Halcyon Group has upgraded Fiscal, its business analysis product, to include industry norms established by the Internal Revenue Service.

The new component will allow Fiscal users to evaluate businesses against 890 standards in 177 industries according to asset size.

The software package is used primarily by community bankers whose commercial loan customers often submit tax returns in lieu of audited financial statements.

"In light of the S&L crisis, regulators now require that community banks get to know their borrowers better," explained Scott Hollifield, national sales manager at Halcyon. "The problem is that the community bank customer base often doesn't have financial statements to provide the bank. The next best document the bank has to work with is a tax return."

With the new IRS component, the software can take a tax return and provide a banker with an indepth analysis against IRS norms. It offers a complete diagnostic narrative, including projected growth, bankruptcy prediction, and full cash-flow analysis.

According to David Bishop, a credit analyst at Unitas National Bank in Chambersburg, Pa., the system saves him hours that he previously would have put into trying to determine a loan customer's financial health.

"Between 25% to 35% of all the commercial loan applications that cross my desk rely on tax returns as their principal documentation," he said. "Fiscal has turned what used to be 10-hour efforts into 20-minute exercises."

In addition to the new IRS data, Fiscal comes with three other industry-standard data disks for business analysis.

The Robert Morals Associates data disk includes over 1,100 industry entries compiled by Robert Morris Associates, which creates industry standards for businesses that range upwards to $250 million in annual sales.

Halcyon also offers its own proprietary "Profiles of the Small Business" data disk, which is produced from data contributed by Halcyon's installed user base of more than 2,000 financial institutions. This disk includes data on privately held firms not generally available from other sources.

Based in Folly Beach, S.C., Halcyon Group develops PCbased software applications for banking, government, and educational institutions.

Ms. Sullivan, is a freelance writer based in New York.

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