Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bill Management App Adds Income Tracking

LittleFin Software has announced the release of Chronicle 3.4, an update to their best-selling home finance and bill paying application for Mac OS X. The app provides an easy, graphical means to enter and track finances. Features include: automatic bill paying reminders; long-term debt tracking; database of payments and receipts; graphs and reports which analyze trends and averages; and a sortable list of upcoming bills which can be paid on-line from within the app.

New in this version is the ability to track income and compare it to bill spending. The user can enter their monthly income in Chronicle, and Chronicle automatically calculates how much income remains based on bills paid. Chronicle also estimates how much money will likely be spent on bills for the rest of the month based on past history.

Not surprisingly, much of the unpleasantness of paying household bills is the confusion, disorder, and poor record keeping that makes the process stressful. Chronicle is designed to remove all the stumbling blocks, and even add style and automation to what was formerly considered a chore. The application setup process begins by entering all recurring and non-recurring bills. The Create a New Bill Window opens and allows the user to populate the following fields: Name (of bill); Next Due Date, Repeats (monthly, weekly, etc.), Bill Payment Information (on-line, phone, mail, automatic), Amount (optional), Notes, Reminders (set notification - payment interval), and Icon (optional collection of 40 different types of bills).

With all bills entered in this way, users can now employ the application. They now have at their disposable an easy-to-use overview of their household finances. Bills can be sorted, viewed graphically, etc. Any question that arises can be answered instantly from the Overview window, which displays both detailed and summary information.

Chronicle keeps track of the user's bills, and reminds them when each one is due using iCal - even when neither program is running. With the high cost of late payment fees, help from this feature just once will pay for the app. Paying off debt can be a daunting task, but Chronicle can help the user set goals, and then track progress, which bolsters motivation. The application remembers the user's payment history for each bill, and even organizes scanned or downloaded receipts by date, so they can quickly find and view them for reference or proof of payment.

Feature Highlights:
* Easy to learn and use application with powerful features
* Extensive use of graphics, icons, fields, and color to help organize data
* Provides automatic reminders through iCal whenever bills are due
* Organizes bills and receipts
* Provides reports on trends and averages
* Free updates for life
* Provides both overview and detailed view of any aspect of finances

In addition, Chronicle analyzes payments by month and year and displays the information graphically. It also averages payments so it is easier to budget for bills that fluctuate, like utilities or credit cards. Finally, the sortable overview screen displays at a glance when each bill is due. Colorful icons indicate when a bill is overdue, due soon, or due in the future. With a couple clicks, the user can log payments or make payments online.

Reminders are automatically added to iCal, so they appear on the user's iPhone automatically when synced. With MobileMe, bill reminders are pushed to the user's iPhone, or iPod touch instantly. Chronicle features three different professionally designed graphical themes. The recipient of a host of awards, including Apple Staff Pick, Chronicle has earned a loyal customer base with a well-designed product and "Free Upgrades for Life."

Pricing and Availability:
Chronicle 3.4 for Mac OS X is $20.95 (USD or equivalent in other currencies), and available now from LittleFin Software. Review copies are available upon request.

*thanks iclarified*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

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