|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ Home Executive ★|
|Home Executive|Amstrad Computer User)||Applications Bureautique|
"This facility will be of more interest to the home user who wishes to keep track of spending"
Home Executive is a package of useful programs to help the user keep himself organised at work and at home. For the Amstrad CPC 464 , 644 and 6128, this set of programs brings an Accounts Ledger, Card Filer, Mini-Calculator and Shopping Selector together in one package for a fraction of the price many PC owners would have to pay.
This does not mean that CPC owners lose on quality. The Home Executive package offers a range of practical facilities with extra desk-top utilities such as Label Designer and Diary and Calendar function. As a bonus, Home Executive is password-protected to keep important information from prying eyes.
The Accounts Ledger, while developed from SD Microsystems business accounting software, is not intended for strict commercial use. This facility will be of much more interest to the home user who wishes to keep track of spending and, as the manual suggests, small clubs and organisations would find the program a great help.
The program requires no detailed financial knowledge. Once the Home Executive package is backed-up and loaded, the Accounts Ledger can be selected via the main menu. The user is then faced with a menu of 10 alternative operations, such as Account Codes, Utilities and Standing Orders. The use of colours combined with the small print makes the menu difficult to read but anyone with normal eyesight should have no problems.
The program is easy to use, particularly for those already familiar with this type of software. Sample files are included on the disc for experiment with the menu layouts for each of the modules.
The Accounts Ledger allows a fairly comprehensive coverage of the user's financial status from the simple vantage points of "What have I got? Where did it come from? and Where did it go?" Statements can be printed-out on computer paper or A4 stationery as the user prefers. The Card Filer is equally practicable and allows a wide range of flexibility in its usage. Run from a main menu of 10 options, this cardbox-type filing system can be used to compile a comprehensive list of names and addresses or any other list of data the user may wish to store.
Once again, clubs and societies will find the program just as useful as the home owner, although both will have to be wary of transgressing against the Data Protection Act. Files can be searched, sorted and printed and the program can also process files from SD Microsystems Small Trader software, so previous customers are catered for, too.
The Shopper program should be a boon to harassed shoppers everywhere. A menu of six options allows the user to browse through a list of items which may need to be bought. The user can delete those he never buys or add those he feels are missing. He can customise the list and then select items he wishes to buy. The only thing to remember is that selection has to be done in one go. Considering how often people forget things, this may seem a little contrary but, once the list is customised, for-getfulness will become a thing of the past. When going to a shop, the user has to print-out his list of selections and he is ready for action.
The on-screen Calculator program is perhaps the most basic in the package but is still useful. It is intended only as a simple arithmetical helping hand. Member X may owe Club Y weekly fees for the last six months. With the calculator it is simple to find
The Diary and Calendar should prove to be particularly useful. They can be printed-out in condensed format on Personal Organiser paper for easy inclusion with other such files. There is a Label printer and two other programs which will need a large degree of care in use.
The Depreciation Calculator tells the user how much an item has decreased in value over time. This program should not pose problems but the Interest/Repayments Calculator is not so simple to use as it seems. It requires a fair understanding of the way such processes work and the user must be careful about making decisions based on his use of these two programs.
As the manual rightly says, these programs should be used only as a guideline and proper advice should be sought from a financial adviser.
The Home Executive package is a very interesting set of programs which have been linked well. Its reports are well-designed and logical and the programs contain some highly-original ideas. The whole package can be adapted for use among a wide range of potential owners. There are only two minor problems; the program does not allow the user to back out of menu selections without first entering data and it would also be good to see some on-screen help in future editions.