Information Technology is acting as either an enabling or driving force in almost all fields and use of Information Technology is helping organizations to achieve better and faster results. The Accounting profession is also no different and is using Information Technology to do the jobs better and more efficiently. The use of Information Systems in Accounting is called the Accounting Information Systems. These systems help the organization where accountability is concerned or where you need to monitor the performance of the business in pure financial terms.
Use of Information System in Accounting: To find out how the Information Systems are used in accounting profession, Google search engine was used whereby the keywords typed were use of Information Systems in Accounting. Accounting Information Systems (AIS) cover all aspects of the business from the transaction processing till the financial planning. The AIS can be used for financial reporting where the system will capture information about the production, purchasing and selling activities of the business.
(Accounting Information Systems: Encyclopedia of Business and Finance) These will be done at the lower level of the organization and will be used for both internal purpose whereby they will help to determine how the business is performing and also for external purpose whereby it is used for regulatory purposes or for attracting investors. Another use for AIS is in the manufacturing and service environments where they allow the organizations to monitor the costs that are linked to producing the goods and services.
In the service sector, they also help to monitor the level of service provided. Moreover, they can also be used to improve the resource allocation so that goods and services are produced efficiently with least amount of waste. (Accounting Information Systems: Encyclopedia of Business and Finance) In addition to the above, AIS can also be used for planning, monitoring and control of various activities of the business whereby the managers will be allowed to access the advanced reporting and statistical analysis.
These systems not only gather data but also the users to do what-if analysis whereby the user can make a scenario and see what will happen in each scenario and then choose the best alternative. Accounting Blog: To find out about Accounting as a career, I looked at Accounting Blog at Suite101. com and after reading the blog, I learnt a great deal about this field. First of all, the blog completely changed my pre-conceived notion that if you want to be a good accountant, you have to be good at Mathematics.
According to a post by Bradford, Accounting is a science in itself and to be a good accountant, you need to know good accounting and not good Math. (Bradford, 2007) The blog also helped me in understanding that Management and Public Accounting are altogether very different fields both requiring different types of certifications and each of them is focusing on different aspect of the business.
CPA certification is required for Public Accounting whereas CMA is required for Management Accounting. Furthermore, Public Accounting deals more with auditing and taxation whereas the Management Accounting focuses more on analysis of financial data and of the budget, etc. Moreover, unlike Public Accounting where the emphasis is only on accounting, the emphasis of Management Accounting is also on Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics and Business Ethics, etc. (Bradford, 2007)
According to Bradford’s post (2007), for each different types of accounting, there is different certification available and it is more beneficial to acquire a certification according to the field a person is deciding to pursue in future since these certifications can help a person in getting promotions, better pay and more job opportunities. Job in Accounting Field: Using the job search at Carrerbank. com and putting Accounting as the keyword, I found a very attractive job of being a Business Reporting Analyst at Citigroup in Texas, US.
The job involves using the data about the business and manipulating the data so that this can be used for strategy planning or for recommending something different. Since the job requires a constant interaction with the Data Warehouse of the Organization and creating reports therefore, the job asks for a very strong background in Information Technology. The job emphasizes and explicitly asks for experience in Cognos Transformer and PowerPlay Enterprise Server whereby the person can create data cubes and analyze the data from various angles and producing various reports that help to study data from all aspects.
The job also asks for a degree in Computer Science and the ability to use SQL Server which will help the person in writing queries so that data can be retrieved from the Data Warehouse. All in all, the job not only asks for knowledge about Accounting, Management skills but also asks for strong technical skills which go to show the importance of Information Technology in the field of Accounting. .Article on Accounting: An article named A Dream of Simpler Accounting on Businessweek.
com emphasized on the preference of simple accounting by SEC’s Chief Nicolaisen. According to Nicolaisen, accounting can be made simple by adopting technology such as Extensible Business Reporting Language in the field of accounting. Another way to make it simple is keeping the operating income separate from organization’s other income sources so that investors can better study the operation and performance of an organization. He is also trying to make it easy for recognizing revenue and also make accounting for derivatives simpler.
These moves are part of the plan whereby objective-based accounting is practiced that is it only acts as a guideline rather than the unbreakable laws. However, there are certain laws that he is very supportive of even though they are difficult to implement but since they have done a lot of good to some companies, he thinks they should not be changed. One of them is the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-governance reform act which according to him has made the Chief Executive much more accountable and now they are doing their job more carefully.
He concluded by saying that even though it is very easy to say that laws need to be made easier and simpler but making them simple is not easy however, according to him, the accountants will be provided with more guidelines such as those for Section 404 of the Law. (Stone, 2005)
1. Accounting Information Systems: Encyclopedia of Business and Finance. (n. d. ). Retrieved June 14, 2008, from enotes. com: http://www. enotes.com/business-finance-encyclopedia/accounting-information-systems 2. Bradford, T. (2007, September 27). Accounting Blog @ Suite101. com. Retrieved June 14, 2008, from Suite101. com: http://accounting. suite101. com/blogs. cfm#accounting_good_at_math 3. Stone, A. (2005, January 25). A Dream of Simpler Accounting. Retrieved June 2008, 14, from BusinessWeek: http://www. businessweek. com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan2005/nf20050125_7193_db016. htm? chan=search