When you're tracking finances for an entire household, you'll soon come to notice that not all accounting software is created equal.
Some software is far too simple while another may be too robust. And while you may have some features through your bank's online banking platform, sometimes your bank's financial tracking software just isn't enough.
In order to ease your efforts in trying to make a decision, consider some of these points when choosing the best accounting software for your family finances.
Does it have online capabilities?
At this point, most financial transactions are happening online. In fact, some institutions have started charging fees for not using online features like paperless statements.
As such, it's probably in your best interest to find accounting software that can connect to your accounts via the internet. While you would think this is a given at this point, you'd be surprised how much financial software still doesn't do this.
Furthermore, you'll want to read reviews about any connectivity issues the software may have.
Please note, however, that this does not mean you won't have to periodically check the transactions or do any occasional manual work. At the end of the day only a human can truly catch what's going on financially and the internet is just meant to make it easier.
Does it connect to your specific financial institution?
Another important point to consider is whether or not the software supports connectivity with you specific financial institution. Unfortunately if you have a smaller or lesser known bank you may run into some issues here.
What kinds of accounts are supported?
Ideally you'll want personal finance software that can give you a bird's eye view of all of your accounts in one place - from your personal bank account to your 401k account.
You'll also ideally want software that can track debts like credit cards, mortgages and cars.
By having both income and debts you'll be able to have a crystal clear picture of your net worth in one place.
Does it have bill reminders/automatic bill pay?
There's no need to ever miss a bill again with bill reminders and automatic bill pay. You'll want to make sure that whatever software you choose either sends you reminders via email (or text) or just let's you set up up automatic bill pay.
Is it pretty intuitive and user friendly?
One of the biggest complaints people have about financial software is how complicated it is.
The good news is that there are now more user friendly and intuitive options available for tracking your family finances. Some software is so intuitive that with time it automatically categorizes transactions based on your past manual instructions.
Do you have a small business?
If a small business is a part of the family finances then you will need some sort of accounting software that supports it.
To be frank, business finances and personal finances are like apples and oranges. However, there is software available that can help you track both.