Ultrasoft Money - A Customer Overview

Ultrasoft Money is a PalmOS application from Ultrasoft providing a scaled down form of the standard Microsoft Money functionality to 'Palm powered' PDA owners. As the only PalmOS package that supports direct synchronisation with Microsoft Money on the PC (no import/export required), UM provides a portable 'financial front end' to Microsoft Money/Palm PDA owners in the same way as Money for PPC does (did?) to Microsoft Money/PocketPC owners.

The comparison to Money PPC only goes so far, however, as Ultrasoft Money supports a much broader range of functions than the Microsoft handheld software, synchronising not only account and register data but also scheduled Bills and Deposits and most of the Budget information. It will also allow the synchronisation of two PDAs with one money file (having worked through the issues highlighted in Article 330), which isn't something I've a personal use for, day-to-day, but have tested all the same.

Looking in a little more detail:

Register

The Ultrasoft Money Register handles data entry using payee, category, classification and memorised transaction lists synchronised directly from Microsoft Money. This means that most register functions (e.g. Transaction entry, modification, reconciliation, deletion) are equally functional on either platform. Changes made on Palm or PC are added to, amended or removed from the other platform each time the devices are synchronised. Currency data may also be synchronised with Money and used on the PDA if desired.

It's worth noting, however, that Ultrasoft Money only supports the basic account types (e.g. Bank, Cash, Credit Card, Asset and Liability) so if you want to play around with investments and loans and the like, you'll still have to do that in Microsoft Money on the desktop. The resulting account balances will be synchronised to the Ultrasoft package, but none of the transaction detail will go across.

Ultrasoft Money provides its own report generator with full transaction filtering and drill down capability.

Bills & Deposits

Almost the full range of the Microsoft Money Bills and Deposit features are supported by Ultrasoft Money meaning that all forthcoming transactions are available and may be processed or skipped as desired on either platform. Automatic Bill processing is supported on the Palm in the same way as it is in Money (although the option to process a transaction a number of days ahead of schedule is not available).

Bill series (or individual instances) may be created or adjusted on either platform and them synchronised. Improving on Microsoft Money (in my view) Ultrasoft Money will provide an 'Upcoming Bills' view that includes all instances of upcoming bills within a specified date range, rather than just the first occurrence of each.

Budget

The Ultrasoft Budget module provides a lot of the functionality of the Microsoft Money 'Advanced' budget, but there are still a few exceptions. The Income and Expenditure accounting is supported in full, including One-Time Items and Reallocations, but the other standard budget items (i.e. Debt, Transfers-In and Transfers-Out) are not yet available.

The Essential Budget (introduced with Money 2005) is not supported at all at the moment.

Summary

Personally, I've used this software for a number of years (since about 2002) and would now struggle to do without it. Microsoft Money retains my 'master' financial data, but it's Ultrasoft Money that handles all of my data entry and Budget management and provides most of my financial reporting as well.

Information on Ultrasoft Money is available from http://www.ultrasoft.com/money where you may also download a 30-day trial version or purchase a copy for your PalmOS device. Alternatively, if you want to ask questions or browse for information, take a look at http://forum.ultrasoft.com.

Ultrasoft does not provide software for Pocket PC or Windows Mobile devices of any description.

The above article was generously provided by Mike Featherstone for this site

Category: PocketPC


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