Financial Management Software for Linux - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Friday, January 18, 2008

Financial Management Software for Linux

Sometime this weekend I am going to have to boot back into Windows. I haven't been there in 2 weeks!! Argh!

forrest@linux-desktop:~$ uptime
22:27:40 up 14 days, 3:11, 8 users, load average: 2.90, 1.99, 1.29
The reason is I need to balance my checkbook. I use MS Money for managing all of my finances. Credit cards, investment accounts, savings and checking accounts - they all get downloaded into MS Money and every transaction gets categorized and tracked. At any point in time, I can see what my wife and I are spending our hard earned cash on, how much money is coming in, where we could save more, how terrible our stocks did this week and how we are doing on reaching our goal of saving enough for our next big trip. MS Money on wine isn't a usable solution yet and MS Money's main competitor and industry leader, Quicken, has had some promising versions with wine in the past but not recent versions.

Ideally there is a Linux alternative to MS Money (or better yet a Free Software alternative) but so far, I haven't found one that fits all of my needs. The big feature that none of these applications seem to have is support for online banking. I don't mean downloading a QIF file. I mean opening the application, clicking a button and walla, all your transactions are downloaded into your app. I have tried some of the applications from a Freshmeat article on Financial Software for Linux and this review on I tried GnuCash, Grisbi and KMoney but they did not support online banking and were not quite do what I am looking for.

GnuCash has improved a lot since I last used it but it is still a little cumbersome to use, doesn't have graphs and doesn't make it easy to look at and manage individual accounts. KMoney looked promising too and was definitely laid out better but I had trouble importing data and it also does not appear to support online banking.

There are also sites like Mint, Wesabe and Yodlee but I have a hard time trusting ALL of my financial information to a website. Data as sensitive and important as my financial records should stay on my local machine.

There are 2 other applications I found that I plan on trying soon when I have some more time though. Neither are free but then that has never been a requirement. There is Kapital ($24.95) which looks pretty good. It appears to support online banking. The other is Moneydance ($29.99) which is written in Java so it runs on Windows/Mac/Linux. It looks very promising. Or I could always just learn to start downloading transactions for every account, but that would take so long!

More on Moneydance and/or Kaptial later. I also hope to write a little bit about doing my taxes in Linux soon, if I can.


Tom Fritz said...

To improve productivity of a company and reduce costs, an effective management software should be used. Management Software is a long term solution to leverage existing investment in Microsoft technology.

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

cyrus technoedge said...
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