A little more response from the developers?

dave's Avatar


12 Feb, 2011 06:17 AM

The current main website at http://moneydance.com/ has a help link that is broken - it resolves to http://help.infinitekind.com// (yes, two slashes at the end) that doesn't help any new users with MoneyDance!

Simple things like entering a paycheck require "workarounds" and a calculator to hand. There is no way of successfully setting up an account that will track the devaluation of an asset. There is no accurate way of looking forward to see how an account is doing and whether, based on the current budget, it is going to rise or fall!

This is a program that we paid $50 to use. Microsquishy's Money (2001 edition) had all this down to a fine art, including forecasting future balances based on current history (if I keep spending at this rate, will I make money or be in debt?), entering a paycheck and breaking out each separate area so if an amount were fat-fingered on entry it was easy to find. It even had tutorials on how to account for a major item purchase (car, house, boat, whatever) and that was 20 years ago!

What exactly is the dev team doing, if anything? I've had a registered copy for over a year now, but I will not recommend it to my friends, it is still too full of bugs, and badly lacking in features that everyday people need. The only thing that this program has going for it is the fact that it can be used on Windows, Linux or Mac (or anything that supports Java), but that is where the usefulness ends!

I've actually modified my shortcut to the program so that on opening, it also opens the local computer's default calculator as well! As I've said in another post, why buy a dog and bark yourself? I've seen suggestions closed since a "workaround" was provided, and suggestions that should be in the program are still being "looked at". The tracking system originally used has been removed, and suggestions are now based on how many replies a topic gets in these forums!

As I mentioned a few paragraphs back, there are basic features missing that need to be included if this project is going to progress. My suggestion is to start concentrating on the average person in the street, and what they need from such a program. If it needs a degree in accounting to figure it out, then there needs to be an interface/wizard/walkthrough for it. I suggested having a way of adjusting depreciation on an asset (a car), your staff response was to make it an investment account instead since the value of the investment could be edited. This is an example of a workaround! I take out a loan to buy a car, the car is an asset that offsets the loan. It is not an investment (such as shares) and it devalues over time which affects my net worth. The workaround does not achieve my goals!

I receive a paycheck every two weeks from my employer. It is broken down into 4 parts, being:
Gross Income
Pre-tax deductions
Post tax deductions
Those 4 parts are common to every paycheck I have received in the past 40 years. Why is there no interface for entering this very basic information into the program? I don't care that the devs are so independently wealthy that they no longer receive a paycheck from anyone, my friends are all on payroll and need this kind of help to manage their finances, but I remain silent about MD because I know it will confuse the hell out of them!

Need any more reasons as to why MD is not a market leader? If you guys are serious about what is, basically, a great product, then start working at the level of the person in the street and take care of this stuff. Do you really think Quicken started out as a major company, or Microsoft? How about Norton, Novell, Mcafee, and dozens more!

Don't let the great base you have go to waste, build on it! This has the makings of a great program, but it currently requires an accounting degree to use it. You can do so much more with it, just get the devs back from that Hawaiian island and put them to work! The alternative is that you will continue to lose customers as they become stressed out trying to understand the current clunky interface, and get fed up with looking up the undocumented workarounds on this site (that may or may not be linked correctly)

/em shuffles off back to his corner to spend 20 minutes entering a simple paycheck!


  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 12 Feb, 2011 02:21 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Dave,
    Have you looked into setting up a paycheck 'Reminder'? You will need to enter the repeating deductions (splits), but only once. You can set it to repeat every two weeks and you can set it to 'Auto-commit' if you wish.
    The Balance Predictor Extension can provide some forcasting. Also take a look at the Forcaster. http://code.google.com/p/moneydance-forecaster/
    HTH -Kevin N.

  2. 2 Posted by Angie Rauscher on 12 Feb, 2011 06:20 PM

    Angie Rauscher's Avatar


    Thanks for your input, it's important to us to hear these things from our users, even when it's not pleasant. I'll try to address your post point by point

    1) I can't recreate the "broken help link" issue. Could you please let me know what browser you're using?

    2) The Balance predictor and Forecaster extensions are fantastic at looking forward to account balances.

    3) Entering a paycheck doesn't require a workaround per se, but it does involve entering a split transaction. To do so, open the split and enter the gross income as "Deposit", and things like taxes, 401k contributions, etc as "Payments". This will get the appropriate amount into your account, as well as accurately tracking your other expenses. Kevin's correct that using a reminder greatly streamlines this process.

    4) It's possible to enter math expressions in any numerical data field in Moneydance and Moneydance will automatically calculate the result. This should remove your need for a separate calculator.

    5) The dev team is hard at work on our next preview build, and we are a small company. As a Moneydance user myself I do recognize the frustrations caused by bugs, and I look forward to the next build as much as you do. It's also possible you may not be using the most up-to-date build- have you installed the Moneydance Updater extension? The most recent build is Moneydance 2010r3 (751), available here.

    6) We closed the old tracking system because it was very difficult for users to access, and required a separate log-in to vote. We do feel that this integrated system is simpler for our users and more effective for our developers and support staff.

    7) You could certainly set up your car as an asset account and modify the value. To do so I would create an expense account called "Depreciation", and reduce the value of your asset as a "Decrease" to the value of that account. And for some assets it does make sense to track them as investments, especially if you want to track ROI upon resale, or if the value of the asset is likely to increase and decrease (such as with a house, stamps, or precious metals). We don't currently support and integrated depreciation feature because from what we hear from our users it's not a high-demand feature. Calculating depreciation can be a very complex task (MACRS vs ACRS, length of term, mid year vs mid month, and more), and it's not a trivial feature to implement. That said, if the demand is there we'll consider it.

    8) Our devs and support staff do all work for a living, and I use the reminder split strategy I outlined in #3 above to enter my paycheck. And most of us are based out of central Virginia- I only wish we were lounging in Hawaii!

    I hope the info I've provided is helpful, and we do appreciate hearing from our users. It's not always fun to hear criticism, but it does help us to create a better experience for our users. Do let me know if you have any questions about the info I've provided above,

    Angie Rauscher
    Moneydance Support

  3. 3 Posted by dave on 12 Mar, 2011 11:33 AM

    dave's Avatar

    @Kevin: I have and use a paycheck "reminder" but it is clunky at best. My paycheck is divided into 4 separate sections, as outlined above, and each section is subtotalled. The MD reminder doesn't have those subtotals, so finding a 1 cent error on the bottom line is a pain!

    @ Angie: my browser is currently Firefox 3.6.15 (upgraded a few times since I first reported this and the same error is still there.). I have javascript turned off, through the noscript plugin - I'm not paranoid, I just don't trust anyone that wants to download scripts onto my computer!

    Entering a paycheck, see my comments above. If my paycheck is broken out into 4 distinct sections, then why isn't my financial software able to do the same?

    I'm well aware of the inline math capabilities of MD. The problem comes with the paycheck situation above: I download a transaction from my bank for a pay credit of, say $1000.00 to my account. I open the splits to update them for this paycheck, and each change I make changes the bottom line. If I happen to hit the wrong key part way through, it writes the revised bottom line back into the register, replacing the bank downloaded figure with the error! Now I have to open up my bank account online to find the real amount that was deposited! and try to figure out where I fat-fingered it. Using the calculator, I can do this without changing the bottom line. Also, that "split" group is too inflexible - I have to add a deduction to it but with the splits I can only add this to the bottom - I want to put it in the place where it normally appears on the paycheck so can just run through them in order, not jump around! (Going to open this as a new ticket)

    I'm already using the updater, so hopefully my installation is already at the latest and greatest. Sorry to hear you can't get to Hawaii - never been there myself either! ;)

    Trying to be constructive about the criticism here - I'm still using MD, which says it works, I'd just like to see it work better! :))

  4. System closed this discussion on 31 Mar, 2015 03:33 PM.

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