1. Computing

What Is a Data File?

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Financial software usually exports account data for use with other software.

Importing and Exporting Financial Data

Jonathan Evans / Getty Images
Definition: When you use personal or small-business finance software (or any software that you enter information into) you enter financial transactions, companies that bills are paid to, dates that bills and paychecks are due, budget data and a variety of other information.

The data file holds the collection of information entered into the software, as well as settings for reports, printers you use and more. Even though you create a few or even several financial accounts to track in the software, and you may set up several budget categories account is separate, these individual bits of information are all contained in one data file.

The majority of financial software users work with just one data file, but it is possible to maintain multiple data files. For example, two data files could be created for keeping personal and business accounts separate, or parents might want to use one data file while setting up a separate data file to teach children how to manage money.

By default, most financial software saves data files to a folder on your computer called Documents or a similar default location, but you can use the software's options to save data elsewhere.

It is extremely important that your data file be backed up regularly. If the file is somehow destroyed, recreating it is very time consuming.

Common Misspellings: datafile
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