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Accountz Personal review

Karl Wright
7 Aug 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
39
inc VAT

Great value, easy to get to grips with and straightforward to use, this is ideal for home finances.

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Specifications

Accounts software can be boring, baffling and ludicrously complicated to use - a trend that Accountz Personal has thankfully avoided. It's straightforward, easy to use and makes sense.

The program's main screen is split into two: on top you have your transactions, and at the bottom your Chart of Accounts. Entering transactions is simplicity itself - type the date and the amount and tell the program which nominal accounts should be debited and credited, and it does the rest for you. You only have to enter a single line of text and the Chart of Accounts is updated as you go. Because you can always see the Chart of Accounts, it's easy to check that you've entered a transaction correctly. If you haven't, you can easily edit the offending line or delete it with a single click.

The program doesn't do online banking, in the sense that it can't connect to your bank's website and automatically download statements for you, but it can work with common bank statement file formats, such as the OFX format. The first time you import a statement, Accountz opens the Imported name mapping dialog. This allows you to map the descriptions you've given to transactions against those on your bank statement. Once it has this information, Accountz will try to reconcile your account automatically (check it against the bank statement). This is something which, in our tests, it did with a high degree of accuracy.

As well as maintaining a Chart of Accounts, Accountz also gives you the tools you need to analyse and understand the data you enter in it. Of the main tabs, one is a line graph that shows you how much you were in credit or debit at a particular point in the financial period. Behind another tab you'll find a bar chart, which shows you the same, but on a month-by-month basis. Just by clicking on an entry in the Transactions window, you can generate a report that shows you all the transactions that match the one you clicked. So, for instance, with a single click you can see exactly how much you've paid to a given supplier in this financial year. To see how much money has been paid into a given nominal account (in other words, how much money you've spent on food, broadband or entertainment, for example), simply click on that account's name anywhere in the From column of the transactions window.

At first, we were a little nonplussed by the reporting features in Accountz, as there are only a few basic options available, compared to the hundreds in other accounting packages. Thinking about it, though, this is actually what makes Accountz Personal a great choice. It's easy to use and does the job for home accounts. It's a great choice for anyone who wants control over their finances, and wins a Best Buy award.

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