Microsoft Money 2005
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Overseas, Microsoft's latest Money 2005 package rivals Quicken 2005 in the personal finance software stakes. Problem is that in Australia, some of Money's big drawcard services like remote online access to your information through an MSN money account or automatic online account updates with your bank aren't available.
However, Money 2005 is a good looking and highly usable program for managing bills, budgets and accounts all in one place complete with automatic spending analysis.
In many respects Money 2005 closely resembles its predecessor, but the updated version is much less intimidating. Setup doesn't push you to enter each and every account, for instance. You can also jump in and start using the software right away, although you'll get more use out of it if you track all of your accounts.
Money 2005 is also let down by missing Australian-centric functionality such as support for GST and BAS statement management, something Microsoft needs to address in the way its competition has.
But if you all you're after is an inexpensive book balancing and budgeting solution complete with some nifty charting tools - and you need a bit more than an Excel spreadsheet, Money 2005 might still be of interest.
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