The Bottom Line
iBank 4 is worth its $59.99 USD price tag (use the free trial download first), or $29.99 to upgrade from iBank 3. iBank Mobile for iPhone and iPod Touch can sync with the desktop version, and costs $4.99.
Score: 4.6 on a 1-5 scale
- Fully featured yet easy to use, great reports.
- Investment account support.
- Envelope budgeting option.
- Free 30-day trial with support.
- Imports data from Quicken Essentials and most other personal finance software.
- iBank needs to support direct transaction downloads from more financial institutions.
- Only exports data in QIF and TXF format.
- Multiple currencies: supports any currency, transfer funds between accounts, reports, budgets automatically convert currency.
- Integrated browser for importing data from financial institutions that don't offer direct download.
- Clear financial reports, easy to get details from reports.
- Tracks many types of investments along with current value of investment portfolio.
- Variety of personal finance reports that are easy to set up and use, drill into more details from pie graphs in reports.
Guide Review - IGG Software iBank 4 Personal Finance Software for Mac
iBank 4 owes its easy navigation to the source list, which gives quick access to accounts, reports and budgets and tools for managing categories, scheduled transactions and other items. The top toolbar has one-click access to other functions, like account set up.
iBank 4 has strong help resources for beginner and more advanced users. Search the Help documentation from within iBank, or see tutorials, frequently asked questions or contact iBank support from the Help menu. Active online user forums offer quick help and tips as well.
iBank 4 provides adequate financial data security, in line with most other personal finance software. There is password protection to prevent unauthorized access to data, but data files are not encrypted. iBank has a an option for backing up data, too.
Portability and Free Trial
iBank offers a 30 day fully-functional free trial with support. The iBank iPhone or iPod Touch app helps to manage money when you're away from your computer, and synchronizes your data.
Accounts and Transactions
iBank supports cash accounts, account reconciliation, split transactions, budget categories and subcategories, and "learns" what categories to associate with payees. iBank offers direct transaction downloads, but could download from more financial institutions. To remedy this, iBank has an integrated browser so you can log in at a banking site and import transactions directly into iBank without leaving the software. This feature can save you from the hassle of opening a separate browser to export and download transactions, and then go back into iBank to import the transactions. This feature is really slick, but I could not get it to work for one brokerage account. iBank advised that I open a browser and go though the export/import procedure with my regular browser, but this failed as well. I found a solution for in the iBank user forum, but it involves using the Mac Terminal.
You can't use iBank's internal browser to download transactions from banking sites that have pop up windows in the download process.
Budgeting Tools and Reports
You can set up multiple budgets in iBank 4, so you could have a separate budget for regular living expenses, a side job and a budget for the kid's allowance. Budgets can be viewed by spending category or by the envelope budgeting view. The envelope budgeting features are great in iBank; it's easy to move cash between virtual envelopes, and unspent funds carry over from month to month. It would be better if running a budget forecast report involved just one click, but this report can be easily set up by running a net worth report on future dates. Of course, scheduled transactions must be set up accurately to get a good budget forecast.