Standard Options for this program control common interface elements, and allow users to make small adjustments to how they interact with the software.
Data Drive and Path is the location on the disk or network where portfolios are stored by default. Clicking the drop-down field will allow you to select some of the most common locations for portfolios, including your Documents folder or the Desktop. Clicking the button with the three dots to its right will allow you to select any folder on the computer. Your IT Department should help you select an appropriate default for this setting; ideally, it should be somewhere that’s backed-up on a regular basis, because the portfolio files contain all lot information that you have entered and all the data for each report.
Maximum Lots in Portfolio limits the size of the portfolios that can be created in the program. It can be expanded to 9,999 securities, but defaults to 500 to prevent enormous portfolios from being created without taking an explicit step to change it. Larger portfolios, of course, can cost more to evaluate.
CUSIP/SEDOL Check Digit set to “Yes” will cause a “check digit” to be automatically added to an eight-character CUSIP or a six-character SEDOL; when set to “No”, these additional digits are not automatically added. The “check digit” is a ninth or seventh character calculated from the preceding digits, to ensure that the identifier is typed correctly if the longer value is available for comparison. For instance, the CUSIP for IBM is “45920010”; the check digit is “1”. If this option is “Yes” and you enter “45920010” into the program, “1” will be automatically added. If “No”, it won’t. In either case, the “1” can also be manually entered.
Bad CUSIP/SEDOL Bell will cause the selected sound to play if a manually entered CUSIP or SEDOL check digit is not correct. For instance, entering “459200102” will sound the Bad CUSIP/SEDOL Bell if it is set, since the check digit should be “1”.
Bad CUSIP/SEDOL Alert, when set to “Yes”, will cause an error dialog box to appear if a manually entered CUSIP or SEDOL check digit is not correct.
Duplicate Identifier Bell causes the selected sound to play if the newly entered identifier is already in the portfolio. There are reasons for the same security to be entered into a portfolio as multiple lots, but this option will notify you if it happens, in case it was accidental.
User-Reserved CUSIP Bell will cause the selected sound to play if a CUSIP is “user-reserved,” meaning not officially assigned to a security by the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP). (Security issuers can create these pseudo-CUSIPs for internal use; they always have “9”s in the seventh position.)
User-Reserved CUSIP Alert set to “Yes” will cause a warning dialog box to appear if a “user-reserved” CUSIP is entered.
Auto-Advance After Identifier, when set to “Yes”, will cause the input cursor to automatically jump to the Shares/Par column after a nine-character (meaning, a CUSIP and its check digit) has been entered. Otherwise — as with shorter identifiers — Return or Tab must be pressed to advance to the next field.
Show Evaluation Status determines if small icons are shown to the right of each lot on the grid. EstateVal shows two icons, one for the Date of Death Report and one for the Alternate Date; GiftVal shows one, for the Date of Gift Report; CostBasis shows one, for the Basis Date Report. The following icons indicate the lot’s status for the associated report:
- Grey Dot: The lot has not been evaluated yet
- Green Dot: The lot has been successfully evaluated
- Yellow Dot: The lot has been successfully evaluated, but for a date prior to the evaluation date — this is common for thinly-traded securities
- Blue Dot or Yellow Square: The lot has been priced with “user-defined” values, meaning pricing manually entered by the user
- Red Dot with White X or Red X: The lot did not successfully evaluate — this is usually the result of a bad or out-dated security identifier
The evaluation status icons allow you to quickly find problems or errors with a report, without having to print it out.
In the grid header, above each icon column, are also “summary icons”: they show the “worst-case” of the evaluation status of that report. For instance, if the header icon is a green dot, that means every lot has been successfully evaluated for the report. If it’s a grey circle, then at least one lot has not been evaluated for that report yet. A red X in the header means that at least one lot had an unsuccessful evaluation.
If you have a large portfolio, the summary icons are an easy way to see the status of the entire portfolio without having to scroll through it. A quick way to find individual lots with problems is to use the program’s “Find” functionality, via
Tools → Find… and set the first drop-down to the issue you’re looking for.
Program Size sets the “scaling” of the application on the screen. When set to 100%, the program shows at its “natural” size. 125%, 150%, 175% and 200% result in a display that much bigger than usual. This can be useful for large monitors or bad eyes.
IRS Mode should be “No” for normal users, and set to “Yes” for users at the Internal Revenue Service. Setting this option to “Yes” adds two columns to the grid, where each lot’s values on a taxpayer’s filing can be entered, and compared against the values produced by EVP Systems on the report.