I project that we will bankrupt ALL OF SCIENCE by 2013
September 28, 2011 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Need budget/bookkeeping software recommendations. Difficulty: Mac-compatible. Additional difficulty: It's for projecting/tracking expenses for NIH/NSF-awarded grants in an academic setting. Inside I give a list of requirements (most of which aren't grant-specific) and you tell me what software packages can accomplish 'em.

Note: any experience with this type of software would be helpful-- no need to have done this sort of thing with grants, specifically.

I'm in a bit of a pickle sorting out software that will work for tracking grant expenses in a research lab setting. I need recommendations for software that can do the following:

-- I can enter a categorized budget (e.g., X per year towards subject payments, Y per year for computer equipment, etc.)
-- I can provide the remaining balance of the grant as of a certain date
-- As expenses come in, I want to be able to deduct them from the correct grant and category. This doesn't need to be automatic, and we won't be syncing with a bank statement or anything.
-- I need to be able to generate a snapshot of the balance of each grant at a given time

And the kicker: I need to be able to project expenses for the remainder of the grant. This needs to be pretty flexible-- I should be able to base it on budgeted amounts OR current expenditures. If I make modifications to the budget, it should re-project expenses. It should also be able to give me an idea of how well we're sticking to our budget for various categories, or grants as a whole: overspent, underspent, etc.

Obviously, personal money-management software should be able to do most of this, except with a lump starting sum instead of regular income. Aside from the flexible projection requirements, our needs are pretty simple. Problem is, I've heard Quicken for Mac is no good at all. Is Quickbooks any better? Would it be overkill? (I know there's a new version coming out soon.) Should I just run Windows Quicken with Parallels?

Specific grant-focused software that can do these things would be great, especially since it would probably take things like direct/indirect costs into account. But I realize I'm asking for a lot on top of Mac compatibility.

posted by supercres to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about a database app like FileMaker Pro or Bento?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:47 AM on September 28, 2011

Quickbooks Online might do everything you need. It used to give a free 30 day trial too. That way you aren't limited by the Mac Compatible issue.
posted by COD at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2011

Given that I don't need to generate invoices or payroll, is there a great advantage (with an eye towards my requirements) of Quickbooks over Quicken (i.e. Mint.com, I guess)?
posted by supercres at 9:23 AM on September 28, 2011

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