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Software Review of:
Money 2002
Deluxe

 

Bill Klutz does consulting work, primarily in the areas of Management and Computer Applications/Hardware/Software.

From the March, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Microsoft, Money 2002 comes in four versions  Standard, Deluxe, Deluxe & Business, and Suite. Let's quickly look at the overview to help get acquainted with the product capability.

Ten basic features are found in all four versions: 

  • Create an electronic checkbook
  • Schedule and pay bills online
  • Budget, track spending and view monthly reports
  • Export to tax software
  • Synchronize with MSN Money
  • Receive Advisor FYI financial guidance
  • Debt reduction planner
  • Automatically download financial statements
  • Make smarter decisions on the Web with MoneySide
  • Prioritize financial goals. 
An additional six features are added to the upper three versions: 
  • Analyze your portfolio
  • Estimate taxes and capital gains
  • Lifetime planner for retirement, home buying, college, etc.
  • Create "what if" scenarios to see how events could effect your finances
  • Managing your finances with Money 2002 book
  • Determine target asset allocation.
The Business edition has an additional five features suited for the business community: 
  • Automatically categorize taxes for Schedule C
  • Track receivables and payables
  • Manage customers and vendors
  • Track and manage inventory. 
The Suite edition leaves off the business additives, but includes personal taxes and legal help: 
  • TaxCut from H&R Block 
    • Seamless import from Money
    • Customized interview tailored to individual tax situation
    • File electronically or print ready-to-file forms
  • Kiplinger's Home & Business Attorney (Over 1000 document possibilities)
    • Easy-to-understand video explanations from legal experts
    • 5-volume Home & Business Legal Library. 
NOTE: Help in the latter two categories is not designed to replace professional help in either area.
 
The Deluxe "package" consisted of a CD, a 122 page user guide and a $20 mail in rebate. The book includes a detailed tour of the various features of Money 2002, but the CD puts you "hands on," and through the Money Setup Assistant has you doing things on-screen (while allowing you to follow along in the book). Since things are suppose to be "secure" in this program, the first stop was to address password protection.

The rest of the tour will depend on how much information you have to input (physically or by choice). With a little reading, while working with the program, I believe a comfortable proficiency level can be acquired fairly quickly.

Online financial information management may not be for everyone at this point, but it appears to be the direction things are moving. As with anything, the more that is done, the better (and perhaps more secure) things will be. 

Suggested Price: Microsoft Money 2002 Deluxe - $59.95 ($20 mail in rebate available; plus $10-20 instant rebate at some stores).  I would suggest you download the Trial program from the Web site to see if the program is for you. If it is, look for the best deal you can find at the major software retailers.

System requirements
PC with Pentium 166 MHz or higher processor (PII 300 recommended), Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, or Microsoft Windows NT Workstation operating system version 4.0 or later with Service pack 5 (will not run on earlier versions of Windows),  32 MB of RAM required; 64 MB recommended, 85-165 MB of available hard disk space (165 required if Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later is not already installed), Internet Explorer 5.5 is required and included on the CD. An additional 125 MB of hard disk space is required to run instructional videos and audio from the hard drive. Internet functionality requires an Internet Service Provider (ISP), local and long distance telephone toll charges may apply Double-speed or faster CD-ROM drive. Super VGA graphics card or compatible video graphics adapter. Super VGA color monitor with minimum of 256 colors. capable of displaying 800 x 600 resolution, 16 bit color recommended. Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device. 28.8 Kbps or higher-baud modem required for internet connectivity and online banking. Audio board with headphones or speakers required for audio. Some features require Microsoft Passport (Features were not specified)

Additional Considerations

  1. Online banking/brokerage options vary by financial institution. Contact your financial institution for program details. You can only transfer funds between accounts at the same financial institution. To receive and pay bills electronically through a third-party Internet Bill Delivery and Payment Provider, a checking account with a financial institution in the United States and Internet access are required, as well as other additional requirements as indicated by the third-party Internet Bill Delivery and Payment Provider. Online receipt and payment of bills through Internet Bill Delivery and Payment Providers is subject to availability by these third-party providers.
  2. Microsoft Money 2002 exports to any tax preparation software product that can read text (.TXT) format and Microsoft Money files, including TaxCut and TurboTax.
  3. The Converter Wizard for Quicken files in the U.S. version of Money 2002 will convert files from Quicken U.S. versions 4-9 and Quicken 2001.
  4. To use Money for the Pocket PC you need a Pocket PC 3.0 or later, running Windows CE 3.0 or later, Microsoft ActiveSync 3.1 or later, and 500 KB storage memory.
  5. As with all Microsoft products, you must accept the enclosed License Agreement before you can use the product. If you do not accept the terms of the License Agreement, you should promptly return the product for a refund. Internet product registration is required for specific online functionality.
Contact Information: 
      Microsoft Corp
      One Microsoft Way
      Redmond, WA 98052-6399
    For Internet access: 
      Microsoft Corp directory for general information; or /money for the latest on MS Money.


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