Our thanks to Dave Schlicher for presenting his views on alternatives to Quicken at our last User Group Meeting. The following is my summary of his talk – don’t hesitate to ping me if there are any errors or misunderstandings contained in the following.

Tried Three Products in Parallel

Caveat: Not an accountant – and not a tax expert. Also – does not own stock in any of the companies.

Why not Quicken ?

Quicken 2007 no longer will work under Lion – so the only alternative is Quicken Essentials – which will. BUT

Though it is easy to make the transition, it is not a good solution.

  • Intuit has not treated mac users very well
  • Quicken 1998 and 2002 have both been killed off before
  • The Quicken product on the Mac was always a poor second to windows machine
  • Quicken recommends changing format of data downloads – this ‘cannot’ be a good idea
  • What is the future for Quicken ? Unknown
  • All of this with the CEO sitting on the board of Apple
  • Investment tracking limited
  • Bill paying never imported
  • Data import only under Snow Leopard
  • If you put data into the product – will you be able to get it out ?
  • It is the ‘Roach hotel of data’. YOu can get data in – but to get it out VERY gnarly
  • CSV data files can be used – but complicated
  • Perl being used to clean up data – too hard
  • Proprietary format – but it is your finances we are talking about.
  • For as little it does and need for flexibility in moving data around – not recommended.

iBank and Moneywell

  •  are both well regarded programs
  • both handle budgeting
  • both offer iPhone apps
  • both free input and export

Trial in money dance – written in Java – so started away

iBank – igg software – 4.2.5 is latest version

  • Comprehensive number of account types
  • Auto downloads
  • Multiple currencies

Moneywell – 1.6.8

  • Overall more limited
  • V2 under dev for a year – and still not ready
  • In Moneywell, budgeting idea is integral to design

Importing data – both worked well though Moneywell a little bit better it handled reconciliation

  • IBank can’t change account type on the fly – Moneywell can

Transaction entry

  • Quicken good at entering data
  • Both iBank and Moneywell have failings


  • IBank not as easy


  • Money well makes it as easy as it possibly can be
  • But maybe so tied into budgeting that if you don’t use it, could be problematic


  • Excellent for both
  • How To videos and documents are good


  • Both are a real change
  • Neither an exact fit – but both will work
  • Entered the trial with a bias for Moneywell
  • But with usage gravitated to iBank
  • Moneywell v 2 will be Lion only – WHEN it is available

Another review to compare the two

Moneywell Web Site

iBank Web Site