A management information system (MIS) is a system that provides information needed to manage organizations effectively. Management information systems are regarded to be a subset of the overall internal controls procedures in an organization, which cover the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures used by management accountants to solve business problems such as costing a product, service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization (Wikipedia, 2010). Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems. The importance of maintaining a consistent approach to the development, use, and review of Staff Management Information systems within the institution must be an ongoing concern of Human Resource Department. MIS should have a clearly defined framework of guidelines, policies or practices, standards, and procedures for the organization. These should be followed throughout the institution in the development, maintenance, and use of all MIS. MIS is viewed and used at many levels by management. It should be supportive of the institution's longer term strategic goals and objectives.
To function effectively as an interacting, interrelated, and interdependent feedback tool for management and staff, MIS must be "useable." The five elements of a useable MIS system are: timeliness, accuracy, consistency, completeness, and relevance. The usefulness of MIS is hindered whenever one or more of these elements is compromised (Management Information System, Comptroller’s handbook, 1995).
Timeliness: To simplify prompt decision making, an institution's MIS should be capable of providing and distributing current information to appropriate users. Information systems should be designed to expedite reporting of information. The system should be able to quickly collect and edit data, summarize results, and be able to adjust and correct errors promptly.
Accuracy: A sound system of automated and manual internal controls must exist throughout all information systems processing activities. Information should receive appropriate editing, balancing, and internal control checks. A comprehensive internal and external audit program should be employed to ensure the adequacy of internal controls.
Consistency: To be reliable, data should be processed and compiled consistently and uniformly. Variations in how data is collected and reported can distort information and trend analysis. In addition, because data collection and reporting processes will change over time, management must establish sound procedures to allow for systems changes. These procedures should be well defined and documented, clearly communicated to appropriate employees, and should include an effective monitoring system.
Completeness: Decision makers need complete and pertinent information in a summarized form. Reports should be designed to eliminate clutter and voluminous detail, thereby avoiding "information overload."
Relevance: Information provided to management must be relevant. Information that is inappropriate, unnecessary, or too detailed for effective decision making has no value. MIS must be appropriate to support the management level using it. The relevance and level of detail provided through MIS systems directly correlate to what is needed by the board of directors, executive management, departmental or area mid-level managers, etc. in the performance of their jobs.
A Human Resource Management System refers to the systems and processes at the intersection between human resource management (HRM) and information technology. It merges HRM as a discipline and...
References: 1. Management Information Systems, Comptroller’s Handbook (2005)
2. CERIS – PAC Research Training Project: Knowledge for Action – Action for Knowledge. How To Develop a Management Information System (MIS)
3. ICSP and HR Planning: Developing a Human Resource Plan
4. Wikipedia (2010), Management Information System. URL: www.google.com (Date accesses: November, 2010).
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