Update Notification - PIA Version 7.0

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From: Webmaster (Somersoft)


The latest version of the PIA software (Version 7.0) was officially released on 1-July-2001. All of the changes that have been made were in response to requests and suggestions from existing users, highlighting the importance that we place on user feedback. In view of this, one of the new features of the software has been a facility for emailing user feedback directly via an item in the Help Menu. With the program's tighter integration with the internet, it is easier and more efficient than ever to get software support for the product via email and, in the client-oriented Professional version (PIAPro) it is now possible to email reports directly to clients (see www.somersoft.com.au/pia).

Along with numerous cosmetic changes to the software to make it easier to use and understand, a major addition has been the option of simulating a line of credit in all spreadsheet loans. The new version has also been brought up to date on all of the Government's changes to the tax laws in relation to investment property (depreciation, CGT, and GST). Any further changes to the tax laws will be accommodated in free maintenance editions made available from the web site.

PIA Version 7.0 for Windows has been optimised to run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT and 2000 but is no longer compatible with Windows 3.1. Where possible, PIA Version 7.0 for Macintosh has been updated to include the same features as that of the Windows Version.

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Summary of New Features in Version 7.0

Added options for lines of credit in all loans
Restructured and revised data-entry check list
Wealth builder spreadsheet has been made clearer and easier to use
Model has been made more flexible
Updated for GST, depreciation and capital gains tax
Tighter integration with the internet

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As with previous releases, there are three separate levels of the software - one for Professionals (PIAPro) and two for investors. With the release of Version 7.0, the investors versions have been renamed to make the hierarchy clearer. The former PIA Advanced Personal (PIAAdv) is now simply called PIA Personal (PIAPer) while the Personal Edition of the Professional (PIAFpu) is simply called PIA Personal Professional. If you are unclear as to which version or edition you currently have, you can always check it in the About PIA item under the Help menu of the program. If you are unsure, you can always contact our office as your registered version of PIA will be recorded in our central database. Note that the price for anyone wishing to upgrade from one level to the next is just the difference in price.

Costs (including GST, Postage & Handling)

PIA Personal V 7.0 (PIAper - $140)
To update from PIAAdv (PIA Advanced Personal) V 6.2 or earlier $38

PIA Personal Professional V 7.0 (PIAfpu - $245)
To update from PIAFpu (PIA Professional Personal Edition) V 6.2 or earlier $60
To upgrade from PIAAdv (PIA Advanced Personal) V 6.2 or earlier $105

PIA Professional V 7.0 (PIApro - $495)
To update from PIAPro (Professional) V 6.2 or earlier $80
To upgrade from PIAFpu (PIA Professional Personal Edition) V 6.2 or earlier $250

The updates can be ordered direct from our website (www.somersoft.com.au/prices.htm) using the secure (SSL) server for credit card transactions or simply phone (07 32864368), fax (07 38212005) or mail you order Somerset Financial Services Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 615, Cleveland, 4163).
 
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Reply: 1
From: Bruce Macdonald


I have a copy of version 7.04 PIA Personal Professional. I am not very proficient with it however. I have a LOC on my home mortgage and two splits on this loan which are two investment properties which are interest only. Will the program allow me to to an analysis with scenario. A few guidelines would be helpful. Hope you can assist

Bruce Macdonald
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Webmaster (Somersoft)


Firstly you are most welcome to download the latest free maintenance edition PIA Version 7.010 from the website (see www.somersoft.com.au/pia). There have been a number of enhancements and a few cosmetic changes to the software.

In relation to simulating the finance on your home loan and investment properties, you need to understand the following. Although the loans may all be part of one finance package, for analytical and tax purposes the three separate components must all be treated independently.

The two investment properties are relatively simple as each effectively has a separate interest-only loan and should be treated that way in its own PIA file.

The home loan is different and independent, but can be simulated and analysed as part of either or both of the investment property files. It is the only component of the loan package that needs to be specified as a line of credit. But it may be worth mentioning here how I would tackle it...

In the Home Loan Analysis spreadsheet, I would first of all specify the amount currently owing on the home loan and set the regular repayment as if it were a long-term (say 25 years) P&I loan. After all, these repayments were what the bank has probably used in determining what the credit line limit to be in the first place. Before you switch this to a line of credit, you should ensure that you have specified your living expense budget (Investor menu) and your current income (Investor menu). When you select line of credit (you need only click on the credit line tool bar icon to do this), the program will then assume all income and expenditure to go through this account and that any excess cash will remain in it. These are effectively additional repayments which reduce the amount owing. You will thereby instantly see how much sooner the home loan will be repaid.
 
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Reply: 2
From: PT Bear


I'm wondering if there has been any consideration of producing a version of PIA for handhelds? This sort of thing would be useful for entering basic data on the run or getting an instant analysis of a property without having to go to a laptop or a desktop.

PT_Bear
 
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Reply: 2.1
From: Michael Croft


Hear hear! Something that would run on the cut down windows platform shouldn't be too hard as it supports ms excel. The palm os might be a different story.

The ability to use it on the road (other than lap top) would be fantastic.

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Owen .


A Palm OS version shouldn't be a problem at all. I use Quicksheet on my Palm Vx and it's fully compatible with Excel. I have a few spreadsheets I use when out and about. I have no idea what PIA is written in though.

Which brings up the question, can the spreadsheets in PIA be exported to Excel with the formulas intact?

I'm using V6.2 at the moment and it's great and I've just read up on V7.0 and was wondering if I need to upgrade. An export function would clinch the deal.

Owen

"Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich – something for nothing"
 
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Reply: 2.1.1.1
From: Webmaster (Somersoft)


There are no immediate plans for a Win CE version of PIA. While the idea has not been mooted publicly, there has been only one other request for it on the Win CE platform in the past three years.

I don't know of any technical problems in porting it, but I would need to believe that the market was sufficient to warrant the diversion of resources needed to achieve it.

A simplified java version already exists (see www.somersoft.com.au/piajava.htm), but if all you need is a simple cash flow analysis (with limited flexibility), spend 10 minutes in Excel. PIA is written in C++.
 
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