Accounting information system - Wikipedia

The ongoing debate about fair value versus historical cost is often cast in the context of a tradeoff between the “relevance” of fair value information and the “reliability” of historical cost information. This debate is apt to continue, and the related accounting standards will likely be in an evolutionary state for many years to come. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to expect that the accountant of the future will be increasingly skilled in valuation issues.

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You likely have a general concept of accounting. Information about the transactions and events of a business is captured and summarized into reports that are used by persons interested in the entity. But, you likely do not realize the complexity of accomplishing this task. It involves a talented blending of technical knowledge and measurement artistry that can only be fully appreciated via extensive study of the subject.

Introduction To Accounting Information Systems

Various reporting methods can be employed to facilitate managerial decision making. Consider that the same internal data can be generated and displayed in many ways. There is not a single correct method for “slicing and dicing” a company’s overall results into unitized information sets. And, there is no reason to think that a manager should be forced to make decisions based upon a single display of data. Modern information systems empower managers to look at the same data from multiple perspectives, and good managers will avail themselves of these tools as they consider data and make decisions.

All accounting systems are designed to provide information to people who take decisions

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Managerial accounting information is intended to serve the specific, and varied, needs of management. Business managers are charged with business planning, controlling, and decision making. As such, they may desire specialized reports, budgets, product costing data, and other details that are generally not reported on an external basis. Further, management may dictate the parameters under which such information is to be accumulated and presented. For instance, GAAP may require that certain product development costs be deducted in computing income; on the other hand, management may see these costs as a long-term investment and stipulate that internal decision making be based upon income numbers that exclude such costs. This is their prerogative. Hopefully, internal reporting is being done logically and rationally, but it need not follow any particular set of mandatory guidelines.

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The key point is that managers should be prepared to consider alternative or expanded data sets as they contemplate difficult decisions. Viewing data only by line item or only by object of expenditure can greatly limit insight into business operations. Today’s accounting systems enable organizing and rearranging data sets with relative ease. These systems can be costly to design and implement, but they can pay great returns when managers take advantage of the robust information they are capable of producing.

Accounting information systems collect information for various purposes in a business

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Both financial accounting and managerial accounting depend upon a strong information system to reliably capture and summarize business transaction data. Information technology has radically reshaped this mundane part of the practice of accounting over the past 50 years. The era of the “green eye-shaded” accountant has been relegated to the annals of history. Now, accounting is more of a dynamic, decision-making discipline, rather than a bookkeeping task.

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in Information Systems, a Minor in Information Systems, an M.S

Modern information systems have enabled the accumulation and storage of massive amounts of data (“data warehousing”) about not only transaction amounts, but numerous other related attributes. The resulting essentially contain the kernels of information necessary to answer questions about the “who, what, when, where, and why” of all business activity.