CountAbout Review 2023
Import Your Data From Mint or Quicken
Personal finance and budgeting software options have come a long way in the last decade. Security and technology advances make it safe and easy to link your financial accounts, so you can manage your personal finances from your desktop or on the go.
Cost - 8.5
Customer Service - 8.5
Ease of Use - 7
Tools & Resources - 8
Synchronization - 8.5
Accessibility - 8
Although it lacks the sophisticated planning tools that other apps provide, CountAbout can be a handy tool for budgeting and managing your current personal finances. A highlight: The app allows you to easily sync all of your personal finance accounts in one location.
Back in the day, Quicken was the be-all-end-all when it came to personal finance software. However, over the years, a number of new players have entered the game, bringing with them new functionalities and features, as well as the ability to manage your finances and budget on a mobile device.
One of these apps, CountAbout, allows users to seamlessly migrate from Quicken or Mint without losing any historical data. Then its personal finance software automatically syncs your old and new financial data from your desktop or any mobile device. The program allows you to easily keep track of spending, categorize transactions and create or manage budgets. Plus, it’s clean, intuitive and ad-free.
|Price||Min: $9.99, Max: $39.99, Term: year|
|Access||Web Based, iOS, Android|
|Credit Score Monitoring|
|Import QFX, QIF Files|
How Does CountAbout Work?
Logging into CountAbout takes you to the site’s main Transactions tab. This is where you will set up your account. It’s also the spot where you’ll add and categorize transactions (or flag them to deal with later).
Elsewhere on the site, you can create and edit budgets, run reports — such as to compare your spending against your budget — and manage recurring transactions, such as mortgage or rent payments.
Other useful CountAbout features include:
- Easy data imports from Quicken and Mint
- Customizeable financial reports for your taxes
- Download tens of thousands of transactions from thousands of banks and financial institutions
- Customize income and spending categories
- Set up recurring transactions
- Add images to transactions (like receipts)
- Send invoices for your small business
- Check your finances while on the go with CountAbout's Android or iOS app
Overall, CountAbout’s account registers provide an up-to-date picture of your financial status. That’s because CountAbout reflects all of the transactions you’ve entered or downloaded — not just those that have cleared the bank.
Don’t like CountAbout’s default spending categories? Maybe you don’t have a pet, so you don’t need a “pet grooming” category. Or maybe you’re a horse rider, so you want an “equestrian” category. CountAbout makes it easy to add, delete, rename or merge categories.
CountAbout also offers information-rich graphics that provide a quick visual sense of whether your spending in specific categories is keeping pace with what you’ve budgeted.
CountAbout supports the automatic downloading of transactions from thousands of financial institutions (Premium subscribers only). CountAbout also supports downloading of investment balances, such as 401(k) balances, but doesn’t support investment transaction imports.
Short for Financial Independence and Early Retirement, FIRE tools help you track how close you are to retirement.
CountAbout offers a FIRE widget that tracks your monthly expenses along with any potential passive income and plots them over time. So, for example, if you are mostly invested in stocks, it will show the potential amount you have versus your expenses so you will know when you are financially independent. You can also analyze your future finances by setting your retirement withdrawal rate and calculate your passive income potential from the size of your assets.
CountAbout Basic & Premium Pricing
You can choose either Premium ($39.99/year), which provides full access to all CountAbout functions, including free, automatic downloading of all your financial transactions (banking, credit card, mortgage, etc.), or Basic ($9.99/year), which includes all of the above except automatic downloading from financial institutions.
When you join, you will automatically be signed up for a free 45-day trial of CountAbout Premium. After your free trial, you will be given the opportunity to choose to subscribe to either the Premium or Basic service.
Note that it costs $60 per year extra if you want to create and send small business invoices. And it's another $10 add-on if you want to add images to transactions, like a picture of a receipt.
CountAbout uses a respected third-party service, MX, to connect subscribers to their financial institutions. Similar to the other online aggregation services, CountAbout does not store usernames, passwords, account numbers, phone numbers or addresses. Your encrypted email address is the only information CountAbout has that identifies you.
CountAbout supports a two-factor authentication login process, making it harder for hackers to access your information.
Pros & Cons
CountAbout's software is incredibly useful if you want a more user-friendly interface than Quicken or want to import your data from Mint. It's also highly customizeable and has excellent reporting features.
That said, some alternatives might be better options depending on your financial goals. Here's how CountAbout compares to Personal Capital and You Need A Budget, two other popular personal finance tools:
As for YNAB, it's an excellent alternative to CountAbout if you're trying to pay off debt. YNAB's philosophy is that every dollar should have a job; it could be to build your emergency fund, tackle credit card debt, or invest for the future. You get excellent budgeting tools with this mantra in mind, and it's one of our favorite budgeting apps.
There are a lot of other personal finance apps available to choose from. One huge advantage of CountAbout is you can import categories and transactions from your Quicken or Mint.com accounts — so you can pick up with CountAbout where you left off with these programs.
Another key distinction: CountAbout is a completely advertising-free experience. Of course, to make that possible, there is an annual subscription cost.
If you are looking for a paid competing product, YNAB offers similar functionality. If you are looking for investing guidance, Personal Capital‘s free service is another good option.
However, with any of these online services, nothing prevents you from using multiple services.
Finally, CountAbout places a high value on online security. The software does not track your usage so your data is completely private. Unlike Mint, they don’t collect — or sell — your personal information. The only data stored about you is your encrypted email address.
CountAbout’s mobile app syncs your data quickly and securely, so you can access your data on the go and easily categorize new transactions daily.
I really wanted to like Countabout. Really, I did. But about once a month it stops downloading transactions from my bank, credit cards and brokerage accounts. Back to contacting customer service. They have me send them a screen shot of what my bank account currently looks like. They review it and then “open a ticket” with MX, the firm they use to download your data. It takes a day. It’s fixed. Next month, same thing. Lather, rinse, repeat. And don’t show any frustration with their customer service reps via email because they have no problem biting back! I asked them why this keeps happening—-no response to that. I said I wasn’t hearing back from them and they said, “Sorry our response time is two days and I have responded to you”! Thanks! No “I apologize for the inconvenience”. And truth be told, they had actually started the response back to me the day before and I had not heard from them in a day. So, yeah, I was wondering what had happened. I am now a week out with no updates from banking, credit cards and brokerage balances. PS. They don’t use YODLEE any more. That’s been gone for months. They use MX.
Thanks for the review. What I would like to know is if there’s an option for Budget beyond the current month? That’s the really limiting aspect of mint as far as I’m concerned because I have a few months over the summer when my stipend is much more than the rest of the year.
So I’m looking for somwthinge to navigate between year, current month and future months. If that doesn’t do that, do you have other suggestions?
I didn’t get a feel for how the budgeting part worked in this. How does it compare to YNAB, Everydollar, Mint, Mvelopes? I love that it includes all the things Mint does and more, but I really need to get a feel for the budgeting side of things. YNAB sounds awesome, but since I can’t see my 401k and IRA info in there I have to go outside the app to look at that info – and – no bill pay (which I would like…but not required).
We’re new to budgeting, etc. and I’m desperately trying to find something that is integrated with my banks and credit cards, investment houses, is affordable to use, and is simple; not “I’m an experienced investor/accountant/financial planner” simple, but “normal/newbie people” simple. LOL
Mike: suggest that you use a budgeting app for just that – budgeting. Include only accounts that involve your major financial transactions – that typically excludes investment accounts. Use other apps top track your investments and leverage the budget app to help with your daily spending. When you try and use a “one size fits all” approach it typically does not work well.
I am not sure Ruth actually used the software. The user interface is AWFUL. The drop-down box used for categorization looks like a third grader did it. It’s way too small. The product doesn’t use the entire width of the screen and therefore feels scrunched up. I’ve been trying them all, so far YNAB is the leader
Can I print checks as I did from Quicken?
No you cannot print checks. Why would you want this when most banks offer services to send a check electronically?
Because it’s what I’ve always done. I didn’t want to have to change my way of doing things.
Okay, but checks are on the way out. I have a law office and I still only issue maybe 50-75 checks a year. For so few checks I can hand write them. Maybe if you have a business that needs to print and mail dozens of checks a week then check printing is important. The major shortfall with this CountAbout is it cannot handle investment transactions. I’m guessing if someone prints a lot of checks they have a successful business, some nice income and quite a few investments as well.
can I print checks as I did from quicken
Please advise if I can add new accounts with multi-currency in CountAbout.
Currently CountAbout only supports US currency.