Components of an Accounting Information Research Paper

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] For the system to be effective, the procedures and instructions should be followed consistently. This will reduce errors in the data and ensure reports and outputs are correct.

The accounting information system uses a database structure for information storage. The database structure is usually a structured query language (SQL), which is a computer language mostly used for databases. Various input screens will be used in the accounting information system. These screens will enable the different system users to enter data and retrieve information. There are different data entry methods used in the accounting information system and these too will need to have their own input screens. Various screens will also be required for outputting the different reports and information from the system. The different outputs will be designed in order to meet the various requirements of users and information required.

Internal controls

In an accounting information system, internal controls refer to the security measures contained in the system for protecting the sensitive data. Internal controls can be simple like passwords or complex like biometrics. To ensure that the data contained in the system is not accessed by unauthorized persons, it requires having internal controls. Turner and Weickgenannt (2008)

posits the internal controls will also ensure that authorized users only access the data or information they require. Limiting the access to the system ensures that data is not easily corrupted, which promotes the credibility of the information output from the system.

Internal controls will protect the system and ensure the security of data held within the system. Having internal controls will ensure that the system data is only accessed by authorized personnel. This promotes the credibility of data stored in the system and the information it outputs. Securing the accounting information system will also protect sensitive information from been leaked to the general public, which would harm the organization's credibility. Using internal controls an organization is able to monitor who accessed the system and what they did when they accessed the system.

The information contained in an accounting information system is highly sensitive and confidential. This information belongs to the company, its employees, and customers. The data includes information that can be used for identity theft like social security numbers, bank accounts, and credit card numbers. The data should always be encrypted, and access logs kept to capture system access. The logs will also capture what each user performs for audit trail purposes. All activity performed in the system should be logged and traced.

The internal controls will protect the system from hackers, viruses, and other network threats. The system should also be protected from power surges and natural disasters, which can lead to data loss.

Information technology infrastructure

This refers to the hardware used in operating the accounting information system. Majority of the hardware are things that any organization should have, they include servers, personal computers, printers, storage media, surge protectors, uninterrupted power supply (UPS), and routers. Cost is normally the major factor considered by many organizations when acquiring hardware, but there are other factors that need to be considered as well. These factors include storage capacity, speed, and the possibility of expansion and upgrading.

The vital thing in regards to hardware selection for the accounting information system is that it should be compatible with the software. For a perfect match, the hardware should not just be compatible, but it needs to be optimal. This is because a slow system will not assist the organization in meeting its overall objectives. One of the best ways that an organization can manage to ensure its hardware and software is compatible is by purchasing turnkey systems. These are systems that include hardware and software. Turnkey systems are configured with the best hardware for ensuring the software performs optimally. Theoretically speaking, purchasing a turnkey system allows the organization to acquire an accounting information system that has been configured with the optimal hardware.

When purchasing the accounting information system, the people charged with the purchase should ensure that the system includes a plan for maintenance, replacing, servicing, and upgrading hardware components for the system. There should also be a plan for disposing outdated and broken hardware, which will ensure that no hardware is disposed before sensitive data is completely erased or destroyed.

Conclusion

All the components of an accounting information system work together in assisting the employees to collect, store, process, manage, retrieve, and report the organization's financial information. It is vital that an organization uses an accounting information system that meets its requirements, well developed and maintained. This will ensure that the system functions as expected and it ensures the organization financial data is accurate. Having an efficient system will contribute to the organization's business objectives. The accounting information system will enable the management to make informed decisions, which will lead to a successful business.

References

Albright, T.L., & Ingram, R.W. (2003). Accounting: Managing Business Information. Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5BE: Thomson/South-Western.

Gelinas, U.J., Dull, R.B., & Wheeler, P.R. (2010). Accounting Information Systems. Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5BE: Cengage South-Western.

Hall, J.A. (2011). Accounting Information Systems (Hall), 8th ed. Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5BE: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Ingram, R.W., & Albright, T.L. (2006). Financial Accounting: Information for Decisions: Information for Decisions. Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5BE: Thomson/South-Western.

Larson, K.D., Wild, J.J., & Chiappetta, B. (2004). Telecourse Guide for Accounting in Action for Use with Fundamental Accounting Principles, Volume 1 Chapters 1-12. 2445 McCabe Way: McGraw-Hill.

Romney, M.B., & Steinbart, P.J. (2010). Accounting Information Systems + Peachtree Complete Accounting 2010 Cd. London WC2R: Pearson College Division.

Turner, L., & Weickgenannt, A. (2008). Accounting Information Systems: Controls and Processes.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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