Effect of I.T on Accounting System in Nigeria

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Effect of I.T on Accounting System in Nigeria
1.0 Introduction
Information Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. Information technology (IT) has created significant benefits for various profession as well as deferent aspect of the world economy. The application of the networks system has shortened the lead time needed by accountants to prepare and present financial information to management and stakeholders. Not only has IT shortened the lead time required to present financial information, but has also improved the overall efficiency and accuracy of the information. Advances in Information Technology (IT) have transformed many firms in professional services industries, but perhaps none as much as those in the public accounting industry. Once a slow-paced and conservative industry, public accounting underwent tremendous changes at the turn of the millennium, sparked largely by the rapid changes in its IT environment (Elliott 2000). Audit software and knowledge-sharing applications are two crucial components of these changes. Automation of audit tasks and use of specialized audit software has substituted IT for labor and changed the structure of audit teams. Equally important is the use of advanced systems to share knowledge bases across different parts of the organization that has enabled professional services firms to leverage their human resources more effectively (Gogan et al. 1995).

With rapid advances in IT, numerous articles have appeared in practitioner-oriented accounting journals that discuss how to invest in IT to keep up with the current technology (Smith 1997; Zarowin 1998). The pace of change brought by new technologies has had a significant effect on the way people live, work, and play worldwide. Information technology, while an important area of study in its own right, is having a major impact across all curriculum areas. Easy worldwide communication provides access to a vast array of data, challenging assimilation and assessment skills. In keeping with their complex nature and multiple applications, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) may be viewed in different ways. The World Bank defines ICTs as “the set of activities which facilitate by electronic means the processing, transmission and display of information” (Rodriguez and Wilson, 2000). ICTs “refers to technologies people use to share, distribute, gather information and to communicate through computers and computer networks” (ESCAP, 2000). ICTs can be described as a complex varied set of goods, applications and services used for producing, distributing, processing, transforming information- (including) telecoms, TV and radio broadcasting, hardware and software, computer services and electronic media” (Marcelle, 2000). ICTs represent a cluster of associated technologies defined by their functional usage in information access and communication, of which one embodiment is the Internet. Hargittai (1999) defines the Internet technically and functionally as follows: “the Internet is a worldwide network of computers, but sociologically it is also important to consider it as a network of people using computers that make vast amounts of information available. Accounting as a broad field that involves several subjects and where several theories and modern technological tools are being applied has experienced several changes from such aspects as theories, principles and conventions as well as in the aspect of technology. The modern world also change as a result of several factors such as education, technology etc. The changes in different aspect of the globe are traceable to the invention and application of technology. The extent to which technology affected organizations, the modern society and individuals has attracted considerable attention....
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