Cloud-based personal finance program for personal & business?
January 18, 2016 10:43 AM   Subscribe

We're a dual-freelance household looking for a cloud-based budgeting and bookkeeping system that doesn't suck.

There might not be a perfect solution out there, but we'd like to be able to track of expenses for both our business and household finances, and create an overall household budget.

It's complicated since there's sometimes some overlap, such as fronting money for business travel that will be reimbursed eventually. Budgeting is very important because our income streams are so variable.

We need to be able to both access it on our Macs and iPhones (bank is USAA), and to customize categories. Even better if it can learn to categorize automatically. And a pony would be nice.

We’ve been using Quickbooks Online this past year, but it's turning out to be littered with serious bugs. IBank is about as fun and easy to use as iTunes. Mint has been questioned numerous times for security, and syncs with bank accounts terribly. We've also heard questionable things about YNAB seems to be budgeting only.

The only thing we haven't looked into is using the same program on both our computers and sharing a single database through Dropbox, though from a security perspective that seems pretty sketchy.
posted by gottabefunky to Work & Money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I really like Goodbudget which allows for categorization and uploads. It doesn't do automatic categorization totally, but it does learn where transactions normally get categorized, which is really nice. It has an excellent iOS, web, and Android UI. It won't give you any financial statements for business, but I like it a lot for very flexible budget and account management.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 10:52 AM on January 18, 2016

The only thing we haven't looked into is using the same program on both our computers and sharing a single database through Dropbox, though from a security perspective that seems pretty sketchy.

If you consider going down that path, also be very careful about both of you simultaneously editing the file. Unless the app is specifically designed to expect and gracefully handle that, I could see it creating a mess pretty easily.

I'm interested in answers to this too; sorry I don't have a recommendation. All finance/accounting software I've tried in the past has sucked in its own unique way....
posted by primethyme at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks Nimmie - how does Goodbudget compare to YNAB?
posted by gottabefunky at 1:07 PM on January 18, 2016

Hi there! I work for a cloud accounting app. I think you may find it tricky to find an out-of-the-box system that accommodates both personal and business expenses if you also want the app to produce financial reports and accounts for your business - in my experience, it's already pretty tricky to keep things separate and tidy without tracking them both in one place. Also are you and your wife trading as one business or as separate businesses? If it's separate you may also struggle to find a system that combines them and also gives you the accounting stuff.

If you were just looking at business budgeting and bookkeeping, you could check out this combination of tools - Float is a cashflow forecasting and budgeting tool, and FreeAgent (my employer) is bookkeeping and accounting for freelancers. Float lets you build a budget and project your cashflow using your bookkeeping data. FreeAgent has multiple users (for one business), the customisable categories and a pretty good "guess" functionality, along with an iPhone companion app.

I do appreciate that these don't have the household part, though! If you can't find anything that accommodates both and you're technical, you could use your accounting app's API to expose the current spend against categories, or a higher-level report that you could then combine with your household figures. At least that way you'd have your statutory reports covered and could then focus on just the household part!
posted by ukdanae at 2:00 PM on January 18, 2016

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