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Personl Financial Software

Discussion in 'Investor Resources & Tools' started by madmick, 30th Oct, 2007.

  1. madmick

    madmick New Member

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    Hey Everyone,
    I wondering if anyone knows of some software that I can purchase that I can use at home to track all my loan, bills, bank accounts ect. I want to tighten the rein and budget and track all. Please let me know your thoughts.
    Cheers Mick
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Quicken is what I use (been using it for nearly 15 years now!) - does the job very well.

    Alternatives include MS Money, and if you look around, you might find some free software out there.

    I recommend Quicken though.
     
  3. voigtstr

    voigtstr Well-Known Member

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    I like excell :)

    With work you can track loan repayments and calculate the interest between payments .
     
  4. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    Sim, What are the advantages of it over a database like excell for example?
    Cheers
     
  5. DaveA

    DaveA Well-Known Member

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    automatic journal entries...

    While excel maybe good to track balances i wouldnt want to run daily transactions through there....

    Sim do you pay a monthly/yearly fee for quicken? or just by the software outright?
     
  6. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Firstly, it's Excel, secondly it's a spreadsheet not a database :p :D

    Quicken is actually a real database. It allows you to categories and classify transactions and then do detailed reports on a lot of different aspects of your finances.

    It also allows you to reconcile your bank accounts to ensure that there are no mistakes or fraudulent charges.

    There is also a budget feature to help you keep on top of your spending.

    Some of the more useful reports I find are the detailed category reports with comparison of last year ... so you can see where you are spending more money and where you have improved.

    I find it invaluable to get an extremely accurate view of how our money is spent so that I know exactly how far I can push our debt and still have enough to pay our bills!

    For taxes, I have specific "categories" set up to track taxable items, and "classes" to indicate who incurred it (me, my wife, jointly, etc). At tax time I just print a report for each class that shows those chosen categories and send this to my accountant.

    I also use Quicken in conjunction with my filing system. Although Quicken does support storing scanned receipts in the actual transaction record, I prefer to store mine separately (scanned or electronic receipts are stored on my file server while smaller or one-off receipts that are not worth the hassle of scanning are stored in my filing cabinet). I can quickly find a receipt by searching for the transaction in Quicken.

    Eg search for "Myer" when I want to return an item I purchased, or search for credit card transactions entered during a certain period), and once I've located the exact date of the transaction, I know which folder to look for in my filing cabinet ... I use one folder per month so there's only a month's worth of receipts (ie not many) to search through.

    It takes work to enter all the transactions - but you'd have to do that in Excel anyway ... and data entry in Quicken is very quick'n'easy :D
     
  7. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yeah, I did move to the annual subscription ... if you are the kind of person to upgrade every year anyway, it is cheaper to subscribe.

    My Quicken 2008 disc came in the mail yesterday - haven't installed it yet!
     
  8. DaveA

    DaveA Well-Known Member

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    so which one do you use?? id imagine for a fairly sophisticated investor like you, ud need atleast the home & Business one - i think the personal plus would suit me....

    is the lower price if you subscribe and the higher price is for new starters like me? or can you be a new starter and use the subscrition price...

    i think i might download the trial and see how good it is....

    Sim- in the website it says something about automatic entry of transactions, do you anything about this? Does it mean you buy something on your credit card and it shows up in quicken and all you have to do is code it?
     
  9. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    I use Quicken Personal Plus for personal finances and Quickbooks for my company and trust bookkeeping.

    I also have the Quickbooks subscription - which makes it fully tax deductible each year rather than depreciating it, despite being over $300 in cost.

    Just remember that if you take the subscription option, you have to keep paying - if you don't, your software stops working after 12 months :eek:
     
  10. DaveA

    DaveA Well-Known Member

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    So the subsciption option is you pay every 12 months the $60 or so cost, and the other one is you pay $120 once off, but if you want to upgrade you have to repay??

    Also why would the subscription make it fully tax deductible, is it because its used within the one year and doesnt have any other benefits in other years???

    Any reason for using seperate quickbooks and personal? does the personal just make it alot easier for personal transactions

    (sorry for the hi-jack..)
     
  11. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    Thanks guys
    Cheers
     
  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yes, so if you are only likely to upgrade every other version or so ... then buying outright might be cheaper.

    Yes, normally software over $300 must be depreciated over the useful life. With a subscription, the useful life is only 1 year (it stops working then !!), so it is written off completely in that year.

    I started using Quicken about 15 years ago ... it is great for personal finances - simple, very easy data entry, and flexible reports. It also lets you fudge figures a bit if you need to - which Quickbooks wont (always needs to be a balancing transaction in Quickbooks!!)

    Quickbooks is much more complex (to non-accountants!), but much more appropriate for business use, as it forces you to work the way your accountant wants, and understands the concepts of invoices / customers / jobs / etc. Steeper learning curve, and not as easy as Quicken, but far more powerful.

    I haven't used the small business versions of Quicken - they came out after I started using Quickbooks.
     
  13. austing

    austing Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gang,

    I also use Quicken Personal Plus. And thanks to Sim for some assistance a few years ago in convincing me of its usefulness and better ways to use the product. Learn about "Classes" as they are your best friend and very simple to setup. I opted for the yearly subscription which I feel is good value.

    However I use Personal Plus for our personal AND trust related stuff. Although I'm pretty hopeless at accounting my tax accountant each year compliments us on keeping great records which makes it easy for them to complete our returns.

    From what I have been told by a number of accountants, the use of Quickbooks by some clients can cause them more headaches than if the client just gave them the info on a spreadsheet. The reason being that unlike Sim many just don't know enough about accounting or the product and hence end up with a bit of a mess.

    Cheers - Gordon
     
  14. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Actually a good point ... it took me a lot of effort to get my Quickbooks stuff set up correctly, and it's a bit of a pain to maintain ... I know my accountant has commented that not many people get it right (I'm still learning myself!).

    My accountant just does a few reports and transfers the records into his own system anyway ... so the Quickbooks is really only for my benefit (it is nice to be able to get a quick P&L statement - but only if I've done the data entry work first!).

    For business use, I'd suggest Quickbooks (or MYOB), but for trusts ... I do think Quickbooks is a bit of overkill.

    I'm actually thinking along the lines of building a simpler investment trust reporting system (although would be just as useful for personal assets) - I already have about a dozen spreadsheets that I use to track various aspects of my investing ... it would be useful to consolidate that all into a single program.

    The kinds of things I currently track are:
    - cashflow projections based on current loan repayments (both property and margin loans) and estimated rental income (after expenses), plus estimated dividend / distribution income
    - managed fund portfolio and margin loan, including performance reporting, LVRs, buffers, etc
    - capital gains tax calculator (tracking asset purchases and sales)
    - tenant tracking (ie when leases are due for renewal, rent history) - used for working out how much to tell my property manager to put the rent up by
    - depreciation worksheets (although my accountant does all this these days)
     
  15. DaveA

    DaveA Well-Known Member

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    I thought their may be an option in quickbooks to try these, surely atleast the laon repayments part... and even estimated expenses based upon last years data....

    But as said above, its not worth it unless you dedicate the time to ensure you enter all data in...
     
  16. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Sure, you can do a report on income vs expenses from last year ... but that becomes out of date very quickly as 1) loans change or get refinanced, 2) interest rates go up (or down), 3) rents increase, 4) you buy or sell fund investments ... my cashflow projections are dynamic based on all of these variables (and more).

    I do use expense reports from Quickbooks to project an estimate of rental property expenses for each property based on history ... although I usually just use a conservatively high figure such as 30% of gross rental to cover all property expenditure required for the year (excluding interest).
     
  17. voigtstr

    voigtstr Well-Known Member

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    Sim, Can quicken record daily unit prices in funds?
    To track share prices do you need to subscribe to an add on package.

    I've used money and quicken in the past but found they werent flexible enough in calculating interest monthly in arears based on daily balances (for some reason I think money 97 wanted to amortise everything over the full life of the loan and was a pain to get it to accept extra payments)

    Have quicken and the like come of age?
     
  18. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    I don't use Quicken's loan management features - I too found them limited back when I had personal debt. I only ever did things manually (using a basic liability account).

    Wasn't too impressed with the share tracking capabilities either ... and I've not tried to deal with managed funds ... I suspect it would be a tad cumbersome.

    Quicken is great for dealing with bank accounts and income and expenses!
     
  19. Saskatoon

    Saskatoon Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    you could take a look at this: Money Beans
    An Aussie programme originally developed for IPs by Duncan M., a property investor who is also an IT professional. Looked OK in it's earlier versions. (I'm a Mac user and don't have a current emulator).

    Disclaimer: he's an acquaintance, but no benefit to me!