importance. One such tool that has helped man is that of the computer. With advances in
technology occurring everyday, the computer is still at the forefront of today's economic
world. With the versatility to perform many different needs for different users, the
computers future looks pretty bright.
As an accounting major student, the accounting industry is one that is heavily
immersed in computers. The technological advances of the computer have made what
used to be long-drawn tasks into quick, simple calculations. Long gone are the days of complicated handwritten calculations. One such example of the computers impact on the
accounting industry is that of the "Accounting Information Systems" or AIS area. AIS is
an area of accounting in which some type of framework or program is used to process
financial and non-financial transactions. The AIS area consists of three subsystems: the
transaction processing system, general/ledger reporting system, and the management
reporting system. In the second subsystem of financial reporting, is where traditional
financial statements, such as the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash
flows are generated. This subsystem is where this process has become automated with the
use of computers. Rather than traditionally calculating these financial statements by hand the personal computer has taken over these responsibilities with a high percentage of
accuracy. Long gone are the days of long drawn out calculations and interpretations.
Tasks that use to take accountants hours to fulfill would now only take mere minutes.
With the elimination of human error a more accurate assessment of a client's financial
status may be interpreted. With less time calculating financial reports a more productive and efficient business environment is created for the accountant.
An integral part of the AIS framework is data storage. An efficient information
system captures and stores data only once and makes it available to all users who need it.
To meet the private data of users who need it, organizations must find both multiple
collection and storage procedures. In the early days of the AIS field one approach to data
storage was called the flat file model. The flat file model referred to an environment in
which individual data files were not related to other data files. Users in this system owned
their data rather than sharing with each other. Data processing was thus performed on
stand alone applications rather than integrated systems. As one can see this proved
tiresome for users in the AIS field, in which an integrated system is needed for a multiple
subsystem such as AIS. Today most AIS frameworks are created using a database model
for storage capabilities. The database model created an environment in which an
organizations data is stored into a common database that is shared by other users. Some benefits of this type of system are the elimination of data redundancy. In a database, data
is only stored once reducing data collection and storage costs. Another benefit is that of a
single update. Since the data is stored in a central location a single update is all that is
needed to update all work.
Some other uses of the computer in the accounting field are the use of a payroll
program. A program which makes sure that everyone is paid their salaries and wages is of
grave importance. Imagine working a long 40 hour week only to be greeted on Friday
with a memo from the HR department saying your check was lost. Making this branch of
accounting automated has not only made the process quicker but, has also eliminated a lot of the human error associated with the physical keeping track of accounts. Another
vital impact of the computer is in the area of...