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Computers And Finance Essay

1954 words - 8 pages

     Computers have made financial bookkeeping much easier, and people no longer have to spend hours tracking investments or pay someone else to do their taxes. Moreover, the advancement in technology has allowed governments to cut back on the number of big companies and employees hired to process tax returns, resulting in the saving of millions of dollars. Although these advancements are extraordinary, they are not without their shortcomings. The IRS has had increased trouble in tracking fraudulent tax returns, and has had to revamp its detection system.
     The most surprising part of Microsoft's current purchase of Intuit, the maker of ...view middle of the document...

One way to solve the problem would be to carry a notebook computer with Quicken on it, but as Edward Baig states "It's just not practical to boot up a laptop each time I step out of a taxi" (20). Intuit has released Pocket Quicken, a "Quicken Lite" for those who carry around digital assistants to help alleviate that problem (20). Pocket Quicken is built into the new Hewlett-Packard 200LX palmtop, the Tandy/Casio Zoomer PDA's, and the AST Gridpad 2390, but is not sold as a separate product just yet (20). Eventually this will also be available on the Motorola Envoy (20). Pocket Quicken allows users to categorically follow expenditures such as food, gas, and rent by creating checking, credit card, and cash accounts (20). Pocket Quicken lets travelers sequester what is spent into areas such as trip, client, project, or class (20). People can share data with regular Quicken with the HP 200LX's $119 optional cable and software package, or with the $30 addition to the Zoomer (20). However, Pocket Quicken does have its shortcomings because it does not allow for the set up of budgets or the following of investments (20). It also does not compute net worth or tax summaries, and does not have all the graphs with which Quicken comes equipped (20). If Pocket Quicken is not of interest, another option would be to record expenditures at the end of each day (20). Yet, another possibility would be QuickXpense for Windows from Portable Software (20). This program allows users to work with the exact expense form they would like to use because many of the forms from large corporations have been previously loaded into the program (20). Another of its qualities is that if a specific company's form was not included, they will put it on a disk for customers if they send blank copy of the form to Portable Software (20). All entries are entered the same as Quicken, but this program will also figure mileage cost for driving, convert foreign currency, and catalog each type of expense included on hotel bills (20). QuickXpense will also let the user know when it is time to file an expense report (20).
     Computer and technology outsource companies typically handle the dirty work behind tax collecting; however, with the recent advances in technology, the state of New York was able to hire a financial group to handle the responsibility (Halper 63). The New York State Department of Taxation gave Fleet Financial Group a $197 million contract to handle computerized tax collections and refunds for the next ten years (63). This contract does not totally ignore the traditional outsourcing company because Computer Science Corp. (CSC) of El Segundo California is responsible for developing the software (63). Arthur Gross, deputy commissioner for revenue and management, said that because the process involved "so many banking procedures it simply made more sense to hire a bank" (63). The inefficiencies of the current system would...

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