Accounting information system (AIS) is that subsystem of overall management information system that provides information to an organization in the right format, size, time frame, and within a budget. Accountants have many roles to play as far as accounting information system is concerned.
In this article, you will learn the various roles that accountants play as regards accounting information system. All I am requesting from you is an open mind to take matters as simple as the ones you will be finding in this article.
ACCOUNTANTS AND AIS
The role of accountants in AIS will be discussed under five headings viz: (a) as designers of AIS, (b) as implementers of AIS, (c) as auditors, (d) as users, and (e) as owners. Accountants play the following roles in AIS, the industry they are into does not matter. What matters is the accountants’ ability to deliver whenever they are being called upon. Here they are:
ACCOUNTANTS ROLE IN AIS AS DESIGNERS
Accountants are major catalysts in the design of accounting information system. They are the most suitable and most equipped information measurement professionals to design the information system. It is generally believed that insiders in every area of life make better developmental instrument. This function of designing AIS includes the design of managerial accounting information system to aid management in decision making processes.
ACCOUNTANTS ROLE IN AIS AS IMPLEMENTERS
It is the role of accountants to ensure that AIS designed are actually implemented. It is not enough to just have procedures in place, implementation and enforcement is very important. The accountant while being involved in the implementation process of the AIS may discover an implementation problem that non accountants may find difficult communicating back to the systems designers.
ACCOUNTANTS ROLE IN AIS AS AUDITORS
Accountants audit the already ‘acclaimed’ AIS to ensure that what is claimed to have been implemented is actually followed. Note that the role of auditors is not to fetch thieves in a system, but to ensure that rules claimed to be followed are backed up by documentation and where it is not possible for it to be documented, the auditors should observe the process take place.
ACCOUNTANTS ROLE IN AIS AS USERS
Yes, accountants are users of AIS, this is logical as they are the first people to live by example for others to follow. Again, junior accounting staff members that are not privileged to be at the helms of affairs to participate in the designing stage of accounting information system only play the role of users of accounting information system.
ACCOUNTANTS ROLE IN AIS AS OWNERS
As accountants gets more involved in the overall decision making in the business angle, a lot of accountants are now being classified as users of accounting information system. They use the AIS to process and produce accounting information such as financial statement. Also, accountants rely on their knowledge of AIS to make quality fundamental analysis of financial information, this they do while acting as financial planner or investment accountants.
I would want to make one thing clear at this point that AIS is not, and cannot be an island on its own. It must be working in line with other information systems (IS).
However, the role of accountants in accounting information system cannot be overemphasized. Remove accounting information system from the business community and be almost certain that businesses will take a nosedive. But, I am sure we all don’t want this to happen, hence, we should take the role of accountants in the accounting information systems a little bit more serious.