Checkbook for iPad (with Sync) ($0.99) by iBear LLC turns your iPad into your new replacement checkbook.
Before people start complaining about no capabilities to download your accounts, that’s not the point of this app. The point of this app is to turn your iPad into a digital checkbook replacement, that does a whole lot more than your paper checkbook.
First, I would recommend that you set up your PIN, and you can do that with the little folder icon with the lock on it. This way your finances are protected when the app is launched. Then you can start adding your accounts. In portrait mode, you do that by tapping the Budget List, and then Edit. In landscape, the shelf is displayed already, so you just need to hit Edit.
Adding a new account requires a name, opening balance, currency, and a description. Then you can start adding new transactions from the ‘chalkboard’ on the right hand of the screen (in landscape mode). The green sticky note with a single list stands for single transactions. The blue sticky with two lists is for recurring. The yellow bar sticky contains bar graphs of transactions and the pink pie chart shows you pie charts of transactions.
When you enter a new transaction, you can have Expense, Income, or Money transfer. The categories in each of these have their own icon, so you can easily tell from the main screen what your transactions consisted of. You can choose from a specific account if you are viewing ‘All’ (if you got multiple accounts entered), and set the amount, date, description, and if it’s cleared or not. Don’t forget to hit the Save button.
Once you got a few transactions entered, the chalkboard will start looking a lot more like those old checkbooks that you used to balance. Expenses are shown in dark red and incomes are shown in green. An account balance is shown right next to the amount, so you can see everything at a glance.
If you have recurring payments, those are easy to set up. They’re just like the single transactions, but you can set it up to repeat every set day, week, month, or year.
Want a better visual for your expenses? Check out the bar graph and pie charts, which break down your incomes and expenses with great visuals. On the pie chart, you can touch each slice of the pie to see what each section represets. If you’re a visual person, then this will definitely help you see where your money is going in a better way than just a list of numbers.
The default time period for the transactions is set to an entire month, but you can change the amount of time to display all transactions by tapping on the dates in between the arrows.
What is great about this app though, is that it offers a way to export all of your data. Tap the folder with the iPhone and the outward arrow, and it will show the options. You can export as a CSV or HTML file, and over Wi-Fi or e-mail. This is great to see considering that there are some other finance apps out there that I’ve used that do not have an export option. There is a way to import data as well, through Wi-Fi, and is done as an ‘OFX import.’ Since I don’t have any data to import, I did not test this out.
If you have multiple iPads in the house, you can sync via Bluetooth with them. Since I only have one iPad in the house, I can’t really test this out, but it’s useful for those lucky people in fully iPad equipped homes!
If you need help at any time, just hit the folder with the ‘i’ on it. A Help Guide is displayed. If you want to find more apps from iBearSoft, tap that shiny green apple.
If you plan on manually taking care of your finances (a good thing, since a bank’s site may not be online sometimes, nudge nudge) on the iPad, then this app is great for the task.
I’m not sure what would be missing from the app, since you can add multiple accounts, view transactions for various time periods, add recurring and single transactions, view bar graphs and pie charts, and export and import.
In a nutshell, I can’t really find what’s missing from it. Flaws from other apps seem to be addressed here, which is great. Maybe if there was an iPhone app to go with this, that would make it complete, but the iPad is just a beautiful device to manage your finances with.
I’m amazed that this app is only a dollar – at this price, it’s a steal.