What is a Financial Management System?
A financial management system is a software that companies can use to oversee their financial operations. These include the company’s income, expenses, and assets. The objective of using this software is to maximize profit and to ensure sustainability of finances in the company.
What makes a financial management system an effective one? The answer is simple. It should improve short and long-term business performance. This should be done in the following ways:
- Streamlining invoicing and bill collection
- Elimination of errors in accounting
- Minimization of redundancy in record-keeping
- Ensuring the compliance of the company with tax and accounting regulations
- Helping personnel quantify budget planning
- Offering flexibility and expansion to create space for growth in the company
Other significant features of an efficient financial system include:
- Transparency of all payments and receivables
- Amortizing prepaid expenses
- Depreciation of assets according to the accepted schedules
- Tracking liabilities
- Coordination between income statements, expense statements, and balance sheets
- Balancing between multiple accounts
- Ensuring data security
- Maintenance and updating of all records
- Maintenance of a complete audit trail
- Minimization of overall paperwork
What is CountAbout?
CountAbout is a convenient, easy-to-use online personal financial management application. It is easily accessible because there is no software to download. The application can work wherever there are internet services available. It is stable, secure and wholly private.
It is possible to control finances responsively and effectively through your phone or any other mobile device when using CountAbout. To keep it simple, CountAbout is a cloud-based online budgeting tool.
It is a low-cost option that provides synchronization between all accounts in one place. This enables users to keep better track of income, spending and retirement accounts. It helps users visualize where they are spending and categorizes transactions, which in turn helps them budget better.
If users are looking for a cloud-based alternative to Quicken, CloudAbout is an ideal option. It automatically ports over transaction categories, so no financial history will be lost.
CountAbout provides integration with Mint as well. It is one of the few budgeting tools that synchronizes with both Quicken as well as Mint.
Integrations with CountAbout
Quicken is an on-premise financial management system. It allows users to manage all their financial accounts and investments in one place. Quicken is optimized for only Mac and Windows users.
Quicken has a Portfolio X-Ray feature that provides an in-depth analysis of users’ portfolios. This is done in consideration with:
- Sector diversity
- Geographical distribution
- Financial instruments
Quicken also calculates credit scores. It also has a feature that provides alerts in case of identity theft.
Quicken makes it possible to track account balances and the household budget from anywhere by synchronizing data from the computer on to phones and tablets. Receipt storage is also an additional feature. One can track spending patterns with Quicken by using their built-in social security income optimizer.
Mint is a free online financial management system software from Intuit. It offers easy-to-use financial planning and tracking tools. The online application is available for mobile download on various platforms like Windows, Android, iPad, and iPhone.
It has a variety of tools such as budgeting, transaction tracking, categorization and bill reminders. It is an ideal app for users except for the account reconciliation feature. The application can also track your credit score.
The main features of Mint are:
- Budget expense categorization
- Financial goal setting
- Bill tracking
- Reports and trends
Who can Use CountAbout?
Due to the easily understandable interface, CountAbout is very popular among individuals. While it caters mainly to the singer user market, it is not limited to them. Startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, various agencies and other enterprises can avail their benefits as well.
Getting Started with CountAbout
Create an Account
Before you can use CountAbout, one needs to sign up and create an account first. Visit the website and click on the sign up button. Then, you can enter your email address and password and verify your account creation.
After the sign up process is complete, you will have to link a bank account to your CountAbout profile. A third-party provider, Yodlee, confirms the login credentials for your account.
You can also link your credit cards, investment accounts and loans to your CountAbout account. Your transaction history from the last hundred days can be uploaded as well.
It is easy to link all your account and bank details to CountAbout because it has partnered with over 12,500 financial institutions.
Import Data from Quicken or Mint
In case you have used either of these financial applications before, you can import your financial data from these applications into your CountAbout account. This should ideally be done before linking your bank account details to your CountAbout profile to avoid repetition of accounts or categories.
If CountAbout is your first financial management application, you can skip this step.
- Import from Mint
Click the Mint import button on the “My Account” tab on your screen. This step will send you an email with a link to your Mint account. From your Mint account, create an export file to send to your CountAbout account. This data can then be uploaded to your CountAbout profile. Once the data is uploaded, you will be required to set the correct beginning balance to showcase an accurate balance amount.
- Import from Quicken
The process of uploading the account data from Quicken is very similar to that of Mint. Go to the “My Account” tab on your CountAbout profile and select the Quicken import button. Again, an email will be sent with the link directing you to instructions on how to export your data from your Quicken account. Select the section titled “Export financial data to QIF file” and select all your accounts. After this is done, go back to your CountAbout account to finish the import.
How CountAbout Tracks Finances
After all your financial details have been uploaded onto your CountAbout account, you can begin exploring the features and start using the application.
Set Your Categories
Just like Quicken and Mint, CountAbout allows its user to set up different categories to track their finances. The options available are detailed and customizable. This is good for people who are really specific about tracking your income and expenses as well as assets and liabilities.
As an example, here are a few categories that you will find under the income section in your CountAbout:
- Interest Income
- Rental income
For your expenses, here are some of the available categories on CountAbout:
- Bills and Utilities
- Auto and Transport
- Personal Care
Within each category, you also have subcategories available for micromanaging all your expenses. There is also an “Uncategorized” category for expenses that do not fit into any of the available options.
Create Your Budget
When you start financial management, creating and execution of a budget are important factors. CountAbout lets you create a budget to manage your expenses. After the budget is created, you will have to add in your monetary transactions. This is where the categories you have selected come in handy. They help you keep track of the flow of your income and expenses on a monthly basis.
Since you have recorded your transaction history, you will have a better estimate of how much money you will spend in the year as well. This is helpful if you want to take a glance at your yearly budget. It will also help you in controlling your expenses in case you want to increase your savings.
There are four types of reports that you can create on CountAbout:
- Category report
- Account report
- Tag report
- Compound report
Category report lets you track your expenses in a particular category, whereas an account report tracks your incoming and outgoing flow of cash in a particular account that you have linked to your CountAbout. A tag report is concerned with the tags you assign for your expenses. A compound report is a cumulation of all three reports. You have to select a date range to run the compound report and you have the option to select which categories, accounts, and tags you want to create the report for. You can also compare the compound report with your budget to see how you are doing.
Tracking Recurring Transactions
CountAbout helps you keep track of recurring transactions as well. If you have recurring withdrawals, deposits, transfers, etc. you can record these and add details for each transaction. The details include dates, frequency, description of the transaction category, and so on.
Features of CountAbout
The key features of CountAbout include:
- Integration of Quicken and Mint into the financial application
- Over 12,000 financial institutions are associated with CountAbout making it easy to link various transactions and download them to your account
- Completely customizable income and expense categories and tags
- Invoicing facility provided for small businesses
- You can attach images and receipts to your CountAbout
- You can run balances, which includes uncleared transactions
- Easy management of recurring transactions
- Quick and easy budgeting
- CountAbout helps you create custom financial reports
- Quick view of financial activity
- Advertisement-free interface
- Easy user interface for both Android and iOS
- Multi-factor login protection
- Account reconciliation
- Graphs for income and expenditure
- Excellent customer service
Pricing Plans for CountAbout
There is a free 15 day trial available for CountAbout to see if the user can adapt to the application’s features and use them. If they want to continue, the basic plan is available for $9.99 for a year.
Basic Plan for CountAbout
The basic plan includes all the features of CountAbout except for automatic downloading of banking, credit card, and other financial transactions. You will have to enter the transactions manually.
Premium Plan for CountAbout
The premium plan provides all the features, including the automatic downloading of banking, credit card, and other financial transactions. The premium plan is the plan that is available to users when they download CountAbout and use the free trial. After the trial period is over, you will have the option to select either the basic or the premium plan.
The premium plan is available at $39.99 a year.
Pros and Cons of CountAbout
Pros of CountAbout
Compared to other financial management alternatives, CountAbout offers the following pros:
- Low-Cost: It is an affordable application compared to other extensive financial management applications
- Account Integration: CountAbout offers account integration for all your financial institutions, be it your credit card, savings account, investment account, loans, etc.
- Ad-free: There are no advertisements on CountAbout, unlike its alternative Mint. This ensures usage without any interruptions
- Mobile Application: Since it is a cloud-based software, CountAbout can be accessed from any device, be it Android or iOS
- Seamless Integration with Other Financial Applications: CountAbout is a budgeting tool that supports integration with other financial applications such as Mint and Quicken, making it easier to keep track of your finances
- Security: CountAbout is a very secure application because it has a two-factor login authentication protocol as well as a third party server for all the bank account linking security verification
- Reporting: The reports created by CountAbout are accurate, intuitive, easily generated and usually comprehensive in nature
- Customizable Data Editing: You can customize your tags, edit your categories and have a lot of freedom while creating and tracking your income and expenses
Cons of CountAbout
- Paid Application: A lot of users do not mind advertisements for their financial budgeting tool if it means the application is free. This is why, even though CountAbout is affordable, it can be a con
- No Bill Pay: You cannot pay your bills directly with CountAbout like you can with some other paid financial management applications
Top Reviews for CountAbout
Vastly superior to the execrable Quicken, which caused me to have to choose a new bank password every time I used it. CA is fast, simple, and all you need unless you have a complicated investment portfolio. It’s almost fun!
I was looking for finance software to use as treasurer of the parent-teacher association at my child’s school. CountAbout was perfect – it had all the register features and download capabilities that I was familiar with from desktop Quicken, but it has the advantage of being in the cloud so I can use it from any computer.
My search for a cloud-based alternative to Quicken is over! Very easy to transfer my Quicken data and customize my account. Thank you CountAbout!
Top Alternatives to CountAbout
Personal Capital is a free budgeting tool which is available on the web as well as Android and iOS. It provides features such as investment tracking and retirement planning. It also has a two-factor authorization process. It does not provide integration with other financial management systems, but it does have online synchronization. It also has customized categories, like CountAbout. The application is user-friendly, but there are no tax reporting or bill payment options.
Mint is a free online budgeting tool that is optimized for web, Android, iOS and SMS usage. It offers services like bill management, investment tracking, and credit score monitoring. It is a secure tool with two-factor authorization. Mint provides online synchronization as well. Since it is a free application, there are a lot of advertisements on the interface, but otherwise, it is fairly easy to use.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB is a paid online budgeting application that assists its users with budget planning and investment tracking. It is available for use at $6.99 a month. It also allows integration and import of QFX and QIF files as well as online integration. The user can create custom categories when using this application, but it does not have a two-factor authentication process.
Quicken is a financial management application that helps the user with budgeting, bill payment, investment tracking as well as retirement planning. Users with access to Macintosh, iOS, and Android can avail this tool’s services. It supports multiple currencies and can import QFX and QIF files.