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Customer Review

175 of 183 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for very basic use, 15 April 2007
This review is from: Personal Accountz (PC/Mac/Linux) (CD-ROM)
If you are starting out tracking your basic spending/current account usage for the first time then this product may be OK. If you are used to either Quicken/MS money before then you be disappointed.

The documentation says that the developers have concentrated on keeping the interface simple but a consequence is that the functionality of Accountz is very, very basic.

One example - automated entries - you can't create them from an existing transaction. You can't set an entry to be prompted to enter the value - important if you have something that changes each month (Credit card anyone). You can't record an entry in advance once you know that amount and the date it will leave your account. This can be fudged but software is meant to help you rather than hinder you?

There is no sensible way to record share/unit trust investments, loans, assets etc. Fudges are suggested but the product is clearly not designed for nothing more than current accounts.

A final insult - forget being able to migrate from other packages - the converter simply couldn't cope with my Quicken export - it only found one account.

I have used Quicken for many years and bought this as I am in the middle of moving from Windows to a MAC environment and this runs on both. This product simply isn't good enough to manage my accounts - it is little more than a glorified spreadsheet.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Aug 2008, 17:15:21 BST
Perigee says:
You *can* "...record an entry in advance once you know that amount and date it will leave your account." You do it in Automated Entries - see the video demos on the internet.

There is a sensible way to record share/unit trust investments, loans assets etc - i.e. in the same way as any other account. The mystery lies in the nomenclature, not the pattern.

Converting QIF files is and always will be problematic e.g. Quicken-PC files will not run on Quicken-Mac without e.g. ensuring all file names are less than 20 characters and all special characters (including spaces) are removed. (see the post on the Quicken forum on Google groups titled "Importing Quicken for PC to Quicken for Mac")

Posted on 27 Oct 2008, 10:43:48 GMT
Mick says:
With the exception of the migrating from Quicken which I've never tried, I can do all of the things A.P. Lawrence says you can't.

Posted on 20 Mar 2009, 23:26:17 GMT
R. Baldwin says:
I agree, it is very basic and employs a backward 'accounting logic'. For Quicken and Money users converting categorising your spending/income is a subsidiary and optional action. In PAz you are 'expected' to make the 'category' the 'Account'. This just does not model the real world of personal finance and if you follow their advice it would make it a bit of a puzzle to reconcile accounts because you'd be looking a statement which specifies a payee/payor whilst your PAz statement shows you paid £x on a date to what is really a category, such as 'Food'. Sure you can work around this by adding a sub-category such as 'Food:Tesco' and 'Food:Waitrose' etc but the key thing is that this is a 'work-around'. It is not at all useful in recording share dividends re-invested in shares. Sure; there's a work-around... So don't expect too much, but it is still supported.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2009, 15:49:55 GMT
If you had tried Quicken and Money _after_ using this program then you could have said: In Quicken and Money you are forced to setup an 'Account' and then go into it first before you can do anything. It is slower e.g. to pay off a credit is now a special case because they are separate 'Accounts' - not to mention an opening balance - how do you e.g. change it in Quicken?

Accounting is simple thing: moving money from A to B or even simpler e.g. moving money from <blank> to B as per the opening balance.

As for shares, Money (Where is the 'Investment tab' in Quicken?) has a beautiful, special spread sheet with a special drop-down menu with very good ergonomic editing of its five boxes but this is still a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. In Personal Accountz you just e.g. pay in your dividend in the exact same way as any other transaction - without any restriction e.g. you don't even have to specify the A, you can leave it blank if you like and just insert the B (e.g. 'bank' or 'anyWeird_Name of unlimited-characters...') and leave a comment such as 'dividend' in Comments and do all this with just two-key strokes using a PresetEntry (and in the same grid as paying off a credit card or making another opening balance - they are all the same - there is no such thing as a 'work around' - everything is an A to B).

Evidently if you prefer B to be called a 'category' - or maybe a sub-prime-loan or maybe a Prime-Loan then you are probably a UK banker on early retirement getting a 'pension' for 'valueable services' :) "A rose by any other name..."

"This is little more than a glorified spreadsheet" sneers A.P. Lawrence above.

Well I could say "Money is a glorified spread sheet" - there, I just did, but in a good sense because I think spread sheets are good but I also think that Personal Accountz is a better spread sheet than Money or Quicken e.g. when I double-click on one of their spread sheets, I often get the editor appear ready to edit that field *but* on Personal Accountz I get a report of everything-that-produced-that-field. In other words when you are looking at the Paz 'spread sheet' you are also looking at hundreds of different reports, each one only a double-click away and *all* on the same page.

The bottom line is that you will always type less in Paz and always type more in _any_ other application that has "Accounts" and 'categories' and 'payees' simply because they multiply special cases - some folks will prefer the special cases because everything is "done for them" just as some folks prefer automatic-transmissions and dealership-servicing (except that the dealers have left the UK).

If you prefer manual-transmission, dealership independence and ManForAllSeasons-customisation then you will prefer Personal Accountz.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2009, 20:24:53 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2009, 20:29:21 BST
LP says:
But I had the manual transmission when I had my own excel file and pivot charts (123 and sql prior to that). I don't need to pay £40 to go back to that. In the real world I have a bank account and a credit card account. What's important is how the money transfers in, out and between them. My window cleaner isn't an account, he's a payee (The days are gone when one has accounts with traders). However that's all horses for courses. I stuck with it for a few hours before I stuck it in the bin.

My main complaint is that the PAZ guff makes claims about importing Money (and I assume Quicken too) data which are misleading. The data can be imported, but the resultant mess is unuseable without, I assume, an inordinate amount of manual intervention. What's the point of a current account report with no payees (or dates, as far as I could tell, but I have to assume that this was finger trouble because the software couldn't be that rubbish) in it?

If you're starting from scratch and can't use excel then this might be useful software. If you're looking for something like Money then run away, very quickly, now.

BTW - support via email is great and instant - even on bank holiday monday - thanks Rob. It's ironic that the one time that I find great support it's for a product that I've binned.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2009, 17:21:39 BST
L. Adeson says:
So for those of you who *didn't* like it, what did you end up buying?

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 10:05:59 BST
Web Designer says:
I'm left wondering after all this whether Robin is employed by PAz - it certainly sounds like it. Linda asks a great question which I wish I could answer. I have Quicken 2000 and it does everything I want. My personal accounts and the accounts of a club that I run. I have no wish to change but when I upgraded my PC to Vista 64 bit, it no longer works so I'm running it on an older XP machine which means having two screens on my desk - only bankers have a need for this! I looked at Money but it wouldn't do what I was used to - and that is probably the crux of the whole problem. I'm used to Quicken and suspect whatever I choose means a new learning curve which I could do without. I'm hoping that an upgrade of Vista to Windows 7 might allow Quicken to resume. Just one other point. If you look at the comments made against Quickbooks which has very poor reviews you'll see almost every comment has a defence being made by the Intuit Customer Care Team - instead of defending what must be a very poor product where there is a clear need for Quicken, I would have thought they would be far better employed putting Quicken back on the market as (apart from Robin) it seems to be a very well liked program and I'm sure would sell very well indeed.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2009, 17:33:51 GMT
T. W. Rogers says:
Could not agree more - bring back Quicken!
Have tried Money & Moneydance, and while they do the job, I do not think they are a patch on the old Quicken. I cannot think why they gave up with it in the UKPersonal Accountz (PC/Mac/Linux)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2009, 20:15:41 GMT
Seegz says:
I have upgraded to Windows 7 and Quicken 2000 works! It has a problem initially displaying the screen at each use - you have to minimise and then restore the screen to force a refresh before you can use it, but this is a small issue. Windows 7 wouldn't read the Quicken installation CD however, I had to copy the whole CD to an external hdd and install if from a USB port!

Posted on 11 May 2010, 13:39:19 BST
Colin Brown says:
I entirely agree with this reviewer. I previously used Qucken 2000, but on moving to a new PC, the software wasn't compatable with Windows7. Having been totally disappointed with Accountz, I purchase Quicken 2010 from the States. Although Quicken it is now not supported in the UK, it is far superior to Accountz.
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