If you really want to impress bankers or the other money people you hope to rely on for capital, the best thing you can do is to understand the numbers side of your business as well as you can. With the right numbers and analysis, you can show them you've examined the very issues they worry about -- how you'll make your money and, more to the point, how they'll get their money back. Below are some of the computer software products available to help you make your case.



FAMASCrowe Chizek800-523-2799

Designed for historical ratio analysis and detailed evaluation of cash flow by bankers. Allows for easy comparison of budgeted numbers versus actual ones and comparisons to industry. PC compatible. Price: $1,500

FASTFinancial Pro Formas510-945-1005

Examines financial ratios and cash flow historically; permits monthly P&L and cash projections and "what if" analysis. Used largely by banks. PC compatible. Price: $195

LOAN EXPRESSValuSource Development800-825-8763

Aimed more at borrowers than lenders. Prompts used with questions; works with up to five years of data; coaches borrowers on filling out loan forms; helps answer questions on proper debt structure. PC compatible. Price: $195

MAPSManagement Advisory Services206-441-0500

Permits analysis of performance and trends over six periods. Allows detailed comparisons with borrowers' peers on more than 30 ratios. Based on Lotus 1-2-3; PC compatible. Price: $695 (business owner's version)

-- Bruce G. Posner