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system requirements

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1. The basics of data entry

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(you may want to print this for easier reference)

Identifying where a client's data goes, requires you to spend some time with the manuals and help screens. For those traditionalists who don't believe in such things and want to just 'go for it', here is a quick tour.

To begin..... when you are first starting out, please begin with a simple test client, and make sure it is NOT your 25 year old cousin nor a young married couple.

The program will handle these situations just fine, however, for the best learning experience, start with someone single, in their 50s, and still working.

Let's say our 'average' client has 5 years of salary left, an RRSP, (possibly some non-registered capital), and a loan.

When initializing the program, "OK" through the info screen, and answer either "this/next" depending on the time of year. ('this' when early in the year, 'next' later in the year)

First of all, bring down the file menu, 'create new file'. The small 'create file' screen will pop-up. Enter the base data: name, year of birth, and marital status.

(note.... a new data entry 'short cut' screen now pops up to speed up and simplify the initial data entry). To make sure, the 'data entry shortcut' box should be 'x-ed'. When you 'Next' out of the first window, the 'data entry shortcut' window will appear. This allows you to set most of the initial stuff.... salary, retirement age, loan, rates.. etc.

Remember, this shortcut screen ONLY occurs when you first create a client file. Once you "Next" out of this screen you will never see it again, so doublecheck the data. The data can be changed, however not via this initial window.

OK, now you are in the data entry screen proper. The data entry screen consists of two main data entry layouts..... the standard 'fill in the blanks' type on the right hand side is comprised of two frames nested one behind the other, as well as buttons to bring up loans, insurance, RESPs... etc.

The left-hand side of the data entry screen is different. It is a 'data entry grid'. This is for data which has a 'time-component'... a stream of salary, pension or rental income.... a future (out in time) expectation of a windfall/inheritance/sale of family home..... this is data which occurs either as time-varying cash flows, or happens all at one time in the future.

You will notice the program has kindly dropped in the salary which you entered in the 'create new file' window as well as manufacturing the 18% RRSP contributions and dropped in the RRSP at the top of the capital frame and the loan data in the first of the three 'Loan' buttons. Of course, you can change these at any time by simply clicking on the items in the 2 frames or the cells in the data entry grid columns. (BTW, the data entry grid scrolls sideways- there are quite a few discrete columns of data entry- take time to examine them)

If you didn't enter the RRSP, salary, loan, etc now you can drop in these directly in the capital frame, environment and data entry grids the 'old' way.

Finally, you are finished! Salary, loan and RRSP capital. (this scenario, in all probability, represents 95% of all tax-paying Canadians)

(when you get proficient, this will be a two or three minute exercise!)

As an aside, the program has assumed certain defaults... rate of return, inflation, maximum projected lifespan. These are pre-set as 6%/2%/95 when you first create a file (you may change these pre-sets), but can be changed at any time. (continue)

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