Keeping track of your finances using a pen and paper is something that is so laborious that most people simply don’t bother. Using a computer to keep on top of your money makes things a great deal easier, but it does mean that you need to spend time at the end of the day, week or month, going through all of your bills, receipts and bank statements to ensure that everything has been recorded properly. iBank for Mac makes the computer side of this very easy, and iBank for iPad gives you a mobile option as well.
The app can be used to monitor the state of your bank accounts, credit cards, investment and other assets. There are plenty of nice touches such as the ability to create a number of different account books, and these can be used to group together related accounts, or to monitor the finances of different family members separately but within the same app. Transactions can be downloaded from supported account automatically, but manual data entry is also available so you can track expenditure as it happens. Advanced reporting enabling you to perform analysis of your spending and income over time, identifying trends and areas that could be improved.
If you already have the desktop version of iBank installed, it is possible to synchronized your finances between devices; this can be done free of charge using wifi for WebDAV. A particularly interesting and useful feature of the app is Direct Access which makes it possible to automatically update transaction with any of thousands of support financial institutions. This feature is available as an in-app purchase with a monthly or annual fee, but there is a 30-day trial included so you can test it out to see if it is something you feel it is worth paying for.
The app works well enough as a standalone app, but to really reap the benefits of what it has to offer you really need to have the desktop version installed as well. Adding together the price of both the mobile and desktop versions of the software means that while this is certainly useful, it is not especially cheap, but it could be argued that tracking your finances in such detail will enable you to recoup your expenditure over time.