Background

As we make enhancements to Mun-Ease, we post the updated executable files and report specs to our web site. See the "what's new" web page for details on this version of software.

Occasionally, we place some of our larger updates on our FTP page. Generally we recommend you use this page (the web page) to update your version of Mun-Ease.

Go to FTP site

 

 

 

 

Download the Complete 2015 Release (EDB or SQL Server for new users)

Click here

 

Download Updated EDB Examples

Click here

 

2015 Interim Updates (See below)

Release

Download Updates

(right-click on the files to save them to your local drive)

Instructions
Enhancements
Release 2015 EDB

Fast1699rEdb64.W01 (for 64-bit EDB users)

Fast1699rEdb32.W01 (for 32-bit EDB users)

 

 

 

Save the Fast1698EDB"xx".W01 or Fast1698"xx".W01 file to your desktop. (Hereafter, substitute either the text 64 or 32 for "xx" in our instructions.

Rename Fast1698EDB"xx".w01 to Fast1698Edb"xx".Exe. Double-click on the Fast1698Edb"xx".Exe program on your desktop.

Enter the password that we provided in the letter that accompanied your 2015 CD. Note: You must have installed full 2015 version before you can load these updates. The full version can either be installed from a CD or from the designated web page that w e provide you.

 

Click here for recent enhancements

Click here for the initial list of vsn. 16 enhancements

 

Release 2015 SQL Server

Fast1699rSql64.W01 (for 64-bit SQL Server users)

Fast1699rSql32.W01 (for 32-bit SQL Server users)

 

Save the Fast1698Sql"xx".W01 or Fast1698Sql"xx".W01 file to your desktop. (Hereafter, substitute either the text 64 or 32 for "xx" in our instructions.

Rename Fast1698Sql"xx".w01 to Fast1698Sql"xx".Exe. Double-click on the Fast1698Sql"xx".Exe program on your desktop.

Enter the password that we provided in the letter that accompanied your 2015 CD. Note: You must have installed full 2015 version before you can load these updates. The full version can either be installed from a CD or from the designated web page that w e provide you.

 

Click here for recent enhancements

 

Click here for the initial list of vsn. 16 enhancements

 

Release 2012

Fast1599kEdb.W01 (for EDB users)

Fast1599jSql.W01 (for SQL Server users)

 

Save the Fast1599jEDB.W01 or Fast1599jSQL.W01 file to your desktop. (Hereafter, substitute either the text EDB or Sql for "xxx" in our instructions.

Rename Fast1599j"xxx".w01 to Fast1599j"xxx".Exe. Double-click on the Fast1599j"xxx".Exe program on your desktop.

Enter the password that we provided in the letter that accompanied your 2012 CD. Note: You must have installed the 2012 version from the CD ROM before you can load these updates.

Click here for a list of enhancements

Release 2010

 

 

Fast1495Bde.W01 ..(for bde users)

Fast1495Sql.W01 .. (for SQL Server users)

 

Save the Fast1495Bde.W01 or Fast1495Sql.W01 file toyour desktop. (Hereafter, substitute either the text Bde or Sql for "xxx" in our instructions.

Rename Fast1495"xxx".w01 to Fast1495"xxx".Exe. Double-click on the Fast1495"xxx".Exe program on your desktop.

Enter the password that we provided in the letter that accompanied your 2010 CD. Note: You must have installed the 2010 version from the CD ROM before you can load these updates.

Click here for a list of enhancements.

Release 2008

V. 1398 (both SQL Server & BDE versions)

FastBde1398.W01 .(for bde users)

FastSql1398.W01 .. (for SQL Server users)

Save the FastBde.W01 or FastSql1398.W01 file to your c:\program files\Prescient Software\Mun-Ease folder. (Hereafter, substitute either the text Bde or Sql for "xxx" in our instructions.

Rename Fast"xxx"1398.w01 to Fast"xxx"1398.Exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\program files\Prescient Software\Mun-Ease\Fast"xxx"1398.Exe.

Enter the password that we provided in the letter that accompanied your 2008 user guide. Note: You must have installed the 2008 version from the CD ROM before you can load these updates.

Release 2005

V. 12.98o

Save the RFast1298p.W01 file to your wmuni folder on your local drive. Rename RFast1298p.w01 to RFast1298p.Exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\wmuni\RFast1298p.exe. Enter the password that we provided with your user guide. Note: You must have installed the 12.00 version from the CD ROM before you can load these updates.

Release 2003

V. 11.95b

Save these files to your wmuni folder on your local drive. Rename Fast1195b.w01 to Fast1195b.exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\wmuni\fast1195b.exe. Enter the password that we provided with your user guide. Note: You must have installed the 11.75 version from CD ROM before you can load these updates.

Release 2000

V. 10.98

Save these files to your wmuni folder on your local drive. Rename Fast1098.w01 to Fast1098.exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\wmuni\fast1098.exe. Enter the password that we provided with your user guide.

Circa 1998

V. 9

Save these files to your wmuni folder on your local drive. Rename Fast997f.w01 to Fast997f.exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\wmuni\fast997f.exe. Enter the password that we provided with your user guide.

Circa 1996

V. 8

Save these files to your wmuni folder on your local drive. Rename Fast899d.w01 to Fast899d.exe. From the Windows start menu, choose Start | Run | c:\wmuni\fast899d.exe. Enter the password that we provided with your user guide.
16.95 Interim Update

Revised Report Formats - We have revised the format of several combined debt service reports in the Stand-Alone Reporting and Allocations modules. These reports will now display additional columns of information including the beginning outstanding indebtedness, principal additions, and defeasances. Thus the new format allows a user can easily verify how the outstanding indebtedness for a date or time period is calculated:

Ending Outstanding Debt = Beginning Outstanding Debt + Principal Additions - Principal Reductions - Defeasances

New Arbitrage Yield Calculation - The Treasury has finalized the September 26, 2007 proposed regulations for the calculation of the arbitrage yield. The final regulations are effective July 18, 2016. While issuers have had the option of since 2007 of calculating the arbitrage yield based on the 2007 proposed regulations, very few (if any) selected this option. The final regulations greatly simplify the calculation of the arbitrage yield limit. Under the new rules the user now calculates the yield of each maturity based on the yield-to-worst rule (the lower of the yield-to-maturity or yield-to-call). The debt service schedule used for the arbitrage yield calculation reflects the yield-to-worst calculations. The arbitrage yield limit is calculated by finding a discount factor that equates the bond issue's discounted debt service to the arbitrage target value.

Previously, the Regulations required an additional test to determine whether the debt service for a maturity was to be was based its call date or maturity date. This test required that the date to be used (the call or maturity date) should be the date that would result in the lowest arbitrage yield for the aggregate bond issue. In effect, software programs like Mun-Ease would need to test all of the different combinations of call dates and maturity dates to determine the dates that result in the lowest arbitrage yield.

One final wrinkle needs to be mentioned before we end this discussion.. Note that a maturity's yield-to-worst calculation needs to reflect the fact that there may be multiple call scenarios and that all of the call sencarios must be tested (e. g., a maturity may be callable in 10 years at a price of 102, 12 years at price of 101, and 15 years at par.

New Options for Bifurcated Bond Issues - We have added new options and reports for bifurcated bond issues. A bifurcated bond issue is one with multiple tranches or series. Usually each series or tranche is sized and structured separately. Each series could also be for a new-money or a refunding bond issue and could be either be taxable or tax-exempt. The arbitrage yield limit for a bifurcated issue would be the composite yield for the tax-exempt tranches of the bifurcated issue.
Our 16.75 release provides a number of enhancements to the format of the bifurcated bond issue reports. We also added the capability to include both new-money and refunding series into a single analysis. (sizing | bifurcated bond issues or refunding | bifurcated bond issues)

New 'Contains' Operator - We have added a new 'contains' operator to the report selection criteria screens that are displayed in the Stand-Alone Reporting and Allocation modules. Example: Assume you have bond issues with bond suffixes of 'AA', 'AAA', 'BAA', and 'CAAB'. Mun-Ease would include all of these bond issues in a report if your selection criteria used the 'contains' operator with a value of 'AA'.

New 'Role' and 'Minority Status' values for lookup codes - Financial advisor lookup codes now include defined roles of 'lead financial advisor' or 'co-lead'. Bond counsel codes now include defined roles of 'General', 'Co-General', 'Disclosure', 'Tax', 'Conduit Borrower', 'Underwriter', and 'Other.'
We added a 'HUB' value (historically under-utilized business) to the minority status drop-down menu displayed for financial advisors, underwriters, and bond counsel. The drop-down menu now displays values of 'African American', 'Native American', 'Asian American', 'Hispanic', 'Women Owned', 'Disabled Veteran', 'Other', 'HUB', and 'Not Applicable.'

Mun-Ease provides reports that allow you to track the amount and percentage of business directed to these groups.

New WAM Calculations - We now calculate a weighted average maturity (WAM) on draw-down loans and commercial paper rollovers. Previously Mun-Ease did not calculate a WAM because the original principal amount for these debt instruments is equal to zero. We have found a work-around for this limitation.

New Uses of Funds Feature - Mun-Ease can now record the uses of funds for tax purposes by pressing the uses of funds button while calculating the arbitrage yield limit. Mun-Ease automatically inserts this information into 8038G form before you begin entering other information into the form.

New Feature to Import Lookup Codes - We added a feature to enable the user to import lookup codes and allocation codes from a comma-delimited text file. The template for the text file is called 'ImportLkups.csv' and is located in the Templates subfolder of the user's personal directory. Codes are imported when the user presses the F2 function key while entering lookup codes in the Name Lookup Table (settings | name lookup codes).

New Features for Monitoring Syndicate Member Performance - We added new columns to the Syndicate Members Participation reports and data entry screens (report #s 125,126, 127). The new columns are in addition to the Allotment column. The new columns are for 'retail orders', 'institutional orders', and 'member orders' (file | fixed rate bonds | takedowns | syndicate member allotments and reports | minority participation reports | underwriter syndicates).

Miscellaneous - We revised the format of report #53b. This report displays code values and related information for the Name Lookup Table.

Bug Fixes

We fixed a bug that prevented Mun-Ease from displaying the help files for the 32-bit versions of Mun-Ease (both EDB and SQL Server).

We fixed a bug that affected the report package feature in the Arbitrage module. Previously, Mun-Ease did not include all of the requested reports in the report package.

16.55 Interim Update

We fixed a bug that prevented Mun-Ease from displaying the help files for the 32-bit versions of Mun-Ease (both EDB and SQL Server).

We fixed a bug that affected the report package feature in the Arbitrage module. Mun-Ease was not including all of the requested reports into the report package.

We fixed a bug in the File | Housing Bonds menu option. If the user attempted to partially call one or more maturities in the bond issue with over 181 maturities, Mun-Ease was not splitting the partially called maturities to the two pieces (one part called and the other uncalled).

New Options for Installing Mun-Ease

We have added a new option to the installation program. This option allows the user to create two desktop icons for Mun-Ease in addition to the icons that we create in the All Programs section of the Windows Program Manager. One desktop icon is for Mun-Ease and the other icon is for the various utilities that are bundled with Mun-Ease.

In previous releases, users only had the option of creating these icons in the All Programs section.

There is one important advantage of adding icons to the desktop. The desktop icons are displayed to all user accounts on a user's PC and not just to the account of the user who installed Mun-Ease.

New features to import data into Mun-Ease from the Windows clipboard

We have added a new feature to import columns of data from Excel or Word into Mun-Ease. This feature is available in the Base and Allocations modules through the file | fixed rate bonds | edit/new and the allocate |by individual Maturities | edit/new menu options. The new routine will remove invalid characters (dollar signs and commas) from the clipboard before it pastes the data into Mun-Ease. Just click on the paste from Windows clipboard button and follow the directions.

Note that users can continue to use the existing import functions that we provided in prior releases. These functions allow the user to import data from a spreadsheet that has been saved in a comma-delimited (.csv) format. This import capability is included in every module of Mun-Ease.

New Options for the OID/OIP Amortization Report

We have changed the reports and calculations in the reports | amortization reports | OID/OIP amortization (GASB 34) menu option.

Background: The OID/OIP amortization report amortizes the original issue premium/discount (OID/OIP) separately for each individual maturity over the maturity's life. The amortization is done by subtracting the nominal interest from the effective interest. Nominal interest is calculated by multiplying the par amount of the maturity by the coupon rate. The effective interest is calculated by multiplying the carrying value times the reoffering yield. Thus, if the reoffering yield is calculated to the call date (the yield-to-worst rule), then Mun-Ease amortizes the OIP to the call date instead of the maturity date.

Another situation that produces unexpected results is when Mun-Ease amortizes the OID/OIP for term bonds with mandatory redemption features (sinkers). Because the reoffering yield is calculated to the term date, the amortization for each of the mandatory redemptions was also extended to the term date.
To remedy these idiosyncrasies, we have changed the amortization calculation for both yield-to-call maturities and term bonds with mandatory redemptions. First, we provide users with a choice of how yield-to-call maturities are to be amortized. If there are yield-to-call maturities, then Mun-Ease will display a message asking the user to choose between amortizing these maturities to the call date or the maturity date. If the user chooses the maturity date option, then Mun-Ease will substitute the yield-to-maturity for the reoffering yield which will then cause the period of amortization to be extended to the maturity date.
Secondly, we now calculate a customized yield for each of the mandatory redemptions associated with a term bond. In effect, we ignore the term date and instead calculate the yield to the mandatory redemption date. When we generate OID/OIP amortization report (#84), we display the yield used for the amortization in each section heading. If a customized yield has been calculated, we display "(pseudo)" to the right of the yield to notify the user of that fact.

New Reports in the Allocations Module

We have added two new reports to the Allocations module (reports #03j and #03k): These reports show the weighted average interest cost and weighted average life of allocations based on a date chosen by the user.
These reports are similar to the reports that we provide in the Stand-Alone Reporting module (reports #03g and #03h).

Background: The Allocations module allows the user to allocate debt service among funds, departments, cost centers, and/or projects. The allocation coding block is a 40-character string with up to four breaks and is hierarchically structured just like a general ledger account number. Like all of the other reports within the Allocations module, the new reports allow the user to choose the allocation hierarchy and the level of summarization.
Thus the user is able to generate a report showing the weighted average interest cost and the weighted average life for one or more projects defined within the Allocations module.

New Features for Commercial Paper Rollovers

We have added new features for commercial paper rollovers. Previously users could only create a single variable rate bond issue that included all of the rollovers in a commercial paper program. Each rollover in a bond issue is identified by the CUSIP number which is stored in the Tranche identifier field. Users would add new rollovers by clicking on the Commercial Paper button while in the variable rate transaction grid (file | notes & variable rate bonds | create/edit/delete).

There are two situations though in which users have requested that each rollover be kept in a separate bond issue. In the first situation, a user needs to calculate a separate arbitrage yield and 8038-G for a rollover. In the second situation, the user needs to allocate a rollover to various funds, projects, departments, etc. using the gross debt service allocation method. Because allocation percentages are defined by bond issue, users cannot keep multiple rollovers in a single bond issue. Instead users need to enter each rollover in a separate bond issue.
Mun-Ease can now accommodate these requirements. We have added a new menu option (file | notes, leases, CP, & variable rate bonds | commercial paper rollovers (create only)) to create a new rollover. This menu option creates a tabbed window in which the user enters the rollover information in the first tab and enters the links to prior rollovers in the second tab.

Allocations for the rollover are created by clicking on the Allocations button below the transaction grid. We have also created a new commercial paper rollover report (#52e) which shows linkages between CP rollovers and the prior rollover(s) (allocate | by gross debt service | allocation reports | commercial paper history reports (#52e)).

If a user does not need to keep each rollover as a separate bond issue, he or she can continue to keep all of the related rollovers in a single bond issue. This architecture allows the user to enter new rollovers to the bond issue by clicking on the Commercial Paper button below the variable rate transaction grid.

New Features for Loan Pools

We have added a new option to the loan pools | generate invoices menu option. Users can now choose the invoice template to be used for billing clients who have borrowed from the loan pool. We also provide two templates that users can use as a starting point for creating their own invoice template. Note that Mun-Ease provides a capability to automatically e-mail invoices instead of physically mailing them to participants in the loan pool.

New Feature Added to Automated E-Mail Alerts

Mun-Ease now allows the user to insert mail-merge tags in the subject heading of an e-mail. Previously users could only insert mail-merge tags in the body of the e-mail.

Changes to the "Scan Database for Refunding Candidates" menu option
Mun-Ease will no longer display error messages when the user is scanning the database for refunding candidates. Instead, we will provide a report at the end of the scan noting any error conditions that were encountered during the process. This change will allow the scan to continue without the user having to confirm the existence of each error during the scan process.

Bug Fixes

We corrected a bug with the 8038G and 8038 tax forms that was introduced with the release of the 16.05 version in April, 2015. Mun-Ease displayed a null date value of 01/01/1899 in date fields that were unfilled. Mun-Ease now displays a blank value.

The combined debt service reports can now handle zero-interest rate QZABs (qualified zone academy bonds). Previously, the combined debt service reports did not display the correct amount of the beginning outstanding indebtedness in years where there was no interest being paid.

We corrected a bug that prevented a user from displaying the online version of our user manuals. (This bug was introduced with the 16.05 version released in April, 2015.)


15.99 Interim Update

We corrected a bug in the Allocations report #64n. Mun-Ease was not correctly displaying the beginning and ending balance of outstanding allocated debt when bonds were called on a non coupon-anniversary date.

We eliminated the following error message that was displayed in the SQL Server version of Mun-Ease:

"error reading wwDbGrid1. IniAttributesUnicodeInifile: Property UnicodeInifile does not exist."

15.90 Interim Update

We added a new Combined NICC (net interest cost to call) and Weighted Average To-Call (WAC) report to the Stand-Alone Reporting module. This report calculates the net interest cost to call and weighted average to-call for a portfolio of bonds defined by the user. The NICC and WAC are calculated as of a date specified by the user and are calculated individually for each bond and as an average for the portfolio. Note that the calculations are restricted to fixed-rate bonds and for bonds issued on or before the user-specified calculation date.

We have made several data entry improvements to the file | notes & variable rate bonds | edit/add/delete menu option. You can press the F6 function key to copy the Tranche identifier to the remaining rows. We now display the record count of transactions of a note/variable rate bond issue in the summary window and in report #1j. We also display various warnings and other information when a user is attempting to merge a fixed rate bond issue with a note/variable rate bond.

We changed reports 11, 105, and 106. In some instances information in these reports was not sorted correctly.

We added new features to the data entry screens for the maturity-by-maturity allocations. These new features facilitate data entry when there are overlapping maturities. We also added new timesaving features to the "remap allocations" menu option.

We added a feature that allows the user to import SLGS from either the current format or the pre-2013 format.

We corrected a bug that occurred when the user requests to re-amortize a negative amortization note. Previously the outstanding principal was not calculated correctly during the negative amortization period.

We added a new column to the Ratings / Rating Agency Summary report (#83d). The new column displays the effective date.

We renamed the reset dates button to define dates in the reoffering prices/yields grid that is displayed in the Sizing and Refunding modules. This button initiates a pop-up menu that contains four options. The first two options allow the user to reset the call dates and term dates to their default values. These options are useful when there are overlapping maturities. The third and fourth menu options are new. The third option allows a user define a call scenario for a range of maturities. The fourth option allows a user define the maturities that comprise a term bond. Previously the user defined these attributes by entering the call and term dates within the reoffering prices/yields grid. Note: This change is similar to the change that we made to the maturity grid (see interim update 15.75).

We added a new menu option to the file | database maintenance submenu. Users can choose the delete old import/export files menu option to delete unneeded import/export files. If a user is receiving files from another user via e-mail, we recommend that the user who is receiving the files choose this menu option before saving the new import/export files to his computer. This procedure will ensure that only the most current files are imported to the database.

Spreadsheet Interface - We corrected a bug in the interface that is used to import bond issues and rebate transactions from comma-delimited files. Previously Mun-Ease would only accept transactions with an Issuer Code of 8 characters or less and a Bond Suffix with 3 characters or less. We changed this edit so that the user can import bond containing issuer codes of 10 characters or less and bond suffixes of 4 characters of less.

We have changed the Combined Debt Service on an Accrual Basis report (#76) to correctly calculate the year-end accrual of interest for commercial paper rollovers, lines of credit, draw-down loans, and other debt instruments that have irregular coupon payments.

Background: For most debt instruments, calculating accruals of interest is a relatively simple matter. For example, assume that an issuer’s fiscal year starts on January 1 and that a bond issue pays interest semi-annually on April 1 and October 1 of each year. At the end of the fiscal year (December 31), Mun-Ease would record the accrual of 50% of the April 1 interest payment while also reducing the amount of interest in the subsequent fiscal year by a similar amount.

However, if a note pays interest irregularly, Mun-Ease must take additional steps before it can calculate the accrual of interest. It must determine (a) the number of days between the current interest payment and the prior interest payment and (b) the number days in the prior fiscal year (if any) and the number of days in current fiscal year.

Matters are even more complicated if the note is composed of commercial paper rollovers because a commercial paper program usually contains overlapping investments. Mun-Ease cannot just compute the day counts of two adjacent interest transactions because they are not necessarily related. Instead Mun-Ease would need to search through transactions within a note to pair each commercial paper purchase with the related receipt.

The 15.88 release has these capabilities. Note that if you wish to perform interest accruals on an existing note that contains commercial paper rollovers, you must specify that the note contains commercial paper rollovers. You assign this designation through the file | notes and variable rate transactions | variable rate setup options | existing menu option. Choose the commercial paper designation in the optional fields page. This step is only necessary for commercial paper rollovers that were previously input. Mun-Ease will automatically define this attribute for all new notes that contain commercial paper rollovers.

Interim Update (15.75)

We updated Mun-Ease to include the 2014 arbitrage computation credits ($1,620). Mun-Ease automatically computes the yearly computation credits when you press the <F11> function key while in the Rebate Transaction grid. The value of the credit is determined by the transaction year entered by the user.

We added a new Combined NIC (net interest cost) and Weighted Average Maturity (WAM) report to the Stand-Alone Reporting module. This report calculates the net interest cost and weighted average maturity for a portfolio of bonds defined by the user. The NIC and WAM are calculated as of a date specified by the user and are calculated individually for each bond and as an average for the portfolio. Note that the calculations are restricted to fixed-rate bonds and for bonds issued on or before the user-specified calculation date.

We have revamped the help file that is distributed with the 2012 release of Mun-Ease. Background: We use a third-party tool to create the help file. The help file is in a compiled HTML format and uses our user guide as a source of information. We recently noticed that the help utility was not correctly translating many of the fonts and style templates that we use in the user guide. Thus we revamped our user guide so that the verbiage would be correctly formatted in the help file.

We have made several changes to the maturity grid that is used to create or edit a bond issue on the database.

(a) When entering the amount of principal for a maturity, the user can press the <F2> function key and Mun-Ease will multiply the amount entered by $1,000. Example: Assume that user is entering a principal amount of $20 million. The user enters the $20 and presses the <F2> function key twice. Mun-Ease changes the amount to $20 million ($20 x 1000 x 1000).

(b) We renamed the reset dates button to define dates in the maturity grid. This button initiates a pop-up menu that contains four options. The first two options allow the user to reset the call dates and term dates to their default values. These options are useful when there are overlapping maturities. The third and fourth menu options are new. The third option allows a user define a call scenario for a range of maturities. The fourth option allows a user define the maturities that comprise a term bond. Previously the user defined these attributes by entering the call and term dates within the maturity grid.

We changed the file | fixed rate bonds | partial calls menu option. This menu option allows you to partially call one or more maturities. Each maturity that the user flags in this process is split into two pieces: one part that is called and another part that is left uncalled.

In previous versions, Mun-Ease would insert a called maturity directly after a maturity that was flagged to be partially called. It would then renumber all succeeding maturities. This process could be problematic if there were allocations for the bond issue and the user had previously chosen to allocate bond proceeds using the maturity-by-maturity method. Because the maturities are renumbered, they would no longer be linked to the original allocation. With the 15.75 release, we no longer insert the called maturity after the original maturity. Instead, we insert the called maturity at the very bottom of the maturity list. Thus the partial calls menu option will no longer invalidate the links between the Allocations database table and the Maturity database table.

We added a new field to the Maturity database table. This field is called the "previous maturity number." In most cases, the value of this field is zero. However, if a maturity has been split into two parts (one part called and another part uncalled) then the value of this field for the called portion of a maturity contains the original maturity number. The value of this field can be viewed through the file | fixed rate bonds | call and defeasance dates menu option.
We corrected a bug that occasionally occurred when the user pressed the reset dates button while in the maturity grid. The reset dates button allows the user to reset the term dates and called dates back to their default values. In some instances, the values were not reset.

We modified the edit routines in the bond calculator. When calculating the yield on an investment, the prior routines required that the user enter a yield greater than or equal to 0.5%. We lowered this number to 0.006%.

We corrected a bug that occasionally occurred when the user pressed the reset dates button while in the maturity grid. The reset dates button allows the user to reset the term dates and called dates back to their default values. In some instances, the values were not reset.

We corrected a bug in allocate | by gross debt service | authorizations and expenses | pro-rate expenditures menu option. Previously, Mun-Ease did not open the Allocations database table prior to initiating this menu option.

We made changes to reports 61 and 67d in the Allocations module and 04G in the Stand-Alone Reporting module. Previously there were instances when fiscal year-end totals for debt service and outstanding debt were not displayed.

Release 15.50 (July, 2013)

Click here to view the features of version 15.50.

Release 15.00 (October, 2012)

Click here to view the features of version 15.00.

Last Update for 2010 version

We corrected a bug in the Sizing and Refunding modules. This bug occurred when a user sized a bond issue with a previously saved profile that contained individual line items for other issuance costs. Mun-Ease was not importing the line items from the profile into the Sizing/Refunding analysis.

We added report selection criteria to the Swaps Accounting Report. This option is useful when the swap transaction contains multiple counter-parties. The user can now select the counter-parties to be included in the report.

We corrected a bug in the variable rate grid. Background: In addition to displaying periodic debt service payments, the user can choose to display up to five columns of various fees that are paid along with the interest and principal. In some situations, the column titles for the periodic fees did not display the values that the user had input. Instead Mun-Ease displayed the system default values.

We changed the routine to import a comma-delimited file for SLGS rates from the Treasury web site. We now import the file with a .TXT extension instead of a .CSV extension. We made this change because newer versions of Excel attempt to convert the first column of data to date field when it is actually a MM-YYYY field. This problem does not occur if the data is saved as a .TXT file.

We corrected a bug in the 8038G tax form. Some information from the first page of the form was mistakenly displayed on the second page of the form.

We added a feature to change en masse the web location of all or selected bond-related documents. Background: The Windows and web versions of Mun-Ease include a feature to link documents to one or more bond issues on the database. Recently a user upgraded web servers and in the process changed the folder location of all bond-related documents. This feature simplifies the process of modifying the links between documents and bonds on the database.

We corrected a bug that affected calculations for notes and variable rate bonds. In two situations, Mun-Ease was not calculating interest correctly when the user pressed the "recalculate" button. The first situation was for variable rate bonds that did not pay interest on a simple-interest basis but included payments on a non-anniversary coupon date. The second situation was for draw-down loans that paid interest on a simple-interest basis.

We corrected a bug that affected the calculation of interest of SLGS certificates. Mun-Ease was not recognizing a leap year when the dated date fell after February 29 in a leap year and the maturity date fell before on or before February 29 in a subsequent year.

Release 14.85 (March 2012)

We added a new Monthly Accruals report (107MoI) to the Stand-Alone Reporting and Allocations modules. This report displays a side-by-side comparison of actual debt service disbursements and monthly accruals. The report can also accrue principal as well as interest.

We added two new Issuance Costs Amortization reports (#23a that uses the straight-line method and #92a that uses the effective interest method) to the Allocations module. Previously these reports were only available in the Stand-Alone Reporting module.

We added a new report entitled List of Cusips (#118) to the Stand-Alone Reporting module. This report lists the Cusip numbers of maturities in bond issues selected by the user.

We added new reporting features for bonds that pay periodic fees along with interest payments. Users can now generate individual or combined debt service reports showing debt service with or without the periodic fees. The new features are included in the Stand-Alone Reporting and Allocations modules. Background: Issuers who borrow money from loan pools often pay an administrative fee along with their debt service payments. These administrative fees vary over time because they are often based on the amount of indebtedness as of each debt service payment.

We modified the List of Maturing Bonds (#103) report. Previously the report included only maturities of fixed rate bonds that were redeemed during the specified time period. The report now includes principal payments of variable rate bonds and notes that also mature within the specified time period.

We changed our backup routines to zip the database tables without the path names. This change should prevent the backup routine from aborting due to a lack of memory. This problem occurred when the directory path to the database was extremely long.

We added a new version of the Combined Debt Service on an Accrual Basis report (#76a). This report displays yearly totals without the detail.

We updated the 8038G tax form for the changes made to it by the IRS in September, 2011. We also updated the 8038-GC tax form to include additional information for paid preparers.

We revised report #75 in the SQL Server version of Mun-Ease. The SQL Server version of this report was not sorting correctly. We corrected a bug in the Paying Agent Advance Remittance report. Previously there were instances when the remittance date was not calculated correctly.

We revised report #1F in the SQL Server version of Mun-Ease. The SQL Server version was initiating this report using the BDE calling parameters instead of the SQL Server options. We also changed report #1F in both the SQL Server and BDE versions to display the total bond years and average bond years.

Release 14.60 (July, 2011) - (2010 Release)

 

New Flow-of-Funds Feature in the Sizing Module

New Cash Defeasance Features

Mun-Ease now has a capability to generate individual and combined debt service schedules for bonds that have been called in a cash defeasance. Background: When a user requests Mun-Ease to generate an individual or combined debt service schedule, Mun-Ease displays a window to allow the user to choose how called maturities are to be handled. Mun-Ease allows the user to view debt service (a) up to the defeasance date, (b) through the defeasance date, (c) through the call date, or (d) to the original maturity date (ignoring the calls). In most cases, the user will choose option "A" (up to the defeasance date) because the escrow account in an advance refunding assumes the legal responsibility for the payment of debt service on or after the date of refunding, (i. e., the defeasance date).

However, a cash defeasance is different from an advance refunding. In a cash defeasance, the issuer calls the bonds with his own cash. Thus the user would need to view the debt service through the defeasance date. To facilitate this need, Mun-Ease now provides a new field that allows the user to designate a called maturity as a cash defeasance (file | fixed rate bonds | call/defeasance dates menu option). When the user chooses to generate a debt service schedule up to the defeasance date, Mun-Ease will follow that rule unless the cash defeasance flag is set to “Y.” For those maturities, debt service is displayed through the defeasance date instead of up to the defeasance date.

Newly Updated 8038 Tax Forms

 Mun-Ease generates completed arbitrage tax forms (8038, 8038-G, 8038-GC, 8038-T, 8038-CP, 8038-B, and 8038-R).  When generating a tax form, Mun-Ease automatically inserts the issuer contact information and the results of our calculations into the requested form. The user has the option to override this information if needed.

In June, the IRS changed the 8038, 8038-T, and 8038-R tax forms.  All of these forms now contain a section where contact information is input for paid preparers.  Additionally the 8038 tax form contains a “miscellaneous” section where the issuer is to provide information on GICs, hedges, and compliance procedures.  The 8038 tax form is now three pages in length. With this release, we have updated all of these forms to reflect the recent changes made by the IRS. 

We updated the Arbitrage module to include the calculation of computation credits for 2011.  Mun-Ease automatically computes the amount of the computation credit when you press the F11 function while in the Rebate Transaction Grid.  We also provide a yearly history of allowable amounts for computation credits since they were indexed for inflation in 2007.  These amounts are displayed on the summary page of the Rebate Transactions Grid.

We added an option to print the investment portfolio reports (#29, a,b) for a selected date range. The report is generated through the arbitrage | investment view | edit/add/delete menu option.

New Features in the Stand-Alone Reporting Module

We have one very important objective with regard to the reporting features within the Stand-Alone Reporting module of Mun-Ease:  That goal is to provide a full set of reports that can be exported from Mun-Ease directly into an issuer’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) or Comprehensive Annual Debt Report (CADR) with no customizations or formatting changes.

This release contains several new reports that help us meet our goal.  Before describing these reports, we’ll discuss some other new features that help us generate CAFR/CADR reports. 

  1. We have added new lookup codes that can describe various attributes of a bond issue or note.  These codes include:

    (a) an activity code (governmental, business, conduit), (b) a fiscal dated year code, (c) a purpose code,  (d) a letter-of-credit (LOC) provider code (e) a tax code (taxable, tax-exempt, AMT, non-AMT),  (f) a long-term/short-term debt code.

  2. We have added new features to maintain information about letters of credit - LOC providers, effective dates, expiration dates, stated amounts, and committed amounts.
  3.   We added new fields related to the bond rating agency - insured and underlying bond ratings, and the bond insurer (if applicable). 
  4. We have added new report selection options to Mun-Ease. When selecting bond issues to be included in a report, the user can select bonds using any of the standard SQL operators (EQL, NEQ, GTR, LSS, GEQ, LEQ, and/or "Starts With" operators. The "Starts With" operator allows the user to select bonds based on a subset of a code value. For example, assume a city has allocated debt service to individual libraries within the city. Each library has an allocation code of LIB001, LIB002, LIB003, etc. If a user desires to view a report of allocated debt service for all libraries, he would use the "Starts With" operator and choose the "LIB" sub-string.

These features have enabled us to add four new reports that can be included in an issuer’s CAFR/CADR.  They are: (a) summary of letters of credit (#83e), (b) current ratings summary (#83d), summary of outstanding debt (#83e,f). You can view examples of these reports by choosing the help | what’s new menu option within Mun-Ease.

We have also made some other changes to the Stand-Alone Reporting module:

  • We have also added a new combined debt service schedule (#04i) to the Stand-Alone Reporting module. This version displays a separate column for BAB subsidies.
  • We added a new column to the combined debt service reports #4c and #4a. The new column shows principal additions. Previous versions of the report showed only the principal payments (reductions).
  • We changed the millage impact reports so that the user can input negative growth rates for property tax assessed values. Previous versions required the user to enter a positive growth rate.

New Features in the Allocations Module

We added new available-to-call reports (95c,d) to the Allocations module. These reports are similar to the reports of the same name in the Stand-Alone Reporting module.

We added new refunding history reports (#116,b) to the Allocations module. These reports show a comparison of allocations in the refunding issue and the refunded bond issue(s).

We added a new data entry proof report (#31c) to the Allocations module. This report displays allocations sorted in an order similar to that used for data entry. The report is generated along with the variance report (#31b). We added new summary totals to the allocations variance report.

We modified the allocations variance report (#31b) to show call information (call date, call price, defeasance date, and the refunding bond ID) if the maturity has been called.

We corrected the routines to generate a combined debt service on an accrual basis report in the Allocations module. In previous versions, the report displayed the allocation coding block in the default format rather than the format defined by the user.

We added fiscal year totals for outstanding indebtedness in the #67 reports in the allocation module.

We modified the loan pool invoicing routines so that the user can input the invoice payment cycle date.

 New Features in the Base Module

We added a new feature to lock the price/yield calculations for a fixed rate bond issue. Background: When entering a fixed rate bond issue, the user has the choice of entering a price and computing a yield or entering a yield and computing a price. After performing the calculations, users often tab through the maturity grid and inadvertently change a calculation. This new feature allows the user to lock the calculations in the maturity grid once the data entry process has been completed to minimize the chance of accidentally changing the calculations. The grid can be unlocked at any time.

We added a new debt service schedule report (#24i) for fixed rate bonds to the Base module. It is similar to report #24c except that it also displays the CUSIP number whenever a principal payment is made. We also added a new debt service schedule report (#01r) for variable rate bonds to the Base module. It is similar to report #01e except that it also displays the CUSIP number whenever a principal payment is made.

We added a new detailed debt service schedule (#3e) that displays debt service by CUSIP number and coupon payment date. This report can be provided to DTC to verify the payment amounts for each coupon payment date.

We added a new version of the periodic resets report (#94b). Previously the report displayed the periodic resets for the calculation of one variable rate debt service payment. The new version shows all periodic resets for a variable rate bond issue.

We modified the interface for inputting variable rate transactions from a spreadsheet. The new interface adds a column for a 16-character Tranche field. The Tranche field can be used to group commercial paper rollovers and to identify periodic fees within a bond issue.

We added new features for the data entry of commercial paper rollovers. The new features will assign default values to fields after the first rollover has been entered.

We enhanced the error messages that Mun-Ease displays when a user has entered incorrect options for performing price / yield calculations in the maturity grid. The new error message provides additional information for diagnosing the problem.

We modified the routines to import SLGS rates in a comma-delimited format from the Bureau of Public Debt website. The routines were modified because the URL address changed and the comma-delimited format changed for SLG certificates (SLGS maturing in 12 or few months).

Miscellaneous Change – We have added a new option to the installation script for Mun-Ease.  We now provide an option for the user to install the report specifications and personal files in either the “All User”/”Public” subfolder or in the <user name> subfolder where <user name> is the Windows sign-on. The previous version of the 14.0 installation script provided only the latter option.

 

Click here for a list of enhancements in 2010 release.

Release 13.97

- Fixed a problem with the Arbitrage IRR report via purpose expenditures. (We changed the present-value date from the first investment date to the delivery date.)

- Fixed a problem with the display of the Name Lookup Table in the SQL Server version. (Mun-Ease would occasionally not hide the window before returning to the main menu.

- Fixed a problem with calculation of future-value factors when the bond issue payed interest on a 35-day basis. The future-value report displayed the incorrect day-count factor.

- Fixed a problem relating to combined debt service schedules for Build America Bonds (BABs). For accounting purposes, BAB reimbursements are treated as a revenue source and not a reduction of interest (see our 13.90 newsletter). Thus the debt service reports that are used for accounting purposes should display gross debt service. In a few instances, Mun-Ease previously displayed debt service net of the BAB reimbursement.

- Recalculated accrued interest for a BABs TIC and arbitrage yield limit calculation. Accrued interest is reduced by the Treasury reimbursement.

- Changed the day count rule used in calculating adjustments for deep-discount term bonds. Previously we used the MSRB day counts and we now use SIA day counts.

- Corrected the "copy" function in the Periodic Resets window.

- Changed various calculations within Mun-Ease to recognize bond issues with a 4-character suffix. Previously, the selection criteria for some calculations used only the first three characters of the bond suffix.

Release 13.90

Build America Bonds (BABs) - We have made significant changes to Mun-Ease to facilitate the issuance and reporting of Build America Bonds (BABs). Build America Bonds are taxable bonds that are issued in lieu of tax-exempt bonds. They are the result of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Act provides for two types of BABs: (a) a taxable bond in which the bondholder receives a tax credit, or (b) a taxable bond in which the issuer receives a reimbursement from the U. S. Treasury. The reimbursement or tax credit is equal to 35% unless the bonds are issued for a designated economic recovery zone in which case the reimbursement/tax credit is 45%. Because of sunset provisions enacted by Congress, BABs can currently be issued only through 12/31/2010.
Several Mun-Ease users have already issued Build America Bonds. From our discussions with them, it appears that they are forgoing the option of issuing tax credit BABs and electing instead to receive a subsidy from the U.S. Treasury.
Although BABs are issued as taxable bonds, they are still subject to the arbitrage provisions of the tax code. The arbitrage yield limit is computed net of the interest subsidy received by the issuer.

Mun-Ease allows the issuer to designate a bond issue as a Build America Bond. If designated, the user is prompted for a reimbursement rate (for which we provide a 35% default value). Thereafter, individual true interest cost (TIC) and arbitrage yield limit calculations and reports will incorporate an additional column of information showing the interest subsidy. Debt service on each payment date is reduced by the amount of the subsidy.

As previously noted, the subsidy is treated as a reduction of interest for arbitrage purposes and for the purpose of calculating the true interest cost. However, the accounting treatment of the interest subsidy is just the opposite . Instead of treating it as a reduction of interest, issuers are recording it as a revenue source (similar to a grant). Thus we have chosen to show the subsidy as a reduction of interest in the TIC and arbitrage yield limit calculations. However, we do not show it as a reduction of interest in reports used for accounting and financial statement purposes. These reports are created under the Stand-Alone Reporting menu option.
Issuers obtain the interest subsidy by submitting an 8038-CP tax form to the U. S. Treasury. For fixed-rate bonds, the 8038-CP is submitted no earlier than 90 days from each interest payment date.

New Arbitrage Features for Variable Rate Bonds - Our July 2009 newsletter discussed new features in Mun-Ease for the calculation of the arbitrage yield limit of variable rate bonds. Since that release, we have continued to add new features to this calculation. Before describing these enhancements, we'll provide some background information about the calculation.

The issuer of a variable rate bond issue has the option of calculating a separate yield for each computation period. The computation period can be for any bond year up to (or through) the end of the fifth year.

Prior to our July update (v. 13.75), we required the user to create a separate bond issue for each of the computation periods for which a yield calculation was performed. With our July 2009 update, we no longer imposed this burden on the user. Since then, if a user can chooses to compute a separate yield for yearly computation periods, he/she can do so within the same bond issue.
There is one question that confronts the user if he decides to calculate a separate arbitrage yield limit for each yearly computation period: How to allocate the upfront costs (e.g., bond insurance) among the computation periods? Our July release allowed the user to divide upfront costs by the number of computation periods. Mun-Ease would then future-value the allocated portion of costs to the beginning of the computation period.

In this release, we provide a function to annuitize upfront costs over the total number of computation periods. The costs are annuitized at the 5-year arbitrage yield limit. While the prior technique was reasonable and acceptable, the new annuitization method is more accurate from an actuarial standpoint.

New Features for Swap Transactions - We added new input options that allow the user to generate the Swaps Accounting Report with one or more summarization options (daily, monthly, semi-annual or yearly totals). This option is useful when the payment frequency varies for each side of the swap. For example, an issuer could enter into a swap transaction in which he receives semi-annual fixed payments in place of the monthly variable rate payments made to bondholders.
We added a new input option to the Swaps Accounting report to allow the user to specify whether the swap is a "fixed-to-variable" or "variable-to-fixed" swap. This information is used by Mun-Ease to determine which side of the swap is to be displayed as a negative number.

We revised the screen colors in Mun-Ease so that fonts are easily read when the user has chosen "Windows XP Theme" display settings instead of "Windows Classic" display settings. Background: Some background colors do not display correctly in flat-panel monitors under the "Window XP Theme" display settings.
We have corrected a bug that occurred when the user chose the File | Fixed Rate Bonds | Merge Bond Issues menu option.

We increased the size of the columns within the Debt Service Allocations grid and changed the order of columns so that the Bond Suffix appears next to the Dated Year.

Debt Service Allocations - We modified Mun-Ease to allocate debt service to an allocation coding block of NONE-NONE-NONE-NONE if there are no allocations for a bond issue.

We have added a new option to the OID/OIP amortization report. Users can now choose to perform year-end accruals on a 30/360 or actual/actual day basis.
We have added two new debt service schedules for variable rate bonds. These reports are generated when the user is viewing debt service transactions while in the variable rate grid. After clicking on the report button, choose the "report w/o misc fees" menu option and Mun-Ease will produce the new reports.

We modified the Periodic Resets report (#94) to show the calculation of the interest payment in addition to the interest rate. (Previous versions of this report only showed the calculation of the interest rate.) We added a new feature to correctly calculate interest from the periodic resets in the following situation: When (a) the interest payment is calculated from periodic resets, (b) the interest period spans two different calendar years, (c) one of the calendar years has 360 days and the other has 366 days, and (c) the interest payment is calculated on an actual/actual day count basis. We modified the data grid where the periodic resets are entered so that the data entry process is more consistent with information typically displayed in bank statements. We've added two new calculated fields to the periodic resets grid (the point spread and percentage spread between the index rate and the effective interest rate).

We modified report #23 so that it shows totals by fiscal year. Report #23 is generated when a user chooses to amortize issuances costs on an effective interest basis.

Release 13.75e

New Arbitrage Features for Variable Rate Bonds

The arbitrage regulations contain special provisions for the yield calculations of variable rate bond issues. While the arbitrage yield limit for a fixed rate bond is initially calculated over the life of the issue, the issuer of a variable rate bond issue has the option of calculating a separate yield for each computation period. The computation period can be for any bond year up to (or through) the end of the fifth year.

In prior releases, we required the user to create a separate bond issue for each of the computation periods for which a yield calculation was performed.
In this release, we no longer impose this additional burden on the user. If the user chooses to compute a separate yield for yearly computation periods, he/she can do so within the same bond issue. The user can choose any beginning and ending date for a computation period even if those dates do not fall on a coupon payment date. Mun-Ease will perform all necessary accruals of interest and credit enhancement fees for both the beginning and ending dates of the computation period. We also allow the issuer to pro-rate a share of upfront costs that are to be included in the arbitrage target value to the computation period.

The yield limit feature works in conjunction with the Mun-Ease future-value calculations. The future-value calculations can be performed by selecting only the rebate transactions that are relevant to the computation period.

Data Entry Enhancements for Arbitrage Transactions.

We have modified the window that displays rebate transactions. The new grid eliminates the amount column. Instead the user enters data in the two columns that were previously "read-only" and that were used to display the effects of the transaction amount. For nonpurpose investments, these columns are labeled "amount invested" or "amount received." For purpose expenditures, the columns are labeled "expenditure" or "adjustment to expenditure."

Background:

While our prior convention for the sign of the rebate transaction (+,-) was consistent with the way journal entries are recorded in the issuer's accounting system, many people (especially those who are not career accountants) found this convention confusing. In this release, the user no longer needs to be concerned about whether a transaction is entered as a positive or negative number. Instead Mun-Ease automatically adjusts the sign of the transaction based on the column that the transaction is entered.

64-bit Processors and Mun-Ease

We have modified our installation routines to recognize situations where Mun-Ease is being installed on a Windows computer with a 64-bit processor. Thus on a 64-bit computer, Mun-Ease, the Crystal Reports run-time engine, and related DLLs will be installed in C:\Program Files (x86) folder. We have also updated our hard key drivers so that they are compatible with the 64-bit operating environment.

Although Mun-Ease is currently a 32-bit application, we plan to release a native 64-bit version of Mun-Ease during the second half of 2010.

New Features in the Allocations Module

Before describing our new features in the Allocations module, we'll first provide a brief overview of the Allocations module.

Background

The Allocations module allows issuers to implement a charge-back system so that they can prorate debt service of a bond issue among funds, departments, cost centers, and/or projects. Some state entities also include an appropriation number and/or the legislative statute as part of their allocation coding scheme.
Mun-Ease provides two methods for allocating debt service. Under the first method, Mun-Ease allocates a portion of debt service of individual maturities in a bond issue. This method is often used when the projects to be funded by the bond issue have varying useful lives and the issuer desires to charge a portion of debt service to reflect that fact.

The second method allocates in aggregate a percentage of gross debt service to the different allocation entities. For variable rate bond issues, this method is mandatory.

The allocation coding block is structured hierarchically much like a general-ledger account number. It is composed of four 10-character alpha-numeric segments. Each segment is associated with an 80-character description.
Most reports in the Allocation module have input options that allow the user to define the allocation hierarchy (i. e., the sort order for the four 10-character allocation segments) and the summarization level (the report can be summarized to (a) the top level, (b) top two levels, (c) top three levels, or (d) at the detail level (all four levels).

New Features

In prior releases of Mun-Ease, the issuer chose one of the two methods for allocating debt service. Each method had its own reports. In this release, we allow the user to generate reports that merge calculations from both methods. Thus the issuer can use the gross debt service method for some bond issues and the maturity-by-maturity method for other bond issues and then create reports that combine both sets of calculations. Reports that can be merged include the 64d through 64m debt service schedules.

Database Changes

The features of the 13.75 release require that we update the structure of the Mun-Ease database. These changes include: (a) a new allocations table for gross debt service allocations (Dsvalloc2), (b) new data types for arbitrage tax forms database table (arbforms) to increase the precision of calculations included on the 8038 forms, and (c) additional fields in the report database tables on the SQL Server database (Rptdtl and Rpthead). The changes to the report database tables allow our Internet Add-On module to generate reports directly from the server instead of the report tables located on the client.

SQL Server Database Permissions

The above changes are made to the database when the first user initiates Mun-Ease subsequent to the installation of the 13.75 release. Upon start-up, Mun-Ease asks the first user to verify that he has sufficient rights (db_owner and/or db_creator) before attempting to make these changes. Thus the first user must have db_owner or db_creator permissions or the changes cannot be made. After the database changes have been made by the first user, Mun-Ease will no longer inquire about permissions nor will users need them.

Note that the above discussion of permissions applies only to the SQL Server version of Mun-Ease. The BDE version of Mun-Ease can make database changes for any user regardless of their access rights.

New Internet Add-On Module

Our Internet Add-On module allows issuers to place their Mun-Ease database on a web server so that people outside of their immediate organization can obtain information about their debt. Among the reports that web users can run are individual and combined debt service schedules, combined indebtedness reports, and bond production reports. We also have features that allow an issuer to conduct a competitive bond sale over the Internet.

Our 13.75 CD contains two new versions of this program - one written for the BDE database and the other for SQL Server. We also made improvements to the report generation process so that reports are generated in less time. The Internet Add-On module now automatically depopulates the report database tables when a user finishes his/her session.

Miscellaneous Changes

We've added ten new allocation reports (#64h-m and 67h-m). These reports display allocated debt service and outstanding debt across a range of years defined by the user. The new reports provide numerous options for how debt service is sorted, summarized, and displayed (allocate | by individual maturities | allocation reports | multi-yr dsv/paying agt or allocate | by gross debt svc | allocation reports | combined debt svc on a cash basis).

We have changed our help system to allow Mun-Ease to display help topics in either compiled HTML (.CHM) or classic help format (.HLP). Previously Mun-Ease only displayed help in classic help format. You can select a format by clicking on the User Ops speed button and checking the desired format in the bottom left-hand corner of the first tabbed window. Background: By default, Windows Vista supports only help in a compiled HTML format. Vista requires the user to install a separate program to display classic help files. This new change eliminates the need to install the program under Windows Vista.

In previous versions of the 2008 version, the BDE version of Mun-Ease updated the private use database tables as defined by the MuniDb database alias instead of the Mun-EaseMainDb database. This problem affected only the BDE version and not the SQL Server version. We corrected this problem so that the correct database is updated.

We now provide an option for the user to include bond surety fees in the true interest cost (TIC) calculation. Previously, we included bond surety fees only in arbitrage yield limit calculation and NOT the true interest cost. Background: While we don't necessarily agree with this trend, we are seeing more and more reports where the underwriter includes bond surety fees in the true interest calculation. We provide this option to facilitate the reconciliation of the user's calculations to those of the underwriter. You can initiate this option by choosing the file | fixed rate bonds | edit menu option and clicking on the day counts / misc info tabbed window. This option is displayed in the TIC Calculation Options group box. (This group box also includes an option to include upfront credit enhancements in the All-Inclusive TIC target value and not the regular TIC target value.

We added a new column to the grid that is displayed when a user is adding or editing a "maturity-by-maturity" allocation. This new read-only column displays the called switch in a "Y/N" format. This feature helps a user to determine the amount of allocations to be assigned to each maturity when a prior refunding called only part of one or more maturities.

In the BDE version of Mun-Ease, "Bond Copy" function now allows the user to enter a 4-character suffix. Previously, the suffix was limited to 3 characters. This limitation only affected the BDE version of Mun-Ease.

We modified the import/export function within Mun-Ease so that the user can select the folder where a bond issue is read or written. The default import/export location for previous versions was a user's personal directory (file | database maintenance | import/export).

Recent Changes to the 2008 version of Mun-Ease (13.50 CD 01/21/09)

New Commercial Paper (CP) Features

We've added new features for the calculation and input of a commercial paper debt within Mun-Ease. Users can initiate these features by pressing the commercial paper button while in the notes / variable rate bonds grid. When you press the commercial paper button, Mun-Ease displays a popup window to calculate either the yield, purchase amount, or maturity amount of the CP transaction and a button to paste the results back to the variable rate /notes grid.


Background: Tax-exempt commercial paper is usually structured with maturities (tranches) ranging from 30 to 270 days. As a tranche matures, it is typically rolled over into a new maturity at prevailing interest rates.

For the purpose of calculating the arbitrage yield, the different tranches of a commercial paper program are treated as a single bond issue if they are issued within 18 months of the original issue date and are part of a common plan of financing. In general, rollovers after the initial 18-month period are also treated as part of the same issue if there is no increase in the amount of outstanding indebtedness.

We have included detailed instructions for using our commercial paper features in the latest2008.pdf file that resides in the user's personal directory. This .PDf file can be viewed through the help | chgs to documentation menu option.

New Features in the Stand-Alone Reporting Module

We have created two new reports in the Stand-Alone Reporting module (#4e, #4f) that can be included in an issuer's annual CAFR. These reports display yearly totals for combined debt service in the first five years; then summarize debt service in 5-year increments for the remaining years. Report #4f is similar to #4e except that is also sorted by the Issue Type code (reports | combined debt service reports | combined in 5-year increments for CAFR).

We've created a new combined debt service report that is sorted by Bond ID (#4g). This report is created along with the other combined debt service reports (#4a,b & c) when you choose the report | combined debt service | by date and ID menu option.

We modified the combined debt service report (#4c) in the Stand-Alone Reporting module to correctly compute outstanding indebtedness when the report includes bond issues composed solely of zero-coupon bonds (CABs). In prior releases, the outstanding debt was not computed correctly because Mun-Ease displayed the debt service of a bond issue composed solely of CABs only when a CAB matured.

New Features in the Arbitrage Module

We've added a new option that allows the user to calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) on nonpurpose investments or purpose expenditures that fall beyond the temporary period. If the user calculates the IRR on investments or expenditures falling beyond the temporary period, he can generate IRR verification report (#79c/d) (arbitrage | rebate/penalty calculations).

We have modified the yield-reduction payment calculation in the Arbitrage module to exclude computation credits.

We now provide an option to perform the arbitrage yield-to-call test using either the current rules under Section 1.148.4(b)-3 or the rules proposed by the IRS in September 2007. We anticipate that the new rules will be finalized during 2009. This option is available when you choose the arbitrage | yield tests | yield-to-call test menu option.

We've enhanced the report selection options for the rebate / penalty calculations menu option (arbitrage | rebate/penalty calculations). In previous versions, users only had the option of performing rebate / penalty calculations for all transactions in a bond issue or for selected funds. In this release, we have included a new selection option that allows the user to perform calculations for all or a range of Group IDs.

Users should find this feature useful when they choose to perform separate rebate calculations for each bond year in a variable rate bond issue. For example, you could assign rebate transactions for the 2009 bond year with group IDs ranging from 20090000 to 20099999. Then by selecting this range, you can perform rebate calculations for just the 2009 bond year.

New Features in the Allocations Module

We added new reports to the Allocations module that summarize combined debt service to a level defined by the user.

Background: The allocation coding block is structured hierarchically much like a general-ledger account number. It is composed of four 10-character alpha-numeric segments. When the user generates report #64, Mun-Ease requires the user to define the allocation hierarchy (i. e., the sort order for the four 10-character allocation segments) and the summarization level (the report can be summarized to (a) the top level, (b) top two levels, (c) top three levels, or (d) at the detail level (all four levels). To use this feature, choose either the allocate | by individual maturities |allocation reports | multi-year debt service menu option or the allocate | by gross debt service | combined debt service on a cash basis (#64d) menu option.
We modified the combined debt service report (#64) in the Allocations module to include an additional column showing outstanding indebtedness as of each coupon payment date (allocate | by individual maturities |allocation reports | multi-year debt service).

We added a new feature in the Allocations module to allow the user to update the description of an allocation coding block across bond issues. Background: Initially the allocation description is entered for a single bond issue. This new capability allows the user to update "in-mass" all allocations instead of modifying them individually for each bond issue (allocate | by individual maturities |edit/view/delete allocations | add a global description).

We made cosmetic changes to the single-year indebtedness reports in the Allocations module. In some instances, the date column was truncated.

New Performance Enhancements for the SQL Server version

We've modified the SQL Server version of Mun-Ease to use client data sets for the Rebate transaction table. Background: Previous versions of Mun-Ease updated the Rebate transaction table directly on the network server. Users who have a large number of rebate transactions reported that they were experiencing slow response time. To enhance performance in these situations, Mun-Ease now filters the rebate transaction data by Bond ID, and moves the filtered rebate transactions to a temporary table residing on the user's PC. The user makes all changes to this temporary table. Once he has finished updating the rebate data, all modified transactions are applied back to the server.

In certain instances, the SQL Server database cache was not emptied before a user would generate a report through Crystal Reports. We modified Mun-Ease to force SQL Server to apply all updates in its database cache prior to calling Crystal Reports.

New Features for Variable Rate Bonds

We've added new date fields to the initial setup window for the file | variable rate bonds | setup menu option. We've added these fields in case the user desires to override the calculated fields from the variable rate debt service table.

We now save the variable rate ceiling field to the variable rate bond issue. Because many banks calculate letter of credit (LOC) fees based on the interest rate ceiling instead of the effective interest rate, Mun-Ease now provides similar LOC fee calculation options.

We now save the tranche identifier to the bond master file. Previously the tranche identifier was only saved to the variable rate database table.
We now allow you to duplicate the periodic disbursements of credit enhancements by pressing the F12 function key while in the variable rate grid. The amount is duplicated for all remaining payment periods of the note or variable rate bond.

Miscellaneous Changes

We now provide an option to disable the bankers' rule for rounding interest. If the bankers' rule is enabled, half-penny amounts are rounded to the nearest even number. If the rule is disabled, half-penny amounts are rounded to the nearest penny (setup | user options | edit your own profile).

We have added new security features that can be optionally implemented by the Mun-Ease administrator. If the administrator restricts a user to only reporting functions and the user has purchased modules in addition to the stand-alone reporting module, then the user is allowed to run reports within the modules that he has purchased. However, the user is restricted from the update functions of the modules that he has purchased.

We corrected the spreadsheet interface for loading bond transactions. Previously call information was not loaded from the spreadsheet.

We changed the default location for the databases in the BDE version so that it does not exceed 30 characters. Background: The Mun-Ease interface with Crystal Reports requires that we pass the folder path to Crystal through DDE (dynamic data exchange). Crystal limits the length of the path to 80 characters. Also the utility that we use to backup the database to a zip file limits the path to 30 characters. Note that these length limitations apply only in the BDE version and not the SQL Server version. (The SQL Server version of Mun-Ease uses UDL file connection strings which can store path names of unlimited length.)

V. 13.25 (July, 2008)

We have changed the way line items for the other issuance costs field are entered. Users now have the option of either entering a fixed amount for each line item or entering a percentage of par amount. Thus amount of the line item and the total of other issuance costs are determined during the sizing process and not during the input process. All of the line items are saved to a refunding/sizing profile. (Sizing and Refunding modules).

We now provide a new option to users who are sizing a new-money or refunding bond issue using an existing profile. Users can request Mun-Ease to use the rate scale specified during data entry or the rates that were saved in the profile from previous analysis. (Sizing and Refunding modules).

We have added a new monthly accruals report (#105) that can be used to book journal entries for the monthly accruals of current interest and accretions of zero-coupon interest. We provided this report at the request of users who are working with enterprise funds. (Stand-Alone Reporting Module).

We have added new options for the calculation of letter of credit (LOC) fees. LOC fees can now be calculated as a percentage of outstanding debt or outstanding debt plus interest. Because LOC fees for variable rate bonds are often calculated based on the maximum interest rate allowed (the ceiling), we provide an option to input an interest rate to be used in the calculation of the LOC fees. Users can request the calculation of the LOC fee on a 30/360, actual/actual, or actual/360 day basis. (Base, Sizing, and Refunding modules).

We now provide an option to save all of the periodic fees to a sizing or refunding profile. Previous versions only saved only the first two periodic fees. (Sizing and Refunding modules).

When generating the debt service capacity / constraint report on a combined basis, we now allow users to save the difference between the combined debt service and capacity constraint to a project. By saving this information to a project, users can easily size a new issue that wraps the debt service of the new issue around the debt service of existing issues. See prior section in this newsletter for details. (Stand-Alone Reporting Module).

We've included a new version of BDE version of Mun-Ease. This version will run in a "locked-down" environment. The new BDE database has the same architecture as our SQL Server version. (In other words, the database tables, data fields, and the field sizes are the exactly the same in both versions. (All Modules).

Importing Coupon Rates - We added a routine to initialize coupon rates for all 40 years even if the rate scale to be imported does not contain rates for certain years. Background: The rate scales in the Wall Street Journal do not display rates for all the years after year 20. (Base Module).

We enhanced the rounding routines in the sizing module. We also eliminated a disk IO error message that occurs when a user is resizing a bond issue using a bond ID that currently exists. (Sizing Module).
We corrected a bug that occurs when a user attempts to merge two or more variable rate bond issues into a single bond issue. (Base Module).

We corrected a bug in the combined indebtedness report. The accruals and accretions were not computed correctly if the report date occurred within a bond's initial stub period. (Stand-Alone Reporting Module).

We provide a new option to disable the database browse window that the SQL Server version displays at startup. We also provide another option to disable the backup reminder that Mun-Ease displays when you exit Mun-Ease. Both options can be disabled by clicking on the User Ops speed button below the main menu. (All modules - SQL Server version).


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Miscellaneous Downloads

Maintenance & Support Agreement

Class Registration Form

Updates to USB Key Driver

Click here to download the latest drivers for the USB key from the Safenet Website.

Background: Safenet has issued an important update to their USB key drivers. This link transfers you to a page on their web site that explains the changes to their drivers. Click on the download drivers link after being transferred to their web page.

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