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How Are Information Systems Used in Accounting?

Technology is disrupting the accounting profession as the business world’s digital transformation accelerates the deployment of new, leading tools that reshape how financial data is collected, analyzed and reported. A summary of research, for instance, found that “AI techniques greatly contributed to the improvement of public accounting information systems.”

Other studies have found that advanced, real-time big-data analytics enhance internal auditing procedures; cloud-based accounting information systems (AIS) are gaining wider acceptance; and blockchain accounting is raising the standards of financial transparency, security and efficiency. According to HRSS CPAs, the bottom line is that “staying at the forefront of the technological curve is not just an option; it’s a necessity.”

In the Southern Oregon University (SOU) online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Accounting program, students learn about the applications and value of AIS.

What Are Accounting Information Systems and What Value Do They Add?

Each type of AIS software is designed to automate the collection, organization and analysis of financial data and report the results. It is the foundation of an organization’s financial management systems, which are platforms for budgeting, forecasting and other operations.

Among other benefits, AIS eliminate time-consuming rote activities, elevate accountants to strategic roles, reduce human error and produces quantitative insights that enable leaders to make better decisions more quickly and with greater certainty.

AIS are on the leading edge of technological innovation and deliver a competitive advantage by:

  • Streamlining and enhancing the efficiency of financial operations by accelerating transaction processing and improving overall productivity
  • Reducing risk by applying internal controls and validation processes that ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations
  • Providing real-time access to authenticated financial data, analytics and performance metrics
  • Ensuring compliance with international financial reporting regulations as well as local governance

“Accounting information systems that use AI technology can boost financial reporting precision, decision quality, and overall business success,” according to “Multidimensional Research Journal,” by enabling them to respond more swiftly to changing market conditions, revenue growth and cost reduction elements.

How Do Accounting Information Systems Ensure Data Security and Integrity?

Centralizing a company’s financial-related data streamlines workflows for producing accounting statements, financial statements, tax documents and other documents. Examples of centralizing could involve sales orders, customer billing statements to check registers, inventory and payroll. However, this storage method also makes AIS a target for hackers and cybercriminals.

“The reality is that basic accounting security features like usernames and passwords aren’t enough anymore,” Accounting Seed warns. It reports that internal human errors cause 80% of data breaches and recommends developing internal controls that require approval and validation for AIS data sharing, using biometrics to restrict access and encryption.

AIS also enables accountants to validate and verify data quality during collection to avoid uploading incorrect, corrupted information. Technical strategies for ensuring data integrity involve validation and verification methods, error detection and correction techniques, and backup and recovery processes. This further supports the identification of anomalies and unusual patterns in large, complex data sets and warns of potential error, fraud or unauthorized access.

How Do Business Professionals Gain Expertise in Accounting Information Systems?

SOU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Accounting program equips students with advanced business acumen, specialized accounting knowledge and tools to add real value to their organizations. The 100% online curriculum focuses on accounting systems used to accumulate, classify, process, analyze and report financial data and controls that secure data, ensure its integrity and protect system auditability.

The Accounting Information Systems course, for instance, prepares graduates for leadership roles in organizational accounting, consulting and financial and budget analysis by enabling students to do the following: 

  • develop knowledge and expertise needed for accounting systems and computer applications
  • be proactive in improving the analysis and design of AIS
  • understand security risks and controls to protect accounting documentation and reporting

With a foundation in AIS, SOU program graduates will be ready to support their organization by performing risk assessments, improving audit integrity and adding value in various ways.

Learn more about Southern Oregon University’s online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting program.

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