The decision to acquire accounting information system has become strategic in nature and now requires carefully planned and well thought out processes if a company is to succeed in it. Corporations spend huge amount of money on acquiring AIS but still have little or nothing to show for it. The main reason for this is that the curricular of accounting program of most universities does not deem it fit to add AIS practical training courses to the accounting program thereby creating a gap in knowledge.
The knowledge of acquiring accounting information system (AIS) is a vital set of skill that must be possessed by any accountant if he or she is to survive the radical change that is taking place in the accounting profession.
No matter what accounting job you are doing, you will need to be skilled in the steps described in this article. In fact, you will be a half baked accountant if you lack the basic system development life cycle as it affects AIS. Without further ado, let’s delve into a step-by-step approach to acquiring, developing, and implementing an effective accounting information system. The focus of this post is to guide young accountants on how to meddle through the AIS acquisition process.
STAGES IN AIS ACQUISITION LIFE CYCLE
- Information gathering/ Analysis phase: this is the phase where companies gather as many information as they can lay their hands on that would help them promote efficient operations in a business. Best practice is to use software to filter out those products that would not meet the requirement of the company. A good example of such tool is the Accounting library. This is a proprietary software that help businesses identify those tools that would help them achieve their objectives.
- Selection phase: based on the above findings, a company would be in a better position to select the right systems. The selection would be a function of the needs of the company and the changes that are about to come.
- Execution / implementation phase: this is the time to implement the choices that have been made. Care should taken to ensure that appropriate testing is conducted on the system before implementation.
- Operation phase: this is the monitoring, continuous training and improvement stage of AIS acqusition process. The primary aim here is to test the system in a somewhat near full capacity to ensure that specifications are met and are likely to function as anticipated.
BUY OR BUILD YOUR ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURES
At the planning stage of acquiring accounting information system, decision of whether to buy an off the shelf accounting software or to build an in-house proprietary product. The best practice is to buy a standard package from an established vendor when one exists. It is not economically wise to try and reinvent the wheel when there are thousands if not millions of people that have already invented and modified the wheel.
There are automated tools that accountants and other professionals that are involved in the AIS acquisition process can use to narrow down the plethora of potentially suitable commercially available software.
One of such tool is the accounting library, this is relatively old fashion way of establishing what of the shelf software to deploy in order to meet the needs of the enterprise, but it still works just fine. A company may also wish to employ the service of a cloud accounting firm to take care of all the hassles that is involved in acquiring the right sets of tools.