PDA financial software is a family of programs designed to run on personal handheld digital devices like smart phones and digital assistants. There are thousands of programs available, from personal budget trackers to business accounting applications that can even process credit cards. Most PDA financial software is designed and marketed by independent software developers, although many banks offer downloadable applications, and many desktop-based accounting systems offer a PDA companion program that syncs to the desktop and shares information.
The most basic programs offer a way to enter purchases and track expenses, and some may integrate with online banking systems to reconcile an account. Most popular household-level software also allows the user to set a budget, and will show a warning as various budget limits are approached. Some programs go so far as to include a shopping list feature, which automatically tracks money spent on groceries, clothing, and household goods. No matter which level the program falls into, it will usually have a comparison feature, which displays graphs of different expense categories and compares them to the budget. This makes it easy for the user visually compare current and previous expenses, as well as see where cuts must be made to adhere to the set budget.
PDA financial software for businesses is more complicated, and generally offers a more in-depth look at accounting matters. Programs generally allow the user to create estimates and work orders, process payment, and generate email-able receipts. Users can also access company financial records such as accounts receivable, pending orders, and customer history. With the aid of a wireless network, an employee working outside of the office can have the benefit of the company’s entire accounting system in the palm of his hand.
The advantages of PDA financial software are applicable even on a personal level. The ability to enter transactions as soon as they are made eliminates the need to collect and save receipts, and reduces incidences of irreconcilable accounts. Because of the PDA’s extreme portability, immediately entering a purchase can easily become routine, and if the program allows integration with online banking programs, balancing the checkbook could become a thing of the past.
Some people have voiced concerns over the security of having personal financial information on a portable device that could easily be lost or stolen. In these days of rampant identity theft, these concerns are valid, so software designers have been careful to integrate security features into the software itself. Most programs feature a locking system that requires the user to set a personal code to unlock the system for use, and most PDA and smart phone devices feature a similar system that locks the entire device. The combination of the two locking systems cannot keep a PDA from being stolen, but it is designed to prevent the thief from accessing financial and personal information.