Liquid Ledger

Liquid Ledger
OS X Only

Company: Modeless Software, Inc.
Price: $45.00

Sure the economy is a little sluggish of late and if you own stocks you probably don’t want to look at the bright red numbers scrolling across the bottom of CNBC. Economy aside, you still need to know what your dough is doing (unless you work off the simple accounting method that once ruled my life: cash in car ashtray=net worth). There are quite a few methods to keep an eye on your dough. These range from the very basic (a napkin) to the highly customizable (a personally designed spreadsheet/database) all the way to any of a number pre made solutions.

One of the pre-made solutions is Liquid Ledger. After using Liquid Ledger for a week I have decided that, for most folks, Liquid Ledger is a very good solution. You acquire Liquid Ledger via a simple download of 1.2 MB (even dial up users won’t balk at that). Installation is a fairly simple matter of drag and drop. The first thing you’ll notice when you fire Liquid Ledger up is, predictably, the interface.

The screen shot doesn’t quite do Liquid Ledger justice, so trust me when I say Liquid Ledger is very OSX-ish throughout. Liquid Ledger also keeps windows to a minimum, so there’s none of the overload of windows found in other programs. Liquid Ledger is also fairly intuitive if you’ve ever done your check book by hand or used other accounting programs. Hence you’re up and actually using the thing very quickly.

This segways nicely into the next point: if you’ve been using another program chances are you can get your old numbers into Liquid Ledger without any hassle. I tried this feature myself and the process went fairly well. The eight hundred transactions imported without error, even my expense categories. The only problem was that while the expense categories transferred they did not transfer to the corresponding categories in Liquid Ledger. In short the info was there, it was just in the wrong place. This makes the process a little bit of a hassle but you probably need to add a few custom categories anyway.

If you’re starting from scratch (and after the dot com bust aren’t we all?) you’re in luck . You can import your old bank statements with no problem as long as they adhere to QIF or OFX standards. If you’re entering stuff manually you’ll be glad to know Liquid Ledger has the nifty auto-complete deal. If you’re combining both Liquid Ledger will check the manual entries against the downloaded info. In the week of use Liquid Ledger always got this function right whereas when I tried this feature in other programs I was usually left hunting for something that ended up entered twice (always a debit). Speaking of double entries… that’s the accounting model used by Liquid Ledger, known as double entry accounting. I hated accounting, so I have no idea what this means but people tell me it’s important.

Liquid Ledger features most of the other goodies you would expect from personal accounting software. You can track stocks, analyses expenses, reconcile accounts etc. There are a few things that Liquid Ledger won’t do. If you’re addicted to online bill pay, well, better stick with what you’re using. If you want to manage loans (personal note: the best way to keep money is not to borrow any) then a more robust product probably needs to reside on your hard drive. Still Liquid Ledger is plenty capable for most users of personal finance software and with the slick interface and low learning curve you really can’t go wrong. Oh, and one more thing, it’s scriptable with Applescript. If you’re an scripting genius you can go crazy.

Pros: Solid personal accounting program, reasonable price, very nice interface
Cons: Lacks a few features

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5

Chris Seibold

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