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Jack P. Gibbons
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Mike Wright
Chris Bourne

PERSONAL Banking System, written by Micromega and marketed by Hilton Computer Services Limited is yet another program designed to help you manage your personal accounts using a 48K Spectrum.

Personal Banking System has been available for some time but improvements to the latest version allows the transfer to, and use of, microdrives and 80-column printers. Further improvements include the use of Myrmidon Software's Microprint to give 51 characters per line, the speeding up of some routines by using machine code and the provision of an analysis code so that items of income and expenditure can be grouped together.

The program is menu driven by an eight option main menu which offers the usual options of displaying statements, entering new data, saving and loading data, searching for entries and setting standard orders. The other options allow the reconciliation of bank statements, system maintainence and a forward/back value option used to make changes to data or calculate a forward projection.

Entries can be made in a new calendar year only if an entry has already been made for December. To make data entry easier the amount is entered in pence, omitting the decimal point.

Regular payments can be handled automatically using the standing order option. The frequency, number of the payments, starting date, as well as the usual entry details of up to 10 standing orders, can be set. The standing orders are then checked and applied, if appropriate, every time an entry is made.

Reconciliation of entries with a bank statement is a common feature but PBS goes one stage further in that bank statements are entered separately. The items are compared against the PBS data and discrepancies divided into types - uncleared cheques and unmatched items, either with a PBS entry or a statement entry. The program can show those items which are similar and could be the same except for an error.

Compared to OCP's Finance Manager I found PBS slow, especially when searching for items. Although it has clear, informative screen displays and is an excellent program I still have reservations. Despite my carping, this would figure in any list of recommended programs, and is well worth considering if you are looking for a program to manage your home finances.

Mike Wright

Personal Banking System
Hilton Computer Services, 14 Avalon Road, Orpington, Kent BR6 9AX
Price: £9.95

Not Rated