If you’ve finally had it with the Mac version of Quicken, we’ve taken a closer look at the best personal finance software for Mac of 2018.
Quicken for Mac has lagged behind the Windows version for years and even though Quicken 2018 was an improvement, the decision to make it subscription only was the final straw for many faithful users.
The good news is that nowadays there’s some excellent finance tools on Mac that not only do a better job, they don’t require a monthly or annual subscription to use.
Some of the apps featured here are even free like the excellent Personal Capital which blows Quicken out of the water when it comes to investment tracking.
There are also some serious value for money Mac desktop apps that can import your Quicken accounts such as the impressive Moneyspire (currently 40% off).
Apart from price, other reasons the choices here beat Quicken include:
- Bank Syncing: Quicken is notoriously bad at syncing with bank accounts. You’ll find the apps here that support connecting to financial institutions far more reliable.
- Mobile Support: Quicken’s mobile app is limited and nowhere near as useful as the desktop app. Most of the apps here have well designed iPad and iPhone apps which are clear and easy to use.
- Investment Tracking: The Mac version of Quicken has never been good at tracking investments. You’ll find software here that do a much better job of managing car loans, home loan amortization, stocks, retirement funds and more. For a more specific look at investment apps, check out our look at the best investment software for Mac.
With this in mind, here then is our list of the best alternatives to Quicken for Mac in order of ranking.
Personal Capital is an amazing tool to manage your finances and best of all, it’s actually free to use.
Around 1.8 million people use Personal Capital and many of them have switched from Quicken, especially those with investments.
Here’s a summary of why Personal Capital is such a great replacement for Quicken.
- It’s free. Yes, hard to believe for a personal finance software worth its salt but Personal Capital is 100% free to use for as long as you want with no limitations. Personal Capital only charges you a small commission if you decide you want to maximize your investments via a personal consultation with one of its own Financial Advisors. This is completely optional and not obligatory but is there if you want it.
- It syncs accounts seamlessly in one place. If you’re tired of constant syncing issues and problems with Quicken, Personal Capital is a breath of fresh air. It syncs extremely well with all major financial institutions, aggregates your accounts and makes it easy to get an overview of your finances. This includes checking, savings, 401k, mortgage and investment accounts. That’s not to say that hiccups don’t happen as much depends on technical changes made by financial institutions but it’s so much painless than Quicken. You can also download any transactions synced with Personal Capital in CSV format.
- It analyzes your investments to save you money. What makes Personal Capital different to many budgeting apps is that it also helps you save money on existing investments. One of the ways it does this is via a fee analyzer and an investment analyzer. For example, the retirement fee analyzer immediately identifies areas where you may be getting ripped-off or over charged with 401K admin or management fees. The investment analyzer does the same for your investments to see where your existing investments and holdings can be diversified to improve your returns.
- It helps you plan for the future. By telling Personal Capital exactly how much income you expect to have in retirement, Personal Capital calculates exactly how on or off track you are. It can also assess the impact on your 401k of major life events such as the birth of a child, illness, college fees etc. It also has a comprehensive cost of living retirement calculator which gives you useful insights into your average net worth by age. In fact Personal Capital is easily the best retirement planning software for Mac available.
- It’s as secure as any bank out there. Like any major financial institution, Personal Capital is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and has to adhere to the same security standards and procedures. What’s reassuring about Personal Capital is that it doesn’t actually handle your log in details at all. It uses Yodlee which is a highly secure financial credentials management system used by major banks and investment institutions worldwide. This is bank level, military grade security that’s about as secure as it gets nowadays. Even if your account were somehow compromised, Personal Capital doesn’t actually allow transferring of funds to they cannot be touched anyway. There are other measures that Personal Capital takes to encrypt and protect your data which you can read more about here.
- You can talk to a human if you want to. Sometimes an app just isn’t enough if you really want to grow your money. Especially if you’re investing large sums, Personal Capital allows you to consult with a Personal Capital advisor who can make specific recommendations based on your personal situation and minimize tax liabilities. You need a minimum of $100,000 to use this service and Personal Capital charges a commission for it but for serious investors, this is a unique bonus the app. Personal Capital obviously encourages you to use one its Financial Advisors but there’s no hard sell if you’re not interested.
- You can check your finances on the move. The Personal Capital iOS app is one of the best personal finance apps for iPad or iPhone we’ve tried, allowing you to manage and monitor your finances wherever you are. It’s clear, easy to use and has lots of features compared to most mobile budgeting apps.
The only big gripe we have with Personal Capital is that you can’t import Quicken QIF or QFX files which is disappointing if you have years of Quicken accounts. Another slight drawback is that it doesn’t help you much at tax time. Although there’s dedicated tax software for this, there seems little reason why Personal Capital can’t make things easier when it comes to declarations.
Overall though, Personal Capital not only helps you budget better but it manages your investments too and it’s so convenient to have that all in one app.
For more information, you can check out our full Personal Capital review.
You can also open a Personal Capital account for free to judge for yourself.
If Cloud based apps are not your thing and you want a dedicated Mac desktop app, Moneyspire 2018 (formerly Fortora Fresh Finance) is an excellent no-nonsense personal budgeting software for both Mac and Windows. Moneyspire doesn’t store your accounts in the Cloud, doesn’t require you to upgrade regularly or subscribe like Quicken and you can download it onto your Mac.
Even better, at the moment, Moneyspire is 40% off at just $29.99 compared to the normal price of $49.99 which is definitely a good deal for a desktop personal finance software for Mac on this level.
You can import QIF files from Quicken and likewise, export your accounts to QIF if you move back to Quicken at a later date.
Moneyspire Connect supports over 9000 financial institutions so it’s safe to say, your bank is probably supported if Direct Connect doesn’t work for any reason.
Moneyspire is a very complete alternative to Quicken on Mac which tracks bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments and more.
You can set bill reminders, budgets and generate detailed reports and charts to monitor your outgoings and if you run a small business, you can also create professional invoices and track payments.
It can even print checks which most finance apps no longer support anymore on Mac.One of the things we like most about Moneyspire is that it doesn’t over complicate things. It gives a very clear overview of everything from accounts and details of spending to bill reminders and budgets.
The Bill & Deposit Reminder provides a very clear overview of upcoming payments:
You can generate detailed reports and charts to see exactly where your money is going to make tax reporting less stressful and much easier.
Other useful features in Moneyspire include Balance Forecast, Reconcile Statements, Online Banking, Import & Export of Data and Cloud syncing.
If you’ve got a lot of accounts saved in Microsoft Money on Windows, Moneyspire can also import MS Money files.
For mobile users, there’s a free Moneyspire app for iPad and iPhone which allows you to check your account balance, see upcoming bills and keep an eye on how your budget is doing.
Moneyspire used to be available in different versions but has now simplified its pricing policy and there’s now just one version of Moneyspire for $29.99 which includes Direct Connect access. Normally it retails for $49.99 but it’s currently offering a 40% off deal.
The more reliable Moneyspire Connect service isn’t included though and costs an extra $49.99 per year.
If you do decide to purchase it, you have a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with it.
Unlike with Quicken, updates to Moneyspire are free but major updates usually require an upgrade fee.
You can also try Moneyspire on Mac for free if you want to see what it’s like for yourself.
Pricing: $29.99 (Normally $49.99) – Free Trial
Banktivity (formerly iBank) is designed specifically for Mac and has long been one of the most popular desktop replacements for Quicken on Mac.
Long before Quicken for Mac, Banktivity supported things like online banking integration, bill pay, envelope and full year budgeting, loan amortization and multi-currency support.
Some of these things have now been introduced in the latest version of Quicken 2018 for Mac but Banktivity still remains an excellent personal finance app for macOS.
Here are some of the things we like the most about Banktivity:
- Account Importing: Banktivity will import your accounts from Quicken and other finance software. Although it’s not perfect, the import tool does a pretty good job and saves valuable time manually entering old accounts. You can see how this works below.
- Bank Syncing: Banktivity will automatically connect to and download transactions from your bank or other financial institution in real time. It offers various ways of doing this with the most reliable and widely supported being Direct Access. Direct Access is Banktivity’s own syncing service and generally works very well although it costs an extra $44.99 on top of the cost of Banktivity. Other free ways of connecting are available though.
- Detailed & Customized Reports: The reports generated by Banktivity are very well-organized due to tags and categorization. There are Quick Reports for instant overviews of the essentials and you can create highly customized reports for virtually any kind of spending.
- Budgeting: Banktivity supports traditional and envelope budgeting with useful setup wizards to get you going. You can filter budgets by time frame to see exactly when you’ve gone under or over budget and set budgets for scheduled and unscheduled expenses.
- iPad, iPhone and iWatch Apps: Banktivity is designed exclusively for the Apple ecosystem with iOS apps to help you monitor and enter transactions on the move. The apps sync with the desktop version of Banktivity and there’s even an iWatch app with spending alerts to help keep you on budget.
Investment management isn’t Banktivity’s strong point but there is a separate free Banktivity Investor app (formerly iBank Investor) which syncs investment data specifically. So for example, you can see all of your holdings with the current gains or losses in real time with data pulled from Yahoo Finance.
Banktivity 6 costs $64.99 but you must pay an additional $44.99 per year for Direct Connect access.
You can also true a 30 day free trial.
For a more in-depth look, you can also read our full Banktivity review.
Moneydance has many satisfied customers that previously used Quicken and is an excellent desktop equivalent to Quicken on Mac.
Moneydance has all of the features of Quicken including online banking and bill payments, bill attachments and arguably has better investment tracking and budgeting tools than Quicken.
Moneydance is particularly good at handling investments and transactions in multiple currencies so is an excellent choice for those that hold investments or make purchases in currencies other than US dollars.
Moneydance provides a very clear overview of your finances. It gives you all the essentials such as account balances, upcoming and overdue transactions and exchange rate information.
The calendar overview is particularly useful for a quick oversight of upcoming credits and debits so you can manage your finances for that month more easily.
Moneydance can import Quicken files in QIF format although we noticed several duplicate transactions which had to be manually adjusted.
Moneydance can automatically download transactions and make bill payments online to hundreds of financial institutions. However, online banking is only available via Direct Connect and we found this can be tricky to setup in Moneydance.
Moneydance can sometimes be unreliable at retrieving bank data especially from credit card accounts and there’s no enhanced online bank connection service that you can pay extra like with Moneyspire and Banktivity.
Investment tracking is also easier to navigate and more powerful than Quicken, with support for stocks, bonds, CDs and mutual funds among others.
You can see the total value of your investments or the performance of individual stocks and mutual funds over time. Moneydance will also download stock prices automatically in real time.
Moneydance also has some powerful reporting tools that compare favorably with Quicken and it can generate reports for any of your accounts, savings or investments.
The Moneydance iPad and iPhone apps are both free so you can manage your budgeting on the move although it’s only really useful for manually inputting transactions.
Slightly concerning though is the fact that Moneydance only syncs the Mac and iOS app via Dropbox which doesn’t feel very secure compared to Banktivity’s encrypted Direct Access features.
You can also extend its functionality with add-ons and extensions for such things as a Balance Predictor, Debt Insights and a Find and Replace extension.
Overall Moneydance is a solid financial software for Mac to replace Quicken especially if you need reliable online banking integration.
Moneydance is $49.99 from the Mac App Store with a 90 day money back guarantee and there is also a free Moneydance demo for up to 100 transactions.
Pricing: $49.99 Mac App Store
Mint is owned by Intuit the makers of Quicken and is basically a free, lighter and less powerful version of Quicken.
The biggest difference between Mint and Quicken is there is no automatic online bill pay feature in Mint so if this is a deal breaker for you, move on.
Mint has improved a lot over the years and has faced less criticism than Quicken, partly because it doesn’t cost a cent to use.
Mint is all about getting your money in order and is based around three things:
- Budgeting: Mint will automatically suggest a budget for you based on your income and goals. You can factor in one off expenses and of course recurring monthly costs.
- Bill Tracking: All your bills are clearly labelled and managed in one place. You can see when bills need paying and set alerts to let you know before they’re overdue.
- Credit Score Analysis: Mint performs a free credit score analysis if you verify your identity. It also gives you recommendations on how you can improve it.
- Spending Summary: You get a weekly summary of where your money has gone. This is useful for seeing which areas you’re spending most in and is handy to compare month-by-month. Mint will also alert you to unusual or large transactions.
- Spending by Category: Mint can also categorize transactions to make it clearer where you spent your money. If you’ve ever looked through your bank statement and can’t understand the codes and jargon used for certain transactions, this is useful. It also separates ATM withdrawal amounts from ATM withdrawal fees so you can see just how much your spending in charges and other hidden fees.
- Investment Tracking: The investment tracking features in Mint are very basic and certainly nothing like the financial tools in Personal Capital but for 401(k) accounts, mutual funds and IRAs it gives a basic overview.
Mint also has one of the best mobile apps out there for budgeting. The Mint iPad and iPhone app looks good, gives a clear overview of your finances and is easy to navigate.
The biggest problem you”ll encounter with Mint is connecting to banks to update your accounts.
Like many personal finance apps, Mint can take time to update your balances and transactions and can be affected by changes made by your bank to the way third-party apps communicate with it. Sometimes this means you have to delete an account in order to reconnect it and the problem with this is that you lose your account history in Mint.
It’s also important to note that although Mint and Quicken are both Intuit products, there is no integration between Quicken and Mint. They are completely separate products.
Overall however, as a more basic free alternative to Quicken, Mint is an excellent budgeting tool for Mac users.
SEE Finance 2 is designed specifically for Mac and used to be the closest thing you could get to Quicken before Intuit finally released Quicken for Mac.
Despite the launch of Quicken, the makers have continued to develop SEE Finance into a very reliable, robust and feature packed personal budgeting app for Mac.
In fact the latest version of SEE Finance 2 has been built from the ground up and is a big improvement on SEE Finance 1 in terms of both looks, functionality and affordability.
We found that SEE Finance 2 is one of the best personal finance software for Mac when it comes to importing Quicken QIF data accurately.
Unlike apps such as Banktivity and Moneydance, there’s less chance of duplicated transactions when importing large QIF files into SEE Finance. You can import files in QIF, QMTF, CSV, QFX and OFX format.
Investment tracking is also very well done in SEE Finance 2 with a clear and varied overview of your investments with lots of different reports.
SEE Finance 2 is also very good at handling multiple currencies with over 150 different currencies supported.
You can connect to banking institutions via Direct Connect which will automatically download transactions and import data from others. This is easy to setup and use in SEE Finance and pretty reliable at syncing and updating account. Note however that SEE Finance 2 does not support Bill Pay.
More recently there’s now an SEE Finance iOS app for iPhone and iPad that syncs with the Mac version via iCloud. It also works with OFX Direct Connection downloads if your bank supports it.
SEE Finance 2 is a massive improvement on the first version and remains a fast, reliable and slick app to manage your finances on Mac.
Note that SEE Finance 1 is still available in the Mac App Store but we strongly recommend using SEE Finance 2 instead as it’s far more modern, includes an iOS app and is more likely to be supported by the developer in the future.
You can also try a 30 day free trial of SEE Finance.
Pricing: $39.99 – Free Trial
Although You Need a Budget (YNAB) can’t fully compare with Quicken, if it’s mainly budgeting you use Quicken for, it’s definitely a contender.
YNAB claims that new users save on average $200 in their first month and more than $3000 by month nine although this of course won’t be true for everyone.
Because of the way it approaches budgeting, YNAB has proved very effective at helping users to save money and get their finances in order which is made it very popular with Mac and PC users alike.
More recently, it’s now added online banking support via Direct Connect to conveniently sync and update all of your accounts and transactions in one place so you can keep tabs on your money better. There is no support in YNAB for Bill Pay however.
The developers of YNAB strive to help you manage your money more efficiently by encouraging you to use a Four Basic Rule method which can genuinely help you save money or get out of debt. The four golden rules are:
- Give Every Dollar A Job: Every cent is accounted for
- Embrace Your True Expenses: Break down large purchases into monthly payments
- Roll With The Punches: Create an overflow for the unexpected
- Age Your Money: Deal with bills as they happen
YNAB is structured around these four principles and helps you to structure your budget accordingly. YNAB can import bank files and transaction ledgers and can retrieve your balances from over 12,000 banks. Note that there’s no support for Direct Connect or Bill Pay though.
YNAB also does not support multiple currencies or investment tracking so it’s not really suitable for those who have a big investment portfolio.
It does however allow you to factor mortgages and simple investments into your overall budget and gives you a very clear overview of where your money is going.
Although YNAB can sync across all devices, note that it uses Dropbox for syncing and doesn’t offer its own Cloud syncing service or syncing via iCloud.
YNAB now costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year direct from the developer.
If you’re a US college student, YNAB is absolutely free.
You can also try a 34 day free trial of YNAB before deciding whether its for you or not.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, YNAB is an excellent straightforward budgeting alternative to Quicken.
Pricing: $49.99/Year – Free Trial
CountAbout is a simple but effective budgeting app that can import Quicken QIF files and Mint files.
The Quicken import tool is one of the best we’ve tried and accounts are imported with very little need for manual adjustment.
CountAbout automatically downloads transactions from your bank including investment balances like 401k’s. There is no support for Bill Pay though.
CountAbout offers two subscription plans – one for $9.99 per year and a premium subscription for $39.99 per year.
The difference is that the Premium subscription includes Direct Connect which allows you to automatically download transactions from bank, credit card and investment institutions.
CountAbout is very good value for money and considerably cheaper than most personal finance software that supports Direct Connect.
You can see a quick overview of what CountAbout can do below.
Pricing: $9.99/year or $39.99/year with Direct Connect
MoneyWell is a slick, simple but effective Quicken alternative designed specifically for Mac.
MoneyWell is unique in that it uses an envelope budgeting system to help you manage your finances better. Rather than setting targets that you either hit or miss, envelope budgeting works on the basis that any money you save or overspend is constantly adjusted to show the effect on your incoming bills.
MoneyWell also supports Direct Connect so that you can automatically pay bills from your bank account.
MoneyWell is clearly well thought out with some really smart interactive reports. In fact the graphs and reports in MoneyWell are some of the best we’ve seen in any budgeting software at this price.
Unfortunately, there’s no longer a mobile app though. MoneyWell Express was the mobile version of MoneyWell but was discontinued in early 2018 due to syncing issues.
MoneyWell costs $72.60 but you can also try it for free.
Pricing: $72.60 – Free Trial
MoneyWorks was one of the first ever finance apps for Mac and made its debut on OS X way back in 1992 – before Windows 95 was even invented.
If you’re a treasurer and use Quicken to keep track of your organization or company budget, MoneyWorks may be ideal for you as it’s designed for small businesses, organizations and accountants in mind.
MoneyWorks can import data from QuickBooks, MYOB, Xero and Greentree although it doesn’t support importing Quicken data.
MoneyWorks also doesn’t support Direct Connect or Bill Pay though so it’s not suitable for those that want to sync it with their bank.
MoneyWorks is however well-integrated with other business software on Mac including Daylite, FileMaker, Numbers and Microsoft Office. If you need something that can manage payroll, CRM and POS systems on Mac, then MoneyWorks is a particularly good choice.
MoneyWorks is also generally very good at representing complex business data in graphs and produces custom reports via the MoneyWorks Gold report writer. It’s also a good option for those that need to share their accounts with Windows-based accountants as it works on both Mac and PC.
MoneyWorks comes in 5 different versions aimed at differing sizes of business and all are available for standalone purchase or via subscription.MoneyWorks Cashbook is completely free to use and is ideal for small organizations that need a simple financial management solution.
You can also try MoneyWorks free for 45 days.
If you’re looking for a Quicken alternative with a focus on accounting and cashflow, MoneyWorks is a powerful solution for Mac users
Pricing: Free/$18 per month+/$249+
Which Is The Best Quicken Alternative For Mac?
If you’re looking to maximize your investments as well as manage your budget, then Personal Capital is still the best of the lot. It just makes budgeting and maximizing your assets so easy and looks great on Mac.
However, the current 40% off Moneyspire deal makes it a great option for those that want a dedicated Mac finance software without any subscriptions or Cloud storage of your finances.
Considerations When Replacing Quicken
The best alternative to Quicken really depends on your specific needs. Some people need things like Bill Pay and Online Banking while others are more focused on investments.
To help you in your decision though, here’s a checklist of features to bear in mind when deciding which Quicken replacement to choose.
You can see whether the application you’re interested in supports these features by checking the comparison table above.
- Online Banking Integration
This is essential for those that want their accounts to be regularly updated with real time bank transactions. Direct Connect (known as QFX in Quicken products) is the standard method that most banks support although increasingly, users are finding it very unreliable. Sometimes this is not an application’s fault and is due to changes made by banks on how third party software connects to them.
Some banks such as Citibank have even dropped support for Direct Connect in favor of their own proprietary system instead. As a result, some applications such as Moneyspire, Banktivity and Moneydance have developed their own version of Direct Connect although this costs extra.
Note that some banks may levy a small charge for connecting your account to a third-party app via Direct Connect so it’s always wise to check with your financial institution first.
- Bill Pay
It’s important to be aware that just because an app supports online banking, doesn’t necessarily mean it supports Bill Pay. Bill Pay enables an application to automatically pay your bills to help keep on top of them. Of course, you can do this easily by setting up a Direct Debit with your bank for things such as utility bills but Bill Pay enables your finance app to track them more easily.
- Encrypted Connections
When it comes to security, remember that any connection made between finance apps and your bank are only as safe as the application accessing it. Make sure that the application takes security seriously and uses encrypted connections to your bank to prevent unauthorized interceptions.
A few apps such as Personal Capital add an extra layer of protection by not actually storing your financial credentials but managing access via specialized encrypted service Yodlee. This is also used by many financial institutions and adds an extra layer of protection to your data.
- Investment Tracking
This is essential to track loans, assets, stocks, shares and bonds etc. One of the big gripes Mac users have with Quicken is that it doesn’t do a good job of tracking basic things like car loans or home loan amortization (although fixed interest rate tracking was introduced in Quicken 2017), Alternatives such as Personal Capital, Banktivity and Moneydance all feature investment tracking as standard.
- Mobile Apps
If you like to manage your money or check accounts on the move, make sure the software you choose has a mobile app. Most apps that have a mobile app sync accounts with your iPhone or iPad although many are limited in functionality and don’t allow you to make many transactions. Some user their own servers to sync while others offer syncing via iCloud. If you like to take photos of receipts and invoices to sync with your Mac later, make sure this feature is supported.
Quicken Import Support
If you want to import your Quicken accounts into another application, you can easily do so by exporting them into QIF format. However, not all personal finance software supports QIF importing so if this is important to you, make sure you can migrate from Quicken easily. Note that no Mac personal finance app will import Quicken files 100% perfectly – there will always be some manual correction necessary.
- Multiple Currencies
For those that travel a lot or that deal with foreign transactions regularly. The Mac edition of Quicken is still lagging behind when it comes to multiple currency transaction support. Those that imported foreign currency accounts into Quicken 2018 for example found that they were suddenly converted to dollars. Make sure foreign currencies are supported if you do a lot of trade abroad to avoid some major headaches when importing data.
- User Profiles
If you share the software with a partner, other members of your family or colleagues, support for creating multiple profiles is very useful. It allows you to track spending and create budgets for each individual member whilst also preserving the privacy of each user. Some financial software only allows one user per license and some don’t support more than one profile so bear this in mind if you’re intending to use the program with other.
We hope this article has helped you be more informed when choosing a replacement for Quicken on your Mac. This is by no means a definitive list of programs to replace Quicken with on your Mac. There are other options (examples include LiquidLedger and moneyGuru) but we haven’t included them as most are now very dated and can’t compare to the latest version of Quicken anymore.
If you have any other questions, experiences or suggestions regarding the software featured here, let us know in the comments below.
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