163 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2001
Moneydance, the newest kid on the block of the personal financial software world. Most people probably don't even know about it yet, but this product is the new way to manage your finances on your computer. Being an unsatisfied Quicken user I decided that it was time to look for something else. After some searching, and wading through a host of unsuitable programs, I came across Appgen Moneydance. The site said that I could download a beta version for free, so I tried it. I was able to import my accounts from Quicken into Moneydance without a problem, and learning the rest of the interface took me all of an hour. I found the interface to be crisp, clean, and very simple to navigate. Setting up an account was very simple, and as I began to use Moneydance, I discovered that it uses double entry accounting, thereby forcing the user to account for the deposits and withdrawals in both their originating and destination accounts. I really appreciated this feature, because it enabled me to track all of my income and expenditures.
The graphing and reporting capabilities of the software were better than I expected. Theses features allowed me to keep a really tight grip on all of my accounts, by showing me the activity in a detailed, broken down format.
The stock portfolio manager was just fine for me. I am not a heavy stock market player, and I found the tools provided to be more than adequate. The only tricky part I found was that I had to create a portfolio account before could enter securities, however, when I tried it, the same thing happened in Quicken.
The feature that struck me as being the most powerful is the ability of Moneydance to run on any platform. This allowed me to work on my account on my PC, and take my saved file over to a friend's Mac and work on it through Moneydance on a Mac. This is an overwhelmingly powerful feature, because I am not limited to the type of O/S that I want to use, I can always keep my program and data.
Overall, I was so satisfied with Moneydance I am going to use it to do all of my finances. I will never go back to Quicken or use any other finance manager. I would give Moneydance five stars and highly recommend it to anyone who asked me.
127 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2006
I was pushed into Quicken when I escaped from the PC world into Mac land. I had used Money and liked it -- it was fairly simple to use and did everything I wanted it to do. The only downside is that it was from Microsoft, which is not my favorite company.
Quicken was awful. It crashed all the time, support was extremely slow (as it is only through IM), and I just didn't like the interface. I looked into three options: Liquid Ledger, iBank and Moneydance. After reading all I could I bought iBank and spent three days setting up my accounts and trying to figure it out.
iBank was a huge improvement over Quicken, but there was no tech support, I had troubles printing my accounts (unless I reduced the columns so that I could fit it only a page, but then I couldn't read what was in those columns!) and it just wasn't intuitive enough for me.
I am probably in the intermediate range of computer users, and I feel certain that someone with more experience than myself would find iBank just fine.
Since it wasn't doing what I wanted it to do (or rather, since I couldn't make it do what I wanted it to do) I decided to buy Moneydance and see if it was better. I think it is an oustanding program -- very easy to set up and use. I was able to set up all my accounts in a morning, where in iBank I was still working on the fundamentals at that point in time. In addition, I have been able to easily configure it how I want it to look.
I still have more to learn about Moneydance. The documentation is a bit less than I'd like, but they are working on more lengthy explanations which hopefully will be out shortly. Even with their overly short instructions I have found no roadblocks. I would give it five stars if there were more and better instructions. Like I said, though, that appears to be arriving shortly.
Another benefit is their chat forums where you can leave questions or, as i have done, search for earlier questions about the same issues. It's a great resource and provides access to the company itself and the programmers seem to be the ones monitoring some of the forums.
I really like this product very much. I found it fairly simple to set up (as simple as I would hoped it would be, anyway) and easy to use. It is, to me, a great alternative to Quicken and I'd look into it as an alternative to iBank as well.
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2001
I've been using this program for about a year and a half now on my Linux machine, and have been quite pleased with it the entire time. I use it to keep track of my budget and checking accounts, and it's a real breeze to use. I can't comment on the portfolio tracking features as I haven't used them much yet.
The author of the program is quite approachable, and I've written to him on a couple of occasions when I've wanted features that the program didn't have yet or had problems with my beta copies. He's often very responsive, and has been known to incorporate customer suggestions into the product within a day or two. It's a great human touch that you won't find from Intuit or Microsoft.
The program is written in Java, meaning that it will run on just about any platform. This can be a real lifesaver, because it means if you ever want to use another operating system, not only can your data files move with you, but so can the application. No need to buy one copy for Windows, one for Mac, one for... I've run it on Linux/x86, Linux/PPC, and MacOS without a glitch.
On the downside to using Java, the program will seem slow to some. For the record, I used to run it on a Pentium 75 machine and I wasn't complaining much. The later versions show some noticable speed improvements over previous ones. It's still more than fast enough to keep up with my typing, but don't expect it to feel as responsive as other "native" applications.
In short, I'm a long-time satisfied customer of Moneydance. Anyone looking for a solid personal finance package need look no further.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2005
First, let me warn Amazon readers to pay no attention to reviews written before 2005. MD has grown up now and is both fully supported and reliable. It supports online operation with many banks and credit card companies, including full interoperability between its Mac version and Bank of America, something that Quicken cannot boast. Sure, it's not as feature-rich as Quicken, but then its not as confusing and buggy either. The interface isn't as pretty either, but transaction entry is very fast and autofill of transactions actually works better. There's lots of flexibility to manage investment accounts and keep track of stock prices etc. And, it really is a cross-platform app, not different products with a common brand name (e.g. Quicken)
Most importantly, it's rock solid. It just never crashes. It backs up its data file extensively and in as many previous versions as you like as well, so if you lose data with this app, you probably lost your house to a fire too.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
First the sad Quicken saga:
Even before Quicken Personal Finances 2007 for Mac ("Quicken 2007"), Intuit was milking the Mac cow for profits with virtually no upgrade in features over the previous several versions. It was powerful and handy -- a 5-star product but for its stability and obsolesence issues. It will no longer run under the next OS version, Mac OS 10.7 ("Lion"), to be released in mid-2011. It was the last full-featured version of Quicken for the Mac. It had most of the features of the Windows version -- call it Quicken "classic". Quicken 2007 became dangerously unstable in my experience. I had relied on successive versions of Quicken "classic" from 1992 to 2011. In the last several years, it would crash or hang, corrupting my data. I had to track securities cost data using old statements and spreadsheets.
Quicken Essentials for Mac was first released in 2010 -- all new code, slowly built from the ground up for the Intel processors Apple introduced in 2006 (Rosetta not required). Very limited feature set -- promising if you wait 1 to 3 more years. Intuit is very slowly releasing expanded versions (as free upgrades). As of late 2010, it's totally inadequate for securities owners (example: doesn't track cost basis by lots). Quicken Essentials lacks many other important features found in Moneydance, other Quickens and other financial software.
I switched to Moneydance last month and I'm very pleased:
* Stable and well-supported by its developers.
* Tracks securities just fine.
* Importing 2 decades of Quicken data worked well and quickly (follow their simple instructions exactly).
** Some inter-account transfers needed correction afterwards; this was straightforward.
** My corrupted Quicken securities data was automagically healed after importing.
The interface is a little different from Quicken Classic -- better in some ways, not as good in others.
As of late 2010, other Quicken competitors such as iBank 4 just didn't match Moneydance in my evaluation. iBank seems the most popular alternative but its developer has been heavily criticized for inadequate support.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2006
This programs is easy to work with, is pretty easy to learn and is super reliable. As a recovering Quicken user, it did take some getting used to and a little bit of fiddling, but I moved right through the steps to a full recovery.
Quicken, with its forced upgrades, annoying banners, product orphaning, and buggy "features," had just become unbearable to me. Moneydance is definitely the way to go.
One thing I noticed right off is that the online banking reconcilliation features are much simpler to use. The program seems pretty smart about matching transactions from my bank with those in my journal, even when the names or amounts are somewhat different. I use a pretty small bank and I was concerned that the online banking wouldn't work, but it did. It is also nice that Moneydance doesn't take the online opportunity to "phone home," like Quicken does, so that it can download new ads for crummy, expensive services.
To sum up, this is good software. Download the free trial and see for yourself. You won't be disappointed
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
This software is excellent for anyone who wants straightforwared functionality and full control without all the annoying "features" that now plague Money and Quicken. I stopped using Quicken due to its abundant use of "tools" which actually take away control from the user in addition to having bugs--a bad combination. (For example, one day the account statement reconsile tool told me that my account was not balanced by $0.00 and would not allow me to proceed until I fixed this discrepancy. I think I can decide for myself, thank you.) I actually had less trouble importing QIF files into Moneydance than into Quicken. Don't take my word for it--download a free trial version and see for yourself.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
This review is for Moneydance 2014 (Windows). I don't think this version is available on Amazon. You will have to download it online. The purchase price is $50, but the software will let you input 100 transactions to try it out before you have to buy it.
I had been a Quicken user since the DOS days of installing it using 5 1/4 diskettes. I have been looking for alternatives to Quicken for a host of reasons. One of them is the sunsetting policy of their older software every 3 years. As a result, users of Quicken 2011 or earlier have to buy Quicken 2014 in order to continue online banking / bill pay. I'm tired of being forced to upgrade to new software every 3 years to maintain online functionality. The reviews for Quicken 2014 on Amazon are abysmal, so I don't want to go this route if possible.
I have been evaluating Moneydance 2014 for the past few days. I generally like what I see so far. The migration of data from Quicken wasn't without its problems, but I am working through those issues and I just about have them licked. The biggest problem I have (and it's more my problem than Moneydance's) is overcoming the way Quicken did things and get a good feel for the software. The interface is not as slick as Quicken's but that's not a deal breaker for me. Download of credit card transactions has worked well so far. Still working with the connection to my bank for online bill pay or downloading transactions. I have also been a long time user of Quicken BillPay, but I'm kicking that to the curb also (my bank now offers free bill pay).
There is an iOS app available for Moneydance free of charge. The Moneydance folks are working on an Android app. There is an android app called HandyBank that can interface with Moneydance. The HandyBank app is a bit expensive for an app (about $7). I'll probably just wait for the Moneydance Android app, if I continue with Moneydance.
I'm giving Moneydance 3 stars for now. Overall, I think it's a promising alternative to Quicken and I am leaning towards making the jump. I may update this review as I get more experience with Moneydance.
UPDATE 4/23/14 - I have decided to go all in to Moneydance. My trial is almost over and I will go ahead and pay the license fee. I have heard that you can get a discount if you "like" them on Facebook. I had trouble with migrating about 4 years of data from Quicken Premier 2011 with the balances being way off. Part of my problem was that Quicken's Year End Copy function did not work for me. I decided to just migrate this years data for all of my accounts which made it easier to figure out where the problems were. I will keep Quicken 2011 around for a while longer in case I have to access old data.
I can update most of my credit card data in Moneydance ok in one step. I cannot update my Lowe's account at all (I couldn't with Quicken either). Fortunately, I don't use my Lowe's cc much, so I just update it manually.
I miss the one-click update with Quicken BillPay that I had with Quicken Premier 2011, but Intuit's sunsetting policy and the fact that they no longer give Quicken BillPay customers free updates to Quicken software to maintain BillPay functionality made me rethink my relationship with Quicken. As I mentioned before, I have ditched BillPay and their $9.95 per month fee in favor of the free bill pay services my bank offers. I don't have one click update with my bank (I can download transactions, then import them), but I'm saving $9.95 per month.
There are different Moneydance plug-ins available, like one that you can use to track your stock portfolio. I have not used it on Moneydance (I didn't use it on Quicken either). I prefer to track what few stocks I follow online.
Moneydance has a decent set of canned reports and graphs, some of which you can put on your home page. There is also a facility to set up reminder (transaction or general) that seems to work pretty well.
The other thing that tipped the scales in favor of Moneydance is the license covers all of the PCs in my household rather than only 3 for Quicken 2014. I go back and forth between 5 PCs that I use for home and work. The data files can be put within DropBox so that all of the PCs are in sync. I will be glad when Moneydance has an Android app (I've heard that one is in Beta).
Moneydance in my opinion is a good alternative to Quicken. Not as slick as Quicken. There are probably some things that Quicken can do that Moneydance can't, but none that I have found that are meaningful to me.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Short personal history: I'm an old Microsoft Money fan (as in fanatic). Yeah, it had some issues but I knew how to live with them and it did absolutely everything I ever asked it to do. Usually with a certain amount of style. And then Microsoft, for reasons I STILL cannot comprehend, axed the product. Did they have to do it so thoroughly? Why upset a large and reasonably happy customer base by turning off something that gave them a steady (but admittedly declining) revenue stream?
I looked at Moneydance among other products but eventually decided on Quicken. BIG mistake!!! Read my review of Quicken 2011 for more details. Short version: I was back in the hunt for a financial software to help me manage my middling complex financial life.
In the meantime Moneydance issued their 2011 version which answered some of my issues. Furthermore, one of the few advantages of my frustrating experience with Quicken was that I'd learned all sorts of new ways to handle transactions (and that piece of &*%^ software, Quicken still wanted me to bend over further for them just to handle the basics) which stood me in good stead when converting to Moneydance.
It took a few weeks to get used to the user interface (which is much better and more sophisticated than it looks at first glance) but I'm happily falling in love with this product. It would be nice if somebody wrote a "Dummy's Guide to Moneydance" to explain how to get some of the more advanced features to work more easily but all the basics and a surprisingly large number of the advanced features are there, just waiting for you.
There's quite a few "best things" about this software, here's a list in no particular order:
1. Portability, it will run with equal ease on Microsoft, Mac, and Linux machines
2. No sunset provision, if the vendor closed shop tomorrow the software would still run
3. When you convert your file from Quicken to Moneydance you can fix all sorts of little nagging things about your accounts that didn't quite make sense and couldn't be fixed in Quicken
4. The user community is vibrant and the vendor responds to them with new features in each new version
5. The reports are basic but have some customization, memorization, and full drill-down capabilities
6. If you've got the time and the knowledge, you can write your own extensions to the application. If your extensions are good enough, Moneydance will make them available to their entire customer base
7. It is stable and runs surprisingly quickly on my old PC, better than both Microsoft Money and Quicken
I still miss a few things from Microsoft Money but this product is a worthy successor and may someday exceed it.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2013
I've spent the past week trying out various Mac products in hopes of being able to get off Quicken, which requires me to maintain Windows and Parallels in addition to Quicken - a real nuisance.
After the first day I was very discouraged and almost gave up. The first hurdle, importing Quicken data from numerous accounts going back to 1995, was too much for most of the products. Only iBank got it mostly right the first time. My initial notes on Moneydance mentioned several feature deficiencies as well as inability to import the data correctly.
I am glad that I stayed with it. I realized that I made some mistakes in my Quicken export, and after some minor tweaking I got all the data from 11 bank, investment and credit card accounts into Moneydance and reconciled, with downloads working. (Even after I fixed my mistakes, the other products except for iBank have still not been able to import the file).
Although the documentation is not great, the support on their website is; their support team is very responsive, and I easily found the answer to every question I had just by searching through the questions previously posted by other users. Little by little I found that most of the features I thought were missing are actually there. Maybe some things could be more intuitive, but that's not important - for a piece of software that I will use every day, I can invest some time in learning how to use it.
I like the customizable home page. I have my accounts, my expenses and budget in graphical form, a calendar and my reminders, which is a feature I'm finding very useful. I also have a third-party budget extension called Money Pie which I haven't explored yet but which looks pretty awesome.
I have not tried out everything. There is a third-party Android application for Moneydance called Handybank that I have not tried yet, and they have their own mobile application for the iPhone. Dropbox is used for syncing. I tried to set up online Bill Payment and couldn't get it to work, but I imagine it's resolvable; I don't really plan on using it and only tried it out of curiosity. There is also a check printing feature that I have not tried.
iBank would have worked for me too. Neither product is as good as I would like in investment reporting and tools - nor Quicken, for that matter - but Moneydance is better. The thing that makes Moneydance the clear winner is that it's a cross-platform product, with a published API and developer toolkit that allows anyone to develop extensions. A number are available and I hope there will be more in the future. If I really needed something I could take a stab at it myself.
Although they won't announce a date or what's in it, the 2013 release seems to be imminent, so I am waiting for it before I buy. The company seems to have a history of making major improvements with each new release, so I am looking forward to seeing what they've added. Meanwhile, I am overjoyed that I can finally see an end in sight to needing Quicken. I am going to run both for a while until I'm certain, but it's looking very good.