Accounting Software Mac – Cashculator review

Keeping a sharp eye on your money with Cashculator

In these difficult days of financial crisis and the necessity of keeping a close watch on your finances, you really need to look for an accounting application which will help you keep track of your cash. Most Mac finance apps that are available for dealing with cash tend to focus on the money that you have spent or earned in the past, but don’t give you much in the way of tools for budgeting into the future. The Mac is not just for doing creative activities such as photography or movie making, you can do money related activity with it too.

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My experiences with finance applications

In the past I have had my own business and I had to deal with recording income and expenses and the dreaded VAT. The application that I found most useful as a Windows user at the time was QuickBooks. Now I only have personal finances to deal with and maybe a little bit of business, so I don’t need something quite as heavy duty. For the Mac and for the iPad there are applications such as MoneyWiz which is aimed at personal finances. Then you have applications such as Accounts which is more business orientated and it is easier to use if you have learned a little bit about a traditional double entry bookkeeping. In any case with these sorts of applications you have to know where the money came from and where it is going to. You have to deal with these amounts of money based upon the date that the transaction occurred. Some of these applications for Mac accounting do have a slight nod towards budgeting to help you plan for the future. In the past there were not too many accounting programs for Mac, but now it is not too difficult to find the best personal finance app for you.

Cashculator is somewhat different as accounting software Mac goes

When you have had experience with an accounting app for whatever platform, with other finance applications, it does seem a little confusing at first. You have areas to deal with that are labelled plan, actual, both and combined. You put in the data of the transaction only with regard to the month and not specifically the date in the month. The thing to do is to start with planned amounts that you are aware of, such as the amount of your regular income. Input into the plan the expenses that you expect to have such as mortgage or rent payments. You can make a guess at other amounts by actual spending in the previous months.

Dealing with recurring transactions in Cashculator

So for example, if you know that you get an income source of €2362 every month you can enter that figure at a starting point for your accounts and Cashculator will fill in the amount for the following months. So there you have the first part of your financial planning for the foreseeable future and you only entered one figure into Cashculator. You can do the same for any other recurring transactions whether they are incomes or expenses.

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Non-recurring expenses and incomes

The next thing to work with, will be the transactions that you expect to happen but are not recurring. This could be that you know you have to pay car insurance out in June and if you know what the amount is going to be you can enter that into your plan. If you don’t know what the amount will be, then you can make a educated guess. When the bill actually comes in for the car insurance and it is a little different from your provisional amount, you can enter that into Cashculator in the Actual section of the application. When you get to the end of the month when you go into the reconcile area of the Cashculator application, you can enter what the starting balance will be for the following month. The numbers that are in the reconcile area will be based upon the actual amount of the transactions entered.

Using the Cashculator personal finance app crystal ball to look into the future

The emphasis within Cashculator is more about planning your financial future. The idea is that you will have a better understanding of whether you are spending above or below your means. We all know how easy it is to desire that new toy and think that we can afford it, even if we have already spent that money on something else.

Within Cashculator you can create scenarios that you can use to plan your spending with the money that you have. You can also create scenarios where you are saving money for spends that you would like to make in the future. This Cashculator application is quite different in terms of mindset to other accounting applications. It is good for a broad overview of your money situation, but you may still need to have a full accounting package. A full accounting application will give you all of the data that you would need for preparing your tax declarations. If your finances are fairly simple, then maybe Cashculator could help you in this department, although maybe not.

Entering data into Cashculator

There is a detail area in a pane to the right of the application and maybe I want to add a planned expense for travel. I know that the amount is going to be 60 Euro and that I will be splitting the payments over two months. I can enter the total amount and then choose however many months I want to split it. I can add a comment, which is a very good idea. If you don’t add comments then you could well end up with unknown numbers within cells and you don’t know what they’re for. You can see these comments when you double click on the number in the cell within the calculation. You can also add a note which is attached to that particular cell. To a certain extent, Cashculator is a fancy spreadsheet that is specific to finances. Certainly you could set up a spreadsheet to do much of the functionality that you find in the Cashculator application. It would take quite a lot of work on your part though, to replicate all that Cashculator has to offer.

Reconciling your money in Cashculator

You see what the expected ending balance is going to be and you enter what is the actual figure is at the bank account. If there is a difference between what is expected and what there actually is, you will see this in the Unaccounted row of the table. At this point you would need to make changes to some of the actual figures in order to reconcile your accounts. I know that for myself, I would have to use this application for a number of months to get properly used to all that it can do. Time and practice would be necessary to be fully comfortable with the process of managing the finances in this way. Probably worth doing though with this Accounting Software Mac.

The amount of time you need to use Cashculator

It may seem that you need to fill in transaction details more than once because of there being the planned amount and the actual amount. When you are working with recurring payments you have the time saving function of Cashculator, where you put in one number and cells in the future are filled out for you. This can be a flat amount every month or Cashculator can work it out for you based upon your actual spending from previous months. You can click on a button to update your plan based upon information you will already put into the application.

The Mac20Q verdict on Cashculator

Cashculator is a nice looking application and it is commendable that it takes a different approach to financials compared to other Mac accounts programs. Certainly the fact that there is an emphasis on the future state of your finances is a huge plus point. By taking a broad brush overview of how your money is actually working could be a great benefit to you. Cashculator doesn’t pretend to be an application that you would use as a bookkeeping program suitable for making your tax returns, either in a personal or a business capacity. There are other applications more suitable for that task. Put away your iMovie tasks for a while and spend some time looking after the money.

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I do like what Cashculator as to offer with regards budgeting and financial planning for the future. To make a full and proper comment about Cashculator, I would like to use it for at least six months. Whether an application like this would suit you, only you will know, as we all have very different financial situations. It is a good-looking and well-made Accounting Software Mac that once you understand how it works is easy-to-use. I would recommend that you download the free trial version and see how you get on with it. You don’t have to be an accountant to be able to use this Cashculator software. If you have tried other accounts software and struggled, then Cashculator could be just the thing for you. It is made by Apparentsoft who also made the application Trickster. Money and budgeting is important, in fact much too important to leave to a ‘let’s hope for the best approach’. Check out an accounting app for your Mac financial dealings.


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Mac20Q news June 2012