|★ APPLICATIONS ★ COMPTA, BOURSE, BUDGET ★ BANK BALANCER ★|
|Bank Balancer||Applications Compta, Bourse, Budget|
Ever wondered where all your money goes, apart from fast cars, loose women and dry-roasted peanuts (well, I like them...)? With the help of Bank Balancer you may get to find out. JAMES LEACH investigates...
In my opinion, effective money management requires a stout shoe box and a safe place. However, if your finances are of a more complex nature, you may be looking fox a pro gram which will allow you to keep track of every transaction which occurs in your account. Sheffield-based Osprey Software has produced Bank Balancer for this very purpose so that you can monitor with extreme precision your dwindling loot.
As with any program designed to make life easier, things must firstly be complicated enough to warrant its use. If you fall into the get it, spend-it. scrounge-it category, you will have little need of such a program. However, for those who do wish to sort out their fiscal doings, this might be just the thing.
After loading, you are presented with a screen divided into four clear areas. At the top of the screen are the menu and status areas, which give information about where you are and what you are doing in the program Below this is the input area, where you type any new information. The bottom half of the screen is taken up with the data zone, which displays the information concerning your account already input.
First you input your name, account number, balance and dale. Provision is made for a password, which should guarantee security Your new file can then be saved Each transaction must be entered next, ideally in chronological order. There :s a standard format for entering these, and it is quick and simple to do. Every transaction can have a text description of up to 30 characters, and the result is a screen which looks a little like a bank statement.
The program handles every type of transaction, and you can add a code to each to differentiate between them Of course it automatically calculates the new balance as you go along One of the program's strengths is its ability to handle up to 24 weekly four-weekly monthly or yearly standing orders Other events, such as credits and debits are programmed to occur whenever you desire.
If things start to get long and involved, there is a Search facility which can use the description, date or code to pick out items of interest (er. interesting items, that is).
The dates of each transaction are naturally very Important, so you would need to use the program frequently, or keep accurate written records until you can input them en masse. When details change, it is easy to amend them in most operations require only a function-key press.
A Browse option allows you to wander through the figures without the risk of accidentally bankrupting yourself You can print out any or all of the figures on an Epson compatible. so no probs there.
It is of course possible to have many files, each dealing with one account, These can be saved and loaded easily from within the program, and items can be transferred from one file to another.
Another useful feature is the Key Define. Bank Balancer will allow the user to assign frequently-used words or names to individual keys for rapid access. Up to 18 keys can be used, with each key holding 15 characters. This is ideal for holding your name and words like 'cheque'.
Mistakes, wrong inputs and disk bodges are dealt with by what Osprey terms an 'Alarm' system A flashing warning appears, with a message telling you what you have done wrong Details like this a re obviously important in a program dealing with finance. It is impossible, however, for the computer to spot numerical mistakes, so a vigilant eye is still needed to ensure accuracy.
Bank Balancer comes with a clear menu tree on a separate sheet, which doubles as a guide to the program's functions, and also makes it clear what you are doing. There is also a 34 page manual which systematically covers all aspects of the program, with examples. (Where did Mr A N Other get all that money?)
What separates this program from many is the professional finish and the ease of use The display is very polished and serious-looking. white the software itself introduces you gently to the world of high (low?) finance. These things are often difficult to understand on their own. without the added trauma of a quirky program which is supposed to help flank Balancer covers all the major transactions and allows the saving, printing and browsing through of every aspect of your account
It is this ease of use that elevates Bank Balancer It certainly has a comprehensive coverage of all the necessary functions, so much so that it would probably be suited to many small businesses, even though It is really designed for personal use But the system of menus and single keypresses is logical and easy to get used to A nice touch is the ability to change the background and text colour, even though the default colours are actually fine anyway
If you cashflow is in such a state of unintelligible complexity that you require a program which will handle it all comprehensively and logically, then you could do much worse than Bank Balancer It is capable of dealing with enough data to possibly be useful for more than purely personal accounts, It isn't revolutionary but it is slick, functional and easy to look at and use.
Times have changed, and high finance is now available to us all. So, unfortunately it looks like it's time to trade in the old shoebox, Now where did I hide it?
JAMES LEACH , AA