REF's Finance is a Windows application for easy evaluation of your personal finances. With few master data meaningful statistics can already be generated. Here we describe what is necessary to reach this goal.
First you create the master data of your bank. To do this click on Banks in the toolbar and then click New. In the dialog that appears, enter the master data of your bank and then click Save. The list of Ident Numbers is used to enter different forms of bank codes like BIC. On the left side enter the desired name and on the right side the number itself.
After this you create the master data of your account. To do this click on Accounts in the toolbar and then click New. In the dialog that appears, enter the master data of your account and then click Save. To calculate the propper balance in the reports a reference balance is required. Enter the date and end balance of the day. The input field for the currency is used to display in the reports. The list of Ident Numbers is used to enter different forms of accound codes like IBAN.
Now that the basic master data is maintained, you can start importing bookings. The program can import MS-Money and text files. The import of MS-Money files is easiest in case your bank offers this format. When importing text files, the fields must be assigned in an additional dialog. If you click on Balance Progress or Monthly Balances in the toolbar you can already see meaningfull reports now.
To import a MS-Money file click on MS Money in the toolbar. A dialog to enter the file path will appear. Enter it manually or click on the button "..." to browse for the file then click Import. The file is now loaded and existing account data will be analyzed. Another dialog will appear indicating which accounts are available in the file. When you import for the first time you now choose your account from the master data for each account in the file. Based on bank and account number a pre selection is made, so that you don't have to re-selected during further import operations. The program can handle data from multiple accounts in a MS Money file, in practice this is rarely used.
To import a text file, click on Text File in the toolbar. A dialog to enter the file path will appear. Enter it manually or click on the button "..." to browse for the file then click Import. The file is now loaded and existing account data will be analyzed. Another dialog will appear where you assign the available fields from the program to the columns of the text file. The import is only possible if you told the program where it can find the booking-text, booking-amount and booking-date. Also make sure that you have set the correct date and number formats. The displayed pattern should match the data in the column, otherwise a red frame is visible around the dropdown. A text file can only contain data for a single account and contains no further information, therefore no automatic pre-selection is possible in the following assignment dialog.
For the reports to become more meaningful (above all, the yearly balances), the bookings have to be assigned to contacts. Only then reporting based on contact groups can be performed. Sometimes its useful to assign a different report date to a booking. Tax Office payments or refunds are sometimes for the previous year. These settings can be made in the Bookings.
A special feature of Ref's Finance is the automatic assignment of bookings to contacts during import. To use this feature, click on the button next to the contact-dropdown. In the dialog that appears, you can select the contact to which the bookings are assigned. Below you can activate the individual words which must be in the booking-text so that automatic assignment is made. The first and last word are treated special in that they have to appear at the same position in the booking-text to match. With this method ambiguity can be avoided. A contact can contain several such definitions. You can find the list of Contact Matches in the contact-details.