Why is the ability to have a split transaction (e.g. one transaction, but categorized into two or more parts) beneficial to personal finance management software?
What are the most typical use-cases for split transactions?
Split transactions are indispensable to anybody interested in accurately tracking their spending.
If I go to the big-box pharmacy down the road to pick up a prescription and then also grab a loaf of bread and a jug of milk while there, then I'd want to enter the transaction into my software as:
I desire entering precise data into the software so that I can rely on the reports it produces.
Often, I don't need an exact amount and estimated category totals would have been fine, e.g. to inform budgeting, or compare to a prior period.
However, in other cases, the expenses I'm tracking must be tracked accurately because I'd be using the total to claim an income tax deduction (or credit). Consider how Internet access might be commingled on the same bill with the home's cable TV service. One is a reasonable business expense and deduction for the work-at-home web developer, whereas the other is a personal non-deductible expense.
Were split transaction capability not available, the somewhat unattractive alternatives are:
I'd place split transaction capability near the top of the list of "must have" features for any finance management software.