Learning to use finance-management software tends to be as much of a task as sorting out your money without them. That’s where Busimate hopes to step in, by providing a plain-English financial-management package.
The software has been under development for several years as the maker wanted to wait until it made the interface easy enough for even the most financially challenged user to understand.
Busimate has extensive future financial planning tools that let users add a range of variables to see how they will affect their finances. For example, if you get a new job but travel costs will go up, will the increase in salary actually make you better off?
It also includes a Contact Web feature, which is handy for anyone who works with suppliers and customers: it organizes contacts’ details into a map that shows their relationship with the user – for example, those who owe money, and those to whom money is owed.
To help you keep on top of cash flow, you can add transactions (either regular or one-offs), check when they are due, and create alarms for when your account balance has risen above or fallen below a certain amount. All of this is achieved by following simple instructions.
The interface has been trimmed down to the minimum, but this gives the software an old-fashioned feel. You have to click directly on each button to navigate, as none of the headings are clickable, which is hard to get used to. The Busimate screen also takes up the entire desktop, obscuring the Dock and all other applications, which we didn’t like.
There are three versions of Busimate: Personal, Standard – which we reviewed – and Plus. The market for Personal is self-explanatory. Standard is aimed small businesses that have little paper-based interaction with their customers (plumbers or builders, for example). Plus includes multiple currency support and integrated customer and supplier communications.
The developer issues a temporary code that can be passed on with the disc to allow others to trial the software. If they go on to buy using this code, the original purchaser will get a cash reward worth up to £15.
Busimate is cheaper than its more-popular rival MYOB, but this is perhaps evident in the less-polished interface. That said, its simple approach is to be admired – it makes handling finances as easy as is possible for someone with no accountancy skills.