A Financial Wizard For Atari
Tina Halcomb, Carrollton, TX
If you want to use a finance system, but don't want to spend several days trying to learn how to use one, then A Financial Wizard by Computari of Dallas, Texas may be just what you need.
A Financial Wizard is an autoboot program that requires an Atari 400 or 800, an 810 disk drive, and at least 24K of memory. A printer is optional. It works with the Epson with Graftrax, NEC, Prowriter or Centronics 739.
The illustrated manual that comes with this program is clear, direct, and very thorough. It won't take long to get the system set up and working for you. Procedures appear in the manual in the order in which they should be followed, so you can just learn as you go. On the back cover of the manual you will find a (tear-out) command reference card.
To prevent costly errors that will result in data damage and/or loss, error warnings appear throughout the manual and on the screen during program execution.
It appears that this finance system was designed to achieve the best and most comfortable working relationship between the user and the program.
The Check Entry routine (item #1, main menu) is the most attractive feature of this finance system. Data prompts are very clear, and the category item names are displayed at all times during data entry for your convenience. It keeps track of the number of the last check entered and displays it for you. The balance of your checking account is kept current as checks are entered.
Also, if you make a mistake while recording your checks, you can correct it immediately. You are given the ability to split one check into more than one expense category. If you write a check at your bank for cash and want to account for everything it was used for, then you will be allowed to itemize it using this feature; and you will want to use it if you are striving for accuracy in your accounting. Scanning your entries is made possible by pressing START. You can see records very quickly this way. The correction capability is offered during scanning also.
Menu item #2 — Budget Entry allows you to set up a projected budget on a monthly basis. The category names provided by the program are generally used by almost all of us. However, if Spot is sick more often than you are, you could change the "Medical" category to "Vet" with the category change routine in the Utilities program.
The same applies to all categories. If your budgeted allowance for one category is the same for more than one month, you can replicate a budget from one month to the next by entering a "/" next to the category letter. An entire budget plan can also be replicated when you start to set up a new month by entering a "C" and the number of the month you want to copy from in the salary block.
Superior File Searching
The file search capabilities of this program are superior. You are offered seven ways to look up the checks. You may search by Name of Payee, Category Name, Sub-Category Name, a range of Check #'s, a range of Months, a range of Days, and a range of Amounts.
The Tabulation section figures what percentage of your salary is spent on each category. This can be very revealing. The Bargraphs clearly display what you have spent with respect to your planned expenses. A thick colored bar represents your expenses and a thin contrasting line overlays this bar to show your budgeted amounts. You have a choice of seeing either one month's expenses in all categories or one category shown over a 12-month period.
The Checkbalancer routine follows the standard procedure shown on the back side of your bank statement. Marking cancelled checks has been made extremely simple. The checks are addressed sequentially and displayed on the screen for you. To mark a check that has cleared your bank, you type an asterisk next to it. If you accidentally cancel a check that has not cleared the bank, you can reverse it by typing an "X".
The Checkwriter routine will print your checks for you, with custom checks available through Abacus Software.
The Utilities program, item #8, consists of seven utilities that you will need to maintain accurate records. With this program you will transfer records to a permanent storage disk at the end of a financial period and prepare the disk for the new year.
This system is disk intensive. All data is saved automatically and immediately following all routines that either enter data or modify it.
Overall, this is an excellent finance system — entertaining, accurate, and fun to use.
A Financial Wizard Available From:
On-Line Computer Center
10944A N. May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
(An earlier version of A Financial Wizard, known as Personal Finance for the Atari, may be upgraded for $10. Users should return their master disk and a check or money order to On-Line Computer Center.)