Self improvment through bookkeeping
November 9, 2010 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for a "proper" bookkeeping app for personal finances?

I'd like to add bookkeeping to my modest list of skills. In the future I'm planning to be struck with an ingenious business idea, so to prepare for this I'd like to learn how small businesses manage their finances. A totally intended side-effect of my bookkeeper plan is that I sort out my own finances and get my savings in order.

I'm happy put some time in studying (and would be interested to hear about any globally recognised bookkeeping certification) but what I'm really looking for is a program that allows me to apply basic bookkeeping practice to my personal finances.

Ideally, this would be an iphone app. Obviously there are loads of money management type apps already available, but I want one that applies bookkeeping standards with the aim of giving me practical experience of bookkeeping standards in business.
posted by verisimilitude to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
mint/quicken, both with iphone apps.
posted by assasinatdbeauty at 7:30 AM on November 9, 2010

Small businesses use double entry bookkeeping to manage their money, so you'll want to look for a system that can handle that. Mint/Quicken don't. Quick Books does, iirc, as does GnuCash for linux. Neither of those is likely to be available as an iphone app.
posted by notyou at 7:35 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

The accounting needs of your future business depend on its size. Very small business likely can get away win cash accounting and so quicken would suffice.

Larger businesses do require double entry accounting and so require quick books.
posted by dfriedman at 7:51 AM on November 9, 2010

Yeah, Mint is really more of a reporting tool than a budgeting tool. It's awesome for keeping track of various bank accounts, but the Goal Tracking feature really doesn't do enough for someone looking to make an actual budget.
posted by niles at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2010

Xero does proper book-keeping. It has an iPhone app. It ain't free, though.
posted by holgate at 7:59 AM on November 9, 2010

iBank. Works on a Mac and syncs with an app, fine for business and personal finance.
posted by Megami at 9:04 AM on November 9, 2010

A friend of mine is a freelance bookkeeper for small businesses (small fundraising firms, yoga studios, roofing contractors, etc to give you an idea). She uses Quickbooks. She says Quicken is more for home/consumer users. She does not have any certification, but she did take some bookkeeping courses at a community college, and she lists those on her resume.
posted by bluefly at 10:42 AM on November 9, 2010

Also, she said there is this certification program, but you need a couple years work experience to get it. It's not required, but some people feel it helps them get more clients. hth. MeMail if you want more info, and I can relay your questions.
posted by bluefly at 10:59 AM on November 9, 2010

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