Vulnerability of computerized accounting information systems to computer crimes

Organizations are embracing accounting information systems for financial reporting, cost accounting and for management decision making. This brilliant financial management tool is prone to computer crimes. These crimes are usually financially motivated by could also be out of malice. They take various forms and cause great financial losses to the victim companies. An organization can put in place measures to protect its AIS from computer crimes. With strong internal controls, the organization will be able to maximize the benefits it derives from the AIS.

Introduction Innovative products are being introduced to overcome increasing complexities of the business environment. These products make management of expansive organizations easier. However, as these organizations become more reliant on the new products, new challenges arise associated to these products. These challenges expose the organization to financial loss or reputation damage. Accounting information systems have become popular especially with complex organizations.

It is an application of information technology in accounts. It records all transactions carried out in the organization as well as generating financial statements. It also manages various organizational files such as the payroll, pension register and work force register. The AIS, just like other information systems is faced by the problem of computer crimes. These crimes include unauthorized access, interception and manipulation of sensitive company data. They also include interference and destruction of the information system.

Computer crimes often cause great financial losses. Organizations lose funds through fraud and also undergo huge costs repairing the damage caused. These crimes often damage the credibility of the organization to potential investors, creditors and customers. (Verdaasdonk, P. J, 2003: 53) However, measures can be put in place to minimize the occurrence and impact of these crimes. These measures ensure that the organization continues to benefit from AIS without exposing itself to computer crime.