Finance for Android – Entering Transactions

Finance Beta

We gave up using Jumsoft Money last December. It was too buggy, kept crashing and was too slow to enter transactions.

This means that we had a backlog of transactions to enter, as pictured below:

There were over 500 receipts that had stacked up to be entered. This is on top of the 19900 transactions that we had imported via QIF!

With close to 20500 transactions now entered into Finance, with over 50 accounts, 1500 payees and >250 categories, we can confidently say that it will handle most users requirements.

Easing the Pain

We won’t lie and tell you that entering 500 transactions was a quick and easy process, but it did drive a number of improvements:

Persistent Transaction Entry Screen

When you are entering transactions, the transaction screen remains after you have saved a transaction. This means that you can enter another similar transaction by only changing the date or amount.

If you accidentally add the same transaction twice, then Finance will notice this and ask you if you really want to save it.

It used to frustrate us no end that Jumsoft Money would close the transaction entry screen after entering a transaction and force us to enter all the data again.

Intelligent Auto-fill

If, like us, you shop at the same grocery store, buy your fuel from the same garage, drink beer at the same pub and eat at the same restaurants, then you will appreciate the auto-fill feature of Finance.

Auto-fill starts by asking you to enter a payee. It then shows you recent transactions for that payee, ordered with the most frequent ones at the top. You can then select a similar transaction and auto-fill will populate the account, payee, category, date, amount and memos from the last transaction. This can save you a considerable amount of screen pressing and selection.

If there is only one transaction type found by auto-fill, it will use this without prompting you – another time saving feature.

Auto-fill is not limited to selecting a payee, it also works with accounts and categories too. You can find out more about Auto-fill and transactions here.

Add New Accounts, Payees and Categories

There is nothing more annoying than having to exit transaction entry to create a new account, payee or category. That’s why Finance allows you to create these from the filter dialog. Once created, you can continue to enter your transaction using the new details.

A Calculator

Entering transactions can sometimes require you to calculate a value. For example, you know you spent 56.45 and 23.78 of that was for food. The remaining amount was on drinks, but how much was it? Rather than force you to work this out in your head, Finance has a calculator that you can use when entering amounts. You can read more on the calculator here.

Ubiquitous Transaction Entry

Let’s face it, entering transactions is the core of any finance application. That’s why with Finance there is an option to enter a transaction straight from the Finance main screen. It also appears in many places throughout the transaction where you might conceivably want to enter a transaction.

Home Screen Shortcut

You can also add a transaction entry shortcut to your Android home screen so you can immediately enter transactions without even having to open Finance!

Persistent Date

Another bugbear of Jumsoft Money was the constant default of using today’s date in all entry transaction entry screens. This meant that we had to always change the date and, when we had a backlog of transactions to enter, had to scroll through the calendar back a few months every time. Truly annoying.

With Finance, it remembers the last used date and will always use this as a default.

Some Tips For Entering Transactions

If you have a backlog of receipts to enter, then there are some improvements to your process that take advantage of the above features to make this easier and quicker.

  1. Group receipts. Take all your receipts and group them by payee and category. This will allow you to take advantage of Finance’s persistent transaction screen requiring you to only change the amount and date for similar transactions.
  2. Sort receipts by date. If your receipts are sorted, then this makes changing the date far easier, as you will only need to change the date by a few days each time, rather than having to change day and month.
  3. Use Auto-fill. When starting to enter transactions for a new group, use the auto-fill feature to quickly populate the transaction. You can press the icons next to account, payee and category to start the auto-fill process at any time during account entry.

You can download the application from Google Play here.

To read the manual, start here.

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