Test one: ease of use

For a no-frills solution with a clean interface, Stash is perfect – although its lack of some fundamental abilities, such as sorting, means it's not quite as easy as it ought to be.

Test 1 screen

At the other extreme, FinanceToGo and Liquid Ledger are the most demanding, as they're based on professional double-entry accounting. This has its advantages, but can be baffling at first sight. If you want to follow this route, we found Liquid Ledger more novice-friendly and better designed.

Also, FinanceToGo is let down by a few minor interface problems such as unresponsive drop-down menus. For the best balance of power and simplicity look to Money, iCompta or MoneyWell.

Money is well thought-out, stylish and simple to use. iCompta requires more effort to get to grips with, but it's simple once you get used to it. MoneyWell majors on budgeting, giving it a different emphasis, without sacrificing core abilities or ease of use.

Results

Test 1

Test Two: UK friendly?

Using American English tends to be the norm when it comes to software. You'll see 'check' instead of 'cheque' and 'checking account' and not 'current account'. Other than that, there are no issues here.

Test 2

Three of the apps come from the Continent – FinanceToGo is Belgian, while Money hails from Lithuania, and iCompta from France. Thankfully, you won't have to convert your accounts into Lithuanian Litas nor decipher menus written in French.

All use good English, with some American bias, and they're at home in the UK as they don't get involved in country-specific aspects such as personal taxation. All you need to do is specify your currency.

Liquid Ledger and MoneyWell are American, and it shows in their default categories. Luckily, you can create and name your own. Liquid Ledger can't decide whether to use 'cheque' or 'check', while Stash, the only British program here, sticks to the American terms 'check' and 'checking account'.

Results

Test 2