We spend money like water... or is money, in fact, as vital as water? Well, it surely is very important to us human beings, and the sad truth is that we manage to spend our treasured bills just about as quickly as we manage to amass them. It takes a lot of energy to keep an eye on one’s finances, which is where apps such as Financisto come in to play. Thanks to a number of useful functions, this app promises to help you keep on top of your (financial) game. You’ll find all the details in today’s review.
|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
Tested using: HTC Desire / Android 2.2
You need to manage several accounts simultaneously? No problem
It’s more or less impossible to manage all of one’s affairs using only one account these days, what with credit and debit card accounts, salary accounts, loan accounts, etc. Financisto displays your own personal account history very efficiently. Financisto can even help you manage international accounts in other currencies (more details below).
Export - Import
It’s good to feel safe and secure when it comes to one’s finances—which is why backups are a must. The app supports exports and imports as well as CSV and QIF formats. You can even backups your data using Google Docs if you’re so inclined. Importing said documents works like a charm—all that is required is the Google Docs login in the settings.
Manage recurring transactions
Standings orders and recurring transactions can also be managed using Financisto, the app will even remind you of scheduled transactions using LED, ringtones and vibrations (if you want it to do so, that is). Terminating transactions is easy, and the geeky mode RFC-2445 RRULE allows you to set up complex recurring schedules. If a transaction arrives on your account regularly, but you don’t know exactly when it will arrive you can set up a special fixed term model. Entering your data into this model can help you avoid having to manually reenter the transaction.
Use filters so that you don’t lose sight of things
Filters can help you keep track of everything as well as search for specifics. They can be used for budgets and protocols. Protocol filters really do allow you to enter all relevant criteria into your searches, whereas budget filters are merely there to help you keep track of specific time frames.
The PIN—a false sense of security?
Protect your data with the help of a PIN which you set up yourself. The widget, which comes with the app, isn’t all that useful in this regard as you have to keep reentering your PIN every time you want to access the widget. This isn’t Financisto’s best function as the widget displays the last amount used on your account (despite the PIN). Furthermore, the PIN is only activated when you press the app’s back button; if you send the app to the background using the homescreen button you won’t be asked to enter the PIN yet Financisto will start up as per usual.
Settings—anything your heart desires
Settings galore! Setting up your own project? Check. Want to add attributes to certain payments? Ditto. Even converting currencies isn’t a problem. Financisto really does provide you with a myriad of options. But life is an eternal game of chiaroscuro: it can become a challenge to keep track of all the different options, but once you think you’ve managed to suss everything out – which takes a while – you can get going and exploit the app for all it has to offer.
The controlling option supplies you with regular reports
Controlling and evaluation are key factors that contribute to a company’s efficiency. Financisto provides you with reports about your earnings and expenditures according to the following categories:
• Time frame
Time frames are displayed as diagrams, and, once again, there are a lot of settings options to choose from. An easy, no-frills default settings may actually be more helpful than having to configure every last detail yourself, IMO.
Alternative Android apps to help you manage your finances: DailyCash Pro, MoneyManager, Budget Tracker, MoneyDroid Lite, EasyMoney or jaavoMoney pro. All of the above are useful when it comes to managing your finances, though none of them provide the same amount of settings options as Financisto—which some may view as being advantageous as it simplifies controls considerably.
• Apps2SD available
• A lotof settings options
• Positions tracking and photo for payments
• Reminders regarding rotative transactions
• Good options for backups
• The sheer amount of options make for controls that aren’t always intuitive
• PIN security should be enhanced
Financisto is an app that really has a lot to offer, and it can help you plan everything out right down to the smallest detail. The settings options are vast and therefore a dream to some and a nightmare to others. Power users will value the freedom when it comes to configurations, whereas your run-of-the-mill user may find making one's way through all the options somewhat challenging. Installing a “normal mode” and a “power user mode” and/or clever default settings may be worth considering, as this would make things a whole lot easier for users who are simply looking to track their earnings and expenses. As mentioned previously, my guess is that power users will get a massive kick out of this app’s functionality and will enjoy using it to help manage their projects, etc. The widget and shortcut on the homescreen can be useful, but, again, I urge users to treat these with caution due to some security glitches (widget displays amounts and accounts, even when using the PIN).
Screen & Controls
The design—a classic Android standard look
Aside from a few original icons for the different types of accounts Financisto stays true to the standard Android look, that is to say boring buttons and an uninspired black and white design. The reports provide a bit more colour, but you won’t be wowed by anything you see here. The same thing goes for diagrams and pop up windows.
Lots of settings versus intuition
Everyone will have their own opinion as far as this following point is concerned as a lot of options are a blessing to some and a curse to others. Financisto’s controls are only partially intuitive, which is largely due to the sheer number of available options. This really boils down to personal preferences, which makes casting judgment difficult. Power users will no doubt get a kick out of so many options, whereas recreational users may find them to be overwhelming.
Speed & Stability
Financisto ran speedily and without crashing. The widget, however, was relatively unstable in combination with the PIN. Amounts were displayed on the homescreen and in some cases I was able to access other accounts prior to having been asked to enter my PIN code. Users beware!
Financisto can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Market or the App Center.