The purpose of this report is to discuss how effective the computerized accounting information system will benefit a business that is expanding in expenditure, revenue and other key areas of business.
Introduction to Accounting Information System
AIS is a system that collects and stores accounting data, after that process the data into useful information used by the decision makers (internal and external users). The information produced by AIS can help decision maker to manage their business more efficiently strategically. However, accounting information system can be manual using the traditional way of recording business transactions manually using paper-and-pen. Today the term AIS referred to as compound computer base system that merges the ability of information technology together with traditional accounting principles and practices.
A big benefit from computerize accounting information system is that they automate and make financial reporting more efficient. Accurate and summarized, timely information is a major tool for organizations decision making and financial reporting. The accounting information system pull imports data from the system database, process and transform it and eventually produces information and reports which can be easily consumed and analyzed by the users, managers and decision makers. These systems are required to ensure that the reports are timely and relevant so that decision makers are able to quickly and efficiently base on the information provided in the reports. Consolidation is one of the greatest characteristic of reporting as user does not have to go through a massive number of transactions. For example, at the end of the accounting period an accountant consolidates all payments by running a report on the system. The system application layer reclaims the data stored in the system database and produces a report with the total payments made to the vendors for that particular period. With large corporations which have huge volume of transactional data, generating a report without AIS can take day or even weeks.
Case study background
River Adventures is a fifteen years old company located in Cheddar, Somerset, owned and managed by Robin Forsythe. Until recently river adventures business has been highly seasonal offering two different kayaking instructions for beginners and Intermediate level as well as kayak and rafting trips down the river Axe in Somerset. They also usually rent equipment to participant if they required. However, the company is facing an exciting challenge which will alter the size, the type of service offered and the seasonality of the business. Robin has lately obtained two new sites and he is planning to launch a new team blinding course (corporate activity) and he is expecting a large number of new participants to this specific course.
Financial management and business processes field
Robin operating his business very informally using manual procedures in all areas. He always predicts the expenses for each course based on his working experience. He also manages the purchasing activities of the company and issue invoices for participants on the course. At the end of the year he determines his profit by his total revenue minus the total expenses during the year. Robin set the prices by consider his profit from the previous year, assess his competitors price and make adjustment for inflation.
Robin employs an office administrator along with a number of kayak instructors and raft guides. The administrator manages Account Payable and Cash Receipts and records them in the Income Journal. He also maintains simple general ledger and payroll register for tax purposes only, and no use of this accounting data is made for financial planning or for operations control. River adventures advertise through leading outdoor magazine, he also advertises about the coming season’s program on popular kayak retail notice board.
Robin is not pleased with the arrangement of his business and he concern about how he will keep track on expenditure and revenues as the business get bigger. Robin feels that there is unnecessary wastage of the company resources as there is not real control over the cost of meals provided to the beginner’s course. In addition he notice that recently there is diminishing in the stock of camping as well as small items is also being lost. Robin has suspicion about the operation of marginally attended classes, but no analysis has been done to confirm his suspicion. Robin believes there is lack in his marketing activities and he can easily attract more customers by improving his marking activities.
Robin know about 40% of kayaking course participants continue kayaking. As such his customer base reflects a target market for direct sales of kayaking and other equipment. He would like to expand his sales into a full scale direct mail/internet business. Doing so would enable him to provide year-round work for some kayaking personnel.
Users of Financial Information
Accounting information system objective is to identify record and communicate the economic events of an organization to the intended users. The type of information the user requires is dictated by the type of decisions they make. The information provided by the financial statements includes an organization resources and claims against those resources, as well as shareholders equity and changes in assets and liabilities. Financial information differs between the internal and external users. Accountants must understand the characteristics of information required by the different users of financial statements.
“In developing financial reporting standards, standard setters presume that those who use the resulting information will have a reasonable knowledge of business and economic activities and be able to read a financial report” (Financial Accounting Standards Board, 2006, p. 2). The aim of communicating financial information to user is to let accountants to address the needs and interest of users. There are many different users of financial information and these include: equity investors, suppliers, creditors, customers, employees, governments and their agencies and members of the public. Those users are identified as internal and external users of financial information.
Diagram 1 (Users of Financial Information)AIS Users.jpg
Robin and his management use financial information to plan, organize and operate the business. And this includes the office administrator, the cook, maintenance person and the kayak instructors.
There are quite a few types of external users of financial information and this includes lenders investors, tax authorities, general mass and media. Invertors use financial information to determine whether to buy, hold or sell their shares. Whilst suppliers and lenders view financial statement to assess the health of an organization and to ensure timely repayment of credit. Other external users include equity investors, customers, creditors, general public and governments and their agencies and regulatory bodies.
The Functions, Features and Reports of UBS Accounting Information System
UBS Accounting Software
Since Robin is willing to expand his business activities, UBS Accounting software will enable him to handle and speed up all accounting functions in his business. UBS has the function to handle multiple company transactions. By implementing UBS Robin will be able to assess the performance of the three sites that he owns efficiently and effectively. UBS has the function to view all accounts and reports of each site separately. The software will also provide him with a consolidated account where he can assess the performance of the entire business. In addition UBS accounting has the function to compute good and service required by government agencies, so the office administrator is no longer required to spend time with the general ledger computing tax liabilities and he can focus on other aspect of business instead. UBS accounting software is very flexible; it is capable to handle up to 18 months transactions therefore, the company will not have any difficulties to implement the software at any time they want to.
UBS Accounting produces pre define reports. However most of the reports can be modified to suit any business requirement. The Software standard reports are:
General ledger Listing
Trading, Profit & Loss Account
Fixed Assets Depreciation Report
Trading, Profit & Loss Account for individual project
Budget & Variance Reports
Gain/Loss on disposal of Fixed Assets
Debtors & Creditors Statements
Debtors & Creditors Listing and Labels
Debtors & Creditors Aging Report
Payment Vouchers printing and management reports
UBS Stock Control Software
UBS Stock Control is a real time system that updates the stock immediately after entries. It also performs as an invoicing system whereby Robin will be able to print invoices and delivery orders. A simple yet powerful Bill of Material module has been included to enhance the system.
Four method of stock valuation are provided in the system, namely Fixed Cost, First in First out (FIFO), Monthly Moving Average and Moving Average. If required, a picture of stock item can also be inserted. By implementing UBS Stock Control, Robin will have superior control over his stock since the software can control and track all the movement of inventory in the company Besides the software has ability to handle multiple company transactions therefore he can control the inventory of each arm of business separately.
UBS Stock Control produces the following reports:
Print Delivery Order / Invoice / Cash Sale
Print Sales Order / Purchase Order / Debit Note / Credit Note
Re-order / Stock replenishment recommendation
Month to Date stock status reports
Stock aging reports
Multi-sorted sales analysis report by :-
Gross profit analysis reports by :-
Yearly sales & purchase report
Top 25 product sales by quantity and sales value
Item graded reports
Serial number reports
UBS Payroll Software
UBS Payroll for Windows fulfills all government requirements such as KWSP Borang A, SOCSO Borang 8A / 2 / 3 and Income Tax EA Form, CP8D, CP22, CP22A, CP39 and CP159. It has become an effective payroll system for all type of businesses and industries due to its capability of computing monthly,weekly, daily, hourly piece rating. It has 3 mode of payment- monthly, daily and hourly. In addition it compute allowances table, user defined overtime as well as tip point and piece rate computation.
Reports generated by UBS Payroll:
A. Statutory Reports:
IR8A / IR8S
SDL / FWL
B. Management and operational reports:
Payroll Summary – Basic Pay / Allowances / Deduction / Overtime / CPF / SDL / FWL
Personal and Payroll reports
Leave taken / given reports
Work force / Turn over analysis
Net pay by cash / bank
Yearly employee pay summary
C. Reports to be submitted via computer diskettes:
Employees contributions / net pay can be output to diskette and sent to bank, EPF, Socso and IRD for accounts to be updated.
The System Requirement
Pentium II 266 MHz or higher
128 MB memory or more
800 MB or more disk space
1 floppy disk drive
1 CD Rom Drive
Windows 98, Win2000, WinXP and above
Users and Stakeholders Requirements
AIS aim to provide information for both internal and external users-primarily for external information users. Given that external users have a range of information needs, financial accounts need to conform to certain standards in order to satisfy them. To that end, the identified users of financial accounting information should have their information needs addressed. In that way, one can determine the context in which accountants produce financial reports.
In the case of River Adventure, Robin is the only shareholder of the company. Robin will be able to base his investment decision on the financial position and profitability of the business which is provided by the new accounting system. The information provided by the AIS may also be useful for potential investors in the case if Robin want to expand his business in the future and sale shares of the company to other investors. Robin would be concern about the viability of the company or his return on investment, while potential investors want to know that they are investing in a strong company.
The highly summarized nature of financial accounts provided by the new system, allows Robin and his management to assess whether the company’s strategic and tactical objectives are being met. Knowing the position of the company allows them to fine-tune the day-to-day running of the company with knowledge of the impact of their decisions on the company’s strength and viability.
Creditors like banks and financial institutions have a preference to deal with a financially well company with a strong cash flow because they are worried with debt repayment and recovery.
Employees such as the raft guides, camp cook, instructors and the office administrator are concerned with whether the company will continue a going concern and if they might face and whether can ask for wage increases. Trade unions usually observe the financial position of an organizations to make wage increase demands as well.
Suppliers such as Rustic Retreats, local butcher, grocers and camping and sport equipment suppliers are concerned with whether they supply the company on credit terms and may desire to contract with the company as a going concern.
Customers/Clients (and financial advisers/analysts)
Customers like corporation wishing to send their employees on team building course and individual students, would also be concerned with the business being a going concern.
Tax authorities like Inland Revenue, Yearend returns and Tax liabilities need to assess chargeable income of an entity to determine whether the right amount of tax is being levied in a particular year.
Government includes all government or state agencies like the Central Bank. These agencies would use financial statements to ensure compliance, especially with the representation of the financial position of the business and accounting standards. The government also uses information from financial accounts for national statistics such as Gross Domestic Product.
“public” simply refers to the rest of society. Business actions have an effect on society and the environment where River Adventure operates its business, so the public, which includes lobby group, would assess the entity as a corporate citizen.
Business process models
The revenue cycle – Sales
The sales segment of the revenue cycle begins when a consumer places an order. When the purchase order is received, an employee of the company enters the required data into the accounting system keying the order into an input screen.With the available online data files, the input data can be revised, the customer’s credit statues can be studied, and inventory level can be checked. Also a customer’s credit limits will be reviewed so that it does not exceed and keep tab of the available inventory items.
The customers’ accounts records and sales records can be updated using the order processing. Relevant documents needed to fill and ship the order are printed. These documents include a pick list, a packing slip, an invoice, and bill of lading. The pick list serves as a list for warehouse employees to select items from the warehouse shelves. The packing slip is utilized by the shipping personnel to ensure correct items are packed. An agreement between the common carrier and the company comes in the form of the bill of lading. The invoice is then sent to the customer.
Towards the end of the month, customers are given the bill according to the statement. Regular monthly reports would include sales reports, inventory status reports, and account receivable reports.
The expenditure cycle
To keep the payroll in check, an electronic time clock collects time and attendance when employees insert their time sheet into the clock. The time clock then reads the bar codes on the employees’ time sheet. The system thencollects data through-out the period and automatically calculates batch totals. The data batches are then used to prepare paychecks and the payroll register.
The purchasing department order items from a vendor and an employee must enter a purchase order into the accounting software by keying data into the fields of a purchase order form on the screen. The receiving department receives the goods and compares the packing slip with the purchase order to confirm part numbers and quantities. A receiving report is prepared by an employee filling in the appropriate fields in a receiving screen in the software and inventory records are updated, the person completing this screen must choose the purchase order that matches this receiving report. When the vendor name or ID number is entered, the system will list open purchase order with that vendor. After the vendor has provided an invoice, the invoice must also be entered into an entry screen in the accounting software. Again the proper purchase order must be chosen from a list to open purchase orders. If the purchase order, receiving report and invoice match as to part numbers, quantities and prices, the liability is approved for payment. At the due date of the invoice, a designated person must select certain invoices to pay and have the system generate a batch of checks.
How the outputs of the new accounting information system will help River Adventure to solve their problems.
The new accounting software has the ability to generate profit/loss and balance sheet at any time required thus Robin can keep track on his business expenditure and revenues as the business expand.
The new accounting software also has the ability to produce break-even point reports so Robin and his management can confirm their suspicious about the operational marginality of each course.
The sales reports, and account receivable reports produced by the new accounting system will solve the problem of cash sales being disappeared from the company accounts.
After implementing UBS the company will have a proper control over the cost of meals provider to the beginner’s course as the software have the facilities of budgeting process in an organization as well as management controls of business activity. Unnecessary wastage of food material will not be occurred as the unused bulks of food will recorded as Work In Progress Inventories by the new software.
UBS Stock Control real-time update of stock with each receipt and issue of items, the company will not have the problem of inventory item being lost as the software can track the stock via unique serial code. The company can make a better control over the stock whereby the software will provide comprehensive inventory report at any time required.
After implementing UBS payroll the office administrator will not have the difficulties of computing the salaries and bonuses to be paid for his instructors since UBS Payroll ease the task of stuff payroll calculation and payments.
Since the new accounting software will save a lot of time and effort to the employees of River Adventure, the management will have more time to focus on other aspect of business and to improve their marketing activities.