Updated 5/14/2013 00:38 a.m. ET
I'm not the only one who is thinking about spring cleaning finances. Netted by the Webbys has a list of 17 apps for a digital spring cleaning that includes PageOnce - which I just found out is now called Check. This app keeps track of all your bills and account balances and gives you a holler via real time alert on your mobile device if there is any unusual purchase activity in your accounts.
Check is a mobile app that's great for people who want to keep track of their finances but don't need to do budgeting and lot of other things that can be done with personal finance software and apps. It's also a nice addition to your financial tools even if you use other software or apps. The app lets you know when bills are due and you can pay right from Check.
Zoho online apps have been around for a very long time, and Books works with other Zoho apps, like those for invoicing and CRM (customer relations management). The $24 per month Books generates tons of reports and you can use online payment systems like Paypal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net and PayPal Payflow Pro with it.
Really useful modules in Zoho Books include time tracking, time sheets and invoicing. Learn more about Zoho Books.
Wave Accounting is part of a set of online small business finance tools that are specifically aimed at serving very small business. The apps included in the set are Invoicing, Payroll, Accounting and Receipts. All of the Wave apps are free, made possible by the small business service and product ads that are served up in the software.
Wave Accounting is simple and uncluttered, downloads transactions from banks, Paypal and other financial institutions, and generates many financial reports. Sound good? Check out my Wave Accounting profile for details.
Image: Wave Accounting online and mobile apps
Moneydance 2012 is the latest version of this desktop financial software for Windows, Mac and Linux, even though it's currently 2013. That's because Moneydance doesn't do annual upgrades, which is perfectly fine. It's better to offer solid software less frequently instead of trying to market something new every years that hasn't been fully tested (or whatever the reason is for features that don't work). If you're scratching your head at that comment, there is a Windows personal finance software out there that has been rather consistent with this scenario. But, that's another blog post entirely.
Overall, I like Moneydance 2012, except that the transaction downloads still don't work as well as I'd like them to (I had the same experience with Moneydance 2010). Here are my thoughts in a nutshell, followed by a link to my full review:
- Imports data from other software flawlessly
- Customizable home page with financial calendar
- Good selection of financial reports
- Backs up to Dropbox
- No Android app
- Budget set up requires clearing out stock categories
- Wonky transaction downloads
For more details, see my Moneydance 2012 review.
This month, I'm going to take a closer look at some online accounting options for self employed people like me, or for those who have just one or two employees.
Let's kick this off with Xero, which has a free trial and then costs $19/month for a lot of accounting features and a dashboard that shows you an overview of recent sales, bills that are coming due and bank account balances. Xero can keep inventory, pay bills and track customer data with a CRM tool that links to Google Maps and Skype. The online collaboration feature let you work with an accountant without going to their office, and you decide what in your records to hide and show the accountant.
Xero has a lot of add-ons, too, but most pertain to larger businesses. Still, it's worth taking a look at.
For more information, see my Xero profile.
Image: Xero dashboard
Now, this is something I've never seen before and I think it's incredibly generous. If you used You Need A Budget 3 and have upgraded to YNAB 4, your old YNAB 3 license is still yours and you are free to give it away to someone you know who could use it.
YNAB is personal budgeting software that helps you to move toward a debt-free life with a financial buffer of income.
Of course, there are tons of great new features in YNAB 4, but the earlier version is still very much a great help to anyone who wants to reap the benefits from doing things the YNAB way. Those benefits include building a financial cushion so an unexpected big bill doesn't knock your finances off the foundation and no more living from paycheck to paycheck. While support will stop for YNAB 4 this summer, the software will continue to work indefinitely, which is not the case with all personal finance software.
To give your YNAB 3 license away, use this form.
Image: YNAB 4 Spending by Category report
The 17th Annual Webby Award winners were announced this morning. The winners in financial categories voted for in the People's Voice portion of the awards and by the The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences on behalf of the Webby Awards are:
Financial Services / Banking Website
Real Estate Website
- People's Voice: Zillow
- Webby: Zillow
Mobile & Apps - Utilities and Services (Handheld Devices)
- People's Voice: Dropbox
- Webby: Dropbox
Mobile & Apps - Utilities and Services (Tablets)
- People's Voice: Dropbox
- Webby: Dropbox
You can see all winners listed on the Webby Awards website, but be prepared to scroll forever for some categories. The search function only works well if you search by the web or mobile app name.
Image: HelloWallet Home Page
This one is for all the readers out there who have heard the reference to desktop software but don't really know for sure what that term means. In a nutshell, this software does what it says: it runs on a desktop computer. But, it runs on laptops, too. What about tablets, does it run on those, too? To get the full answer, read What is Desktop Software?
There are just a few more hours left to voice in the Webby's People's Voice Awards. I've outlined the nominees in the Banking Financial Services Websites, Real Estate Websites and Mobile Apps (handheld and tablet) categories here in 17th Annual Webby Awards for Personal Finance Websites and Mobile Apps. Take a look and then cast your vote. There's a voting link a the end of the article.
I took a look at online banking sites that include some great budgeting and and/or financial account management tools. These banks offer a higher interest rate on savings, too. OK, so you won't get rich off the interest, but I specifically chose three national online banks that will help you cash in a little more than most (if not all) brick and mortar banks. Of course, each of these online banks had to have a good mobile app, too. Here are my picks?
Do you have an online bank that you like, and that matches the criteria of higher interest rates and personal financial management tools? And, the fees can't be too steep, either. Let me know in the comments.
Image: Getty Images / Daniel Berehulak