01Accounts Management and Smart Reporting
As with all personal finance software, the first thing you do when you start using iBank 5 is set up accounts to mirror your real financial accounts. Once accounts are set up, you'll find them listed on a sidebar with the balance for each one. Enter transactions as you spend money or receive income or download transactions to track balances accurately.
iBank 5 gives you two ways to download transactions: direct connect and web download. Direct connect is more automated and updates all accounts at once. The download requires you to go to the online banking site for each of your financial institutions and download then import transactions. iBank has a browser that's integrated with the software to make handling these downloads less tedious, and it's one of my favorite features in the software. Of course, you can enter transactions by hand directly into the registers for each account as well. Images can be attached to transactions, such as a photo of a receipt or warranty.
iBank 5 can be used to track cash, checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, investments and credit card accounts. Your accounts and other financial information can be synced with iBank's mobile apps: iBank for iPad, iBank Mobile and iBank Investor.
Smart Accounts Reporting
iBank 5 Smart Accounts are great for viewing a group of transactions that are set up based on criteria you select. These accounts are not a regular financial account but instead group transactions from various accounts based on rules you set up. iBank suggests that you think of Smart Accounts like smart playlists in iTunes or smart albums in iPhoto.
Choose from a wide selection of criteria to define a Smart Account, like multiple budget categories, dates, payees, investments and more.
02Budgets, Financial Reporting, Cost and Download
Two Ways to Look at Budgets
Most personal finance software offers either envelope budgeting features or traditional budget reporting that shows actual vs. planned spending. For traditional budgeting set up amounts you plan to spend or income you plan to receive in budget categories from month to month in the budget tool. To set up an envelope budget, you will still use categories, but will "fill" envelopes with cash when you receive income and remove cash from envelopes when you pay a bill or otherwise spend money. Cash can also be transferred between envelopes. Either budgeting method is effective, the one you use is a personal preference.
iBank 5 is no slouch when it comes to providing a wide range of fully customizable financial reports. Here's a list of reports to select from:
- Income and Expense
- Net Worth
- Expense Timeline
- Category Detail
- Portfolio Summary
- Investment Summary
- Payee Summary
- Categorized Payee
- Financial Forecast
The reports can be customized to include specific or all accounts, payees, transactions, categories, dates and more.
Cost and Download
iBank 5 has a 30-day free trial. The software costs $59.99 and has a 90-day money back guarantee, so if you decide it's not for you after you've used it for a couple of months, you can get your money back.
iBank 5 for Mac Personal Finance Software Feature Review
iBank 5 for Mac is personal finance software that is packed full of features yet it's very easy to use. Read up on the features to determine if you want this level of financial management, and if you do, try the free trial before you buy. iBank 5 requires Mac OSX 10.8 or higher if you buy directly from the developer, or OSX 10.9 if you buy from the Mac App Store. If you are running 10.7 or 10.6, you can use iBank 4, which is very capable personal finance software but does not have all the same features and tweaks that iBank 5 has.