Home Accounts is an application to help with management of home finances.
Create a New File
The first task when you initially install Home Accounts is to create a new file. This should automatically be started when you first run it, but you can do this yourself as well by selecting new from the file menu, you will be given the opportunity to save the file as any name you choose in any location.
Create one or more Accounts
Once the file is created you need to create at least one account. An account can be any kind of account, current or cheque, savings or credit card. You can create as many accounts as you like in each file. To create an account go to the accounts view and click on the Add button. In the dialogue box enter the name of the account and the starting balance. A couple of examples are shown here. If the account is not in credit then enter a negative number.
After adding your accounts, the Accounts view shows a list of accounts and their start, current balance and some other statistics. The current balance is the start balance plus any transactions up to and including today's.
You may edit an account name or start balance by selecting the account in the list and clicking on the Edit button. You may also delete an account by selecting the account in the list and clicking on the Delete button. This will also delete any transactions or scheduled transactions against this account. You cannot undo a Delete operation, so use it wisely and always backup your files regularly.
Go to the Transactions view to enter, edit or delete transactions. To add a transaction click on the Add button. This will display a dialogue box as shown below.
Select the account from the list, this is set to the account selected in the Transactions view when the Add button was clicked.
Enter the amount, a negative number for a debit, a positive one for a credit.
The date will automatically be set to today, change it by editing the numbers or clicking on the Calendar button to bring up the calendar window.
The Home Accounts program tries to form a date out of any text entered, if it fails you will get an error message and be asked to try again.
Enter the Who, once a who has been entered once they can be selected from the drop down list to save having to type the name in again.
The optional fields are the category, method and comment. These can be used to categorize transactions for reporting purposes.
Once all the details have been entered click on the Save button to enter the transaction.
The Money Transfer check box enables you to quickly enter a dual transaction on two accounts at the same time. The accounts and amounts are shown at the top and the Date, Who, Category, Method and Comment will be the same on both transactions. Use this option when you transfer money from one account to another or pay an amount off a credit card.
When transactions are entered they appear on the transaction list, select the account to view from the rolling list at the top of the window.
To edit or delete a transaction select the transaction in the list then click the Edit or Delete buttons.
If you edit or delete a Money Transfer transaction then you will need to edit or delete both entries separately, once entered they are not linked.
To exit from the program select File and Exit from the menu. There is no need to save the file as each change is saved as it is entered. The Home Accounts program will automatically open the last used file when it starts up again.
The Main Window has a toolbar across the top, click on the buttons to show the related view.
Just below the large buttons, the current view name is displayed.
You can turn the large buttons on and off by using the Show ToolBar option in the View menu. You can also select views using the view menu.
Just below the current View name there are option controls for each different view.
The very bottom of the window has a status text area, some data is displayed here when operations are carried out.
When a list is displayed you can change the column widths by dragging the little vertical bars between the column titles.
On some views you can sort the order of the list by clicking on the titles in the list view.
The main transaction list shows the most recent transactions in reverse date order, there is a black horizontal line drawn just above today's date. The status column shows 'R' for reconciled items and 'S' for the start balance item which is always shown at the bottom of the list.
In the top left is the account selector, click the up and down arrows to change the selected account.
Click the 'Add' button to add a transaction. A transaction details window will be displayed to enter the details of the transaction.
Select a transaction from the list then click the 'Edit' button to edit that transaction or just double click on the Transaction. The transaction will be displayed in the transaction details window. If you double click the left most column 'Status' then the Reconciled status will be toggled, if you double click the 'Sched' column then you will be shown the scheduled transaction to edit, any edit in this option will affect that and all future transactions.
To delete a transaction select the required transaction from the list then click on the 'Delete' button.
The Query view is used to filter and list transactions selected by the user.
Click on the New button to begin. A Query Builder wizard window will appear, select any items from the Accounts, Who, Category and Method lists.
Only the items which match all the criteria will be shown. If no item is selected from a list then all items from that list will be selected.
The date range may be typed in, selected from the calendar by clicking on the 'Calendar' buttons or one of the shortcuts can be selected from the date range list, to use the date range, select the desired one from the list and click the Apply Range button. The dates in the from and to boxes will be set to the start and end of the range selected.
You may also enter some text into the comments box, if any part of a transaction comment matches the text it will be selected.
Once all the selections have been made click on the 'Finish' button to apply the query.
You can save and load queries by using the 'Save' and 'Open' buttons.
Queries may also be printed and exported as CSV files.
The total value of the transactions selected is shown at the bottom of the window.
Once the query results are shown you can sort the list by clicking on the titles of the columns.
The Scheduled Transactions view shows all the scheduled transactions in the current file.
You may Add, Edit or Delete scheduled transactions by clicking on the buttons at the top of the window.
When you Add or Edit a scheduled transaction you are presented with the following details window. Select the account name and enter the amount, positive for a credit, negative for a debit.
Enter or select a Who, Method, Category and Comment as you do in a transaction.
The Pay Period is the frequency the transaction will be scheduled at, weekly, fortnightly, four weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
The End Method can be None, Date or Payments.
- None is the setting for a never ending schedule.
- Date means that the transactions will end at the specified date.
- Payments means that the specified number of payments will be made.
Click the save button to confirm the addition or edit.
Scheduled Transactions are actioned when a file is opened, including when the Home Accounts program is started. A list is shown with all the due transactions. You can select which transactions to action by checking and unchecking the items in the list.
Scheduled Transactions may also be actioned by clicking on the Process button in the Scheduled Transactions view.
Click on the Enter Transactions button to enter the ticked transactions, click on the Cancel button to skip entering transactions.
The look ahead period is 45 days by default, this can be changed in the 'Schedule Look Ahead' menu option.
The Accounts view shows all accounts in the current file. It also shows the start balance, current balance, end balance and other information.
You may Add, Edit or Delete accounts by clicking on the buttons at the top of the list. You can also change the start balance and account name by double clicking on the account in the list.
The sum total of all current balances is shown in the bottom of the list.
When you Add or Edit an account you are presented with the following account details window. Enter the account name and start balance, positive for an account in credit, negative for one in debit. Click the save button to confirm the addition or edit.
The Reconcile view is used to check off transactions against a statement.
Select the account to reconcile from the list at the top of the window. Enter the Closing Balance in the text box. The starting balance is automatically calculated from the database.
Check off the items in the list. The running total is the total of the checked transactions and the difference is the difference between the closing balance and the running total plus the opening balance. When the difference is 0.00 then you have successfully reconciled the account.
If you need to add or edit a Transaction whilst reconciling, the current state of the items in the list will be remembered while you go to the Transactions view to change the items.
When you have finished reconciling click the 'Record Reconciliation' button to enter the data. All reconciled items in the transaction list are shown with an 'R' in the status column.
The graph view is a balance trace from one or all accounts, The scale slider allows you to set the period of time you can see at once, the scrollbar across the bottom allows you to move forward and backwards through time. Use the refresh button to redraw the graph if it gets lost!
The vertical bars show the Sundays and Firsts of every month. There is a Today line and a zero balance line drawn in blue. On days when the balance goes below zero, the balance trace will be in red.
Files, backups, security and some technical details
You may have as many Home Accounts files as you wish, each file can hold many accounts.
They can be stored anywhere on your PC or network. If you value the data entered in Home Accounts please ensure that you back up your data file(s) to protect against data loss.
There is no password protection built into Home Accounts, if you wish to protect your file(s) against unauthorized access use the Windows security features to do this. For details of how to secure your files in windows see the windows help files, search for 'file security' in the Windows Help and Support system.
The Database system used in Home Accounts is SQLite, search for SQLite on the web to find out more. To edit the files directly you can use the SQLite Database Browser, always back up your files first. You can break the database by inappropriate editing, so edit at your own risk, a little database knowledge is required but the file is quite simple in structure.