There really are no decent financial software packages for families out there. Quicken and it’s clone MS Money both assume that you want to do all your financial management as a single user on a single PC. And while they add more an more elaborate features, they neglect to put in support for basic real-world things like IOUs.
Meanwhile, the Open-Source alternatives such as GnuCash and KMyMoney2 are so focused on [poorly] mimicking the Quicken experience that they are completely failing to bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the field.
What I want in personal accounting software:
- Really good budgeting support. I don’t care how fancy your ledger-entry screen is if your budgeting sucks. Remember, this is software for REAL FAMILIES, and what real families worry about most of all is BUDGETING.
- Simple support for one-time, ephemeral debts such as IOUs.
- Interface-independance. I want to be able to view and enter information from a web browser, from a PDA, from any PC on the house network, etc.
- Calendar integration. It seems like every accounting package has it’s own calendar for reminders. I don’t want that – I want it to put reminders in my EXISTING calendar. All it needs to do is publish an iCal calendar that I can subscribe to from any number of PIMs.
- The ability to set savings goals and have the software calculate how much I need to contribute a month in order to meet them – and re-calculate automatically based on how much I actually contributed. I think this at least is handled reasonably well in Quicken and Money.
- Really good online banking support, including smart auto-reconciling.
- An at-a-glance view of uncomitted funds, i.e. how much money I really have to play with taking into account all predicted debits before the next paycheck. There should be a way to see this that doesn’t require firing up a big program.