Mediocre financial management

Create a financial snapshot but not much more with this basic program.

Options for computer-based personal finance management have proliferated in recent years, both in terms of software and Web-based services. Personal Financial Statement Software is, as the name implies, another entry into this field, and we can't say we're terribly impressed with it. It looks nice and works well enough, but its features simply don't compare with many of the other options that are available.

The program's interface is well-designed and attractive, and it's quite easy to use. A wizard-style dialog guides users through the process of entering their assets and liabilities, and users are able to enter quite detailed information about each of these, creating a complete financial record. The resulting overview provides an easy-to-read summary of the user's financial situation. If you need a one-time calculation of your net worth, Personal Financial Statement Software is a great choice. Where it fails is when it comes to ongoing record-keeping; as far as we can tell, there's no way to update assets or liabilities except to do it manually. That just doesn't make sense when there are free Web sites out there that will automatically update your checking account transactions, credit card balances, mortgage balances, and much more. Personal Financial Statement Software doesn't care about individual transactions or your ever-changing financial situation; it wants your yearly income and expenses, and it will give you a static snapshot based on that information. Overall, although the program functions fine, its lack of features (including a Help file) put it at a serious disadvantage.

Personal Financial Statement Software is free to try, but the trial version is print-disabled. The program installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program with reservations.

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