CountAbout Review: My Experience Using CountAbout Finance App
CountAbout is a budgeting internet-based app that syncs with your bank accounts and helps you create a financial plan that works for you. The sign-up process is quick and simple, and you can also sync your Mint and Quicken accounts.
- Simple budgetting
- Low-cost budgeting
- Customer support
Check out CountAbout, the web-based personal financing app that makes finances and budgeting something that even you can do in your sleep.
Customizable, easy to use, and about half the price of other personal financing apps, CountAbout gives you all the right reasons to switch over to its software.
Keeping track of finances can be a confusing task for anyone, and CountAbout is a great tool to help.
I gave CountAbout a test drive to`see if it really did half of what it claimed to.
Here’s what I found.
How does CountAbout work?
It’s a simple, internet-based app
To give you an accurate picture of this brand and its product, I went through the entire software, from signup through implementation. The beauty of CountAbout is that it really is as simple as it claims to be.
There are no downloads to worry about. There’s nothing to install, connect, or configure. You can use CountAbout anywhere there’s an internet connection, and it’s totally secure and private 24/7.
I signed up for the free account (took about five seconds) and was given access to all of the features, just like CountAbout said I would be. So far, so good.
You can import files from your banks and investments
So, what exactly does CountAbout do?
Simply put, the software allows you to import files from your bank and other financial institutions, so you can carefully craft a cohesive budget for your personal or business use.
Whether you are trying to run a business or learning to save money for smarter financing, this is a pretty handy tool to have in your belt.
Connect to a large number of financial institutions
CountAbout connects to a broad spectrum of over 12,500 financial institutions to keep every one of your financial records synced at all times.
That includes banks, credit cards, brokerages, accounting software (like Quicken and Mint), and more.
And since it’s all web-based, you never have to worry about outages, information getting lost, or other common issues that arise from more connected solutions.
How much does CountAbout cost?
Basic plan vs. premium
Now that you know what CountAbout is all about, the next most important question is how much is it going to cost you. There are two plans to choose from:
|Basic Plan||Premium Plan
|Features||Full features set||Full features set plus automatic data syncing
For a small additional fee, CountAbout offers two add-on features: Invoicing (handy for small businesses) and attachments (if you like to keep photos of receipts and so on).
You’ll notice when doing quick comparison shopping that CountAbout’s Basic plan is much cheaper than most of its competition. Even still, you might want to consider the Premium plan, because it is still on par price-wise with other brands, and it offers a tremendous amount of convenience by automatically updating your accounts.
Both the Basic and Premium plans offer precisely the same features, from budgeting to reporting and tagging. The only real difference is that with the Basic plan, you’ll have to manually update your accounts, entering your transactions on your own, whereas CountAbout’s Premium option does it all for you.
CountAbout offers a 15-day free trial. While this is pretty standard for apps in this space, CountAbout’s free trial doesn’t require you to hand over your credit card information or any other personal details beforehand.
Instead, you are signed up for the Premium plan for 15 days, free of charge. At the end of the free trial, if you want to subscribe for either the Basic or Premium plan, you’ll be asked for your credit card information and to submit an application form.
CountAbout offers a genuinely personalized experience. I was able to customize virtually every field, function, and report option I could hope for.
Every income and spending tag or category is customizable, so I ended up with exactly what I wanted at the end of the day. I could also add, delete, or rename tags as I liked.
Import from Quicken or Mint.com
Another important feature was the ability to import from some of the most commonly used accounting software, Quicken and Mint. Having access to these programs will cut down hours of tedious work for you if you’re used to using one of those platforms.
CountAbout will automatically sync all of your transactions, once again saving you hours of monotonous data entry. It’s worth noting again that this feature is only made available with the Premium plan.
iOS or Android apps
Let’s not forget about the convenience of going mobile. CountAbout has a mobile-friendly app that is usable on either iOS or Android-compatible devices, so you are covered no matter what smartphone you use.
The app doesn’t have full functionality. For example, you can’t set up budgets or create reports, but there’s still a lot you can do including approving transactions, as well as add or categorize those transactions. For all other functions, you can access the regular software via your mobile web browser.
Another useful feature available with this software is the ability to schedule your payments as part of your budget.
This means you can incorporate various payments into your budget including recurring payments, track your remaining budget, and track the outgoing payments.
You can even generate a copy of the budget for future months. Being able to schedule your finances is the best way to keep tabs on what’s going out and coming in.
Of course, the other way to keep tabs on what’s going on with your finances is to look at accurate and detailed reports of all account activity.
CountAbout does this like a boss. You can get loads of different reporting options including reporting for account balances, category activity, compounds, tag activities, and more.
All of it is customizable, so you can select which fields you want in your reports, filtering out unnecessary information. You can also create reports based on set dates for more specific information tracking. Last but not least, you can export your reports to share with others or review later.
Finally, CountAbout has outstanding customer support. Not being much of a match whiz, these things often get the best of me, and I’m usually left sitting in a puddle on the floor with a piece of tech in one hand, a user’s manual in the other, and a dazed and confused look on my face.
With CountAbout, that never happened. Partially, because it was so easy to use in the first place, and partially because when I did run into a question (refer to the embarrassing Mint.com import debacle mentioned above), the customer support staff was there, ready to help.
What’s interesting is that you cannot contact support via telephone, only email. Once you’ve reached out via email, a representative can connect with you via telephone, if need be. The support staff was fast to respond, easy to talk to, and very helpful.
A recently-added invoicing add-on is an invaluable tool for small businesses that want to look more professional by generating an invoice for their customers. Invoicing allows you to create, send, and track as many invoices as you’d like.
Another new face on the features scene, the attachments add-on allows you to attach an image to your transactions, making them easier to identify, label, and find.
This add-on also lets you attach a receipt to your transaction for easier, faster, and clearer billing and records.
CountAbout also offers a FIRE (financial independence, early retirement) widget that can help you track your early retirement goals and timeline. You can customize your widget with whichever spending categories and assets that you’d like.
From there, CountAbout will create a plot chart that tracks your monthly expenses and your passive income potential.
My experience using CountAbout
My experience using CountAbout was awesome. I’ve rarely been able to sit down with software and get it to work so quickly and easily as I did with CountAbout. I signed up, and within five minutes, my entire accounting details were up to date.
There are few things I hate more than dealing with numbers. So an app that will take that headache away is clutch. But a finance app that does it as effortlessly as CountAbout does is golden.
To begin with, a helpful pop up appeared asking me if I wanted to import data from Quicken or Mint and offering instructions on how to do this. There were several other tutorial-like pop-ups that helped navigate me through the initial stages of setting up my CountAbout account.
By the way, CountAbout has a ton, and I mean a TON, of helpful guidance for newbies and tech morons like me. There are tutorials, videos, and a full knowledge base for you to meander through for help.
As I started to dig deeper, I was impressed with the intuitive design and layout of the app. All of the features are readily understandable at a glance and the software installs instantly and without any setup headache. I logged a few entries just to see if I could do it, and I was impressed by how easily I was able to create, edit, and generate reports. For someone like me who really doesn’t know their way around finances, that’s a big boast and says a lot about CountAbout’s usability.
I’m happy also to see that CountAbout has new features already in the making, and more add-ons are promised to come soon. In short, I was pleasantly surprised to find a personal finance software that actually made sense to a number-challenged user like me. CountAbout certainly earned the two thumbs up I’m giving it in this review.
Who is CountAbout best for?
CountAbout is a great finance tool for sole proprietors, since it has features particularly geared towards them. Very small businesses and individuals looking to keep tabs on their finances, balance their books, or possibly start a savings account will also benefit from this app (though there isn’t any goal tracking, bear in mind).
Who is CountAbout not for?
I’d say the only people who won’t like CountAbout are folks who are looking for tons of extra features. CountAbout is still getting its feet on the ground, and while more features are to come, it won’t have as many features as apps like Mint and Personal Capital, who have been around for ages.
Pros & Cons Summary
- Free trial — A lot of companies offer free trials, but CountAbout is true to its word when it calls this trial free. You don’t even have to put in your credit card or any payment information. Just give it a try.
- Competitive pricing — CountAbout’s basic plan is the cheapest thing around. But even it’s premium plan is competitive compared to others of its ilk.
- Multiple accounts — You can link to thousands of bank accounts.
- Ease of use — The entire user experience is great with CountAbout. The dashboard is clean, categorization is intuitive, and actions are clearly marked and easy to follow.
- Automatic transaction downloading — This is the best feature. It will automatically download transactions from tens of thousands of financial institutions for you to keep your records in sync. With the premium plan, records are automatically updated too.
- Can’t make payments via the software — Some finance apps allow you to make payments directly through the app (since your accounts are synced anyway). CountAbout doesn’t have that feature.
- No goal tracking tools — If you’re looking to make a goal-based savings plan, this isn’t the app for you.
- No investment tracking — Currently, there’s no way to track your investments unless you have a premium plan. But the feature is in beta testing. So this might be out for everyone soon.
How CountAbout stacks up against the competition
CountAbout YNAB Pocketsmith
Pricing From $9.99/annually
From free-$19.95 per month
Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes
Investment tracking Yes Yes No
Yes No No
Free trial True 15-day trial
True 34-day trial
None (free account)
Mobile payment Yes No Yes
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is another handy finance tool that helps you create a realistic budget for yourself and save money. It’s available as a mobile app and user-friendly platform.
This budgeting tool uses the envelope budgeting method or zero-based budgeting. This is based on the principle of giving every dollar a “job.” Essentially, you link your bank account and spend your paycheck until you get to zero, starting with your high-priority expenses like house payments and debt and going down the line until you get to spending categories or “envelopes” for the things you want but don’t need.
YNAB also helps you build different savings goals into your budgeting strategy. You can create a Target and contribute to it each month to help pay for emergencies and expenses you can’t predict, big purchases, and other short-term goals. This makes putting away money over time much easier to do. YNAB is ideal for people who want to get out of debt or who have had trouble sticking with a budget before.
This app can be overwhelming to use at first and it’s more expensive than CountAbout and other apps.
YNAB costs $14.99 a month or $98.99 a year for access to all features, but you can try it free for 34 days.
Pocketsmith is a lot more organized of the two competitors here. It offers some great features, too, including easy transaction organization with synced accounts from over 12,000 banks and financial institutions, budget and spending tools, and unlimited accounts (with the Premium plan).
PocketSmith offers a few options for plans – their Basic Plan is free and is meant for the casual budgeter. The next plan is Premium and starts at $9.95 per month but Money Under 30 readers get 50% off a monthly Premium subscription for the first two months. The last Pocketsmith plan is Super and starts at $19.95 per month. While I appreciate that there is a freemium (Basic) plan – it is limited, and won’t get you very far if you are serious about budgeting and watching your finances in earnest.
Pocketsmith is missing some important features. There’s no bill payment option, something that makes your life easier in general. And Pocketsmith is missing the investment tracking tool. Interestingly enough, the app doesn’t have a transaction reconciliation feature either. And that’s a big one for most people looking to work over their finances.
My experience using CountAbout was awesome. I’ve rarely been able to sit down with software and get it to work so quickly and easily as I did with CountAbout.
All of the features are readily understandable at a glance, the software installs instantly and without any setup headache, and I was impressed by how easily I was able to create, edit, and generate reports.