Desktop financial software runs on your computer's hard drive and is purchased in a box or as a download. In either case, you need to install the software on your computer.
Desktop Personal Finance Pros
- As long as your computer is running, you can access desktop financial software.
- You maintain ultimate control over the security of financial data if you use passwords, antivirus software and a firewall.
- Compared to online software, desktop financial software usually offers more financial management features.
- If you have a well-equipped computer (fast processor, maximum amount of RAM), desktop financial software should run responsively.
Desktop Personal Finance Cons
- If you forget to back up data regularly and your hard drive fails, recovering the data will be very expensive, if recovery is possible at all.
- Most desktop financial software installs without a hitch, but no two systems are alike due to differences in hardware, settings and software, so installation issues can occur.
- It is more difficult to share financial reports between computers, and sharing data entry tasks may be impossible.
- If you have a budget computer or an older computer, new personal finance software may run frustratingly slow. Fully-featured desktop financial software like Quicken, Moneydance or other Windows desktop software run slower on older or budget computers.
- There are fewer free software options compared to online money management software.
- Desktop personal finance software is usually more expensive than web-based alternatives.