Moneywise (Squirrel) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing


Moneywise
By Squirrel
BBC/Electron

 
Published in A&B Computing 2.03

I am the sort of person who opens a bank statement three days after it has arrived and peeps nervously at the bottom line to check that I am not (badly) overdrawn. Also I have never felt the need to prove that my home computer is "useful" before settling down to enjoy a game with a good conscience. In short, I am not the sort of person that home accounts programs were made to sell to, so I have had to imagine that I wanted such a program in order to evaluate this one.

Whilst Moneywise has some promising features, it also has some silly ones, some bugs and inadequate documentation (though, typically, that which accompanied the review tape looked provisional).

Using a home accounts program requires regular updating of files so use with a disc system is preferable, and according to the documentation the program will automatically transfer itself to disc on request. Each file you create will keep records of two accounts, apparently for a period of twelve months, though this limit is not indicated in the documentation.

The use of Mode 4 displays is sensible, with a compromise between legibility and the anmount of data that can be present on the screen. I also liked the user of different coloured backgrounds to let you know which account you were working on etc.

Each account is organised in monthly records. Every heading you enter (e.g. salary, gas bill) is copied throughout every month. This has the advantage that you can copy a regular debit or credit from one month to the next by aligning a pointer and pressing COPY. There is also provision for annual analysis by each of these categories, including bar chart displays.

Now the weaknesses. The categories of debit/credit assigned to one of your two accounts are also copied to the second account on the file - which is plain daft. There is no indication of which account is being processed in the annual analysis - perhaps a combination of both!

Jonathan Evans

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