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Table of Contents

User Guide - Ascendo Money - Personal Finance Manager for BlackBerry - Version 3

Chapter 4 - Using Ascendo Money Desktop

When you install software on a Windows PC, an application icon is placed on the desktop, see Figure 23. Double-click on the icon to start Ascendo Money Desktop. Alternatively, you can start Ascendo Money from the Widows start menu. Click on the Start button, then click on All Programs. Scroll the list to find the sub-menu for Ascendo Money, then open the submenu and click on Money.

Figure 23

The Ascendo Money main screen displays accounts in the left-hand panel and the transaction register for the highlighted account in the right-hand panel, see Figure 24. When you first start Ascendo Money, a few sample accounts and transactions have been created but you can edit or delete them at any time.

Figure 24

The main text menu can be seen along the top of the screen starting with the File menu. Click on the main menu options to display submenus. A row of buttons is displayed underneath the text menu to provide and quick and intuitive way to access regularly used features.

You can hide the account or transaction register panel by moving the divider to the right or left. To show both panels again, move the divider closer to the center of the screen.  

Accounts and transactions can be displayed in ascending or descending order by clicking on the column headers.

Balances appear along the bottom of the screen to indicated the sum of all transactions or the sum of cleared or paid transactions. 

Section 4.1 - Managing Accounts

Ascendo Money allows you to create an unlimited number of accounts such as Checking, Savings, Debit Card, Credit Card, Retirement, Investments, etc. Each account has a transaction register to manage deposits, withdrawals and expenditures.

To add an account, click on <New> at the bottom of the accounts list. Alternatively, you can click on the arrow to the right of the Add button at the top of the Window and select Add Account from the list. A form will appear containing several fields, see Figure 25.

Figure 25

Enter an account name, initial balance, balance start date and currency. Ascendo Money will calculate running, ending and cleared balances by adding deposits and subtracting withdrawals from the initial balance. Only transactions occurring on, or after the start date with be used to determine balances. If your balances do not match with your bank statement and you don't have the time to reconcile previous transactions, you may want to move the initial balance and start date forward to match your most recent bank statement.

The User field allows you to enter the field label to be used for a field that you define in the transaction register. For example, you could enter "Check Number" for checking accounts to record the number of each check you write. In the example above (Figure 25), the user has set the User field label to "Deposit Type" and could be used to record whether transactions in the account are deposits, interest or dividends.  

To edit an account, double click on the account name in the account panel and the account form will appear. To delete an account, highlight the account row and and click on the Delete button. If you delete and account, all the transactions associated with the account will be deleted as well.

At the bottom of the accounts panel, two balances and and icon are displayed. The Total All field contains the sum of all the accounts in the default currency. If all your accounts are entered into Ascendo Money and they have been set to the same currency, then the Total All is your net worth.  

The Cleared/Paid column is the sum of all transactions in the accounts that have a status set to cleared or paid, meaning they have cleared your bank.

If you have accounts with different currencies, Ascendo Money will display balances for accounts that have been set to the default currency. You can change the currency used for balances by clicking on the stack of coins icon to the right of the balances and selecting another currency.

Section 4.2 - Using Transaction Registers

Each account includes a transaction register to track deposits, withdrawals and expenditures. For example, you could create a personal checking account and record entries for salary deposits, checks you write or debit card purchases. The transaction register displays running and ending balances to help you avoid overdrafts.

Section 4.2.1 - Filtering Transactions

You can filter transactions in the register using the drop down fields below the column headers in Figure 24. For example, if you click on the drop down arrow beneath the date column, you can select a range of dates. Only the transactions between the dates you selected will be displayed. 

If you make selections from the drop down lists, the balances at the bottom of the register will include "Filter Set" before the balance amounts. To clear the filter, select "All" in the drop down lists for each column.

Section 4.2.2 - Adding, Editing and Deleting Transactions

To add a transaction, click on <New> in the last row of the register or click on the New button at the top of the main window. A form will appear with several entry fields, see Figure 26.

Figure 26

You can select a Payee from the drop-down list or enter it manually. If you start typing and a similar entry exists in the Payee database, Ascendo Money will automatically suggest Payees starting with the same letters and automatically complete the field if you click on the Enter key.

Payees in the database may have default values set up for Category, Type, Payment Method and Status. When you finish selecting a Payee, these fields will be automatically filled with the default values to help speed data entry.

To edit an transaction, double click on the row in the transaction register or highlight a row and click on the Edit button at the top of the main menu. To delete a transaction, highlight a row in the transaction register and click on the Edit button at the top of the main menu. 

Section 4.2.3 - Splitting Transactions

Each transaction amount can be split across several categories. For example, you might purchase food and a present for a customer in an airport store and split the transaction across the Meals and Gifts categories.  To split a transaction, select "SPLIT" from the categories drop down list. In the transaction split form, select categories and amounts and then click on the Add button. Continuing adding categories and amounts until the sum is equal to the transaction amount.

Section 4.2.4 - Transferring Money between Accounts

Transfers can be used to move money from one account to another. For example, you may want to move money from your checking account to your savings account. Instead of having to create two transactions manually, Ascendo Money allows you to create a transfer in one step. 

To make a transfer using the Ascendo Money Desktop, highlight the account you wish to transfer from. Then click on Account in the top row menu and select Transfer from the submenu. Enter the amount and select the destination account from the list. 

Ascendo Money will create two transactions; a debit from the source account with Payee set to "Transfer to Account Name", and a credit in the destination account with the Payee set to "Transfer from Account Name". Both transactions will be set to the amount you specified.

Section 4.3 - Managing Payees

Payees are people or companies that receive payments from you, or that make payments to you. For example, you may create a Payee named Vons Supermarket and record debit card payments for groceries or a Payee with your employer’s company name to record automatic salary deposits.  

To manage payees, click on the Payees button along the top of the main Window. A window will appear containing a list of existing payees and a form to add or edit payees. The first payee in the database will appear in the form with the fields grayed out.

To add a payee, click on the Add button at the bottom of the form, enter the fields and click on the Save Button. 

To delete a payee, highlight a payee in the list and click on the Delete button at the bottom of the window.

To edit a payee, highlight it the list and click on the Edit button at the bottom of the window. The payee edit window, see Figure 27, contains several default fields and a memo field. The values you select in the default field may be used to auto-complete the transaction form when entering a new transaction. 

Figure 27

4.4 Payment Methods, Status, Categories & Types

Each transaction includes information on the payment method, transaction status, category and type of the transaction. You can use this information to sort transactions and display reports on your spending habits.

You can add, edit and delete Payment Methods. The default Payment Types are listed in the table below. Each payment method must be declared as a withdrawal or a deposit to that Ascendo Money knows whether to add or subtract the amount from the account balance.  

For example, if you enter a payment to your cable company and select EFT (Bill Pay), the amount will be recorded as a withdrawal and subtracted from your balance. If you enter a transaction for your salary and select EFT (Direct Deposit), the amount will be recorded as a deposit to your account and added to the account balance.


Withdrawal or Deposit









Credit Card


Debit Card


EFT (Bill Pay)


EFT (Direct Deposit)


Paypal (To)


Paypal (From)


Wire Transfer (Outgoing)


Wire Transfer (Incoming)


A transaction's Status indicates whether it has has been processed by your bank. For example, you may write a check for a purchase but the check may clear the bank a week later. Tracking the status of transactions can be useful to verify if your account is about to go negative in order to avoid bank fees or interest payments.

You can add, edit and delete transaction status types. The default status types are listed in the table below.


Paid or Unpaid





















Categories allow you to classify transactions in order to better understand you spending habits. For example, you might want to create a category for Meals to track how much you spend each month. To display the category management screen, see Figure 28, click on the Category button along the top of the main application window.

Figure 28

Categories are used to track budgets so you must specify a budget amount for each category and whether it is an expense budget or an income budget.

Types allow you to further classify transactions. For example, some of the transactions in the Meals category could be personal while others could be business related. 

You can add, edit and delete categories and types. When you start Ascendo Money for the first time, there are several predefined categories such as Automotive, Clothing, Entertainment, etc. and types such as Business Expense, Personal Expense, etc.

4.5 Managing Budgets

Budgets allow you to specify an amount that you would like to spend every month for transactions of a certain category. For example, you may budget $250 per month on clothing. If you buy a shirt and jeans for $125, you will have spend 50% of your budget.

To open the Budget Management window, see Figure 29, click on the Budget button along the top of the main application window. The Amount column displays the sum of the transactions for a certain category for the current month. The Percentage column indicates whether you are over or under budget. The Remaining column tells you by how much.

Figure 29

To set a budget, click on a category row and then click on the Set Budget button at the bottom of the window. 

4.6 Reports

Ascendo Money provides numerous reports to help you analyze your finances. To select a report, click on the Reports button along the top of the main application window. A new window with several report options will appear, see Figure 30.

Figure 30 

There are several report types; Spending by Payee, Spending by Category, Spending by Payment Method, Spending by Type and Deposits vs Withdrawals. You can choose to display the data from one account or from all accounts. The beginning and ending dates will determine the transactions that Ascendo Money uses to create the report. You can choose to view the report as a Pie Chart, Bar Chart or in List View.

4.7 Scheduling Recurring Transactions

Some transactions occur repeatedly, such as salary deposits or mortgage payments. To avoid entering the same transaction over and over, Ascendo Money enables you to schedule recurring transactions for a payee based on the frequency that you specified.

To schedule a recurring transaction, go to the main window and click on the Schedule button. A list of scheduled transactions will be displayed. Now select Add Recurring Rule from the screen menu to display the recurring rule edit form, see Figure 31.

Figure 31

Scheduled transactions will be created every time you start Ascendo Money based on the date and the frequency you selected. For example, you could set up a scheduled rent payment of $850.00 to occur every month. The Next Date is the first date on which the transaction would occur. If you select next date to be June 1st, then a Rent transaction would be created when you start Ascendo Money on June 1st, July 1st, August 1st etc. You can specify a certain number of occurrences or choose unlimited by setting occurrences to -1. 

4.8 Customization Options

Ascendo Money for BlackBerry includes numerous user defined settings to to customize fonts, colors, screen layouts and navigation. To set these parameters, click on the Options button along the top of the main application window.

Conflict Resolution tells Ascendo Money what to do if you synchronize Ascendo Money for BlackBerry with Ascendo Money Desktop and the same information has been changed on both sides. If you select Desktop Wins, Ascendo Money will overwrite the same information on your BlackBerry or vice versa. If you select Manual, you will be prompted each time Ascendo Money finds a conflict and asked to specify which version of the information to keep.

Fonts and colors used in the Ascendo Money Desktop main window can be changed from the Tools text menu along the top of the main application window.

4.9 Other Features

Ascendo Money Desktop contains many other features..

4.9.1 Reconciling Accounts

Reconciling bank statements with transaction registers can be useful to determine if there are fraudulent charges or expenditures that you forgot to make note of. Ascendo Money provides an account reconciliation feature for this purpose. To reconcile an account, select Reconcile from the View menu. Enter the beginning and ending date of the period you want to reconcile. Ascendo Money calculates beginning balance, ending balance, sum of reconciled transactions and the difference, or un-reconciled amount.

4.9.2 Forecasting Account Balances

Ascendo Money allows you to forecast account balances at future dates. This can be helpful to adjust your spending until the next payday. Ascendo Money will calculate your balance at any date based on your current balance and scheduled transactions. To forecast a balance, go to the transaction register screen and select Forecast from the screen menu.

4.9.3 Online Bank Download

If you have a bank account that allows online access from a web browser, you can use Ascendo Money to download transactions. To use this feature, select Download from Bank from the Accounts menu. Select a bank from the list and enter the same username and password that you would use to access the account from a desktop web browser, then click Ok.

4.9.4 Importing and Exporting Data

Ascendo Money desktop allows you to import information in several formats;

  • Open Financial Exchange (OFX) format is a secure protocol for transmitting financial data supported by numerous banks and software vendors such as Intuit and Microsoft.  
  • Quicken Interchange Format (QIF) was developed by Intuit to exchange financial information. Some version of Intuit products released in 2003, 2004 and 2008 support QIF.
  • Comma Separated Values (CSV) is an industry standard method for exchanging structured information in text format.

Ascendo Money supports exporting in QIF and CSV formats.




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