If you’re disappointed with Quicken for Mac, then don’t panic as we’ve taken a look at the very best Quicken alternatives for Mac. Although the latest version of Quicken 2017 is a big improvement on previous versions, it’s still not up to speed with the Windows version. Unfortunately there’s plenty of bad personal finance software out there for Mac but we’ve we’ve looked at the best Quicken alternatives for Mac such as Personal Capital and Banktivity which are even better than Quicken in many aspects. Note that most of these are desktop Quicken for Mac equivalents and are native to OS X – they are not cloud based apart from one.
- 1 Best Quicken Alternatives For Mac
- 1.1 Personal Capital (Free/Commission Based)
- 1.2 Moneyspire ($39.99+/Free Trial)
- 1.3 Banktivity (formerly iBank – $59.99 Mac App Store)
- 1.4 Moneydance ($49.99 Mac App Store)
- 1.5 SEE Finance ($49.99)
- 1.6 YNAB ($50/year)
- 1.7 MoneyWorks (Free/$18 per month+/$249+)
- 1.8 Liquid Ledger ($49.99 – Free Trial)
- 1.9 MoneyWell ($60 – Free Trial)
- 1.10 moneyGuru (Free)
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Further Reading
Best Quicken Alternatives For Mac
When looking for the best personal finance software on Mac to replace Quicken, there are certain things you should always look for when deciding which one to choose. You’ll find that many essential features that are standard in Windows personal accounting software such as online banking integration and mortgage amortization aren’t always included in Mac software. We’ve therefore compiled a checklist of features you may want to bear in mind when deciding which one to use.
- Online Banking Integration: Essential for those that want their personal finance software regularly updated with real time bank transactions and to pay bills online. Direct Connect is the standard method that most banks support although some applications such as Moneyspire, Banktivity (formerly iBank) and Moneydance also have their own additional ways of connecting to your accounts. Note that that any apps that offer online bill payment on Mac via Direct Connect often have problems actually doing it. Whichever service you choose, you’ll always find there are users out there that complain that they have problems connecting to their bank account. Sometimes this is due to problems on the bank’s side and connections can often stop working when banks upgrade their own software. As a result of these problems, many banks are phasing out Direct Connect and personal finance software developers are increasingly developing their own more efficient ways of connecting to your bank account. For example, Moneyspire now offer Moneyspire Connect which is more efficient than Direct Connect and although the service costs extra, the bank levies no charges on these connections. Many banks however do levy a small charge for connecting your account to personal financial software. When it comes to security, remember that your connection is only as safe as the application accessing it. Make sure that the application uses encrypted connections to your bank to prevent unauthorized interception. A few apps such as Personal Capital add an extra layer of protection by not storing your your financial credentials itself but manages access via third-party encrypted services such as Yodlee which adds an extra layer of protection to your data.
- Investment Tracking: To track loans, investment, assets, stocks, shares and bonds etc. One of the main gripes Mac users have with Quicken 2017 is that it does not track car loans or home loan amortization but you’ll find that Personal Capital, Banktivity and Moneydance all feature this as standard.
- Mobile Apps: So that you can sync your Mac personal finance software with your iPhone or iPad to make transactions or check accounts on the move. This can also be useful for taking photos of receipts with your iOS device and then syncing with your Mac.
- Multiple Currencies: For those that travel a lot or that deal with foreign transactions regularly. Quicken 2017 for Mac still does not support multiple currency transactions.
- User Profiles: If you share your personal finance 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 member whilst also preserving the privacy of each user.
Surprisingly, you’ll find that the majority of budgeting software on Mac don’t include many of these features but we’ve ensured that our top picks for the best personal finance software for Mac all do unless specifically stated otherwise (the exception to this is YNAB which is strictly focused on ease of use and budgeting).
You can see a summary of the best Quicken alternatives for Mac in the table below.
|Our Ranking||Quicken For Mac Alternative||Price|
We’ll now review each of these alternatives to Quicken for Mac in more detail.
Personal Capital is a very popular personal finance management platform with around 1.3 million customers managing over $300 billion in assets. The difference between Personal Capital and other alternatives to Quicken for Mac is that it not only offers budgeting tools, but also wealth optimizations tools. The other major difference is that it is free to use – you only get charged a commission of your investment portfolio if you choose to use one of its personal Financial Advisors (which you’re not obliged to do). If you’re a DIY investor, you can simply take the results and recommendations that Personal Capital gives you and manage your investments yourself. As a result, it poses some serious competition to Quicken for Mac thanks to its ease of use, slick user interface but most importantly of all, ability to optimize your investments as well as improve your money management. Although there’s no Mac client, there’s nothing to install as the web version works really well on Mac and the interface in general feels like something designed for OS X.
If you’ve ever used Mint.com, then you’ve already got a good idea of how Private Capital compares to Quicken although it’s considerably more refined with more powerful investment optimization features than Mint. Personal Capital also differs from both Mint and Quicken for Mac in that it allows you to consult personally with one of its financial advisors to help maximize your investment portfolio based on analysis made by the Personal Capital software. Even better the basic features in Personal Capital are completely free if you sign-up for an account. You only pay for Personal Capital if you choose to use its investment features or contract a Personal Capital Financial Advisor when fees start at %0.49 of your overall portfolio profits. This is very competitive considering that most brokers usually charge anything upwards of 1% for managing your investments. However, note that you need at least $25,000 of assets to invest before you can contract a Financial Advisor. If you’re investments are less than this, you can still use the software itself for free.
Personal Capital is built around three main pillars:
- Knowing Your Net Worth
- Analyzing & Optimizing Investments
- Planning For The Future
We’ll look at these components in more detail.
Knowing Your Net Worth
Everything in Personal Capital starts with the Dashboard which does a very good job of displaying your net worth. You can access the Personal Capital dashboard for free by signing-up for a Personal Capital account. You can then import all of your personal accounts automatically including everything from IRA accounts to mortgages and loans by connecting with your investment institution or bank. This is something that Personal Capital does particularly smoothly with far fewer connection problems than with Quicken for Mac (although Quicken for Mac 2017 has improved this significantly). Note that for security reasons, your financial credentials are not stored with Personal Capital, they are stored with Yodlee which is an encrypted platform used by other financial applications to store and deliver customer financial data. This adds an extra level of protection to your data as opposed to the Quicken way of doing things which stores credentials on it’s own servers.
In full, the Personal Capital dashboard shows you:
- Net Worth
- Cash Flow
- Portfolio Balances
- Portfolio Allocations
- Key Holdings
- Top Gainers and Losers
- Account Balances and Transactions
- Spending by Account, Category
- Income Reports
- Spending Reports and Upcoming Bills
- Investment Returns
- Projected Investment Fees
Although Quicken also presents most of this data, Personal Capital feels somehow less cluttered and simplified in how it presents data. It can also help you make some surprising discoveries about how much your investment portfolio is worth as a whole and where your liabilities i.e. debts are. There’s a good overview of the Personal Capital dashboard below:
Analyzing & Optimizing Investments
Probably the biggest advantage that Personal Capital has over Quicken for Mac is its investment analysis and optimization features. Personal Capital does this via a general investment health checkup and by analyzing fees and charges on your investments. The Investment Anaylzer is one of the key features behind the success of Personal Capital as it’s a very quick, effective and powerful way to maximize your investments. If at the end of the analyses you want help re-arranging your finances, you can even speak to a Personal Advisor at Personal Capital who will manage your investment for you like a broker. Note that this consultation costs extra as they take a percentage of your overall portfolio and we can’t vouch for it’s effectiveness but its something that can enhance the discoveries made by the software itself.
The two main tools to achieve this are the Fee Analyzer and Investment Checkup tool which we’ll look at more closely.
- Fee Analyzer
One thing that Personal Capital can help you identify right away is where fund brokers are charging hidden management fees. If you’ve got several funds, these fees can add up surprisingly quickly and are often hard to identify as they use names such as custodial fees, inactivity fees or 12b-1 fees. These can actually run into thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for very large investments. Personal Capital uses a nifty Fee Analyzer to identify these fees and graphically display how much you’re losing in mutual funds, investment accounts, 401k retirement funds etc.
This is particularly useful when analyzing pensions as it also projects what impact it will have on your final retirement fund depending when you plan to retire.
What we like is that Personal Capital will even suggest how you can reduce such fees and make recommendations as to how to change your portfolio (here shown on the Personal Capital iPad app).
- Investment Checkup
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to identify where your investments are losing money but you can also perform a more general analysis of how your investments are performing. The Investment Checkup tool analyzes your current holdings and suggest where you can make improvements. One of the smartest components if this feature is the Risk Analysis tool which where possible, identifies investments where you can lower the risk but still get the same level of return.
We also like the Allocation Comparison tab which helps to identify areas where you should re-balance your assets to capture the greatest possible returns. This provides a Current and Target Allocation which Personal Capital recommends you aim for. Quite often, this will recommend significantly reducing your cash holdings and putting them into stocks.
You can even see how your investments would have fared if you’d invested in the Target Allocation that Personal Capital suggests:
Overall, the Investment Analyzer is one of the best features of Personal Capital and genuinely helps you maximize your investments. You can get watch quick overview of the Investment Analyzer in action below:
Planning For The Future
The planning tools in Personal Capital are naturally based around retirement plans. It shows you exactly how much you can expect to get in your pension based on your retirement age. You can adjust the tool to select your desired income on retirement and the retirement planning tool will suggest what you need to do to your pension portfolio or 401k in order to reach that point.
However, we like the fact that the tool is dynamic so you can add events to it such as planning for college or getting married or other assets such as rental income, inheritances and other windfalls to see how they will directly affect your retirement income.
You can watch the Personal Capital retirement planner in action below:
Overall, we’ve found Personal Capital to be a far better alternative to Quicken for Mac, especially when it comes to investments. Considering that the budgeting features are free, it’s easily one of the best alternatives to Quicken on Mac, even if you can’t perform quite the same amount of micro analysis on spending like you can on Quicken. There’s no denying that in general, it’s aimed more at those with significant investment holdings than Quicken although the budgeting tools are more than enough for those that just want to manage money better on their Mac. Particularly for those with large investment holdings, the fact that you can talk direct with a Personal Capital Financial Advisor is a nice touch. Although the software can do some of the hard work for you, a financial advisor will be able to optimize your investments more especially when it comes to tax optimization and providing a custom investment plan based on your specific circumstances. Personal Capital makes it’s money from wealth management based on a percentage of the assets managed. It claims that this is far more effective than using an investment broker as brokers are more likely to recommend funds and investments that they earn a commission on plus they add operational and management fees on top.
Be aware though that there is a certain amount of sales promotion that comes with Personal Capital. You may be subject to sales emails or calls encouraging you to upgrade or contract personal finance advisor especially if you have large investments although you are under no obligation to use these and you can continue using Personal Capital for free once you’ve signed-up if you’re not interested.
For those that have given up on Quicken for Mac or that want something that not only helps you budget but also genuinely improve investment profitability, Personal Capital is a really attractive alternative.
Moneyspire (formerly known as Fortora Fresh Finance) is a popular personal finance software for both Mac and Windows which supports online bill payments via both Direct Connect and it’s own Moneyspire Connect service (which does however cost extra). Moneyspire Connect supports over 8000 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 a lot of personal finance software has stopped doing now 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. Moneyspire provides a clear and uncluttered overview of your accounts:
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, a Mobile App and Cloud syncing.
You can import QIF files from any other financial application including Quicken and likewise, export your accounts to QIF if you move to another personal finance app.
The basic version of Moneyspire costs $39.99 but there are many features missing, most importantly Direct Connect Bill Pay. The Plus Edition for $69.99 does include Bill Pay however and for small businesses, the Pro Edition supports invoicing. Moneyspire Connect isn’t included in any package however and costs an extra $49.99 per year. You can see a comparison table of the different versions of Moneyspire here and download a 30 day free trial here. There’s also a Moneyspire app for iPad and iPhone. There’s also a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with Moneyspire. Updates to Moneyspire are free but major updates usually require an upgrade fee but the good thing is you’re not locked into a monthly subscription like Quicken may eventually move to.
Banktivity is a personal finance app designed specifically for Mac that has become one of the most popular alternatives to Quicken for Mac. Bankitvity has been around for over 10 years now but was more commonly known as iBank until the developer IGG software decided to rename it in January 2016 to Banktivity for various commercial reasons. Banktivity has been a popular choice for people looking for an alternative to Quicken for Mac because it includes online banking integration, full investment support, envelope and full year budgeting, loan amortization and multi-currency support. Some of these things such as online bill payments and banking integration via Quicken Bill Pay, 12 month budgeting and enhanced investment features have been introduced in Quicken 2017 for Mac and there’s no doubt that Quicken has closed the gap on Banktivity. However, the support for loan amortization, multi currency support, more extensive investment features and the fact that it’s always been designed by a Mac user for Mac users still give it the advantage. Because it’s designed exclusively for Mac too, Banktivity also looks and works great on OS X whereas Quicken was originally designed for PCs and later developed for Mac with many essential Windows features left-out.
The first thing you’re likely to want to do when you start Banktivity is import your accounts either from Quicken or any other financial software you’ve been using. Banktivity has been designed with switching from Quicken or other accounting software and includes a Quicken transfer setup assistant which imports all of your Quicken data. There are extensive video tutorials for Banktivity which make it easy to get started and understand how it works quickly, including how to import data from Quicken. You can export your Quicken accounts (or any personal finance software that supports QIF exports) to QIF or QMTF format to import into Banktivity (or if you’re a TurboTax user, TXF format). Banktivity supports both importing and exporting any in OFX, QFX, QMTF, QIF or CSV format. Note that Banktivity doesn’t support importing “Classes” from Quicken 2007 and although importing Quicken data is generally smooth, you will have to make some minor manual corrections afterwards.
The equivalent of the Quicken “Home” page is the Overview in Banktivity. This gives you a very clear overview of your current financial position including Net Worth, Upcoming Transactions and a useful summary of your Top 5 Spending Categories.
The lack of online bill payment and banking integration were one of the major reasons that users first started switching to Banktivity although Quicken 2017 for Mac now supports a fully functional Quicken Bill Pay just like the Windows version (check our Quicken 2017 for Mac review for what’s new in the latest version of Quicken). Bankitivty still supports several different ways to connect to your bank account. Direct Connect is the standard way that banks communicate with personal finance software but if your bank doesn’t support Direct Connect or it simply doesn’t work well with your Bank (which is a very common problem), Banktivity offers it’s own enhanced online Direct Access banking service which is more efficient and reliable although it does cost an extra $39.99 a year. Alternatively you can choose to pay for 30 days Direct Access for $4.99 to try it first or get 90 days access for $12.99.
When it works well, Banktivity’s Direct Access service is great, Just click to update your financial status and in a few seconds, Banktivity updates all of your data. However, as with Quicken Bill Pay and Direct Connect, Banktivity’s Direct Access doesn’t always work well with technical glitches and download errors. As with any third party online banking integration service, it’s hard to tell whether the problem is at the bank’s end or with the software. Rather than paying $40 for an annual Direct Access subscription, we recommend trying it for 30 days for $4.99 (which you can purchase in-app) to see whether it works well with your bank before relying on it. Apart from automatic syncing with your bank account, you can also use Banktivity’s own browser which allows you to securely access and download bank transactions from your bank website.
Investment tracking is still something poorly implemented in Quicken for Mac 2017 and Banktivity certainly does it better. Most notably you can track home and car loan payments and amortization which you still can’t do in Quicken for Mac 2017.
Banktivity’s investment tools allow you to track buys and sells, dividends, review security prices and automatically download quotes from Yahoo. You can also track stock options or short sales and analyze performance with various investor reports such as ROI, IRR and cost basis.
Budgeting has been improved in Quicken 2017 for Mac with 12 month budgets now finally possible although this has been a feature of Banktivity for some time now. Banktivity supports both annual budgeting and budgeting between specific dates. You can see in an instant if you’re on track to hit your budget with a statement of your budget target and you’re actual position.
There’s also a Quicken 2017 for Mac review and Quicken 2017 for Mac review for managing finances on the move. Like the Quicken mobile app, there are many limitations to the iOS app compared to Banktivity such as a lack of envelope budgeting but if you just want to monitor accounts, edit transactions, manage budgets and track investments, it’s very useful.
For investment management, there’s also a separate free Quicken 2017 for Mac review (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 although this has a tendency to break depending on changes to how Yahoo allows third party apps to access it.
Note however that syncing Banktivity between iOS devices and Macs is a bit awkward as it only works if you’re on the same WiFi network unless you pay for the Direct Access online banking service. This obviously renders the iOS apps a bit useless if you’re not a Direct Access subscriber (although you can sync without needing to be on the same WiFi network if you setup a webDAV server but this requires skills beyond those of the average user). As a result, some users have had to resort to using MINT to sync their banking transactions which isn’t an ideal solution and also means that Banktivity can end-up being quite an expensive personal finance solution in the long-run if you need iOS integration.
Oh, and if you really need one, Banktivity is also the only personal finance software for Mac which has a Banktivity Apple Watch app.
When it comes to Customer support you can contact Banktivity Live Chat during working hours or email support out of office hours although there’s no phone support as introduced in Quicken 2017 for Mac.
Finally, Banktivity is a good choice for families or those planning to use the software with others as it allows you to not only create multiple profiles to keep accounts and investments seperate, but also to password protect them individually to protect your privacy.
Banktivity costs $59.99 from the Mac App Store and there is also a 30 Day Free Trial. If you’re not satisfied, the developer IGG Software promises a 90-day money back guarantee (compared to Quicken’s 60 Day guarantee). Remember that Direct Connect integration is free but if you want to use Banktivity’s own Direct Access system, you’ll have to pay an extra $39.99 per year. Updates to Banktivity are always free unlike Quicken which has required paid upgrades to the last three editions of Quicken for Mac 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Quicken 2017 for Mac has definitely closed the gap on Banktivity with the introduction of Quicken Bill Pay and enhanced Budgeting. However, it’s still not as complete as Banktivity although if you need online banking integration, the choice may depend on whether Quicken Bill Pay or Banktivity’s Direct Access work better for you.
You can watch an overview of Bankitivty for Mac below:
Moneydance has many satisfied customers that previously used Quicken and is an excellent alternative to Quicken for Mac. Although Moneydance now works on both PC and Mac, it was originally designed just for Mac when it was released in 2005 and there are still older versions for Snow Leopard and PPC Macs available. Moneydance has all of the features of Quicken for Mac including online banking and bill payments, bill attachments and has much better investment tracking and budgeting tools than Quicken for Mac. 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. To access more details for an account, simply click on it and you can enter transactions or reconcile it against a statement. Clicking on a transaction reminder will display a window where you can automatically record the transaction.
Importing Quicken data is simple enough. All you need to to do is export a QIF file from Quicken and then import it into Moneydance. It’s recommendable to import all of your Quicken accounts into one QIF file otherwise the import process can be a bit messy and complicated. This is particularly true if you want to avoid duplicate transactions which can be tedious to clean-up manually. This can also be a problem when importing QIF files from banking institutions – you may find that some transactions are duplicated and need to remove them manually.
Like Banktivity, one of the main reasons Mac users have switched to Moneydance is the online banking features. Moneydance will automatically download transactions and make bill payments to hundreds of financial institutions. It also intelligently learns how to automatically categorize and sort downloaded transactions so that they are easier to manage. This is particularly useful when it comes to recognizing ledger history and auto-suggesting similar payee entries. In general, Moneydance is very reliable when it comes to syncing and downloading online banking and investment house statements and in this respect, it’s more solid than Banktivity’s Direct Access feature. Note that it only downloads account data, it won’t download credit card transactions.
Investment tracking is also easier to navigate and more powerful than Quicken for Mac, 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. You can save graphs and export them to PNG format for sharing.
Unlike Banktivity, the Moneydance iPad and iPhone apps are both free from the Mac App Store so you can manage your budgeting on the move. However, the Moneydance mobile app is more limited than the Banktivity iOS apps – it’s only really useful for manually inputting transactions on the move. You can’t search transactions, it can’t hold more than 12 months worth of data and there are no budgeting functions. 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 Direct Connect or Direct Access features.
One unique feature of Moneydance is the ability to extend its functionality with add-ons and extensions. These include such things as Balance Predictor based on previous transactions, Debt Insights and a Find and Replace extension which is useful for removing duplicate transactions from imported Quicken or banking files more easily.
Moneydance definitely feels a little friendlier than than both Quicken and Banktivity to use although at the same time, it also feels a bit lightweight. There’s no support for multiple accounts or profiles either so it’s not as suitable for families or organizations that want to create accounts for multiple users. In terms of support, Moneydance doesn’t have a Live Chat feature like Banktivity but it does have an extensive Knowledge Base. There’s also a Slack chat group for Moneydance which allows other users and the developer Infinite Kind to interact and reply to customer issues and queries.
Overall Moneydance is an extremely good alternative to Quicken on Mac with all the features you’ll find in Quicken and more courtesy of extensions. The online banking features are generally more reliable and robust than on Quicken and the way it manages your financial data is intuitive and intelligent.
Moneydance is $49.99 from Mac App Store with a 90 day money back guarantee but there is also a free Moneydance demo for up to 100 transactions. There’s also an OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard version and PPC Mac version available.
Like Banktivity and Moneydance, SEE Finance has been designed specifically for Mac and used to be the closest thing you get to Quicken for Mac before Intuit finally released Quicken on Mac. Nowadays, it looks and feels a bit dated but still remains very reliable, robust and feature packed when it comes to personal finance software on Mac. As a result, SEE Finance for Mac has won a lot of supporters over the years and remains an extremely popular and trusted personal budget app for Mac with a faithful following.
For those that need to import a lot of Quicken QIF data, it’s often commended as the most reliable and pain free finance app out there, especially when importing years of accounts. Unlike Banktivity and Moneydance, there’s less chance of duplicated transactions when importing large QIF files which can save hours of hassle combing through accounts and deleting duplicated entries. You can import files in QIF, QMTF, CSV, QFX and OFX format.
The investment tracking is also very well done in SEE Finance with a clear and varied overview of your investments with lots of different reports. Specifically, SEE Finance supports tracking of income, banking, investment, cash, asset, loan, credit card, and liability accounts. Like Moneydance, SEE Finance is also very good at handling multiple currencies with over 150 different ones supported.
You can connect to banking institutions via Direct Connect which will automatically download transactions and import data from others. SEE Finance also has it’s own browser which allows you to browse your banking site securely and download transaction data and details.
Budgeting is also considerably better than older versions Quicken with custom budgets that monitor how you track money although Quicken 2017 for Mac has caught-up a bit in that respect.
On the downside, there is no iOS app for SEE Finance so those that like to manage their personal finance on the move will be disappointed. There’s no check printing like with Banktivity and Moneydance although for most people, this is not a big issue nowadays. There’s no support for multiple profiles either and there’s no Live Chat or phone support although there’s an extensive FAQ with email support and the developer is responsive and helpful.
SEE Finance may not look as good as Banktivity and Moneydance but it still remains a fast, reliable and stable personal finance application for Mac. SEE Finance works on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher but is not available from the Mac App Store and costs $49.99 directly from the developer. There’s also an SEE Finance free trial.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) can’t really be compared to Quicken for Mac but it’s definitely worth mentioning as it’s one of the most popular personal finance apps on Mac, mainly for its excellent budgeting features. Because of the way it approaches personal finance, YNAB has also 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. If you don’t need the bells and whistles of Quicken such as online banking and investment tracking and simply have trouble managing your finances, YNAB might be the perfect alternative to Quicken on Mac for you.
YNAB is an extremely easy to use personal finance app that’s geared towards helping you save money, not just oversee your finances and manage transactions. From constructive tips on budgeting to excellent customer support, free online tutorials and a thriving, helpful user community, YNAB gets almost everything right when it comes to budgeting. 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 ad helps you to structure your budget accordingly. YNAB does import bank files and transaction ledgers but it purposely does not support online banking integration because it’s not designed to automatically manage your transactions like the other personal finance applications featured here.
YNAB also does not support multiple currencies, investment tracking (so it’s not suitable for those with mortgages, funds, shares etc) and the syncing is limited to iPhone but not iPad.
YNAB works on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher but is no longer available in the Mac App Store. There is now only one way to purchase it and that is by paying a $5 a month or $50 per year subscription to the developer. Until the end of 2016, it was available directly from the Steam store for a one-off fee of $49.99 but YNAB has now discontinued one off payments for it. This has obviously annoyed many faithful users although it’s still a small price to pay if YNAB helps you save money. 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. If you’re a US college student, YNAB is absolutely free as long as you can prove your college registration. Whichever method you use to purchase it, you can try a 34 day free trial of YNAB before deciding whether its for you or not. YNAB is also available for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire.
For those looking for a powerful, fully featured personal finance app for Mac which covers investing and tracking, YNAB probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a slick, easy to use app that helps you learn how to save money, it’s excellent though. You can watch an overview of YNAB below:
MoneyWorks is possibly the first ever personal finance software for Mac and made its debut on OS X way back in 1992 – before Windows 95 was even invented. During this time, the New Zealand based creators of MoneyWorks have continually updated and created a highly tailored OS X product for managing cashflow on Mac and even provides customized versions for US and international users. MoneyWorks has steadily increased in popularity with 40,000 users, some of which no doubt switched from Quicken. However, it’s important to be aware that MoneyWorks is designed more for small businesses, organizations and accountants that need to keep track of cashflow rather than investments. MoneyWorks can import data from QuickBooks, MYOB, Xero and Greentree although it doesn’t support importing Quicken data yet. MoneyWorks is also well integrated with other business software on Mac including Daylite, FileMaker, Numbers and Microsoft Office.
There are several versions of MoneyWorks depending on the size of your business and needs but all include
a Cashbook, General Ledger, On-Screen Enquiries to find balances and trends, Reports, Contacts Database, Item Pricing, Sales Tax Tracking, Sticky Notes, Budgeting Tools, Multiple Accounts Support, Import & Export and Unicode information recording. If you need something that can manage payroll, CRM and POS systems for 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 choice 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 used to be $99 but is now completely free to use and is ideal for small organizations such as clubs and churches that need a simple financial accounting software for Mac. However note that although you don’t need to provide credit card details, you do have to sign-up for a free subscription first and there’s no support included with the free version. MoneyWorks Express costs $249 or $18 per month and is designed for small business invoicing and MoneyWorks Gold ($499 or $28 per month) is for medium sized business with job costing and inventory management. The Gold version of MoneyWorks is also available online as MoneyWorks Now and allows you to access your accounts on both Mac and PC. Finally there’s MoneyWorks Datacentre ($2299 or $39 per month) for Enterprise needs.
If you’re looking for a personal finance software with a focus on accounting and cashflow that genuinely cares about Mac users, you can’t go far wrong with MoneyWorks. Few other developers have been in the personal finance game on Mac as long as MoneyWorks and the fact that the excellent MoneyWorks Cashbook means you really have nothing to lose by giving it a go. You can see a full comparison of MoneyWorks versions here. You can try MoneyWorks free for 45 days and also watch it in action below:
Liquid Ledger is an slightly dated but still very robust and easy to use Quicken alternative designed specifically for Mac OS X. If you need a personal finance software for Mac that supports multiple currencies, then Liquid Ledger might be for you. The first thing you’ll notice about Liquid Ledger is that the interface hasn’t been updated in a while although it works with OS X Lion and above. Among the many features of Liquid Ledger are Account Management, Income & Expense Tracking, Split Transactions, Account Reconciliation and more. Like Moneyspire, it’s also one of the few personal finance apps for Mac that still supports check printing.
MoneyWell is a slick simple but effective alternative to Quicken for Mac designed specifically for Mac and iOS. MoneyWell is unique in that it uses an envelope budgeting system to help you manage your finances better. It 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 MoneyDance are some of the best we’ve seen in any personal finance application at this price. Apart from the overall look and feel however, the best thing about MoneyWell is the envelope budgeting system. 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 affect on your incoming bills. There’s also MoneyWell Express which is the mobile version of MoneyWell and allows you to manage your accounts wherever you are. MoneyWell is very good value at just $60 but you can also try it for free.
moneyGuru is a free open source Mac Quicken alternative which is loosely based on the double-entry accounting system. moneyGuru is quite dated and the interface hasn’t been updated for quite some time now but if you’re prepared to invest some time into learning how it works, it’s quite a powerful money management software that costs nothing. moneyGuru doesn’t rely as much on reports as most similar software but rather on updating financial data in real time to highlight trends, issues or problems in your spending. Even though it’s free, moneyGuru is surprisingly powerful allowing you to import Quicken files including QIF, OFX, QFX and CSV files and it can export to QIF and CSV. However, the methodology that moneyGuru uses is different to most personal finance applications on Mac and is better suited to those that have some familiarity with accounting. It also feels like quite a “techy” personal finance software as although you can extend the functionality with plugins, you need some knowledge of Python 3 to add them. Added to the fact that the interface hasn’t been updated in a long time, moneyGuru is only really an option if you’re not prepared to pay a cent for your budgeting software.
You can see moneyGuru in action below:
There are many simpler money management apps on Mac but none of them are as comprehensive and powerful as these personal software apps for Mac and they’re the best alternatives to Quicken for Mac you’ll find. If you’re looking to maximize your investments as well as budget, then Personal Capital is easily the best of the lot. Banktivity probably edges it as the best all round native OS X alternative to Quicken on Mac however as it offers almost all of the features found in Quicken plus more ways of connecting to your accounts online (although the problems with the Direct Access syncing service let it down somewhat). Moneydance meanwhile is arguably the best looking personal finance software for Mac and is slightly easier to use than Banktivity. If you’re planing on importing more than 10 years worth of Quicken data meanwhile, SEE Finance is probably the most robust and reliable. If you just want something to manage your cashflow rather than investments, MoneyWorks Cashbook is hard to beat especially since it’s now free to use. Finally, YNAB is probably the best for those that simply need to get their finances in shape due to the way it actively strives to help you save money and get results.
That said, there’s no doubt that since it was taken over by new owners, Quicken 2017 for Mac is now a lot closer to the Quicken Windows version and we strongly recommend reading our Quicken 2017 For Mac Review before deciding whether to definitely ditch Quicken on Mac.
If you found this comparison of the best personal finance software for Mac helpful, you may also be interested in:
- The Best Tax Software For Mac
- The Best Stock Trading Software For Mac
- The Best Forex Trading Platform For Mac
- The Best Accounting Software For Mac
- How To Run Microsoft Money on Mac
- Quicken 2017 For Mac Review
These are the best Quicken alternatives for Mac we’ve found but if you have any questions or specific personal banking needs when it comes to budgeting software for Mac, let us know in the comments below.