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Financial Wizardry for SMB: Our Review of InDinero

Financial management for small businesses is changing rapidly, with multiple systems helping businesses manage accounts in ways never before possible. Many people are familiar with Mint.com: InDinero is the new kid on the block that is looking to do the same thing, but for for SMB. As is our obsession with all new pieces of online software, we took the time to review the ins and outs of the system that claims to be “the easiest way for businesses to track their finances.”

The Quick and Dirty Verdict

InDinero is a young but impressive piece of software for online finance management, and we are giving it a B, or 82/100 on our scale. It quickly pulls in your financial data from banks, credit cards, and investment accounts and manages it all nicely on the homepage dashboard. It does a great job of keeping track of your accounts, and monitoring profits and losses on a monthly basis. There are some pieces missing from its overall functionality and we wish its integrations would be more varied, but as a young product we are impressed and excited for where it can go. While InDinero doesn’t fill the void of a fully robust, easy-to-use, all in one accounting solution like Quickbooks Online or Xero, it does offer a nice option for personal and basic small business financial management. Not bad.

And now… the details.

Functionality = 23 points

Dashboard:  The goal of a “dashboard” is to present an overview of all the information and data that is present in the given system. To accomplish this, finance systems like InDinero need to provide the business with a snapshot of their outgoing and incoming expenses, monthly revenue figures, and performance verse budget on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. InDinero does a nice job of getting all this information on the dashboard, though the page could use a little bit of help: as a user, where am I looking? Where’s the important stuff? Business owners want to land on the dashboard and immediately get the crucial financial information: InDinero has all the valuable infromation there, it just needs to be presented a little more adeptly.

Trends: When business owners are looking at their financial data, probably the first thing they want to see are reports. Reports on Revenue, Spending, P&L Statements, Cash Balences (and more), are crucial to monitoring financial status in a business. InDinero cleanly displays all of these reports in their software: we’re impressed.

Transactions: Manage all incoming and outgoing transactions and payments here. Categorize payments to manage your budget (which you create). You can create invoices inside InDinero to track the money owed to you, and you can also link the system to Freshbooks and Harvest to manage your invoicing. If you categorize your transactions well, and setup a budget smartly, then InDinero can be a great tool to manage your finances on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Our issue here is that the transaction categorization can be fairly manual and not as intuitive as a user needs (Why is there no obvious categorization for withdrawing cash from ATMs?). We spend money on a lot of different things, and having to tediously categorize every transaction is frustrating.

Budgets: InDinero lets you set monthly budgets for yourself based on the categorization of your transactions. For example, you can budget for $100/month for software licenses, $200/month for company lunches, etc. At the end of each month (or during the month if you want to be anal about it), you can glance at your budget vs. transactions and see where you over or under-spent. The display is clean and it is obvious when you went over a budget (the numbers are in red). This page is very basic though, and we hope it becomes a little more robust as to support more complex business needs.

Accounts: It is really easy to add/remove financial accounts to your InDinero, which is great. There seem to be some limitations though (Why can’t we add an HSBC business account?) This might be on the bank side though.

Usability = 18 points

It is hard to knock InDinero’s user-interface; it is so simple that navigating around the system is fairly intuitive and seamless. Want to see an overview? Check out the Dashboard. Want to see your transactions? Go to the Transactions page. Interested as to how you are spending verse budget? Head over to the Budgets page. Need to add a new financial account? Click on Accounts.

A few nit-picky issues:
Why is the reporting page called “Trends” and not “Reports”? Call us picky — these charts and graphs do represent the financial trends of a business — but naming conventions are important. It should say “Reports.”
On the Trends page, you don’t realize right away that you can create graphs by Category and Merchants; you must first click on Revenue and/or Spending to see these options. This is our favorite part of the Trends page, the granular level at which you can produce reports; it would be great if it was easier for the user to navigate to/use.

Security = 20 points

InDinero has a fairly comprehensive Privacy Policy that includes information on their SSL security system that keeps your data safe. That’s a good thing, because a questionable security system on an online financial system would be a huge red flag.

Integrations = 4 points

Currently, InDinero only has native integrations with Freshbooks and Harvest invoicing systems. These are nice, as you can automatically import your invoices (“money owed”) from these systems into InDinero. We do wish they would expand their integrations however (*cough* Google Apps *cough*).

InDinero does not currently have an open API (BOO!), but they do have plans to release it in 2012, so stay tuned.

Price = 7

The Free plan is a nice way to get started, but it only offers 1 collaborator and 3 months of financial history. The next level up is “Upstart” for $19.99/month; this gives you 3 collaborators, unlimited financial history, and 500 transactions per month. For $29.99/month you get 5 collaborators, unlimited financial history, and 1,000 transactions per month at the “Small Business” tier. The highest level is “Enterprise” which gives you unlimited collaborators, financial history, and transactions.

At an average of about $6 per user per month, InDinero is fairly well priced. It is a little restrictive, however; what if you are a 4 person company that is a startup and only has a few transactions a month? You are forced to pay the Small Business fees? It is also weird to setup these tiers based on collaborators and transactions as very small teams can have a lot of transactions, and very large teams can have a few (high value) transactions. It just doesn’t seem to fit into the mold of most businesses.

Support = 10 points

InDinero has a fairly robust and active user forum as well as a Knowledge Base of frequently asked questions and best practices. You can give feedback to Support on the software and also submit support tickets to the InDinero team (we received an email back in 3 hours when we tested their response time).

InDinero seems to listen to its user feedback and has created a nice forum for customers to share experiences, offer insights, and exchange ideas on best practices. We love forums and are ecstatic that InDinero has such a great one.

Conclusions

We like InDinero and are excited to see where it heads. It’s probably worth checking out, though we’d be cautious about recommending it to clients. Hopefully with a few smart integrations and small changes, that’ll change.

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More Stories By Chris Bliss

Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.