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Home Accountz review

Verdict

Awkward to set up, but a flexible and speedy way to track your finances

Review Date: 16 Jun 2010

Reviewed By: Tom Gorham

Price when reviewed: £22 (£26 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
4 stars out of 6

The demise of Microsoft Money and Quicken in the UK has left the desktop home accounting market looking thin. Accountz.com’s Home Accountz goes some way to addressing this.

Accountz’s import wizard is more basic than most, which takes you through naming your account and importing data from other sources, with support for Money’s OFX, Quicken’s QIF and standard CSV formats. Importing records from an online bank and mapping its entries to Accountz categories was a lengthy process compared to online services such as Wesabe, partly because the list of pre-built categories is skeletal – there are no council tax or pension categories, for example – although it takes seconds to add these.

Home Accountz charts

The main interface is an Accounts window that contains a surprising amount of information given how plain it looks. A list of accounts, organised under headings, mixes real bank accounts with categories such as food or salary. On the right you can set budgets, enter transactions and view balances for each account and, if you select a heading, a chart displays its constituent balances. As well as a view that compares actual and budgeted expenditure, you can see how automated or upcoming transactions affect you.

It took a while to get used to Accountz’s singular approach to entering data. “Debit” and “credit” terminology has been supplanted by the only sometimes more logical “Account From”, “Account To” and “Other Account”, so the short manual is required reading.

But inputting transactions proved fast: you can enter them directly in the main window, set up “template” transactions or automate recurring future transactions, such as salary or mortgage payments.

Accountz’s standout feature is its flexibility. You can re-organise accounts by dragging items around or personalise views in the Transactions window according to a range of different conditions – from account name to paid date – and you can then create charts to illustrate this and save views.

Home Accountz charts

For budgeting, we liked the way you can enter a total for the year – the amount automatically shared across the period – or enter a set amount for a month. The program turns budgeting from a chore into a speedy and – dare we say it – enjoyable few minutes.

The learning curve is a drawback, but not unusual in finance applications. We’d have liked a live link to bank or investment data too. But this is no-frills money management for sober times and worth the money for simple finance management if you’re prepared to put the work into setting it up.

Author: Tom Gorham

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User comments

Can I ask where you can buy this software for £26? Just checked the Accountz web-site and it's selling for £34 on there.

By pbryanw on 17 Jun 2010

Try Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk), where it's available for £26 inc VAT at time of writing.

By tom_gorham on 17 Jun 2010

What about GNU Cash? That's even cheaper (being free). Seems to offer similar things, worth trying first. Again no bank link but can download and import data.

By nicholbb1 on 18 Jun 2010

Excel instead

If you have Excel - even an older version - its more than enough to do all the accounting you need. And I'd venture to suggest that its no more trouble to set something up - or find a freeware template - than it is to learn any software package.

By david_bunyan on 21 Jun 2010

Excel instead

If you have Excel - even an older version - its more than enough to do all the accounting you need. And I'd venture to suggest that its no more trouble to set something up - or find a freeware template - than it is to learn any software package.

By david_bunyan on 21 Jun 2010

Thanks for the info Tom - I think I'll have a go at Excel though, before I think of buying this.

By pbryanw on 22 Jun 2010

Accountz

This is a marvellous package I have ben using it since Quentin Pain first launched it as personal accounts, for the unbeatable Acorn Riscos machine, long before Money even appeared. The 'windoze' version has a different interface and you can set it up as a formal package using debits and credits. The business version is superior to any other financial accounts program.Both packages are an excellent resource for budding accountants
Brian Wilson treasurer PCP

By bakdoc on 26 Jun 2010

Forecasting

One thing I could never do on a spreadsheet was create some kind of macro to insert my direct debits automatically, then forecast my bank balance to my next pay day. For me, that is why I love Home Accountz.

By DennisSmith on 3 Jul 2010

BankTree - Hands down

I tried Accountz it had too many quirks not that easy to use so went with BankTree at £24.50 its good value and it does a bloody good job.

By jeza1422 on 20 Dec 2011

Lack of support

Having downloaded and paid for this I ran into a small problem, as there is a free telephone support number I rang it , after 15 mins waiting on hold I left my number, they did not get back to me, I suspect that there are other better products available who employ more support staff, sage to name but one

By acsc21 on 15 Mar 2012

Check your bank first

I got this for free, thankfully. It can't download my Santander bank statements, so it's totally useless for me. If it's compatible with your bank, maybe it will be OK, but don't spend any money before you've checked.

By PatrickNeylan on 15 Feb 2013

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