After the popular bill management website Manilla announced it is going out of business, you may want to consider using Finovera.com to help you manage your bills. I have been using Finovera for several months now and I find it to be a useful tool for managing my bills, but where it really shines is as a document storage service.
How Finovera works is that it asks you to enter your login information for all the bills you want the website to monitor for you such as credit cards and utility accounts. Finovera then automatically pulls information from all of those accounts into your Finovera account which allows you to see all of your bills in one place.
As you can see from these pictures, bills are easy to keep track of in either the list on the left, or the calendar on the right. The bills can be sorted by name, date or amount to make it easy for you to keep track of. There is also a “To Do” list if you don’t like the to do features in Outlook, Evernote, Google Keep, or the note pad you keep on your refrigerator.
By the way, in case you are wondering, my bill to Cox Communications is not actually overdue. There is probably some setting I set up incorrectly when I set up my Cox bill that is causing it to show incorrectly, but I just don’t care enough to fix it. The reason I don’t care enough to fix it is that I find it far easier to set up all my bills to be paid automatically through my checking account. I don’t really want to think about my bills, I just want them to take care of themselves which is why this part of Finovera isn’t really of much use to me. If you are the type of person that likes to take care of all your bills automatically though Finovera looks like a pretty good tool to keep up with them all.
What is more interesting to me, is how Finovera saves information from many months worth of statements and allows me to look at the activity over time. For example, here is my information from my internet provider. In looking at this information I notice something I missed when my statement came. I can see that about a year ago, my internet bill suddenly fell. This is because I called them and told them I was going to shut my service off, so they offered me a lower price for 12 months, as I wrote about in this article. But, I see that my bill was slightly higher this month which must mean that my 12 month period is over and I need to call and threaten to cut off my service again. I like being able to see this historical information in Finovera and take a quick glance at all my accounts every quarter or so just to make sure nothing looks out of whack. This takes me mere seconds to go through all my accounts.
Another cool feature of Finovera is the alerts options. As you can see from the picture above you can set up alerts to be notified when a new statement is ready, when a bill is due, or when a bill is unusually high. If I had set up this option on my internet bill, I would have known it was time to call and threaten to cut off my service earlier.
It is arguable whether Finovera is better at tracking your bills than competitors such as Mint.com, but when it comes to storing your documents online, it really shines. All of the statements from the accounts you set up earlier are downloaded and stored at Finovera for fast easy access any time you want to see them. In addition to keeping your bank statements and bills automatically, you can also upload other documents you want to keep such as:
- Academic transcripts
- Car titles
- Loan documents
- Documents from real estate transactions
- Copies of your drivers license or passport (Anybody who has ever lost one knows how valuable this is)
- Insurance documents
- Wills, trust documents, and any other legal documents you might have
- Medical records
- Receipts and warranties from major purchases you have made
- Tax documents
- Any other documents you want to keep
I find this very useful. There are other services you can use for free online data storage such as Google drive, but the fact that statements and bills are automatically uploaded for you as well as the really simple structure for storing information lead me to find Finovera to be the best for this purpose.
Although I understand that an Iphone app is available, it is a real shame that no Android app yet exists. If I could simply take a picture with my smartphone of important documents and upload it straight to Finovera through an app, that would make this already great service even better.
The important question to ask is “If I have Finovera store all of this information for me is it safe?” In my real job I am a Certified Information Systems Auditor, so I have a little bit of insight into this area. While I can’t answer that question for certain because I haven’t personally examined their IT program, I have found a few pieces of information that allow me to rest a little easier. First of all, if you poke around a little bit, you will find this certificate on their website:
This is a certificate from Norton, a well known digital security firm that tells us a couple of things. The certificate tells us that information is encrypted during transmission, that the identity of Finovera has been verified, and that a malware scan is performed daily and no malware was found in the most recent scan. That’s all good stuff, but what about data that is being stored?
I asked a representative of Finovera about that and she told me that data is stored on the servers of a reputable, well known, cloud computing company that has extensive IT testing done.
- Your information is not sold to third parties
- Finovera strives to “use the highest commercially acceptable means to protect your personally identifiable information…”
- “Only employees whose job requires access to this information are provided access after extremely stringent checks of the employees in question. In addition these In addition these employees have very clear and strict guidelines as to what they are allowed to use this information for. All Finovera employees are required to go through extensive background checks prior to their being employed by the company.”
- “Your data belongs to you. You may cancel your Finovera account at any time using the specified procedures. If your account is deleted by you we will make all reasonable efforts to delete your documents and any other data that is identifiable as yours from our servers.”
- Finovera requires any third party service providers they do business with to hold your information securely, to keep it confidential, and to use it only for the functions they have been hired to perform.
The last bit about how third party service providers use your information is the part that trips up a lot of websites, so I was happy to see that part.
So what I am saying is that although I don’t have enough information to conclude that information on Finovera is safe, I see no reason to tell you that it isn’t safe.
So if you are looking for a new service to manage all your online documents and keep track of your bills for you, then Finovera appears to be a pretty good solution, whether you are a refuge from Manilla or are trying this kind of service for the first time.
I am not affiliated with Finovera in any way, and received no compensation from them for writing this review. They did however politely ask me to write it, and shouldn’t that be payment enough?