As a Moneydance user it seemed only fitting to also talk about the latest Moneydance release, Moneydance 2011.
As I write this, version 2011 is currently in release candidate state. Since release candidates are feature-frozen I don’t feel I’m jumping the gun by writing now. Moneydance 2011 has been officially released and can be downloaded from here.
I’m going to assume that readers are already familiar with Moneydance 2010. If not, you might want read the original article I wrote, or visit the developer’s website. Having said that, I thought I’d mention some of what I consider to be the more salient improvements Moneydance 2011 brings to the table.
First off, the general look and feel of the software is the same; the interface has undergone only cosmetic changes. The application is still written in Java and is still available for all three major OS platforms. Moneydance still isn’t the prettiest software, but its strengths have been and continue to be functional in nature.
Some interface annoyances have been fixed in this release. The account/category dropdown list now sits above the transaction row rather than below. This is great on the Mac because it no longer gets lost behind the dock. This is a welcomed fix. Also, on split transactions, splits now take up two lines instead of one, allowing easier selection of transaction tags.
Accounts now can be flagged as inactive, and will appear grayed out or missing in account listings. With eleven years of history I have a lot of inactive accounts, so it’s nice to be able to get these out of the way while still retaining their transactional history.
Extension management is much easier now. The interface has been significantly improved by providing a simple “Manage Extensions” menu choice, followed by a descriptive list of exensions used and available. Installation and upgrading is as simple as a single click. Extensions are a very, very powerful aspect of Moneydace, and it’s nice to see this area get a facelift.
Downloaded transaction matching has been updated for this release. I manually enter almost all my transactions, so I don’t see this interface much anyway. It’s worth noting, however, for those who do.
Reporting and graphing have seen additional functionality added. The engine is still effectively the same (at least on the surface), but there are more options now. Both the income and the expense reports can now show graphs as stacked or cumulative, in addition to the existing behavior. The ability to choose was added directly in response to user feedback; try getting that kind of response from Intuit.
Stacked reports are nice because it effectively unrolls the pie chart above, showing total expenses as well as the distribution within the whole at whatever interval chosen. I personally didn’t find a need for cumulative graphing; I love having the option to choose though.
The “Income and Expenses” report has been modified to include a bar chart to track the net difference between income and expenses. It’s very useful to be able to visualize this amount within the same graph. I also think it’s a very clever way to do it.
A new account transfer report is included now. The search report has been renamed to “Transactions”. A new asset allocation report has been added as well. I really like this one. Investment accounts now remember which tab was last opened rather than defaulting to the overview page.
On a personal note I think the option to create 3D pie charts should be restored. I just think they look cool. 🙂 Transaction attachments didn’t make it in this release; guess we’ll have to wait a bit for that.
Moneydance 2011 isn’t significantly different than its predecessor, Moneydance 2010. The fixes and improvements, however, make an already valuable and useful application that much more valuable and easier to use. They also make it a no-brainer upgrade if you’re already running version 2010.
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