle

    Cha-Ching and several others would be great apps if they had some of the automated features of Mint, etc. Without those, they really require a lot of manual accounting.

    I don’t want to think!

  • cstenson

    I’ve tried all these apps. The winner hands down…Moneywell. Envelope budgeting is a tried a true method of money management.

    • Juz

      Couldn’t agree more. Spent months trying to wrangle Quicken (ekk!), then a year trying everything on the Mac, with Moneydance getting the closest and kept up for a year.

      Found MoneyWell a few years ago, haven’t looked back. Consistently good direct download, great layout, and much faster reconcile mechanism with latest release. Not much in the way of reports, but the filter-ability (made up word!) means you don’t have to much (one click to filter down to a month view). “Flows” are a great feature, touch of a learning curve for most, but you don’t need them if you just want to track category expenses.

      Moneywell – actually a joy to use, and effective!

      • JHW

        Thanks for the advice. Just got Moneywell and it is working pretty well!!!

  • http://twitter.com/richanomix Richard

    Here’s a link to download the beta of Quicken Finical Life for Mac if anyone is interested.

    http://http.intuit.speedera.net/http.intuit/CMO/quicken/fi_life/QFLM_Beta_2.dmg

  • BNord

    Moneywell is the best financial program (with the best approach to saving) for the mac or PC. Great developer support and an active community. Check it out!

  • David

    Have to add my 2 cents :) here: Moneywell is a breath of fresh air in this space. Solid program, conceptually straightforward, fantastic support.

    Also, it does not do “everything”, but it does a beautiful job of facilitating accounting and budgeting in a painless and intuitive way, which is what 90% of us need 90% of the time. Data download is very good, further reducing my financial pain.

    No hassle trial period. Highly recommended!

    Other products used: iBank, Moneydance, Quicken PC, QuickBooks.
    Can’t believe a non-released Quicken product made this list… ;)

  • Stefan

    I use iBank. Why is this software not on the list?

  • Danny

    Here’s a directory that lists plenty of financial/accounting software: http://www.all-finance-software.com/. You might want to check the “Budgeting and Forecasting” and “Expense Management” categories.

    That said, as a Mac user, I’m more likely to choose web-based products over desktop ones. So much less compatibility issues this way :-)

  • Jonathan

    I love Cha-Ching! Is very cute and simple but complete enought to manage personal accounts and domestic stuff. I totally love it, it is really what I was looking for for some years now. Thanks for the

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  • adastra

    I’ve tested EVERY finance software for OS X I could find, but I still haven’t found what I need; a software which allows me to add several users, both with all their own bank & cc accounts and which more importantly allows me to split *some* expenses half-and-half between those two or more people, but others not. There’s an app for WIndows called ExpenseIT which does exactly this, but unfortunately nothing like that is available for mac.

    • insanedreamer

      Have you tried GnuCash? It’s a full-fledged double-entry accounting program. You could use Equity accounts for you different users.

  • artmania

    i like Cha-Ching :D

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  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    wow i really like icash. thanks for the share

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  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar Orfebre Martin

    There’s an app for WIndows called ExpenseI

  • michael
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  • http://www.cueros-pym.com.ar cuero

    Based on Twitter suggestions, we also added the list of forums that you all recommended!

  • Vattakarun Sukawat

    Thank for iCash

  • Vagelis

    Can anyone tell me if any of these apps supports a multi user approach (family)?
    I would like to set accounts and then each user to have their user login the app and iphone app. then their expenses are in the same sw but marked under their name … Help ?

  • insane dreamer

    While not the prettiest app, or native to OSX, GnuCash is more complete than any of those mentioned here, if you need features like multiple equity accounts (i.e., keeping track of accounts belonging to different people such as family members), multiple currencies (not just accounts in different currencies but income/expenses in different currencies), OFX import for your transactions, splitting expenses, etc. I still haven’t found anything else like it (other than big and very expensive accounting programs).

  • http://www.technofeliz.com Steph (Technofeliz)

    +1 for GnuCash…

    And another OpenSource software, not in the list (coming from the Linux world too) : Grisbi
    This one is great for personal finances (simple and efficient, exactly what i needed). A DMG package is available on the download page : http://www.grisbi.org/download.fr.html

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  • Sandman619

    UPDATES :

    CHA-CHING ceased development when Intuit, makers of the worst of the worst, Quicken Essentials & Mint, hired away it’s developers.

    iCOMPTA is no longer free, but they have a well designed app for Mac & iPhone

    Cheers !

  • http://www.elijahclark.com Elijah Clark

    can you recommend which of this is best for getting paypal transactions. i tried ibank, moneydance and garage pay and quicken essentials (no longer works). but cant see which is best for pulling paypal transactions and categorizing them.

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