This is an unusual item not previously seen. It's a computer programme, designed for club use in order to keep an eye on finances and to help with membership tracking and BMFA submissions. It's the brainchild of Max Cairns, a retired programmer, who found himself filling a club secretary/treasurer role before deciding to make life a lot easier and reduce the paperwork. What does it do?

First - it keeps track of membership data - names, addresses, telephone numbers, email address, BMFA numbers, proficiency standards, etc.

Second - it records the year’s membership payments. When and how much each member paid, whether by cash or cheque, when their membership pack was sent out, when the BMFA were informed and when BMFA docs were received and forwarded. This may seem like overkill, but, with these dates available, the program’s startup-screen can display a list of what actions are outstanding – informing the BMFA, paying cheques into the bank, etc. Repeated typing of the date and the same amounts can be wearing, so 'set' buttons are  available to fill the box with one click. And 'set paid' buttons, to click several of the 'set' buttons at one go.

Finally - the programme records the club’s financial books and state of funds, keeping track of the expected balance petty cash and up to three separate accounts.

As Max says "the big benefits come in the way this data is used. For instance, when it becomes time to send a submission to the BMFA, the program prints the entire document ready for signature and posting, including the BMFA’s barcodes, the program even keeps a copy of the submission document. The BMFA have 'accepted' this form of submission which is far more legible than handwritten forms".

A 'current status' print is available, showing a one-page summary of member counts, balances, costs and income. One can request a list of present and/or overdue members, on paper or address labels or a bulk-email-friendly file. It totals by income and expenditure types for the end-of-year accounts, prints membership cards and flightbox IDs if you want them, ready to be passed through a laminator.

The program is Windows-only, but should run on any version of Windows and does not require additional software.

Max's idea is that anyone with a genuine interest can have a copy of the program which will work until the end of 2013. He'll then ask for a voluntary donation, perhaps £20, that'll 'enable' the program for the following year. If you have an interest or would like further details then just email maxcairns@btinternet.com