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Review : iBank 4 is here

Review : iBank 4 is here

IGG Software today announced the release of iBank 4.0, a full-version upgrade to its popular, Mac-only money management program. Faster, more powerful and more full-featured than prior versions, iBank 4 delivers multiple enhancements alongside existing features like direct downloads from online accounts, custom check printing, robust data export and iPhone sync.

I have been using iBank 4 for little over one month and now rely on it to completely manage my home accounts. The marriage between the excellent mobile version and the full featured desktop is perfect for multiple users trying to keep track of a single bank account.When I made the move from PC to Mac one of the biggest disappointments was the lack of good personal finance software. After six years I have found a more than worthy contender to match the tools formerly offered my Microsoft Money.

Getting Started

iBank is a simple application to get to grips with. You can start from scratch or import a previously imported statement and the intuitive interface offers instant feedback on the shape of your accounts. In the UK there isn’t yet the facility to connect software live to your bank to download transactions. Instead those banks that offer any sort of statement download insist on downloading a QIF file that can be easily imported into iBank 4.

The big benefit of transaction importing is that iBank learns the category you assign to each payee making monitoring budgets and individual categories very easy. I am able to quickly import a statement and process it within iBank in a matter of minutes.

Scheduled Transactions

If you are anything like me you probably have about a dozen direct debits moving money in (and mostly) out of your account. You can click on a transaction and set it as a scheduled transaction within iBank 4. I can’t seem to find away of making iBank add the scheduled transactions automatically though.


One of the most powerful features of iBank 4 is the amazing reporting system. It really is stunning. I am able to track the current month, look at the previous month and even create a custom report to aid with filling out my tax return. Although iBank comes with a range of standard reports creating your own custom reports is simple. I personally run 3 custom reports that tend to give me accurate yet sadly bad news each time I run the application.

I really don’t think I have had as an accurate picture of my currently tragic financial situation since I moved to Mac.

Mobile Banking

The trick to the success of iBank is the fact it s so easily accessible. One example is a couple each with iPhones trying to keep track of their finances. By using the iBank mobile application transactions can be synced via a range of services. This means you can almost add a transaction to iBank immediately in the shop in which it took place. Back at the desk iBank syncs on start up pulling down the transactions from both mobile clients.

We have been using this model for the last month and I have to say it has been flawless. Transactions are quick to enter on the iPhone with the advantage of being able to see the amount previously spent that month per budget category.

New Features in Version 4

Among dozens of new features and improvements in iBank 4 are:

— faster transaction entry and dynamic editing options in an intuitive, innovative two-line register

— a seamless set-up assistant for transferring data from Mac and PC versions of Quicken, MS Money, or other finance programs

— a streamlined set-up process for downloading transactions from online bank accounts

— a cleaner, more accessible user interface for easy monitoring of account balances, net worth, or summaries of assets and liabilities

— greatly upgraded investment tracking capabilities

— more powerful support for multiple currencies

— a more liberal 30-day unlimited trial for new users

— significant speed enhancements throughout.

Features Revamped in this version

— an all-new reporting engine that, for example, lets users examine income and expenses by category, monitor net worth over time, check the performance of investments, analyze spending by payee, compile tax-related information or keep track of debt. Users can customize report data, generate graphs instantly, drill down into data with a click, save to PDF and print reports as they appear in iBank.

— a whole new approach to budgeting with envelopes. Users can drag and drop cash from income categories into envelopes representing different types of expenses; see at a glance how much money is available for a particular purchase; move cash between envelopes to balance out surpluses and shortfalls in different categories; carry over extra cash from month to month; and incorporate one-time expenses or bonuses into a budget.

— a new template system that merges the functionality of memorized transactions, scheduled transactions and smart import rules into one feature. iBank 4 records payees as they are typed in, autofills the same transaction details (including splits) later on, and records changes users make when they download data. iBank 4 learns how users clean up and categorize their imported transactions, and applies those changes to future downloads automatically. Schedules can also be added to templates so that transactions can be posted to users’ accounts on a repeating basis.


Once you start using iBank you suddenly find managing your day to day finances takes considerably less time than in the past. The ability to keep your records up to date via the iPhone application and the fact that you can sync more than one device makes the application perfect for family account management. The only issue I can think of is the ability to auto enter scheduled transactions and I might have just missed that one in the settings !

Don’t take my word for it though as it is available as a full 30 day trail : iBank 4 can be downloaded at, where there is also a link to a new set of “Getting Started” video tutorials. As well as th
e expanded 30-day free trial, iBank 4 comes with a 30-day unconditional guarantee and unlimited free support.

The retail price of iBank 4 is $59.99; licensed users of previous versions of iBank can upgrade for $29.99. iBank 4 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher, and will run on Macs using either Intel or PowerPC processors. iBank Mobile for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, sold separately via the iTunes App Store, offers mobile transaction entry for iBank and full sync via Wi-Fi, MobileMe or any WebDav server.

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