February 22, 2006

After a long hiatus I've decided to start tracking my income and expenses again. A recent review of iBank caused me to download and demo it. Liking what I saw in the demo I made the purchase and downloaded all my transactions from December on and set up my accounts. Once I had the import rules and categories tweaked to suit me I ran a 'bank statement reconciliation."

Part way through the process it occurred to me how absurd this activity was. I was taking a bank generated statement of transactions from the mail and comparing it to a bank generated list of transactions in iBank. Hmm. Of course it's going to reconcile. How utterly silly.

Still it gave me a better feel for the transactions cleared in the last sixty days or so, and I was able to clean up some of the categories. Oddly enough "computer" and its sub-categories "software", "hardware", and "supplies" is one of the large expenses on my budget. Imagine.

As for iBank... I give it a 7 out of 10. Developed exclusively for Mac OS X it looks, feels, and behaves like a Mac application should. At release 2 in its life-cycle it is mature enough to offer most features I wanted for basic money management. The only item missing is direct downloading of transactions from the bank. The provided import function does work very smoothly once you have the data file downloaded manually.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.