Today I am going to talk about Accounting Information Systems, I will discuss what an Accounting Information System is, what they are used for and the benefits of this information system. Accounting Information Systems or AIS collect, store and analyze data for decision makers. Like all other information systems that are a set of interrelated components that achieve a goal through interaction. AIS are the structures and architect in which information are collected and analysed and most AIS today are composed of smaller subsystems and can range from simple pen to paper to more advance technological systems.
Today they are mostly computer orientated systems that allow accountancy firms to perform everyday duties such as audits. AIS consists of characteristics such as reliability, timeliness accessibility and verifiability. These characteristics offer huge benefits to accounting firm, for example they make every day duties faster,more efficient and transforms data so management can make key decisions. The objective of this system or sub-system is to maximise the achievement of certain company goals even to the detriment of the subsystem itself. For example: the production department may have to forego its goal to stay within the goals of the organisation as a whole. In order to create an efficient Accounting Information System (AIS), there needs to an understanding of the business environment, information technology and most importantly accounting.
Although Accounting Information Systems offer many benefits to a firm such as providing sufficient controls that resources are available when needed, reliable etc, there are also many challenges facing this system. For example goal conflict can occur when the activity of a subsystem and the larger system are inconsistent. There needs to be goal congruence, which is when the goals of both the subsystem and larger system are in line, this can be very difficult to achieve in a large firm and therefore large AIS. The information and data collected in these systems needs to be interrelated otherwise it can result in a system overload.
All in all, Accounting Information Systems (AIS) are extremely valuable to accounting firms and accounting departments, although they need to be implemented correctly and utilized efficiently to maximise their potential.