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PC MARS for Windows is a full-featured accounting software designed specifically for farm applications, but with enough flexibility that it may be used for small business applications. Designed for the Windows 9X operating system and above, it features many capabilities available in that platform. The program also works in the Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows XP environments. Pc Mars is fully 32 bit compatible. (It will not work with Windows 3.1)

The software requirements are a Pentium 266 MHz system with 32 meg of RAM if using Windows 95/98 or 64 meg of RAM if using Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista/7. A VGA monitor and Windows supported printer is also required.


The software will operate in either a cash basis accounting mode or the fully accrual basis mode; depending on which system is selected during the installation process. The cash system is a simpler and easier to use, whereas the accrual system will handle more complex accrual accounting methods. The accrual system is capable of generating cash basis reports, dependent upon the method of inventory adjustment entries.


PC Mars will enable the user to track up to 30 different bank, money market or other fund accounts and their balances. As in the vendor file, new accounts may be added from the data entry screen without exiting to the software setup procedures. As the user enters individual transactions, the data entry screen will display the accessed bank or fund account balance. Procedures are provided to rapidly reconcile information entered into PC MARS with monthly bank statement(s).


The software, either cash or accrual, has several farm or small business charts of accounts that may be selected during the setup process. There are farm charts of accounts that conform to the categories used by the Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota (FinPack) Farm Business Farm Management systems. User may select a totally user defined system as well. The system provides up to 625 account codes.


The software provides the user listing for commonly used vendors, both to facilitate entry time and check printing. There is a separate vendor listing for individual loan accounts. All vendors may be "flagged" for 1099 reporting, and specific reporting capabilities are available for the listing of potential 1099 recipients. New vendors can be added "on-the-fly" without having to enter the software setup procedures. All vendors may be assigned a default account code, easing the data entry routines. The vendor file capacity is limited only to the user's needs or hard drive capacity.


Users may set up payroll files for an unlimited number of employees; specifying the information necessary to generate the payroll check and the appropriate deductions for federal, state and FICA withholdings as well as a pension and three other potential withholdings. Payroll checks can be printed with a detailed stub. A full compliment of labor/payroll reports are available to users in both the case or accrual versions of the software.


PC Mars users are able to track specific loan balances and interest paid on each specific loan. Loans will display in the vendor file, with the *L indicator denoting that this is a specific loan. As with the payroll capability, there is a full compliment of loan reports available for the users to select from. As with the vendor file, the loan list is limited to the users needs and/or hard drive capacity.


In the farm accounting area, or the small business structure, ability to segregate the business into enterprise segments is a necessity. PC Mars users can define an unlimited number of different enterprises within their business. The reporting capability of PC Mars allows the user to generate reports by enterprise. All account codes may also be defaulted to a specific enterprise, easing the data entry process.


PC Mars users can set up a "pick list" of an unlimited number of descriptions that may be used in either deposit or check transactions. The list insures that the descriptions are identical for search and selective reporting purposes. These descriptions may be added "on-the-fly" as in the case of vendors, and account codes, etc.


During the software setup, PC Mars users may opt to utilize profit center designations in their accounting. A profit center may be a separate segment of an enterprise, i.e. the finishing buildings in the hog enterprise, or a land lease unit. In the flexible "selective" reports capabilities of PC MARS, this allows excellent income/expense tracking abilities.


Users may track income and expenses to many levels. From vendor, account code, enterprise, descriptions, to profit center. The selective reporting capabilities will support this "sort" level, plus date and bank/fund account selections.


Transactions involving revolving credit accounts or credit cards can be entered.


Inventory information can be entered to the level of detail desired by the user. For instance the user can enter total quantity of grain and livestock or detail it by bin or individual livestock group. This inventory information is used to compile a Net Worth Statement using either cash (basis) or market value numbers. In the accrual system, an accurate inventory can be derived at any time from information entered in transactions. Seven screens provided for entry of inventory information.


PC Mars has the normal report capabilities, in either the cash or accrual mode, of any accounting software, but its payroll and loan tracking reports have been designed with versatility in mind. The "selective" reporting capability permit the user to generate reports based on any one of the data entry blocks or any combination.


Cash flow planning / budgeting features in PC Mars allows the user to build a annual, monthly or quarterly budget for the accounting year. The system will then generate "comparative" income statements that compare the budgeted amounts with the actual figures for the reporting month and the year-to-date figures.





Summary of Other Features


Upgrade Information

Pc Mars for Windows (full) version 2.4 is now available. The major changes from Version 2.0 and Version 1.2 are listed below.  The changes in Version 2.4 are in blue and listed first.  Pc Mars will now be sent out on a CD (Compact Disk), unless stated otherwise.






Reports and Printing

Inventory (new name, was net worth)

Cash Flow



Upgrade Prices

Patch updates to Pc Mars Version 2.2

Problems were detected after version 2.2 was released.  An update patch is available to fix these problems, as well as added features. You can tell if any of these affect you by examining the version number, listed under "About Pc Mars" under the Help Menu. Examine the version number and note the changes made for higher versions than yours. Described below are the problems and changes made for each of the versions updates. Note that these update VERSION 2.2 ONLY.

Version 2.2.8

  1. The 2 percent reduction of the employee share of social security taxes is extended through December 31, 2012.

Version 2.2.7

  1. The 2 percent reduction of the employee share of social security taxes is extended until February 29, 2012.
  2. For non-simplified payroll method, the employer share of social and medicare is not added to the paycheck if the the user blanks out the employee share of social security and medicare.
  3. Fixed a problem in FINPACK export (Minnesota users only), where milk units were not being exported correctly.

Version 2.2.6

  1. Fixed a problem with network sharing (Paradox user error), caused by enhanced open/view.
  2. Changed the calculating of State Tax Withholding with a fixed amount only being entered. (Advanced Payroll only)
  3. Do not allow reusing of paychecks from a previous year and recurring paychecks are not carried over from a previous year. This is because of different withholding percentages used in past years.
  4. Allow ZIP backup and restore of PLUS set of books in Pc Mars.
  5. Added an option for enterprise budgeting – Small business and Church Set of Books only.
  6. Added an option for enterprise “Fund” balance reporting – Small business and Church Set of Books only.
  7. Changed multiple selection in the Check Register Report to “period” vs. “month” when direct control of the period is enabled.
  8. Added a warning when a “zero amount” paycheck is entered and changed the calculation to show withholding in the appropriate Labor Reports.
  9. Program change – Now only withholding will be included on paycheck stubs, even if a same name is used in the Vendor List as well as the Employee List.
  10. A date range selection was added to the W2 Summary Report.
  11. Added an option to the Expanded Labor Report for advanced users to screen out labor deposits occurring in a month or date range. Also this deposit criteria is listed on the top of the deposit portion of the report.
  12. Option to specify quarterly FUTA rates for 2011(only), on the FUTA Report screen. For fiscal Set of Books, different FUTA rates and limits can be entered for the two spanned calendar years (under Payroll General Information)
  13. Fixed an issue in the Labor Withholding and Deposit Report where the printing of deposits was overrunning past the end of the page.
  14. Added a check in Advanced Payroll (only), where labor deposit descriptions cannot be the same as any of the withholding descriptions. Also in Advanced Payroll, a check was added so that pension employer share description cannot be the same as pension withholding description.

Version 2.2.5

  1. Several users received a reconcile error after installing version 2.2.4.  This was due to characteristics of different operating systems.  This patch will correct this issue for all operating systems.
  2. Non-simplified payroll users who made manual entries without matching descriptions for Social Security and Medicare withholdings noticed changes to the labor deposit reports.  This patch restores previous method for employer share matching calculations for paychecks entered prior to 1-1-11. 
  3. Updated new IFBA address for advanced payroll ordering

Version 2.2.4

This update accommodates the federal 2010 year end tax legislation dealing with social security paycheck deductions.  The new law requires the employee share of social security tax for 2011 be decreased to 4.2% (instead of the previous 6.2%).  The employer's share, or match amount, will remain unchanged at 6.2%.  If any paychecks were entered incorrectly at the 6.2% rate, this update will also handle any offsetting adjustments made prior to March 31, 2011.

Version 2.2.3

  1. Removed period column from reports where not pertinent; (when direct control of the period is NOT selected). The period is always displayed on these reports: check register and bank transfer report.
  2. The deposit number now prints on the Nelco deposit tickets
  3. Nelco check & deposit forms listed in selection box and Nelco order screens are added with hyperlinks to their website.
  4. Tack notes are now "word wrapped" for entry and viewing ease.
  5. Loan interest rate is printed on loan reports
  6. Added an option to print all tack notes on the Year End Detail Report (Cash Version) or Full Year General Ledger (Accrual Version).
  7. Added the ability to change a non-multiple loan vendor expense to a multiple loan vendor expense and vice-versa.
  8. Enhanced Open/View now will now read books that have been “renamed” to a longer books names than the Pc Mars 8-characters default.
  9. Amount column is moved before description column on the credit transaction screen to match the check and deposit entry screens.
  10. Fixed an issue with deposit slip printing with blank vendors or descriptions
  11. Date format (mm/dd/yy) cannot be overridden by a computer’s operating configuration.
  12. On the Restore screen, the "Restore from zip file" check box was moved to the top of the screen.
  13. Fixed an issue with the Tack Notes’ “Go To” button when there was no notes ever created.
  14. If Account Receivable Program, A/R (interfaced mode) is running with an open set of books, Pc Mars cannot open that set of books at the same time and vice versa.
  15. Enhanced open/view screen; in Pc Mars only selects Pc Mars books to backup when “select all” is chosen. Note: PLUS will select both Pc Mars and PLUS sets of books.
  16. Added a feature under Utility to reset the printer settings. This will reset both the report and check printer option to the Windows default printer. This feature was added because wireless printers were being “lost” when signal dropped out.
  17. Updated Advanced Payroll order form
  18. Renamed patch installation exe file for improved patch installation
  19. Changed 2.2.3 installation so that any “read only” program files that need updated have their attributes automatically changed.

  Version 2.2.2

  1. New "Live" net worth is now available with small business, generic, and church sets of books.
  2. Enhanced Open/View is now available in advanced file maintenance mode.
  3. Fixed a problem with loan balances not being carried over correctly with accrual sets of books. (Accrual installations only)
  4. Fixed a problem in Alternate FICA report with advanced payroll when using "other" pay types (Advanced Payroll only).
  5. Added a "quit asking" option to net worth calculation screen that appear before opening inventories. (Accrual installations only)
  6. Removed shading in the Net Worth Statement that was causing a problem with some printers.
  7. Added back in Fica detail to labor reports that was in previous versions of Pc Mars.
  8. Fixed a problem with Fica/Fed remaining calculations in detail labor reports.

Version 2.2.1

  1. Modified program for regular payroll so that state tax tables can be used for state tax withholding after December 2009.  Note that these tables may be out of date, so state withholding calculations may not be correct after December 2009.
  2. Fixed problem with employee list (regular and advanced payroll) where certain edit items were not being updated when using the scroll bar to browse employees.
  3. Fixed a "looping" error condition in advanced payroll when changing pension type.
  4. Fixed a problem converting regular payroll to advanced payroll, when "YES" is entered instead of "CONVERT".

If any of these affect you and you want to update your program to the latest release (2.2.8) , go to IFBA website to: Download Update (fix) to Pc Mars 2.2

This is a file that updates or fixes your existing Pc Mars 2.2 program file. Just save the file to your desktop. Then run the update program (Pc Mars Update by double clicking on it. It will ask you for the location (folder) containing Pc Mars 2.2. This most likely will be in "PcmWinf". This folder you specify must contain Pc Mars 2.2 in order for the program to be updated.

Patch updates to Pc Mars Version 2.3

Problems were detected after version 2.3 was released.  An update patch is available to fix these problems, as well as added features. You can tell if any of these affect you by examining the version number, listed under "About Pc Mars" under the Help Menu. Examine the version number and note the changes made for higher versions than yours. Described below are the problems and changes made for each of the versions updates. Note that these update VERSION 2.3 ONLY.

Version 2.3.4

Modification to version 2.3.3 number 11 shown below, so that payroll pay types and withholding matching still must be exact, BUT labor deposit descriptions do not.  Labor deposits only have to match the first part of the description(s) entered under Payroll General Information, but extra text can be tacked on the end of a description in the deposit transaction.

 Version 2.3.3

  1. Added the option under Miscellaneous Options called, “Show 1st credit/deposit vendor on reconcile”. When this is selected, the “pay to the order of” will be displayed on the reconcile screen for credit transactions instead of the creditor (loan vendor).  This option also applied to deposits.
  2. The default 100 bank account can now be deactivated; (if it has not been previously used in a transaction and at least one other bank account is activated).
  3. Updated the detailed Loan Report so that loan vendor with 0% interest is reported as “Interest rate = 0%”, (previously “0” was the same as a blank entry and not reported on this report).
  4. Updated the automatic increment check/deposit number; so that it now retains leading zeroes. So number “01” become “02”, (before “01” became “2”).
  5. Updated fiscal labor report option called “Join fiscal years for calendar year reports”. Now if a user tries to join a simplified payroll set of books with a non-simplified payroll set of books (or visa-versa), they will get the following warning: “You cannot join to that set of books for labor reports, because the payroll method is not the same as the currently opened set of books.”
  6. Updated advanced payroll order form.
  7. Updated “Help” on several screens.
  8. Updated Pc Mars program version checker, which now looks at the first three digits (vs. PLUS four digits).
  9. Updated restore so only Pc Mars/PLUS files are deleted when Pc Mars/PLUS data is restored.
  10. Delayed any pending transaction pop-up screen from opening when the open/view set of books screen is opened.
  11. Updated Payroll so now withholding, deposits and pay types (advanced payroll) matching must be exact, for these items to be included in the labor reports.

Version 2.3.2

  1. Added a bank balance override feature.  This allows you to "start over" with selected bank account(s) if carried over bank balances are in error, due to problems with prior year sets of books.
  2. Added inventory number to the report of assets and liabilities carried forward on the carry over balances utility.
  3. Improved the user experience on the Capital Asset Purchase wizard - On a blank creditor you can go backwards, and  improved the use of the enter key on entry grids.
  4. Fixed some issues with error checking on the entry of the data location of prior year set of book(s).
  5. Fixed an issue with the calculator returned result.
  6. Fixed an issue with the carryover of existing duplicate assets descriptions.  Also added error checking when new duplicate asset descriptions are entered.
  7. Added error checking when deleting assets that have been carried over to a new year.

Version 2.3.1

  1. Corrected a few issues with the Capital Asset Purchase wizard and added capabilities:
    1. Corrected an issue with the "vendor" column showing, when it should not have been, after a Capital Asset Purchase (with Cash and Financing) is saved to a check transaction.
    2. Clarification of the "boot" comment.  It is now not displayed if the transaction includes rolling over an existing loan.
    3. Expense and income codes can now be entered in the entry detail associated with rolling over an existing loan.
    4. Corrected an issue with the Capital Asset Wizard button on the icon bar being enabled for Accrual sets of books.  It is now grayed out (disabled).
  2. Corrected an issue with the exporting of selected items to a spreadsheet.  It was not importing everything if the period specifications were blank.  The issue is now fixed.
  3. Clarified the Social Security Rate comment on Payroll General Information screen and F1 help screen.
  4. Corrected an issue with the Carryover Balances utility with the carrying over of zero balance loans.  The zero balance loans were being carried over again even if the user chose not to when creating a new sets of books for the year.  This is now fixed.
  5. Clarified the F1 help screen for Finpack account code customization.
  6. Added the availability of periods n1-n12 on the menu bar and the period selection screen when in Direct Control of Period mode.

If any of these affect you and you want to update your program to the latest release (2.3.4) click on the following: Download Update (fix) to Pc Mars 2.3

This is a file that updates or fixes your existing Pc Mars 2.3 program file. Just save the file to your desktop. Then run the update program (Pc Mars Update by double clicking on it. It will ask you for the location (folder) containing Pc Mars 2.3. This most likely will be in "PcmWinf". This folder you specify must contain Pc Mars 2.3 in order for the program to be updated.

For further information, E-Mail IFBA or E-Mail SoftShell.

 This page last updated on 1/7/2015