Financial planning software is available in a range of options and complexities that can prove daunting for the first time buyer. Although your IT support team is able to assist in setting up the software that choice will still be yours when it comes to deciding the features and benefits that will suit your circumstances best.
Some software will only offer rudimentary capacity to track expenses and income, whereas more sophisticated software will give you the option of tracking your investments and measuring the performance of your portfolio.
Whilst you may not wish to track economic data that will affect the performance of your portfolio you will probably want to maintain a good overview of your financial position so choosing the correct software is vitally important in this regard.
Here are a few tips you can follow when choosing financial planning software.
- Talk to your financial planner who will be able to point you in the right direction. Usability is a key factor here and getting professional advice about the ease with which some software packages operate will make your decision much easier. Write yourself a checklist of options that you regard as essential, like balancing your cheque-book, tracking income from various sources and analysing cash flow.
- Make sure the software is compatible with your level of knowledge and does not include confusing features that you will never use.
- Do some research online about the particular software you’re looking for and try to find reviews from existing owners. Many forums will be helpful in guiding you in this respect and you can even ask questions about matters that concern you. You’ll be surprised at how many helpful answers you will receive when you participate in these forums.
- Most software vendor is these days offer free demonstration downloads so you can test it out for yourself. These are usually time-limited, so they will cease to operate after 30 days also giving you enough time to evaluate the package completely.
- Check with your friends and relatives to see whether they are using any software and ask their opinion. When it comes to sophisticated software getting some inside information from existing users is invaluable information.
- Retail magazines are also helpful source in evaluating software and expert reviews from a reputable source can make the difference. Some will offer helpful information such as price comparisons and features and benefits in easy to understand lists and tables.
Sometimes, you can rely upon your IT support services for some inside information especially where they have been involved with managing similar software.
Make sure that the vendor or has a solid reputation and issues regular upgrades free of charge so that you can keep pace with modern developments.
If you are monitoring your investments, you may need to use several pieces of software which make it easier to separate the various modules which are important to you.