Microsoft Announces Small Business Financial Manager

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 6, 1996 — At the SoftEx accounting software show in Los Angeles this week, Microsoft Corp. will announce the upcoming availability of the Microsoft®
Small Business Financial Manager for Microsoft Excel, a new software package that gives small businesses access to financial modeling tools once used only by large corporations. The Small Business Financial Manager is designed to help small businesses use the powerful analysis capabilities of a spreadsheet – Microsoft Excel – to understand how to be more profitable and make more sound financial decisions.

The Small Business Financial Manager links the most popular business accounting programs to Microsoft Excel for the Windows®
95 operating system. It provides a set of easy-to-use tools that enable users to import data from accounting programs into Microsoft Excel, to create standard and customized reports, and to perform
“what if”
analyses easily – even if the user has never used a spreadsheet before or has little formal financial training. With the Small Business Financial Manager, small-business owners can view their financial information from a number of perspectives, then manipulate financial variables to see the potential effects on their bottom line. For example, small-business owners might want to find out how increasing the production of a particular product line would affect their revenue or whether it is more profitable to lease, buy or finance the purchase of an asset.

“Small-business owners often attribute business failure to a lack of working capital,”
said Richard Fade, vice president of the desktop applications division at Microsoft.
“But financial professionals tell us it’s not the lack of capital but more often a lack of information about their financial situation that leads to the failure of a small business. The Small Business Financial Manager goes beyond providing access to accounting data; it also helps small-business owners gain a better understanding of what’s behind the numbers.”

Helps Small Businesses Find Answers

In interviews with hundreds of small-business owners and CPAs, Microsoft learned that effective financial management is the key to success. Entrepreneurs expressed a specific need for more sophisticated tools to analyze their businesses; however, the greatest challenge for many of these users is acquiring the skills and resources necessary to use these tools. The Small Business Financial Manager addresses these needs with an easily navigated
of financial information so users see a streamlined view of the information they need to make decisions. It also includes a set of wizards, or software
to help users through their analysis.

  • The Import Wizard transfers financial data from a user’s accounting program into Microsoft Excel, instead of requiring users to manually re-enter their accounting data into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet provides users with the means to manipulate and analyze the data, safely removed from the risk of altering the original data in their accounting software.

  • The Report Wizard creates seven types of flexible, customizable financial reports and analysis tables, providing insight into financial performance. Types of reports include the following:

    • Standard financial reports such as income statements, balance sheets and cash-flow reports that allow the user to
      “drill down”
      to understand the specific line items that make up each report

    • A financial ratio report that provides a quick check on business health

    • A sales-analysis PivotTable®
      dynamic view that allows users to see their revenue in different ways, such as by sales representative, sales region or product

  • The What-If Wizard creates a structured environment based on users’ actual accounting data and helps users ask pertinent questions about their businesses. Through the use of these simulation modules, users can manipulate financial variables, analyze their businesses and plan for the future. For example, users can examine whether changing their pricing mix would help them be more profitable, or whether maintaining more or less inventory of a certain product would decrease their costs.

The ability to compete successfully against companies of all sizes is a necessity in today’s business environment. By providing users with simple and meaningful ways to understand how to be more profitable, the Microsoft Small Business Financial Manager helps small-business owners make more informed business decisions based on real financial data.

“In my practice I work with a lot of small businesses, and one thing many of them have in common is that they’re not just competing against the store across town any more, they’re competing with the big national chains who have access to powerful financial-management tools,”
said Robert McCullar, certified public accountant and financial consultant with Coates, McCullar and Biggers.
“With the Small Business Financial Manager and Microsoft Excel, my small-business clients can benefit from the same financial-analysis tools used by Fortune 500 companies. There are numerous accounting software packages available to our clients for reporting historical transactions,”
McCullar continued.
“The Small Business Financial Manager takes reporting a major step beyond merely reporting historical results; it helps to make sense of what has happened in our clients’ businesses, and it provides invaluable information in planning financial strategies for the future.”

Imports Data from Top Accounting Systems

Developed in collaboration with Timeline Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., the Small Business Financial Manager will link Microsoft Excel for Windows 95 with these leading accounting packages:

  • BusinessWorks for DOS and Windows®
    , version 9.0

  • Computer Associates Simply Accounting for Windows, version 3.0a

  • Computer Associates ACCPAC®
    Plus for DOS, version 6.1

  • DacEasy®
    Accounting for DOS, version 5.x

  • Great Plains Accounting for DOS, version 8.0

  • Intuit® Quickbooks®
    version 3.x

  • MAS 90®
    Evolution/2 version 1.5

  • One-Write-Plus Accounting with Payroll for DOS, version 4.03

  • Peachtree®
    for Windows, version 3.0

  • Peachtree Complete Accounting for DOS, version 8.0

  • Platinum®
    Series for DOS and Windows, version 4.1

  • Timeline®
    MetaView version 2.3

Availability, Pricing and System Requirements

The Small Business Financial Manager is scheduled to be available in April at resellers nationwide for approximately $99.95. The following components are required to run the Microsoft Small Business Financial Manager:

  • Personal computer with a 386DX or higher processor (486 recommended)

  • The Microsoft Windows 95 operating system or Microsoft Windows NT
    Workstation operating system version 3.51 or later (will not run on earlier versions of Windows)

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows 95 or Microsoft Office for Windows 95, Standard or Professional (will not run on earlier versions of Microsoft Excel or Office)

  • 8 MB of memory for use on Windows 95; 14 MB of memory for use on Windows NT Workstation (includes requirements for Microsoft Excel)

  • 10 MB of available hard-disk space (includes requirements for Microsoft Excel)

  • 3.5-inch high-density disk drive

  • VGA or higher-resolution monitor (Super VGA, 256-color monitor recommended)

  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

  • Accounting system supported by the Microsoft Small Business Financial Manager for Microsoft Excel

The following components are optional:

  • Windows-compatible network

  • Windows-compatible printer

  • 2400 or higher-baud modem (9600 baud modem recommended)

  • Audio board with headphones or speakers

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.


Microsoft, Windows, PivotTable and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

ACCPAC is a registered trademark of Computer Associates International Inc.

DacEasy is a registered trademark of DacEasy Inc.

Intuit and Quickbooks are registered trademarks of Intuit Inc.

MAS 90 is a registered trademark of State of the Art Inc.

Peachtree is a registered trademark of Peachtree Software Inc.

Platinum is a registered trademark of Advanced Business Microsystems Inc.

Timeline is a registered trademark of Timeline Inc.

For More Information, please visit the Microsoft Excel web site:

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