Home Accountz review

16 Jun 2010

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

Price when reviewed: 
26(£26 inc VAT)
4

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £22
Price inc VAT £26
Overall rating 4
Ease of Use rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4
Software subcategory Accounting

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? yes
Operating system Mac OS X supported? yes