Financial Reporting and Management

Topics: Sequence, Permutation, Set Pages: 1 (414 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Sequential codes are appropriate for items in either an ascending or descending sequence, such as the numbering of checks or source documents. An advantage is that during batch processing, any gaps detected in the sequence is a signal that a transaction may be missing. A disadvantage is that the codes carry little, if any, information other than the sequence order. Another disadvantage is that sequential codes are difficult to manage when items need to be added; the sequence needs either to be reordered or the items must be added to the end of the list. Block codes provide some remedies to sequential codes by restricting each class to a prespecified range. The first digit typically represents a class, whereas the following digits are sequential items which may be spaced in intervals in case of future additions. An example of block coding is a chart of accounts. A disadvantage of block coding is that the information content does not provide much meaning, i.e. an account number only means something if the chart of accounts is known. Group codes may be used to represent complex items or events involving two or more pieces of related data. The code is comprised of fields which possess specific meaning. The advantages of group codes over sequential and block codes are (1) they facilitate the representation of large amounts of diverse data, (2) they allow complex data structures to be represented in a hierarchical form that is logical and thus more easily remembered by humans, and (3) they permit detailed analysis and reporting both within an item class and across different classes of items. A disadvantage is that the codes may be overused to link classes which do not need to be linked, and thus create a more complex coding system than is necessary. Alphabetic codes may be used sequentially or in block or group codes. An advantage is that a system which uses alphabetic codes can represent far more situations than a system with numeric codes given a specific field size....
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