After developing a microcomputer-based cash management service for an Illinois bank, Custom Business Solutions Inc. has launched a generic version called PC Connect.

The software links a bank's customers to their account information by modem, giving them up-to-date balance and transaction information.

In the past, services like this have been costly and available only to a bank's largest corporate clients. PC Connect is designed to serve smaller to mid-size business customers.

Based in Downers Grove, III., Custom Business Solutions has been developing software products for accountants since the early 1980s.

Vice prersident Gary Klem said it was no surprise, however, when $2 billion-asset Gary-Wheaton Bank in Wheaton, III., called to ask for cash-management product to run on personal computers.

Easing Accounting Headache

"Reconciling monthly accounts is one of the biggest accounting headaches for our smaller corporate customers." said Jeffrey G. Bucaro, assistant vice president and business products manager at Gary-Wheaton Bank. "Sometimes, they'd drive to the bank to get their monthly statement before it was mailed just to get a day's jump on the process."

The bank has focused on the reconciliation issue when developing and marketing PC Connect to its customers, Mr. Bucaro said. And Gary-Wheaton executives also see the product as a way to generate fee income, he said.

"Not everyone needs balance reporting, lockbox services, or automated payroll," Mr. Bucaro said. "Reconciliation was something 100% of our customer base has to deal with. So we emphasized that."

In addition to providing a high level of account detail, including float information, PC Connect can reconcile accounts on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Users can transfer funds, make direct deposit of payroll, concentrate balances, or make recurring payments.

The system also offers analytical tools enabling the user to massage account information.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance write based in New York.

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