Finances is one of the products of FinanceBase. It includes Accounts and is used by the Taxes, Quotes and Daycare. Income and expenses are recorded in a single Transaction-Input window and assets and liabilities are recorded in a single Accounts-Input window making entry simple and easy. Each can be searched, sorted, printed, exported and analyzed. Also included are importing of transactions and accounts from financial institutions and other applications, cash flow analysis and planning, automatic notification of when transactions and accounts are due, windows that provide the latest values for Accounts and Transaction Cash Flow and an easy way to keep track of Medical Expenses.
During entry, each transaction is assigned a description, an account and a category which are then used for making later data entry faster and keeping a running balance of the accounts. In addition to those mentioned above, other features provided are: fast creation of transactions due the next month, a Calendar, a Calculator and a spreadsheet-like window that permits the planning of a year’s cash flow which can be compared to the actuals recorded as Transactions. Explore the features described below and try as a Demo for 31 days. If it suits your needs, order a License for $50.00 (add Lifetime Finances for a total of $85.00)
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As with all FinanceBase products, the features and capabilities given in FinanceBase – Overview are available. Each of the features is discussed in detail in the Finances Menu and Transactions Menu sections later. As Finances includes Accounts, please click on the link to view the additional features and capabilities as well.
- • Transactions are used to record expenditures and income. Each transaction is assigned to a Category for use in cash flow. A Transaction can be split into an unlimited number of subordinate transactions.
- • Accounts record assets and liabilities. A Transaction can assigned to an Account and a running balance maintained. Account details are kept on a monthly basis to provide long-term worth analysis. Shares accounts can be updated as they change.
- • Actual Cash Flow As data are entered into Transactions, a cash flow by month and by day can be generated for any selected categories and accounts.
- • Easy to Generate a Cash Flow Using the Categories assigned to Transactions, an actual cash flow, by month, is easy to generate.
- • Create a Planned Cash Flow The actual cash flow can be saved as a plan and modified. This new plan can then be tracked against actuals. This plan can then be reused in future years. Alternatively, a planned cash flow can be created from scratch.
- • Accounts Summary As data are entered into Transactions or changes are made to Accounts, this shows one of three views of Accounts: all active accounts (basically the gross worth), only active accounts used with transactions, and the latest balance from Transaction records.
- • Transactions Cash Flow is a real-time cash flow for the current year as Transaction records are entered and changed. It graphically shows which months have more income than expenses, or vice versa and if the cumulative cash flow up to the latest month is positive or negative.
- • Categories Monthly Category totals are automatically updated and can be displayed at any time.
Working with the Outside
- • Exporting All entered data can be exported as tab-delimited text files.
- • Printing Almost all windows have a printed output.
- • Importing Transactions Importing formats can be defined for each source. Example formats are provided and more can be exchanged with other users as they are created. While Quicken, Quicken-like, QIF, OFX, and QFX are not directly supported, they can often be used with interface provided.
- • Importing Accounts To help in migrating from other financial applications, if account data can be exported to a text file from the other application, Account records and the associated history can be created.
Additional Shortcuts & Time Savers
- • Scheduled Transactions Transactions can be scheduled for as many days of the year as desired. Transactions can be created at the beginning of each month using a menu item.
- • Login Warnings When set, FinanceBase provides Transactions and Accounts Due Warnings on login.
- • Many Menu Items on the Transactions add-on menu provide such features as bulk changing of fields, searching, selecting future transactions to be entered, showing totals, downloading transactions, setting the due warning, setting categories and descriptions to be included in the drop-down menus.
- • Calendar to help in determining the day of the week for a date so that transactions and accounts are not set incorrectly.
- • Calculator for determining investment returns and mortgage or loan payments as well as the normal calculator functions for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing numbers.
- • Medical Expenses Uses Transaction records or by direct entry with a place to enter what has been paid by an insurance company so that the medical expenses section of the tax return can be completed. Monthly totals are shown so that the most advantageous 12 month period can be used.
- • Vehicle Gas Analysis Uses Transaction records to calculate the miles per gallon or liters per 100 Km. Return to Contents
The Finances menu is the first menu that appears after the File menu. All of the items are available during a demo. If a license is ordered without Lifetime Finances, the menu item will be disabled. The items are sorted alphabetically and when any item is clicked it will open a window. The Accounts and Accounts Summary items are covered in detail in FinanceBase-Accounts. Lifetime Finances has it own post as well. All other items are covered here.
Accounts - Selecting this menu item opens a window of Account records. Using the ToolBar, accounts can be searched, sorted, exported, and printed. Accounts can be changed by double-clicking on any Account in the list or new Accounts entered by using the ToolBar. See FinanceBase-Accounts for details.
Accounts Summary - This menu item opens a window that shows the latest amount for the records in either all active Accounts, those that are used with transactions or those actually used in a transaction. This window is updated automatically each time an Account or Transaction changes. See FinanceBase-Accounts for details.
Calculator - This menu item opens a calculator which can be used to determine investment returns and mortgage or loan payments. Also included is a normal calculator function for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing numbers. Results can be copied to other windows.
Calendar - This menu item opens a calendar which shows the current month. The month and year can be changed. The calendar is useful in determining the day of the week for a date so that transactions are not set incorrectly.
Cash Flow Actual - This menu item provides the actual cash flow for each year using the categories assigned to transaction records.
Cash Flow Planning – Capturing data is not really useful unless it is used to create and manage a budget. Use this menu item to work with a spreadsheet-like window that permit the planning of a year’s cash flow. Large once-in-a-while expenditures can be easily entered and viewed to ensure there is enough money to deal with them when they occur. Each item can be related to a Category and actuals can be shown at any time so that they can be compared to the plan. Graphs and monthly summaries are provided. The screenshots show the spreadsheet-like arrays and the chart comparing plan to actuals.
Category Totals - Clicking on the Finances menu’s Category Totals item opens a window of Category Totals records. These records contain the totals, by month and year for each category used in Transactions. Using the ToolBar, the records can be searched, sorted, exported, and printed. These records are automatically created by the application each time a new Category is entered for a Transaction and the monthly and yearly totals are automatically updated each time there is a change. The Categories are then used for the Category drop-down menu. This reduces the amount of entry required for new transactions.
Lifetime Finances – The financial plan before and during retirement using Income, Assets and Expenses can be developed using this menu item. Inflation and interest rates can be set and “what-if” analysis can be done. During Demonstration mode, this menu item is enabled. It will be disabled if the license does not contain a Lifetime access. This access can be obtained by using the Order window that appears during the Demo period. For details, see Lifetime Finances.
Transaction Defaults – Clicking on this menu item opens a window of TransactionDefault records. Using the ToolBar, Transaction Defaults can be searched, sorted, exported, and printed. These records are automatically created by the application each time a new Description is entered for a Transaction. These values are then added to the Description drop-down menu and whenever a new transaction is created with the same Description. This reduces the amount of entry required for new transactions. When a transaction is saved, the latest value of all of the Transaction records is saved to the Transaction Default record.
Transactions Cash Flow - This menu item provides a real-time cash flow for the current year as Transaction records are entered and changed. It graphically shows which months have more income than expenses, or vice versa and if the cumulative cash flow up to the latest month is positive or negative. Previous years can also be shown.
Transactions - Clicking on the Finances menu’s Transaction item opens a window with a list of Transaction records. Using the ToolBar, transactions can be searched, sorted, exported, and printed. Transactions can be changed by double-clicking on any Transaction in the list or new Transactions can be entered by using the ToolBar’s New Records icon.
The input window is divided into five areas: Transaction, Category, Job, Account and Subordinates. Each of the areas is discussed in detail in the manual or Help which can be opened by selecting Help from the File menu. Defaults for Descriptions are automatically created and updated to reduce data entry time and provide scheduled transactions. They can be viewed using the Transaction Defaults menu item. Each Transaction is assigned to a Category. Monthly Category totals are automatically updated and can be displayed at any time. These are used for cash flow. A Transaction can be split into an unlimited number of subordinate transactions. Return to Contents
When a Transactions-List window is open, an add-on Transactions menu appears to the right of the Finances menu that has many features such as bulk changing of fields, keeping track of medical expenses, searching, selecting future transactions to be entered, showing totals, downloading transactions, setting the due warning, setting categories and descriptions to be included in the drop-down menus and analyzing vehicle gas expenses. A few of these are described below.
Medical Expenses – The Medical Expenses menu item provides a method of using Transaction records or directly entering the medical expenses that are required for the medical expenses section of the tax return. Monthly totals are shown so that the most advantageous 12 month period can be used.
Search By Description-Category – Selecting this menu item opens a Request window that permits the searching of all Transaction records or just those in the List window using three fields: TransactionDescription, Category and TransactionYear. The wild card (@) can be appended to the Description and Category values to reduce typing and to find related records. Leaving a field blank causes a search for all values of the field.
Search By Reference Number - This menu item uses the selected record in the Transaction list to find all Transaction records that have the same value in the ReferenceNumber field. This provides a fast method of showing the Main and its Subordinate records. If there are no subordinates, only the selected record will be shown.
Select And Enter For Next Month - Transaction records can be created for those Transaction Default records that have some Dates entered. Selecting this menu item opens a Request window that asks for the Month/Year. The default is next month and the current year. The result is shown in the “Select Transaction Defaults” window that opens. The window contains the same fields as the TransactionDefaults-List window, except for the Used area to assist in deciding which records to select. Select any of the records desired to make Transaction records from the records selected.
Transaction Totals For Records - To obtain totals for any number of Transaction records, select the ones desired in a Transactions-List window and then select this menu item. A Result window will open and show the following: – the number of Transaction records selected; – the totals of the Category Amounts and the GST Included Amounts for Transactions Types of In and Out and the Difference between the In and Out; – the total of the Category Amounts that do not have a Transaction Type; – the totals for each Category, which are also placed into the Clipboard so that they can be copied to a spreadsheet of desired.
Transaction Totals For Year - To obtain totals for any year, select this menu item and enter the year into the Request window that appears. A Result window will open and show the same information as for the “Transaction Totals For Records” above with the addition of the year entered.
Transactions Download - Using receipts to enter transactions can often be a time-consuming effort. For those receipts that were applied to an account (such as a charge card, or a chequing account), and there is internet access to a statement of the account, this time can be significantly reduced. By downloading the data from the account to a Transaction Download window, each receipt can be quickly saved as a transaction record, by a simple drag-and-drop of one item to a new Transaction record or saving many items to new Transaction records, rather than by typing.
Data from another application can also be loaded into this application by using the Transactions Download window. What is required is an output from the other application that places the data for each transaction on a single line. For example, a Tab-delimited or comma separated file or copied data would be appropriate. Even Quicken-line output can be used but it is often more difficult to define a format. Once the data is available, follow the instructions for using a file given in the manual.
Using one of the formats in the drop-down menu, the second page is show. It has two areas: transactions can be dragged an dropped onto a Transaction Input window as subordinates or Transaction records can be created.
Transactions Due Warning – This menu item opens a Request window that asks: “Enter the Transactions Due Warning in days” and shows the previously set value, if any. Enter any number and click on OK. To clear the warning, remove the value and click on OK. If records are found, an Alert window opens that shows the Transactions that are due. The information provided is the Transaction Date, Transaction Description and Account Action Method, if present. The information is shown in sections, with the number of records preceding the section: 1) Transaction records past due – not cleared or not paid, 2) Transaction records past due – not cleared but paid, 3) Transaction records due in the future – not cleared or not paid, 4) Transaction Defaults due in the future – not already in Transactions.
At each subsequent login to the application, the Transactions Due Warning will be run and, if there are Transactions and Transaction Defaults that meet the criteria above, the Alert will be shown.
Use the Transactions Due Warning to ensure that actions are taken in advance of the Transaction coming due. For example, if a bill is to be paid by each month, use the “Select And Enter For Next Month” menu item as described above to create Transaction records each month and the Transactions Due Warning will indicate which one are to be paid in the next few days.
Vehicle Gas Analysis - Clicking on this menu item opens a new window that permits the analysis of gasoline Transaction records. Return to Contents