Joni Keller
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Nethope reviewed on 05 Jan 2010
I couldn't get to the stars in the 'Reply' so here are stars; read above for why.
[Version 0.6]

Nethope tipped on 05 Jan 2010
1. QIF Import imports *all* transactions into the current account. If you did a QIF Export from all accounts (the only export choice for Buddi), it won't be pretty. (There's CSV export and CSV to QIF. Or wait for OFX support since that's a much better format than QIF.) So the import works, but it's not clever about creating accounts.

2. You must ALWAYS use a currency symbol in the (lower) edit area when you enter the transaction amount. No $ symbol, no amount shown in the (upper) display area. On the other hand, this may indicate that you can use multiple currencies (although I'm sure if you did it in the same account, there wouldn't be a currency conversion before the math).

3. Withdrawal transactions need parentheses. So use ($5) for a $5 charge; it's accountancy-correct, although '-' is less typing (with no shift key needed). Even better would be to make it negative *for me* (isn't software supposed to do some of the work for me?) when I select Withdrawal as the transaction type!

4. The only way to delete an account (maybe because I'm testing everything wildly *ahem*) is to right-click on the account name. That's also the only way to see the additional information that you entered when you create the account. Selecting Delete from the Edit menu when the account is selected does nothing. I wonder what else is hidden under a control-click ...

Overall, I'm surprised Stash is this good when it's this new! It even has split transactions! That said, there are some rough edges from being brand new.

1. As I mentioned, debit transactions aren't obvious (need parens).

2. I prefer document-based applications, like Stash. However, there's no way to know WHICH document I'm editing (that I see).

3. The 0.6 version adds account transfers. This is a killer feature because then I don't do the double entry -- the software is working for me, yay! However, if you delete one transaction of the pair, it doesn't delete the other. (Same for the reconcile checkmark.) That doesn't seem right. (Yes, I know formats like QIF don't mark which pairs of transactions are actually one transfer. Yes, it's hard, but software should do some hard work for me.)

4. I would like a "cleared" checkbox too. Some transactions have cleared the bank, but haven't been committed to a bank statement that can be reconciled. (The only feature in Quicken that I miss is the reconcile process. It brings forward the previous ending balance as the starting balance, I enter the ending balance and date, I click all transactions on my statement (or have the option to have all cleared transactions marked as reconciles, or to mark all) with transactions after the ending date not shown, and I see a running total of how close my reconciled balance is to the ending balance. I can, however, live with C/R checkmarks. Yes, I have caught bank errors by matching up the ending balances!)

5. I like import and export choices so that I'm not locked in to any software. Stash, at the moment, has the minimum (just QIF, but at least it's both directions, in and out) to keep me looking at it. A CSV export would be nice. Binary data file formats, while definitely fast, are opaque. That means I could lose everything entered since the last time I exported to some other readable format. I'd love a option to create a non-binary backup (CSV, OFX, or QIF in order of decreasing preference) every time I save. File corruption happens ... especially if you're me and always copying files around (rsync, Dropbox, USB key ... I try to make sure it passes BackupBouncer, but sometimes convenience, namely Dropbox, wins). I need backups more than someone who only uses one Mac, because my files get dragged everywhere by many means.

I think Stash is worth checking out, and worth watching, for basic personal finance needs.
[Version 0.6]

1 Reply


Nethope replied on 05 Jan 2010
What I want in the personal finance software I use:
- reconcile that I can use
- proper double entry for transfers
- import/export
- would like multiple accounts in one document
- would like bill scheduling

Although Stash just has a check for reconcile, I can re-order the transactions so that it lines up with my statement so it's easy to spot errors. Double entry for transfers, check. Import/export, check. Multiple accounts in one file and document-based, check. Bill scheduling is on the feature list (is this just when I put a future date on a transaction?), so it's probably a check.

The unwritten bonus points are for Aqua interface (check), and responsive developer (did you see how quickly I got a thoughtful reply? BIG CHECK). I'm liking this ...
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