It's difficult to explain CHECK 'N TAX in just a few short words, but we'll try. It is a package of eleven programs which maintain four data files which contain information about checks you write and bills you pay. At any time you can print out data in the files, either completely or by type of expense, or search for specific items. The files are standard sequential files, so if for some reason you want to add, delete, or change information or edit it in any way, any standard editor or word processor will do it. At the end of the year, CHECK 'N TAX can print a yearly summary of expenses by category. CHECK 'N TAX supports up to 99 categories of your own choosing, and any check or other item can be assigned to up to two categories.

How does the data get into the files in the first place? In one of two ways. First, items such as bills, receipts, or even income items can be entered simply by typing them at the keyboard; one of the CHECK 'N TAX programs is called ADDITEMS and is used just for that.

Checks can be entered that way too, but a better way is to use the checkbook balancing part of CHECK 'N TAX. There are other checkbook balancing programs available, but most of them just use an expensive computer to do what a cheap calculator could do better. Not CHECK 'N TAX - it contains two programs called BALANCE1 and BALANCE2 which are quite unique. They do a complete cross-check between the actual checks, what your checkbook stubs say about those checks, and what the bank says about them. Any differences get identified - fast. They also maintain a monthly file of outstanding checks and deposits; this is done automatically so you never have to check off checks on your stubs, or search to see whether a particular check has come back from the bank or not. Each month, you get a complete printout of what checks or deposits are still outstanding, and any differences between what you think your account should have, and what the bank thinks you have. In short, you know exactly where you stand at all times.

CHECK 'N TAX is available for Coco disk systems (using Radio Shack disk Basic) or for SK*DOS, STAR-DOS, or Flex (using TSC Extended Basic or RBASIC). It is also available for 6800 systems using Percom, MiniFlex, or Flex 2.0 DOS. The cost is $50 for any version.