Accounting Information Systems OverviewAccounting Information Systems (AISs) combine accounting with the design, implementation, and monitoring of information systems.
These systems use modern information technology resources together with traditional accounting controls and methods to provide users the financial information necessary to manage their companies.
The purpose of an AIS is to accumulate data and provide decision makers (investors, creditors, and managers) with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Technology of the Accounting Information SystemYou can break the AIS technology into 3 seperate categories:
Input - These are the devices that input the data into the accounting system. Typcially, these include standard personal computers or workstations that are running applications. Data can also be input from scanning devices, electronic communication devices for electronic data interchange (EDI) and e-commerce. More recently, many financial systems come "Web-enabled" to allow devices to connect to the Internet.
Process - This includes the basic processing of the data and it is achieved through computer systems ranging from individual personal computers to large-scale company servers. The primary processing model is still the "double-entry" accounting system that was initially used in the fifteenth century.
Output - Typical output devices include computer displays or monitors, impact and nonimpact printers, and electronic communication devices for EDI and e-commerce. The output content may encompass all types of financial reports that range from budgets and tax reports to international financial statements.
In the past, most accounting systems consisted of notebooks and ledgers. With the advent of the computer, those accounting books have been replaced with accounting software programs. The AIS has greatly changed the way accountants perform their jobs and has improved accounting effectiveness and efficiency.