Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2001

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Accounting Accounting software provides the user with a means of compiling and analyzing financial data, either for home or business. Household accounting programs usually include a general ledger, for keeping track of income and expenses, and a checkbook manager, for balancing the checkbook and printing checks. Other common features are a credit card manager, a budget planner, and a tax manager for keeping track of taxes paid and owed.

FinancialFinancial software deals with financial consideration not generally included with accounting software. For example, some financial programs generate living trusts, while others deal with loan management and analysis. Financial software usually educates the user about prevailing laws, regulations, and any practical considerations.

Business Business productivity software offers businessmen and entrepreneurs an integrated information management package. These include applications for compiling marketing strategies, customer/vendor profiles, correspondence, time and appointment/activity management. They can also include utilities to generate policy manuals, company directions, reports, and presentations.

Databases Databases are software packages which allow storage, manipulation, and retrieval of vast amounts of related information. Most databases programs amass data in the forms of records. These may be searched, sorted, or ordered by key words or subjects. Once the data is available, you generate various reports based on different criteria.

Games Games are the candy of the computer word. No matter what reason one has for buying a computer, games are a welcome dividend. Computer games have progressed far from simple games such as pong, blackjack, and space invaders. Advanced adventure games involve elaborate plots and have graphics of extraordinary quality.

Word Processing Word processing software lets the user write and manipulate text. They can be used to draft anything from personal letters to novels. A basic function is the ability to alter the document's format, including spacing, margins, page layout, and tab setting. They...