I remember a time when balancing my checkbook meant sitting down at my computer late at night, trying to figure out if I'd double-counted a receipt or not. Now with CashFlow, anyone can keep a bank account balanced on the go.
The app itself is an accountant's dream. It offers little to no personality or style, just a few ledgers to input numbers and a screen where your bar graphs end up. There aren't even fancy icons for various functions. Instead, users will get very familiar with the button that looks like a square with an arrow trying to escape it and the "+" icon, nearly everything in CashFlow is achieved using these two otherwise unmemorable app mainstays.
Using CashFlow, despite the obvious hindrance of not knowing what exactly to click when you start up, is still very easy. Users add an asset to the app to begin the process. You can name the asset, and then select a category, whether it's cash, a bank account or a credit card.
From there, the rest of the app opens up. Users create an opening balance for the asset, and can then begin adding payments, deposits, transfers or adjustments to that asset. As you go along adding transactions, you're able to create names and categories that stick around for future use. Say you enter in a $30 bill from a lunch at Chili's. You'll have categorized the expense as food and the name as Chili's. Next week, if you go to the same entry, you'll notice both Chili's and food are available as choices for the name and category fields respectively.
CashFlow then takes the data entry you've tirelessly slaved over, and puts together some basic graphs. Users are able to look at weekly and monthly reports that break down how they've used their money via category. Unfortunately, you can't go one layer deeper and find out how it is you spent $300 on food last week without combing through your individual ledger, but the category charts are a decent start.
Users also have the option of backing up their data, and exporting data to CSV or OFX formats. The exports worked without a hiccup, and the ability to choose how much data to export was a nice bonus.
About the only place that CashFlow really tripped me up was its complete lack of style. While you quickly learn which of the app's options are where, it's difficult in the early going to remember where you need to tap to get where you need to be. Thus, CashFlow inspires as much needless tapping as any app I can remember. Better visual markers would make this package a bit tidier.
Otherwise, if you need a cheap option to help balance your budget on the go, CashFlow is as handy and simple as it gets. While it might be a no-frills app, it does exactly what it needs to quite well, and sometimes that's better than all the bells and whistles in the world.