Several aspects of the accounting profession have been altered by information systems. One of these aspects is the manner of storage of accounting information and documents. There has been a shift from paperwork to the current ways of using computers. Therefore, modern accounting information systems give accountants a fast access to accounting information at their convenience (Owen & Hansen, 2010). They can access the information with their usernames and passwords from several locations. The other aspect that has been altered by information systems is the speed of executing calculations. With these systems, accountants perform transactions in a fast way since they feed the data and obtain output from the system (Owen & Hansen, 2010). This is contrasted to the traditional way of tedious calculations. The other aspect that has been affected is accuracy in accounting. With information systems that use a computer, data accuracy has improved and hence the reliability of the accounting information.
Technologies and effects on the accounting profession
A number of technologies have affected the accounting profession. Digital networks are one of these technologies. It allows accounting firms to coordinate their accounting activities at an internal level. These firms can coordinate compilation of information from several account types in the organization. In addition, they can coordinate preparation of the statements by using input from several departments (Hall, 2012). The other effect relates to client relationships. Accountants can communicate with their clients from their homes and on travel by use of e-business technology. Therefore, the level of customer satisfaction has been improved since any issues have addressed promptly. Work delivery is also conducted in this platform hence it is fast.
The other technology that has affected the accounting profession is the extranet. It has increased efficiency in performing accounting transactions and reduced operational costs since travel costs have been reduced. With extranet, accounting professionals can communicate out of their organizations by applying web technology. In this case, accounting files are imported and also exported in and out of the organization. Extranet provides an electronic link to enable the execution of these services (Hall, 2012).
Another technology that has affected the accounting profession is the computer integrated manufacturing. This technology automates manufacturing whereby computers collect information instantaneously. Therefore, cost accountants receive accurate information in a fast way. This technology integrates manufacturing with the accounting data. Activity based costing systems have been developed, as a result. Overall, cost accountants have managed to allocate overhead costs efficiently (Owen & Hansen, 2010).
Expert systems comprise of other technologies that have affected the accounting profession. They use artificial intelligence systems to assist accountants in decision making. In addition, they are used in auditing, inventory control systems and preparation of financial statements. These systems can be used by small and large corporations due to their relative ease of use. Expert systems can be used online for online documentation and multimedia tutorials (Hall, 2012). Integrative advice from accounting experts may be sought by use of these systems. Therefore, these technologies have shaped the entire manner of conducting accounting operations. Searching for expert accounting information has been made easy by the online platforms. Accountants have managed to acquire specialized information hence improving the quality of their output.
Organizational impacts of accounting technologies
These accounting technologies have altered the nature of conducting accounting in organizations. An organization that has been affected by accounting technologies is Wal-Mart. Digital networks have been utilized to coordinate its retail operations. Information from several departments of Wal-Mart has been synthesized by use of this accounting technology (Owen & Hansen, 2010). Since most of this information relates to items held in stock and payroll, budget preparation has been made fast and efficient. With regard to client relationships, Wal-Mart has witnessed improvements in customer feedback. Relations with other stakeholders such as suppliers have been fostered since the incorporation has managed to communicate with them effectively and fast. Any issue such as a mismatch of orders has been duly reflected in the daily accounting entries of both parties. Therefore, conflicts have been reduced in comparison to the events witnessed in the manual system (Owen & Hansen, 2010).
Extranet technology has reduced travel costs associated with consultations and coordination in preparing financial statements. With this technology, accountants at Wal-Mart have communicated with their counterparts in different countries. Any travel that would have been required in consolidating these statements has been avoided. Wal-Mart has reduced its operational costs due to this technology. Accounting for inventory costs has been sped up since accountants at Wal-Mart have integrated computer applications in their work (Owen & Hansen, 2010). Since some of the inventory at Wal-Mart retail outlets is perishable, these systems have ensured that losses are minimized. Shortages have been minimized, in addition since these systems detect, inventory levels. For accountants, this has meant continuous attention and checks for updates from these programs. Expert systems have been used at Wal-Mart for online assistance and tutorials. These accountants have been getting updates on major developments in the accounting rules and changes in reporting requirements (Owen & Hansen, 2010). Through this platform, they have improved the quality of their output and hence the reliability of their financial statements.
Hall, J. (2012). Accounting Information Systems. Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Owen, A., & Hansen, P. (2010). The evolution of Accounting Information systems. Journal of Accounting and Finance, 167-172.