As many of you know, I use Microsoft Money to manage my personal finance -- I believe personal finance software like Microsoft Money and Quicken is essential to family money handling. On the other hand, I also use Microsoft Excel on top of Microsoft Money to produce certain reports/models that are beyond the scope of Microsoft Money. I am not advocating that everyone should try the combo -- it is unnecessary for most people, but I am happy to share my reports from time to time. Today, the disclosure of my monthly snapshot view.
The report is produced to summarize key monthly financial information in a concise manner. It resolved several limitation of a traditional personal finance suite:
1. With Excel, I can have different kinds of data shown in one view. Microsoft Money is incapable of showing both balance sheet and income statement data in one place, not to mention all these % calculation.
2. I have more than 70 accounts set up in my Money file, but when it comes to financial analysis, I really don't need to see the details for every single account ($1 in ING Direct is not different from $1 in VirtualBank -- they are all savings). Excel allows me to do custom grouping and get a view that is truly meaningful. Same way, I leverage my Excel workbook to group expense categories. (Want to produce your own view? Hint: A. you can export a standard Microsoft Money report to Excel by right clicking for "Export to Excel" option. B. Use VLOOKUP function to do customer grouping.)
Final words: this report is provided on an "as is" basis -- I don't intend to share this view in the general public on a monthly basis, nor do I intend to answer any questions. Nevertheless, this view includes new information that I haven't disclosed before. Enjoy!
(The actual report includes every month side by side. The above view is reformatted for illustration purposes.)