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Review: Ascendo Money for BlackBerry v2.57

By Ryan Blundell on 19 Feb 2008 10:24 am EST
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Ascendo Money Review

We’re in the money!

Let’s face it, Cash is King (or Queen). If you don’t manage it carefully, you may find yourself in a sticky situation. A business lunch here, a tank of gas there, it all adds up. When you get your monthly statement, you may be surprised how much your morning commute through the drive thru may cost you. Instead of keeping printed bank statements, cheque books or scraps of paper in your pocket, let Ascendo Money help you maintain your monetary mastery.

I’m back with a review of another must have product from Ascendo. Ascendo Money is an excellent financial tracking tool, which will keep up with your transactions, from financial investments to your latest shopping spree. If you adopt Ascendo Money into your daily routine, the $29.95 purchase price (free trial available) is a small price to pay for the convenience it adds.

Ascendo Money is part of the “Ascendo Wallet Suite”, which also includes Ascendo Data Vault, Ascendo iJuggle and the previously reviewed Ascendo Photos.

You can use Ascendo Money on your BlackBerry alone or sync it with the Desktop software. Either way, you know you’ll have a better handle of your finances with Ascendo Money.

Money Talks
Once downloaded, Ascendo Money is accessed by its welcoming logo displaying a stack of gold bricks. If only they were real…

You are welcomed by a blank “Account” screen that is ready to organize your life. Get started by adding accounts, whether personal or business related. Choose a name for the account, currency and starting balance. For further creativity, you can choose from 100 icons to display next to your account’s name. No account or credit card numbers are required. Couple this with a password option and your privacy will be maintained.

There are 12 skins to choose from to personalize the interface. The default skin you are exposed to is Gold. I’m sensing a pattern here…

List of Accounts
Choose what you want to manage

Create orr Edit Account
Customize your accounts

Now you are ready to monitor your money. Open the account you want to work with. When adding a withdrawal or deposit, you are presented with a few options. Choose a name for the transaction, the amount in question, the type (deposit or withdrawal), paid or unpaid and a category to attach the transaction to. You can consolidate expenses by creating categories for multiple accounts. A checkmark will appear next to the paid items. You have the option to set “rules” for recurring transactions. That way you don’t have to worry about manually entering rent/mortgage, car payments and such every month, Ascendo will take it into account for you. This option lets you select from daily, weekly, monthly, every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks or yearly.

Money account history
Detailed lists of your transactions

Add transaction
Adding withdrawals or deposits

Create Rule
Easily manage recurring transactions!

As the entries increase, a running total will appear at the bottom. Filters can be set to the accounts so the transaction can be listed by amount, date, status or type (further filtered by ascending or descending options). The filters are an excellent touch, as some may want to only view a certain aspect of the account, such as withdrawals.

in-account options
It’s your money, choose how you want to see it

The accounting dept wants a report of your expenses? No Problem! You can email the account in question off as a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file. These files are widely used in programs, including Excel and File Maker. The only downside to this option is that there’s no field to write notes to send off with the account, though this can be argued that the notes should be entered with each transaction. 

Email Account
Send off account information in a snap

Ascendo Money Desktop is a great partner if you want to take it further and sync your
BlackBerry to your PC. One big benefit is the option to Export and/or Import data in QIF (Quicken Interchange Format) files. This type is most commonly used by most financial software accounts, transactions, categories and such. In my opinion, the main bonus the ability to archive all of your data on your PC and not take up all of your BBs memory

Conclusion
Ascendo Money is a powerful tool to have on your BlackBerry. You may find yourself finding ways to save money or at least having a valid excuse for spending so much. Its design is intuitive and elegant, mirroring the value you’ll find in Ascendo Money. You can take that to the bank!

Pros

  • Intelligent design and interface
  • Email your accounts is CSV format
  • Sync with desktop software
  • Create categories and filters to get the information you want
  • Password protection

Cons

  • Cannot add notes to email
Download
16 comments

daole

I have to say that this software is very disappointing. I have used Splashmoney from Splashdata for Palm OS for a long time and had to switch to Ascendo Money when I got my Blackberry Curve last month. The program doesn't do half of what Splashmoney does. Here are a few items that it doesn't do:

1. No semi-monthly scheduled transactions option.
2. No upcoming transaction list so that a person can manage cashflows.
3. No automatic fill-in for frequent transactions. You have to type out all information each time.
4. Cannot generate reports so that you can see how much is being spent on items. You have to export the data into Excel to generate reports.

I could go on but you get the point.

I have now deleted the program from my Curve and uninstalled the desktop software as well. It was a waste of $29.95. Splashdata is in the process of porting the Palm OS Splashmoney over to BB. I am patiently waiting for this release.

damerly

so in the meantime, you're basically saying this is the best option we have for the BlackBerry?

hopefully asendo is reading this... they better release a new version with the updates you mentioned. sounds like competition is a Coming!

most of the BB software i've bought before allows you to upgrade to newer versions for free unless its major updates. wonder if ascendo would do the same on this app. i might give it a go anyways in hopes that they will. looks like it does most of the things i need it to

daole

Yes unfortunately, Asecendo Money is the best money program that I could find for Blackberry. While I patiently wait for Splashmoney to be released, I am using the desktop only version of Splashmoney. Once the BB version is released, the data from my desktop version will sync with the BB.

dlgus

Well, maybe it's because I don't need to manage my many millions, but I am using a program called Money Manager.....it's extremely simple, and fills my needs at the moment. It comes from a company called 8mobile.org. I don't remember how much I paid for it, but I am certain it wasn't 30 bucks,and for an even simpler one, there is a program called simple budget that just lets you put in the amount of money you have and then subtract what you've spent.

jimmers

Have you received some sort of confirmation that Splash is developing a BB version of SplashMoney? I've emailed them several times asking them if they had any plans to do so but I they never respond to me.

I really hope that you are correct on this because I too have been unable to find a good financial software for the BB since leaving the WM5 world behind. I used to use a program called KeepTrack for WM5 and it was an excellent program--very similar to SplashMoney. I currently am using a very simple program on the BB--Mobile Checkbook. It's not very sophisticated but it is easy to use and does the basic functions that are most important. Afterall it was under $10.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that SplashData releases a BB version of SplashMoney very soon!

daole

I received an email from Splashdata on February 3rd saying that they are in the process of porting over Splashmoney for BB and it will be released "soon". Don't know what "soon" means though.

Grim_Deeds

I recently switched from Palm to a BB Curve and miss the convenience of SplashMoney. After checking out several money apps on the BB I decided Ascendo Money to be the best alternative, but it's still a weak substitute for SplashMoney. I'm glad to find SplashData is making it available on the BB platform.

MarcAscendo

Marc from Ascendo here.

Reading these comments is a bit tough on the moral but we agree that Money is in need of a refresh and I have made a note of your suggestions. I can't commit to a date but we have started developing Ascendo Money Version 3 and we will do our best to include these features.

If you have other suggestions, please email me info[AT]ascendo-inc.com

Best,
Marc
Ascendo

Dan Sump

Mark, Something else that pulls me to a particular Money app is the ease of import and export for Microsoft Money and Quicken. I too am a Palm user and BB user and I love the sync feature of the handheld app with the native money or quicken software. This keeps one from having to inport and export all the time. I use Ultrasoft Money on the palm and they have no plans in the future to come to the BB side. Maybe get with them and discuss the possibility of adding some of their features.

bushtick

I have never used Splashmoney but I have used Ascendo Money since a very early version 1, which has got to be a few years now. I use it to run my current account, a credit card account and pocket money accounts for my six kids.

I also run another Ascendo product - Datavault - on my Blackberry and shortly after buying it a few years ago, provided some feedback on what I thought they could do to improve. Having just installed version 4 of Datavault I can see that they have implemented everything I suggested (e.g. desktop versions, masking sensitive data, adding more backup options etc), plus a whole lot of extras I hadn't thought of. I even had emails from their CEO to discuss my suggestions.

The point I'm trying to make is that when they ask for feedback, they really do take notice. Moreover, they are not in the game of stuffing their products with features that either don't work or are over-engineered. With Money and Datavault I've been up and running within minutes with no need to refer to the user manual. The old adage of K.I.S.S. holds good for software and I should know, since I write specifications for e-commerce sites for a living.

I guess it's a matter of expectations and what you want the product to do right now. If, like me, you use a Blackberry to record data on the hoof and use your desktop to analyse it all later, then Ascendo Money fits the bill perfectly. If, like some who have commented, you are looking for something all-singing and all-dancing, then maybe you should wait for the BB version of Splashmoney - but to say Ascendo's product is rubbish or a waste of money is a little unfair. Before buying any BB software I always test-drive at least 4 or 5 different offerings and I can honestly say that in both cases, the Ascendo products were and still are the best on offer. I see that one of the comments on this thread is from Ascendo, so they ARE taking note of what potential users would like and I look forward to seeing those features in version 3.

By the way, I don't have shares in Ascendo, I just like think their products rock.

Grim_Deeds

I don't see anyone calling Acendo Money "rubbish" or a "waste of money." It's especially true for me since I purchased both Ascendo Money AND Ascendo Datavault. I believe most, if not all, of the people posting here would like to see the program succeed since competition usually delivers a better product.

These comments are excellent for Marc to read and it seems from his post he appreciates the input since we're all after the same thing... a better version of Ascendo Money. And, I'm sure he's purchased and using SplashMoney for Palm and its desktop companion to see what all the comments are about. I'll take him up on his offer to share comments and suggest everyone else consider doing the same.

Another useful section at my favorite BB site... CrackBerry!

PierreC

I received Ascendo DataVault ver. 4.36 through a special promotion. I did run into a problem which the Ascendo support was very helpful althought haven't had much time to really use it.

I downloaded the trial version of Ascendo Photo a bit disappointed especially only having the trial lasting only a week which is not much time to really evaluate the program.

I have read some of the reviews regarding Ascendo Money both pros and cons and have been thinking of downloading the trial version. If the trial version is only good for a week then forget it. In the majority of cases, any trial version of any application that I have ever downloaded was good for a minimum of 30days. So, how long is the trial for Ascendo Money???

DeltaGirl93

I purchased Ascendo Money because I needed something to manage my finances on my blackberry. Like some of the others, I am moving over from Palm. I used UltraSoft Money on the Palm Platform which provided direct synchronization to Microsoft Money, had auto-fill capabilities for frequently entered transactions, reporting and so on.

Ascendo lacks all of the above. Unfortunately, even with the lack of features, I have to continue to use Ascendo because its the only decent finance management software available for blackberry. I just saw where Splashdata has a beta version of their SplashMoney Suite available. I'm going to download this, even in its beta stage, in hopes of getting a program with the features I need.

I would be happy if Ascendo at least had auto-fill capability for now. It's ridiculous to have to retype item and category names in full each time. I guess I've been spoiled by the quality programs available on the Palm platform. I only switched to blackberry because of my job and its lock down on email through the BES server. I would still be with Palm if it weren't for this issue.

In any case, you guys better kick butt with version 3 and fast or Splashdata will crush you in this vertical.

zarzamora_hermosa

I know this review is outdated for this article, BUT it appears that you have not genuinely familiarized yourself with this program. Features like Auto-fill and CPU synchronization are available from Ascendo. I heavily rely on both myself.

Congratulations on the switch to BlackBerry.

pretty pissed!

As I've read on this site many of us Palm users that have switched devices or phones have found our only option is this frustrating crap program. My most frustrating is that it simply doesn't give accurate account balances! I mean isn't that the point of these programs in the first place, right!?! I used pocketquiken on my palm which worked flawlessly from day one thru 4 palm device switches!!! This thing has never worked right!!! I have my checking and savings accounts are connected at my bank so if my checking runs low on funds my bank will transfer funds to prevent overdrafts. I then will transfer the money back into my savings on payday and note it in ascendo. Sounds simple huh. Welllllll, Ascendo will sometimes not allow the input of the correct amount(usually off by a penny) it also inputs the wrong date!!! Oh get this, it shows inputed amounts in each transaction but the balance is off by $100!?! I can't get the stupid thing corrected. I'm hoping this other program mentioned here is better. I guess it's just $30 flushed downed the toilet.

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