Finance for Android

Finance

We’re starting to develop a new application to manage finances on Android devices.

You might wonder why, it’s not as though there is a shortage of applications out there.

History

We’ve used PC based applications in the past, such as Quicken and MS Money on the PC. More recently we’ve used Jumsoft Money on the Mac.

MS Money has been discontinued and JumSoft Money no longer supports OSX Snow Leopard. The last update to JumSoft Money rendered the application unusable.

Ultimately, we’re sick of trusting other peoples applications. When it comes to managing our money, we want to have full control over the application that records transactions.

Requirements

The following are the things that are important to us:

  • Portable. We’ll be more inclined to enter data if we’ve got the device with us.
  • Quick entry. Adding a transaction should be quick and easy with the minimum of touches. Regularly used payees and categories should be at the top of the list with less used ones a few touches away
  • A decent QIF import. We’ve got over 15,000 transactions in our QIF files. We should be able to import these with no duplications and mistakes.
  • Quick transaction viewing. With so many transactions, it should be responsive with sub-second lookups.
  • Simple account to statement reconciliation. Every time we get a statement we should be able to quickly check it against our list of transactions. Missing or incorrectly entered transactions should be added or updated easily.
  • Backup and export facilities. It should be possible to backup the transactions database on a regular basis, so if it is corrupted or lost, then we can just install the application on a new device and use the latest backup easily. Email backs are a distinct possibility.

These are the things we’ll be concentrating on initially. We will also look into:

  • Reports and charts.
  • Possible synching across multiple devices

The initial application

The QIF import is critical for us. If we can’t get our data into the application easily, then everything else is redundant.

To this end, we’ve created an initial version of the application that will import transactions from QIF files. It will list the accounts, payees and categories. It will show you the transactions for each of these groups. And that’s all it does currently.

There is no facility to change or create transactions, so it’s fairly useless.

Performance

Importing a QIF file with 5000 transactions takes around 20 seconds on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Since these are generally one-off processes, this isn’t too bad.

The time to open an account and view transactions is sub-second. We’ve incorporated a infinitely scrolling list to reduce loading times,

Screenshots

Here’s some work-in-progress screenshots.

Download

We’d like people to try importing their QIF files into the application, so we’ve made it available from here. To use it, install the application and email yourself a QIF file as an attachment. If you read the email and chose the option to open or view the attachment, then Finance should open and import the QIF file. You can then run Finance and view the imported transactions.

We’ve only tested Finance with the QIF files exported from Jumsoft’s Money, so it’s very likely that we’re going to fail to read other QIF files. It’s a notoriously bad format with each vendor interpreting the specification in their own way.

Anyway, give it a go, feed back any problems. In the meantime, we’ll be looking to add some basic transaction and data handling options.

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4 thoughts on “Finance for Android

  1. I’m not a likely tester at this stage as I hate quicken and hired a book keeper.
    But I like your idea of design for handheld from the ground-up. Smartphone is in-hand when most expenses happen, and now using SQUARE, when many income transactions happen.
    My wishlist might include
    Accept & simplify entry of transactions using SQUARE PAYPAL creditcard check, cash.
    Photo a receipt while identifying last-4 of card number, correlates with that account and image is tagged & forever retrievable.
    Each of the above with user-friendly coding cost & category on the spot. So after an expense or income activity I spend minimum seconds fully recording it.
    Export QIF for handoff to accountant, datestamp the tranactions which were xported. Un-export to remove date-stamp.
    ez fast search by date or date-range, vendor, or customer, purpose, amount or amount-range, amount partial-string, card last-4, category, etc.
    Joel

    1. Cheers Joel,

      We’ll bear your suggestions in mind. This is a project that’s going to take time to develop, though we’ll release a free version when we have a basic feature set in place.

      The receipt photo is a nice idea, we hadn’t thought of that. As is the date-range export.

      We’re looking at search now, so keep an eye out for an blog update when we’ve got that working.

      Does your accountant only accept QIF, or does he use the better OFX ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Financial_Exchange ). OFX appears to be more robust that QIF so we may use that for backup.

      Karl.

    1. HI,

      It’s purely for Android devices. We have no plans to port it to computers.

      At the moment, it only supports QIF import, though we plan to add OFX at some point in the future. There are no export functions, but we will add an OFX export as well as native database backup.

      There should be a beta release to the Android market in the next few weeks. We’re just tidying up some of the UI features.

      Thanks for your interest.

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