31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Excellent foundations but doesn't build on them,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Personal Accountz (PC/Mac/Linux) (CD-ROM)
Personal Accountz (PAZ) has a simple concept at its core - everything is an account, even income and expenses. This may be new to users of other software used to bank accounts and expenses categories, but there isn't really any difference. As a long time MS Money user I have occasionally blurred the line by using a category of "Loan : Fred" when I lend to Fred and later when he repays me. As long as the sum of the category transactions is zero then I know that Fred and I are flat.
Accounts are very easy to create (or delete) and the hierarchy is constructed with drag and drop. Getting the most out of the software requires planning this hierarchy, but there are examples layouts with the program and more in the user forums that will help you on your way. If you've already set up 'categories' in other software you can rebuild the hierarchy in PAZ and will soon realise what an artificial construct 'categories' are.
PAZ then captures transactions between accounts (for example buying groceries with your debit card would be 'From Current Account / To Groceries'); provides a facility to reconcile these to your bank statements; records and forecasts calendar payments; and provides some reports on these transactions.
That is between 60-95% of what you need personal finance software to do. Buying shares just means creating an account for 'Company X shares' and transferring to that from your 'Broker cash' account. Investments can be split up between husband/wife/joint just by dragging and dropping in the hierarchy. A loan account can have principal and interest sub-accounts which capture those separately and so on. The software does seem limited here in that you can see you spent £100 on shares but not that you actual bought 10 shares.
I won't be continuing with PAZ though, as there are a few key things missing. The main items are lack of support for multiple currencies; the inability to define/save custom reports; and the lack of holdings information from investment accounts (i.e. number of shares). There are other annoyances like a lack of split transactions (e.g. if you use your debit card in Tesco to buy groceries and a TV then you have to enter two transactions into your card account which complicates reconciling it) and there's no payee field. There are workarounds for the last two but they add complexity where it isn't needed. It's not something I miss but other packages provide facilities such as a loan wizard that can calculate principal and interest repayments. Note that I haven't contacted the company about any of these problems so there may be solutions.
PAZ does what it does very well but it depends on you setting up your hierarchy properly. It also depends on where you fall on that 60-95% scale and whether you are happy making up the remainder yourself. If your finances are single currency and you can track investments yourself, and your budgeting is pretty straightforward then it could certainly be worth a look, particularly if you are happy importing CSV data into spreadsheets to further your analysis. There doesn't seem to be a trial version but if you buy the software from the company themselves then there is some sort of refund period.