During the summer, I started using the Mac money management program iBank. I was impressed with version 2, and bought the program when I was promised a free upgrade to version 3. I’ve been using version 3 since its release, which today is on version 3.32. Despite numerous updates to version 3, I have never been completely satisfied with the program. Despite enjoying great communication with IGG, the company who makes iBank, and the fact that it is a Leopard-only universal binary application, minor irritations with my own user experience have never been corrected. I’ll list just a few examples, though they are not the only ones.
1) When I work with a credit card account, I must enter all balances as negative values. When I reconcile my statement with iBank, if I don’t put a minus (-) in front of the balance, even if it is in the thousands of dollars, the program just accepts it, wrecking my calculated balance. This is pure stupid. If they are going to use this horrible method of managing credit accounts, at least provide a warning against entering a positive value.
2) Reconciling statements on any account is very counter-intuitive and confusing. I have to relearn how to enter statements every time I enter one. Anyone used to using Quicken or Money will have a hard time for months trying to figure this out, and I am still baffled at the hoops I have to jump through. Transactions have a date and a time associated with them. Every time I reconcile a new statement, I have to change the time of the final date in the period to 11:59 PM, because the program insists on putting the current time, each and every time. Stupid!
3) When I enter a new transaction that has no recipient name (such as ATM transactions), iBank automatically fills in the recipient field with the last transaction entered. So, if I went to Target yesterday and entered it in iBank, then went to the ATM today, when I save the new transaction today, iBank will insert “Target” in the field for the ATM transaction, despite the fact that it is entered in the ATM/Cash category!
4) When I start to enter any memorized recipient on a new transaction, I still have to manually capitalize the first letter. For example, if I type “lowes”, which I frequently visit, if I start typing the name with a lowercase “L” it fills in “Lowes Foods”, except it displays as “lowes Foods”. I have to manually capitalize even the memorized transactions! Did a bunch of monkeys code this program?
Today I was presented with the final nail in the coffin for iBank. iBank routinely notifies me of any software updates when I launch the program. I typically exit the application and download the update. When I install the update, it says it can’t update because some process of iBank is still running. This has happened with every single update I’ve tried to apply. Only a full computer reboot will stop the error. Is iBank still running something in the background after every use? What?! Today, I used the program and when I was notified of a new version 3.32 update. I restarted the computer and tried to install the update. The update would not install, and after that iBank will not load at all, saying that the program is not compatible with my Mac system.
I’ve had it. Full price for iBank is $59! That is double what it is actually worth. I didn’t pay full price for this program when I bought version 2, which was less expensive, and I received the free upgrade to version 3. I have now deleted the program and will go back to using the frustrating Quicken 2007. Quicken was due to release a new Mac version called “Quicken Financial Life for Mac” this winter, but their website now says it will be pushed back to the summer of 2009. I think I can tolerate Quicken 2007 until that time. I just can’t overlook my frustrations with iBank any longer.