Monday, February 16, 2009

BEST Personal Finance Software for Dummies and Business

My real point of view on Personal Finance Software is you don't need one.  However, the reason I say that is NOT that you Really Do NOT need one, its just that MOST of us do NOT need one.

Its a matter of value for money.  Most of your finance needs can be captured, analysed and provide you enough insights by using a simple spread sheet program like Excel, Google Docs ( FREE Online) and Open Office ( FREE offline).

Another key differences is that P E R S O N A L finance is very Personal !  Everyone has their own very (1) unique views, (2) different needs and slightly (3) different ways they want to handle their personal finance.  So when there are LESS stone casting rules, its HARDER for a software to fully satisfy your needs.

The real benefit of Personal Finance Software tool is to help do things that you cann't or more difficult to do in spreadsheet.  So automation and synchronization of finance data among banks, investment accounts etc. become the major use of Personal Finance Software tool;  NOT so much on budgeting, analysing pattern, calculating profit ratio ... which become secondary requirments when assessing which Personal Finance Software to buy.

This has already been proven in USA market where below listed the top 10 PAID personal finance softwares in USA.  The usefullness is basically ranked by how wide and well it can interface to other systems.  They cost about MYR 100 only each !  There are also free ones like MINT and mores

read full review here

A 'good' personal finance software that does not have interfaces usually doesn't even make it to the comparison matrix, for example : YNAB

However, remember the inflation story ?  ( The real inflation is your own inflation, not the one published by your goverment. )  Likewise, if the best personal finance software that can integrate with 600 accounts but you have none of those 600 accounts, it is still USELESS to you !

Guess what, NONE of the world top, best, free personal finance software tool is suitable for non USA people.  Ok may be Canadian still can use it but Asia or especially Malaysia is so far out that its alsmost absolutely has NO use at all !

So lets look at Personal Finance Software for most of the readers on this blog - Malaysian. ( You may also take a look at kclau's research work on this topic.  )


In short, there is NO good personal finance software for Malaysian !  As a matter of fact, there are NOT MANY choices at all.  However, there are tons of Small Business Accounting Softwares !
Taxsaya : The cloest Malaysia "personal" software I can find for dummies.  Basically a lot of data entry and it will calculate tax return for you.  However, they are onto something 'NEW' and currently NOT promoting this FREE software for dummies.  You should download the old 2007 version before they take it out.

wangtool : The best "comprehensive" personal finance software for personal business use.  Although simple and easy to be used, this is still an accounting based software.  You will need to understand balance sheet, differences between income, expesense, asset and liability etc. before you can use this - NOT that personal I would say.

Bank Negara provided excel file for budgeting - download here


So whats next without a good option ?  The future then !  Well, indeed a lot of people in personal finance industry do realize this fact and have been trying to come up with a good solution.  Lets see who we can hope for ...
Arisoft said they wanted to develope one but eventually did not and forgot about it because its not worth enough business sense to do it.

mtsen has been talking about this since more than 10 years ago and he even said he has the best architecture design that can cater for ALL PERSONAL needs even without any pre-defined rules !  But until today he is still talking about it only ... there is no light in the tunnel this guy will put his thought into action at all ... :p

don't give up yet, all is not bad.  As of right now, the best wish we can keep is with kclau's latest effort to put up a free online budgeting software.  He is now conducting survey on what people are looking for ... his 3rd survey is here.  As stated in the beginning of this article, I personally do not see great benefits of a budgeting tool but any personal finance software HAS TO start with a budgeting feature.  Again, this is the best match and closest good effort we can hope for.

Do you use or know any good personal finance software for Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philipines or Brunei ?

2 comments:

Mustafa Sabuwala said...

Hi,
You might want to try out mymoneymanage.com. We are still working on integrating with banks locally but atleast you can upload your data manually.

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