Written on: 07/12/2010 by TonySomerset (13 reviews written)
There are very few Home Account software packages to choose from for the UK market. Quicken Money is no longer available, MS Money is US only. After an brief saunter with a spreadsheet based package that did not tick all the boxes and then lost my years worth of details during an 'upgrade' I ended up with up EZPZ Home Accounts. At a remarkable cheap box price, on-line only, with free life-time upgrades, at its most basic this is an excellent package to enter, check and to reconcile your Bank Statements with. You can, at a basic level, do everything you would expect to do to keep track of the income(s) and all those payments out. Home Accounts not self-employed VATable accounts. You can set up budgets for all your expenditure heads and then check back how your actual expenditure varies from it.
Now all of my life I have had to keep a tight watch on my expenditure. So I have learnt that most outgoings are fixed big items you have minimal control over, others decide those for you. You are left with juggling the residual money and deciding whether you can afford to put fuel in the car, or you can afford meat on every day or how much of the Credit Card can you actually manage to pay off. To monitor expenditure at that level you need to split those payments made into small parcels. Here is where the remarkeable value of EZPZ Home Accounts begins to tell against it. It lacks the legs for the longer journey. It encourages you to enter catagories to collect together 'account' heads but then fails to offer summations for that collection. The 'account' heads, ie, groceries, meat, vegetables, fuel, get to be extensive if you need, as I do, to monitor all those small payments and then become unweildy when looking at the bigger picture.
There is a forum but it is not very active. The developers do take on board suggestions and there are frequent (free) updates but they still have a long way to go. In the meantime I have to keep on my computer a paper list of 45 different accounts to remember where I expect to post my weekly expenditure to, not very IT. The reports options are similarly limiting lacking in subtotals so you can scan where each catagory is going.
Its cheapness limits how much and how quickly development work can be put in. So it is very much a work in progress. Okay for an immediate cheap way just to log where the money comes in and goes out to. In time I am sure it will provide the tools for managing your expenditures. The problem is there is not anything better for the UK on the market. Try it but be warned by the time you find out whether it does suit you, you will have three years of non-transferable, despite all claims to the contrary, data that ties you to what you do have.
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