Accounting Information Systems (AIS) and Knowledge Management: A Case Study Zulkarnain Muhamad Sori Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Economics and Management Universiti Putra Malaysia Abstract This study seeks to examine the use of Accounting Information Systems (AIS) by ZBMS Sdn. Bhd., and it’s contribution to the knowledge management and strategic role of the organisation. ZBMS is a company that registered in Kuala Lumpur and operate in construction industry. The company used automated AIS known as ‘Contract Plus – Financial & Project Accounting’ package commercially developed by a private company (ZYXW). Wide variety of people that involve in the company’s operation within and outside the organisation uses accounting information generated by this system for decisionmaking. Based on input provided by operational level managers, the Contract Plus software produces monthly projects’ income statements, balance sheets and statement of changes in financial position for the strategic and tactical managers to plan, control and make decision on the resources allocation. The role-played by AIS enhanced the organisations’ accounting functions, and add information value. The automated AIS speed up the process to generate financial statements and overcome human weaknesses in data processing. The system enhances management of resources and the process of monitoring, control and prediction of ZBMS business for better future. With the advent of AIS, the growth of tacit and explicit knowledge could be seen from the intensive training of personnel at the early stage of system implementation to the development and use of company’s own manual in training of new staff and assisting the job of existing staff. Given the benefit of AIS to ZBMS, this paper recommended that the source of data should be fully automated, and the existing system should be upgraded through computerise the pre-tendering and post-tendering of projects to enable AIS integration.
Keywords: Accounting Information Systems, Knowledge Management, Accounting Functions, Information Value, Financial Statements
Accounting Information System (AIS) is vital to all organisations (Borthick and Clark, 1990; Curtis, 1995; Rahman et al., 1988; Wilkinson, 1993; Wilkinson et al., 2000) and perhaps, every organisations either profit or non profit-oriented need to maintain the AISs (Wilkinson, 2000: 3-4). To better understand the term ‘Accounting Information System’, the three words constitute AIS would be elaborate separately. Firstly, literature documented that accounting could be identified into three components, namely information system, “language of business” and source of financial information (Wilkinson, 1993: 6-7). Secondly, information is a valuable data processing that provides a basis for making decisions, taking action and fulfilling legal obligation. Finally, system is an integrated entity,
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) and Knowledge Management: A Case Study
where the framework is focused on a set of objectives. The combination of the three words Accounting Information System indicate an integrated framework within an entity (such as a business firm) that employs physical resources (i.e., materials, supplies, personnel, equipment, funds) to transform economic data into financial information for; (1) conducting the firm’s operations and activities, and (2) providing information concerning the entity to a variety of interested users. Indeed, the combination or interaction between human, technology and techniques would permit an organisation to administer its knowledge effectively (Bhatt, 2001; Thomas and Kleiner, 1995). Currently, the world and human life has been transformed from information age to a knowledge age (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004: 238; Thomas and...