How Well Does Help Me Keep Track of My Finances?

Customer Experience Audit of’s Free Online Application that Helps Customers Analyze and Manage their Personal Finance

November 17, 2011

How well does, a free web-based personal financial management service, meet the scenario a 55 year old single working woman who wants to get a handle on her personal finances? In this customer experience audit we run the site through its paces and see where it shines and where it is a bit tarnished.


Although most of us want to manage our “stuff”—be it home improvement purchases, health-related information, or personal finances—within a single environment, we often don’t want to trust any one vendor with a complete picture of all we have and do. This is where an independent site, such as, a free web-based personal financial management service for the US and Canada, fills a need. In this customer experience audit, we evaluate against the scenario of our representative customer, Karen, a 55 year old single working woman who wants to get a handle on her personal finances so she can maintain a good credit rating and retire comfortably by age 67. makes it easy for Karen to consolidate her information and monitor her spending patterns. But the site needs work in site navigation, granularity of features, in-context help, and providing best-practice tips.


An Independent Site for Managing Personal Finances

As most of us are dealing with the financial challenges of an uncertain economic climate, more and more of us are looking for help in making sure we’re doing the smart thing with our personal finances. In a previous customer experience audit, we tested how well Bank of America 1 supported a consumer managing his money online.

However, many customers are leery of allowing a single financial institution to have a complete picture of their finances, and most people do business with more than one financial institution. And that’s where a site like comes in. The free online web site provides a place to consolidate and monitor your financial information and offers tools and services to help you analyze and manage your personal finances.

In this customer experience audit, we evaluate how well helps our customer persona, Karen, a 55 year old single working woman who realizes that retirement is coming faster than she imagined. She doesn’t want to have to pay a financial advisor or web site; however, having lived beyond her means when in her 20s and 30s (and working hard to get her credit and spending back in control), she knows she needs advice on how to best plan for retirement and how to make sure she doesn’t get into any financial trouble in the next dozen years. Her scenario is: I want to get a handle on my personal finances so I can maintain a good credit rating and retire comfortably by age 67.

Karen’s wish list for things she wants to be able to do are listed in Table A.

Steps in the Scenario

The steps that Karen wants to take to better manage her personal finances are listed in Table A. We will follow those steps to see how well supports Karen in achieving her goal.

Table A. These are the steps that Karen wants to take to reach her goal of getting a handle on her finances.


The first thing that Karen wants to do is to find a site that can handle her scenario. So she, like most of us nowadays, starts by going to Google.

I Want to Find a Site Easily with a Google Search. Karen enters “free site for managing personal finances” in Google and is presented with 510,000 results. Again, like most of us, she focuses on the top five: the first is a counseling service (not what she wants); the second is about wealth advisors (not her demographic); third offers a personal bookkeeper (not on target for her); and fourth reads as follows:

Mint - Personal Finance, Online Money Management, Free Budget

Manage your budget with easy to use personal finance tools and calculators. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. Free to get started.

This looked like exactly what Karen wants, but she goes on to the fifth choice, just in case, which is a link for Quicken software, not an online financial management site. So wins. She clicks on the link to the web site.

I Want to Be Sure the Site Is Trustworthy. Since Karen hasn’t heard of, the first things she wants to see are customer ratings and reviews. Although she can’t find a rating (number of stars) or review section, on the bottom of the home page are a number of quotes from the media about the site. And there is a “more” arrow which leads to a page with links to media reviews, awards the site has received, broadcasts about, and, most importantly to Karen, customer testimonials. (See Illustration 1.) Home Page and Reviews Home Page and Reviews
(Click on image to enlarge.)

© 2011 and Patricia Seybold Group

Illustration 1. The home page provides links to reviews of the site, awards the site has won, media broadcasts about the site, and customer testimonials. The amount of information available is impressive and overwhelmingly positive. However, Karen doubts that ....


1) See “How Well Does Bank of America Help Me Manage My Money Online?” August 18, 2011,


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