Mac Gems: Koku is a solid personal-finance app

15.11.2012, von Jeffery Battersby

I'm a big fan of simple personal-finance applications--the kind you can use to quickly collect your purchase and deposit information and then easily reconcile that information with your bank account when it's convenient. FadingRed's $30 , available for both Mac and iOS, hits almost all those marks, making it easy to track your financial information at your desk or on the go, as well as to get a summary of your current financial status. It falls short only when it comes time to reconcile your debits and credits at the end of the month.

Koku for Mac has a simple interface. The app's left side, called the Library, displays a list of your accounts, a collection of pre-defined and user-created reports, Smart Lists of transactions, and folders for organizing your report data.

Koku supports 4 different types of accounts: Savings, Checking, Credit, and Cash. Each of these is set up using the Library menu or the plus-sign (+) button at the bottom of the Library window. Once you select the type of account you want to create, you choose how you want to enter your transaction data into Koku. The default option is to enter each transaction manually, either one transaction at a time or by importing your transaction data from files downloaded from your bank. The second option is to configure Koku to connect directly to your bank's website and download that data automatically.

However you choose to enter your transaction data, I found that both options work well, although the direct-connect feature has a limited selection of supported banks. Most of the big name banks are here, including Wells Fargo, Citizens, Chase, and PNC, but the list is short. My family does our banking at three different banks, and only one is available for direct connect in Koku. Once configured, transaction files download without a hitch. One important note: For the bank I was able to successfully connect to, Koku could download only our checking and savings data, not our mortgage information.

For those banks that you can't use the direct-connect option, you can instead download your banking transactions from your bank's website and then import that data. Koku supports four types of files, most of which are available from most banking sites: QFX, OFX, QIF, and OFC. In my testing, I was able to import these types of transaction-data files with ease.

Koku uses tags to categorize your transactions. Tags are similar to the categories you may have used in Quicken, but they're far more flexible, and like Quicken's old categories, your transactions can have more than one tag. Koku also uses tags for generating reports and pie charts.