iBank 5 for Mac Personal Finance Software Review
iBank 5 for Mac is personal finance software that is packed with features and very easy to use. Review the offerings to determine if this level of financial management is right for you. 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 also very capable personal finance software but does not have all of the features included in iBank 5.
Account Management and Smart Reporting
To start using iBank 5, set up accounts to mirror your real financial accounts. Once your 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 web download requires you to go to the online banking site for each of your financial institutions, and then download and import transactions. iBank has a browser that's integrated with the software to make handling these downloads less tedious. Of course, you can also enter transactions by hand directly into the registers for each account. 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 the criteria you select. These accounts are not regular financial accounts but are groups of transactions from various accounts based on the rules you set up. iBank suggests that users regard Smart Accounts as smart playlists in iTunes or smart albums in iPhoto.
You can choose from a wide selection of criteria to define a Smart Account, such as multiple budget categories, dates, payees, and investments.
Budgets, Financial Reporting, Cost, and Download
Most personal finance software offers either envelope budgeting features or traditional budget reporting that shows actual versus planned spending. For traditional budgeting, you can set up amounts you plan to spend or income you plan to receive in budget categories from month to month using 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, and the one you use is a personal preference.
iBank 5 provides a wide range of fully customized financial reports that include:
- 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 items, such as specific or all accounts, payees, transactions, categories, and dates.
Cost and Download
iBank 5 has a risk-free, 30-day free trial period. The software costs $59.99 and comes with a 90-day money back guarantee.