iCash: Review and Giveaway

LogoMy wife and I had been pretty happy with the copy of Quicken that came with our computers. All that changed a few weeks ago, when she told me that Quicken was no longer sufficient for our needs. As she is a professional accountant and I am just a writer, I didn’t question her. So started the search for a new finance program/service.

My first thought was to see if GnuCash had been ported to run natively on OS X, but unfortunately, it still requires X11 to run (apparently there is a way to do it, but it looks like it would probably require a significant investment of time, so that is out). We tried everything we could find, from Piggybank to the online service, Mint. Finally we tried iCash, from Maxprog, and she told me that it would do.

Upon starting the program for the first time, the first thing that I noticed was that it didn’t have the polished interface that I had gotten used to with Quicken. That isn’t to say that it isn’t functional or doesn’t work, but merely that it isn’t as sleek. After that, though, everything went pretty well. The processes of opening and closing accounts, adding and modifying transactions, and importing data are all fairly intuitive.

Screenshot

There are some things in iCash that we don’t like, such as how it handles contacts, but they are relatively minor, feeling more like lack of polish than anything, and I am certain that they will be fixed in future releases. In addition, there are a few quirks, such as grouping transactions instead of splitting them, that take some getting used to.

What iCash lacks in polish, it makes up for in flexibility. You can create an account for just about everything; where Quicken had issues with some of the assets that we were trying to set up, iCash just worked. It doesn’t try to force you to do things in a particular way, so you can organize your finances in whatever way is comfortable for you.

Screenshot

For people who want an alternative to Quicken that doesn’t feel dumbed down or who are looking for a program to track finances for a small business, iCash is a good choice. It has some quirks, but nothing that would cause me to hesitate in recommending it. In addition, there is an active help forum up on Maxprog’s web site, and the developer is very good about addressing questions.

Although iCash 4.3 is shareware and costs $39.90 to register, Maxprog has generously provided us with three licenses to give away to our readers! To enter, simply comment below with a suggestion for a feature that you would most like to see in this program. The winners will be announced next week.

Comments

61 Responses to “iCash: Review and Giveaway”

  1. RK on May 6th, 2008 6:09 am

    A PDA link would be useful.

  2. Devon Whittle on May 6th, 2008 6:37 am

    Any comparison with MoneyDance? I’m loving MoneyDance for all my needs.

    Feature idea: automatic downloading of records from bank would be nice. I’m from Aus though so doubt that’ll happen anytime soon!

  3. Jason on May 6th, 2008 6:44 am

    The contact integration NEEDS to be better. I’ve used iCash before, and that is one of the glaring things about it. However, I don’t have a need for the contact management, so it’s a moot point for me. Thanks for the chance to win a license!

  4. Orio Navarra on May 6th, 2008 7:21 am

    Wow it seems amazing! it would be nice in the future a “widget” apps for the iPhone! :)

  5. matt on May 6th, 2008 7:25 am

    iPhone/iPod Touch syncing would be nice. Then I wouldn’t have to carry the check book register with me!

  6. Lisa on May 6th, 2008 7:54 am

    I would love to be able to email reports – also a “quick entry” widgit would be great!

  7. jeremy gaines on May 6th, 2008 8:16 am

    A debt snowball or rapid debt reduction feature would be great.

  8. Maciek on May 6th, 2008 8:41 am

    When it comes to splitting transactions, iBank is probably the one application that get this function right. I would love to see similar implementation in some other tool (like iCash – it looks neat except this one feat) as iBank doesn’t work for me anymore for number of reasons.

  9. Leif on May 6th, 2008 9:11 am

    Make it work with either

    a) the crappy CSV format my bank generates (upon plain text import with manually configured fields, I get “iCash: EXCEPTION – [Dlg_Main] Transaction_ShowCurrentBalance (method) – Out of Bounds Exception” in the Console)

    or b) the other funky format my bank offers, which seems to be called MT940.

    It’s a major German bank, which would add many customers from Germany to iCash.

  10. Johan on May 6th, 2008 9:26 am

    I’ve tried the most finance programs that’s out there in the last months, iBank have a great way to enter transactions on the go with your iphone, it syncs with idisk so you must have a .mac account.

    I thought that iCash wasn’t as pretty as I would want it to be.

    Right now i use ChaChing, it’s not that powerful and lacks some futures but it looks so good. And it syncs with iDisk so you ca use it on both your stationary and your laptop.

  11. Ed Eubanks on May 6th, 2008 9:37 am

    There used to be a feature on Quicken (the Windows version) called “Savings Goals;” they phased it out, for some reason.

    The feature worked like this: you could set up these goals and apportion cash to them from any account; that money would not show up in the balance of the account it was taken from, as long as the savings goal was turned on. Of course, for reconciliation purposes you could turn the savings goals off and all of the money would re-appear in the original account.

    This was a great tool for setting aside money for particular purposes, yet not having to set up an actual account for them. You could think of them as “virtual” accounts that could be turned on and off.

    I’ve looked for this elsewhere, and never found anything like it. I’d love to see iCash implement this idea.

  12. Robert on May 6th, 2008 9:37 am

    I would love to see a feature to create invoices. If this is aimed at small businesses, I would think this would be a very welcome feature. Most small businesses want one simple application that takes care of the basics, a program that can create invoices and automatically add them into the register as not received would suit the bill nicely.

  13. Mark on May 6th, 2008 9:45 am

    I would like to see automatic syncing with online banking.

    Thanks.

  14. Rob Markowitz on May 6th, 2008 9:49 am

    I’d like it to read my MS Money data files.

  15. Vasya on May 6th, 2008 10:25 am

    I’m switcher. All of my finances are in Microsoft Money. I keep copy of Parallels with xp on my mac to keep my finances. I don’t like quicken or any other available apps – they can’t take money file and import all data. This would be very useful.

  16. April on May 6th, 2008 10:53 am

    A forecasting feature would be good.

  17. Jorge on May 6th, 2008 10:57 am

    Moneydance rocks!

    http://moneydance.com/

  18. Jorge on May 6th, 2008 10:58 am

    Whoops meant moneywell, not moneydance.. LOL

    http://nothirst.com/moneywell/

  19. Chriswan Winata on May 6th, 2008 11:29 am

    avoid posting competitors’ links?

    Would like to see some sort of ‘simple mode’, the current interface is a little bit overwhelming

  20. dave on May 6th, 2008 11:55 am

    hey
    i learned how to update leopard to X11 when installing gimp …. the how-to is crazy easy if you download a little program … check here for details:

    http://darwingimp.sourceforge.net/guides/install_leopard/

    i’m not a computer nerd, and it was very easy. they also explain how to install it from the apple install disc if you prefer native software

  21. florentin on May 6th, 2008 12:36 pm

    I’d like to able to use iCash on my Palm OS PDA.

  22. Nick c on May 6th, 2008 12:46 pm

    Does iCash support files from UK banks or is it US only?

    I would love to see a widget to easily add items without having to open the app first.

  23. Joe Turner on May 6th, 2008 1:07 pm

    maybe they could add a simple widget so you can see your expenses etc?

  24. Allan on May 6th, 2008 1:33 pm

    From what I see, iCash has a nicer interface than the old version of Quicken I currently use. Sign me up! :)

  25. André Melo on May 6th, 2008 2:40 pm

    I would love to see integration with the iPhone, either through a web app or, even better, a native app. This would really help to control my expenses when I’m the road.

  26. Maria on May 6th, 2008 3:18 pm

    Away to keep track of expense reports and/or reimbursables.

  27. Rory on May 6th, 2008 3:37 pm

    Multi currency support would be fantastic.

  28. Joe Cool on May 6th, 2008 4:24 pm

    A simpler interface would definitely be nice, also more advanced reports and iPhone/iPod Touch/Web access would be very useful.

  29. John on May 6th, 2008 4:41 pm

    I would love to see iCash support multiple currencies. I am a US citizen who lives as a permanent resident in Canada… so it would be great to have a program for the Mac that natively supports accounts in different currencies.

    Would be even handier if the program automatically downloaded the latest conversion rates, so you could get a snapshot view of your net worth in a pre-defined currency (i.e. I may have accounts in US$, CDN$ and Euros, but display my networth in US$).

  30. ErichD on May 6th, 2008 6:05 pm

    I’d like for iCash to seamlessly integrate with Loan Calculator and Transaction (both from Maxprog)…. if it offered a “debt reduction” tool alongside its currency conversion tools, that would make it king!

    I’m thinking a periodic query tot he major sites for more competitive loans that the user might qualify for… then, when working with a debt in the program, or upon launch, iCash could recommend a re-financing or transfer, with budget advice)!

  31. Sinbad on May 6th, 2008 6:58 pm

    I would like to see iCash better optimized, so that it would feel snappier and not so sluggish. Otherwise, nice application.

  32. Nadyne Mielke on May 6th, 2008 9:07 pm

    Downloading data automatically from my various financial institutions would make my life a lot easier.

  33. yaniv on May 6th, 2008 9:15 pm

    I have been using quicken for a long time and I don’t like at one bit. The only reason: I can’t find anything better.

  34. dai on May 6th, 2008 10:14 pm

    Information is arranged very beautifully.
    I think that this application is the best in this kind of application.

  35. ericmontae on May 7th, 2008 12:28 am

    iPod and iWork support would be nice for this program.

  36. perfume on May 7th, 2008 6:34 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this program, and came across it a
    while back when I was searching for Quicken replacements. I’m not sure
    why I never tried it before, but I’m going to be testing this today.

  37. dai1976 on May 7th, 2008 6:54 am

    I am using Quicken.The application filled my needs more.Maybe, I will use iCash in the near future.

  38. sorethroat on May 7th, 2008 6:59 am

    I was using the windows version of “ICash”. and, I was very satisfied with the application. The Mac version doesn’t have inferiority by the function either. Moreover, interfaces are more beautiful than windows versions. I will be satisfied more.

  39. Peter on May 7th, 2008 7:03 am

    Not exactly a feature, but one of the reasons I like Cha-Ching is its clean interface. If the iCash developer/developers could (get someone to) improve the interface, it would be much more attractive to potential customers.

  40. dt on May 7th, 2008 7:14 am

    It personally likes iCash though iCash was compared with MoneyWell and Cha-Ching.

  41. Riocard on May 7th, 2008 8:55 am

    Recordable scripts to screen scrape balance from bank would be good.

  42. Tim on May 7th, 2008 9:02 am

    Did you look at Mini$? It’s a great freeware app that I’ve been using for a while. It’s easy to use and has a clean interface. It even imports and exports Quicken and other formats and will even identify potential duplicates. I highly recommend it.

  43. crobgun on May 7th, 2008 10:55 am

    I’d love to get a “lite” version for my mobile along with the macos version running on windows mobile/ symbian to be able to enter expenses on the go. Any maybe this little tool could hold information like “last sync’d balance” etc.

  44. kdizas on May 7th, 2008 11:18 am

    i kinda rushed through the comments and i didn’t find anyone suggesting something like a widget or a menu bar item for quicker viewing and adding data to iCash

  45. David Grossman on May 7th, 2008 3:56 pm

    I have to agree with the others who mentioned that an important feature is the ability to download info from banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions.

  46. mmac on May 7th, 2008 9:07 pm

    Finally a good alternative to Quicken.

  47. am on May 7th, 2008 9:15 pm

    Because the function is abundant, it is worthy enough of $39.90.

  48. am on May 7th, 2008 9:16 pm

    Because the function is abundant, it is worthy enough of 39.90.

  49. am on May 7th, 2008 9:17 pm

    I think that it is a wonderful personal financing application.

  50. Keith S. on May 8th, 2008 10:10 am

    I know this is stepping away from the purpose of the program, but it would be nice if it was able to be run as a client/server-type app. Even webDAV/iDisk integration (preferably webDAV) would be helpful…that way, I could have a copy on my desktop, a copy on my wife’s computer at work, and (with the already requested feature of iPhone/iTouch/PDA capabilities) a version on my WM PDA, with all three being updated in real-time.

  51. Jacob Saaby Nielsen on May 8th, 2008 10:29 am

    In Denmark, we don’t have the option of connecting our financing apps with the banks webbanking solutions.

    One option we DO have though, is to query for all transactions for an account, and have that served in a table view.

    I have done that a lot of times, and pasted the results into Excel, where it’s transferred to, looking like the table in the browser.

    I’d love to see a feature that could automatically “clean” those copied results from the clipboard, and recognize the colums and rows, and where you could possibly define the various elements of the copied tables, so iCash could import all of those transactions, and balance the account.

    I’m pretty sure it’s possible too, since it’s basically “just” an HTML table that needs to get translated to something else.

    At least, that feature would help every Danish webbank customer that needs a financing application.

    Like… me.

  52. zot on May 8th, 2008 9:50 pm

    This is a great financing application.
    I really like the look and feel of iCash.

  53. Steve on May 9th, 2008 12:31 am

    Hey Tom,

    I’m curious as to what your wife didn’t find in Quicken. I work for Intuit and our developers are very open to feedback. If you can tell me what she didn’t like, I can forward the feedback on.

    Thanks!

  54. chris on May 9th, 2008 12:02 pm

    dont know if it has invoice exports for AR, but that would be great for my needs as a small business.

  55. achilles on May 9th, 2008 2:11 pm

    Maybe use iphone as an input device, definitely a plus……

  56. Britonius on May 11th, 2008 12:19 pm

    Import from MS Money is essential to switch. That would seem like a normal feature since they have a Windows version as would an import from Quicken. I would like to see a reminder feature that integrates with iCal. A quick entry widget would be ideal as would a quick entry feature for the iPhone/iTouch that would sync with the app. And a better transaction splitting feature and better contact integration with Address Book.

  57. z3 on May 11th, 2008 9:07 pm

    It is a wonderful personal financing application.
    All necessary functions for me become complete.
    Moreover, it is convenient.

  58. daisuke on May 11th, 2008 9:28 pm

    I’m fine with Cha-Ching, but this one looks good, too!

  59. iCash Giveaway Results | MacApper on May 21st, 2008 7:00 am

    [...] week, I reviewed iCash, the finance software from Maxprog. To qualify for the giveaway, you had to submit a comment [...]

  60. Jon on May 26th, 2008 10:01 am

    Quicken was discontinued for the UK back in 2005/6

    Important notice for Quicken Users:

    Intuit UK has made a difficult business decision to discontinue future development of Quicken products for the UK market. To help customers affected by this decision, we will continue providing access to Quicken customer support and online services through to the end of January 2006.

    Key Dates

    Quicken withdrawn from sale: 31, January 2005
    Phone support (Quicken XG, 2004) until: 31, January 2006
    Email support (Quicken XG, 2004) until: 31, January 2006
    Online support until: 31, January, 2006

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