Comprehensive money manager

Keep your finances on track with this comprehensive money manager.

Although users with a solid grasp of financial management basics will get the most from this freeware program, GnuCash proved to be a capable tool for personal and small business accounting.

This freeware program's interface is bland but functional, and presents itself in a way that will be familiar to users who do their banking online. Various holdings (anything from checking accounts, to CDs, stocks and any other form of investment) are listed in a tree along the left side. Selecting an entry displays further details in a larger pane. At the top of the screen are various commands for actions, reports and tools. We found it a simple process to view spending reports, reconcile checking accounts, and other tasks.

Despite the overall simplicity of using the program, the sheer number of terms and actions may require a dictionary for some people. Fortunately, GnuCash has an excellent tutorial that outlines not only the program, but also financial terminology as well. And novice users will appreciate the wizard that walks you through the setup process.

GnuCash is an ongoing project and this isn't the latest release, but the developers warn that the 2.3 series is not stable and is for testing only, so stick with this earlier version. If you're overwhelmed by the number of personal accounts you're trying to manage, or you're trying to keep your small business on track financially, GnuCash is freeware you should try.

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