Accounting Information Systems
Information systems are changing the various aspects of the accounting profession. Information systems are used in all areas of accounting including financial reporting, managerial accounting, auditing, and tax reporting. As information systems continue to evolve so does the nature of the work performed by accountants. Information systems combine standard accounting practices with the “design, implementation, and monitoring of information systems” (Henson, 2006 ¶2). An accounting information system is made up of five components; hardware, software, data, people, and procedures. Accounting professionals use input devices which can be a personal computer or a work station that runs the systems. Scanning devices can be used for entry of data and electronic communication devices are used for electronic data interchange and e-commerce. Many financial information systems also use the World Wide Webb. Output devices include displays, printers, and communication devices. Accounting information systems are still based on the old “double-entry” accounting (Henson, 2006).
Less than 30 years ago an accountant would have spent most of his or her day posting entries into general ledger books and making up spreadsheets by hand. With accounting information systems these spreadsheets can be changed with a click of a mouse. Columns can be totaled with a simple formula. These functions may have taken an accountant hours and days to perform with a pencil and an adding machine. Since must accounting systems are computerized accountants must be familiar with the software and system processes in order to determine the internal control of the organization. Due to the recent business and auditing failures the accounting professional is forced to emphasize the subject of internal controls within the organization. Accounting information systems will continue to be important to the accounting profession.
Modules of an AIS system can...