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المحاضرات مقتبسة من كتاب
Accounting 
Information 
Systems

Marshall B. Romney • Paul John Steinbart  

 

المحاضرة الثانية 

 

 

[Oval: Chapter (2)] CHAPTER

 

Overview of Transaction

Processing and Enterprise

Resource Planning

Systems

 

Introduction

This chapter is divided into two major sections. The first section discusses the data processing cycle and its role in organizing business activities and providing information to users. It explains how organizations capture and enter data about business activities into their accounting information system (AIS) and how companies process data and transform it into useful information. It also discusses basic data storage concepts, showing how data are stored for further use. Finally, information output is discussed, including the different ways information

is provided to users.The second section discusses the role of the information system in modern organizations and introduces the concept of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. An ERP can help integrate all aspects of a company’s operations with its traditional AIS. This section also describes the significant advantages of an ERP as well as significant challenges that must be overcome to implement an ERP system.

Transaction Processing: The Data Processing Cycle

Accountants and other system users play a significant role in the data processing cycle. For example, they interact with systems analysts to help answer questions such as these: What data should be entered and stored by the organization, and who should have access to them?

How should data be organized, updated, stored, accessed, and retrieved? How can scheduled and unanticipated information needs be met? To answer these and related questions, the data processing concepts explained in this chapter must be understood. One important AIS function is to process company transactions efficiently and effectively.In manual (non-computer-based) systems, data are entered into journals and ledgers maintained on paper. In computer-based systems, data are entered into computers and stored in files and databases. The operations performed on data to generate meaningful and relevant information are referred to collectively as the data processing cycle. As shown in Figure 2-1, this process consists of four steps: data input, data storage, data processing, and information output.

 

DATA INPUT

The first step in processing input is to capture transaction data and enter them into the system.The data capture process is usually triggered by a business activity. Data must be collected about three facets of each business activity:

1. Each activity of interest

2. The resource(s) affected by each activity

3. The people who participate in each activity

For example, the most frequent revenue cycle transaction is a sale, either for cash or on credit. S&S may find it useful to collect the following data about a sales transaction:

●● Date and time the sale occurred

●● Employee who made the sale and the checkout clerk who processed the sale

●● Checkout register where the sale was processed

●● Item(s) sold

●● Quantity of each item sold

●● List price and actual price of each item sold

●● Total amount of the sale

●● Delivery instructions

●● For credit sales: customer name, customer bill-to and ship-to addresses

Historically, most businesses used paper source documents to collect data about their business activities. They later transferred that data into the computer. When the data is entered using computer screens, they often retain the same name and basic format as the paper source

document it replaced. Table 2-1 lists some common transaction cycle activities and the source

document or form used to capture data about that event. Examples of many of these documents

can be found in Chapters 12 through 16. For example, a purchase order, used to request

merchandise from suppliers, is shown in Chapter 13.

Turnaround documents are company output sent to an external party, who often adds

data to the document, and then are returned to the company as an input document. They are in

machine-readable form to facilitate their subsequent processing as input records. An example

is a utility bill that is sent to the customer, returned with the customer’s payment, and read by

a special scanning device when it is returned.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY SOURCE DOCUMENT

Revenue Cycle

Take customer order Sales order

Deliver or ship order Delivery ticket or bill of lading

Receive cash Remittance advice or remittance list

Deposit cash receipts Deposit slip

Adjust customer account Credit memo

Expenditure Cycle

Request items Purchase requisition

Order items Purchase order

Receive items Receiving report

Pay for items Check or electronic funds transfer

Human Resources Cycle

Collect employee withholding data W-4 form

Record time worked by employees Time cards

Record time spent on specific jobs Job time tickets or time sheet

Source data automation devices capture transaction data in machine-readable form at

the time and place of their origin. Examples include ATMs used by banks, point-of-sale (POS)scanners used in retail stores, and bar code scanners used in warehouses.The second step in processing input is to make sure captured data are accurate and complete.One way to do this is to use source data automation or well-designed turnaround documents

and data entry screens. Well-designed documents and screens improve accuracy and completeness by providing instructions or prompts about what data to collect, grouping logica llyrelated pieces of information close together, using checkoff boxes or pull-down menus to present the available options, and using appropriate shading and borders to clearly separate data items. Data input screens usually list all the data the user needs to enter. Sometimes these screens resemble source documents, and users fill out the screen the same way they would a paper source document. Users can improve control either by using prenumbered source documents or by having the system automatically assign a sequential number to each new transaction. Prenumbering simplifies verifying that all transactions have been recorded and that none of the documents has been misplaced. (Imagine trying to balance a checkbook if the checks were not prenumbered.) The third step in processing input is to make sure company policies are followed, such as approving or verifying a transaction. For example, S&S would not want to sell goods

to a customer who was not paying his bills or to sell an item for immediate delivery that was out of stock. These problems are prevented by programming the system to check a customer’s credit limit and payment history, as well as inventory status, before confirming a customer sale.

 

 

DATA STORAGE

A company’s data are one of its most important resources. However, the mere existence of relevant data does not guarantee that they are useful. To function properly, an organization must have ready and easy access to its data. Therefore, accountants need to understand how data are organized and stored in an AIS and how they can be accessed. In essence, they need to know  how to manage data for maximum corporate use. Imagine how difficult it would be to read a textbook if it were not organized into chapters, sections, paragraphs, and sentences. Now imagine how hard it would be for S&S to find an invoice if all documents were randomly dumped into file cabinets. Fortunately, information in an AIS is organized for easy and efficient access. This section explains basic data storage concepts and definitions.

 

 

TABLE 2-1 Common Business Activities and Source Documents

[Text Box: BUSINESS ACTIVITY SOURCE DOCUMENT Revenue Cycle Take customer order Sales order Deliver or ship order Delivery ticket or bill of lading Receive cash Remittance advice or remittance list Deposit cash receipts Deposit slip Adjust customer account Credit memo Expenditure Cycle Request items Purchase requisition Order items Purchase order Receive items Receiving report Pay for items Check or electronic funds transfer Human Resources Cycle Collect employee withholding data W-4 form Record time worked by employees Time cards Record time spent on specific jobs Job time tickets or time sheet]  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source data automation devices capture transaction data in machine-readable form at the time and place of their origin. Examples include ATMs used by banks, point-of-sale (POS)scanners used in retail stores, and bar code scanners used in warehouses.The second step in processing input is to make sure captured data are accurate and complete.One way to do this is to use source data automation or well-designed turnaround documents and data entry screens. Well-designed documents and screens improve accuracy and completeness by providing instructions or prompts about what data to collect, grouping logically related pieces of information close together, using checkoff boxes or pull-down menus

to present the available options, and using appropriate shading and borders to clearly separate data items. Data input screens usually list all the data the user needs to enter. Sometimes these screens resemble source documents, and users fill out the screen the same way they would a paper source document.Users can improve control either by using prenumbered source documents or by having the system automatically assign a sequential number to each new transaction. Prenumbering

simplifies verifying that all transactions have been recorded and that none of the documents  has been misplaced. (Imagine trying to balance a checkbook if the checks were not prenumbered.) The third step in processing input is to make sure company policies are followed, such

as approving or verifying a transaction. For example, S&S would not want to sell goods to a customer who was not paying his bills or to sell an item for immediate delivery that was out of stock. These problems are prevented by programming the system to check a customer’s credit limit and payment history, as well as inventory status, before confirming a customer sale.

DATA STORAGE

A company’s data are one of its most important resources. However, the mere existence of relevantdata does not guarantee that they are useful. To function properly, an organization must have ready and easy access to its data. Therefore, accountants need to understand how data are

organized and stored in an AIS and how they can be accessed. In essence, they need to know how to manage data for maximum corporate use. Imagine how difficult it would be to read a textbook if it were not organized into chapters, sections, paragraphs, and sentences. Now imagine how hard it would be for S&S to find an invoice if all documents were randomly dumped into file cabinets. Fortunately, information in an AIS is organized for easy and efficient access. This section explains basic data storage concepts and definitions.

LEDGERS Cumulative accounting information is stored in general and subsidiary ledgers. Ageneral ledger contains summary-level data for every asset, liability, equity, revenue, andexpense account. A subsidiary ledger contains detailed data for any general ledger account with many individual subaccounts. For example, the general ledger has an accounts receivable account that summarizes the total amount owed to the company by all customers. The subsidiary accounts receivable ledger has a separate record for each individual customer, with detailed information such as name, address, purchases, payments, account balance, and credit

limit. Subsidiary ledgers are often used for accounts eceivable,inventory, fixed assets, and accounts payable.The general ledger account corresponding to a subsidiary ledger is called a control account.

The relationship between the general ledger control account and the total of individual subsidiary ledger account balances helps maintain the accuracy of AIS data. Specifically, the sum of all subsidiary ledger account balances should equal the amount in the corresponding

general ledger control account. Any discrepancy between them indicates that a recording error has occurred.

CODING TECHNIQUES Data in ledgers is organized logically using coding techniques. Coding is the systematic assignment of numbers or letters to items to classify and organize them.

●● With sequence codes, items are numbered consecutively to account for all items. Any

missing items cause a gap in the numerical sequence. Examples include prenumberedchecks, invoices, and purchase orders.

●● With a block code, blocks of numbers are reserved for specific categories of data. For  example, S&S reserved the following numbers for major product categories:

Users can identify an item’s type and model using the code numbers. Other examples include

ledger account numbers (blocked by account type), employee numbers (blocked by

department), and customer numbers (blocked by region).

●● Group codes, which are two or more subgroups of digits used to code items, are often

used in conjunction with block codes. If S&S uses a seven-digit product code number,

the group coding technique might be applied as follows.

There are four subcodes in the product code, each with a different meaning. Users can

sort, summarize, and retrieve information using one or more subcodes. This technique is

often applied to general ledger account numbers.

●● With mnemonic codes, letters and numbers are interspersed to identify an item. The

mnemonic code is derived from the description of the item and is usually easy to memorize.

For example, Dry300W05 could represent a low end (300), white (W) dryer (Dry)

made by Sears (05).

The following guidelines result in a better coding system. The code should:

●● Be consistent with its intended use, which requires that the code designer determine desired

system outputs prior to selecting the code.

●● Allow for growth. For example, don’t use a three-digit employee code for a fast-growing

company with 950 employees Be consistent with its intended use, which requires that the code designer determine desired

system outputs prior to selecting the code.

●● Allow for growth. For example, don’t use a three-digit employee code for a fast-growing

company with 950 employees.

 

●● Be as simple as possible to minimize costs, facilitate memorization and interpretation,

and ensure employee acceptance.

●● Be consistent with the company’s organizational structure and across the company’s

divisions.

CHART OF ACCOUNTS A great example of coding is the chart of accounts, which is a list of

the numbers assigned to each general ledger account. These account numbers allow transaction

data to be coded, classified, and entered into the proper accounts. They also facilitate the

preparation of financial statements and reports, because data stored in individual accounts can

easily be summed for presentation.

However, data stored in summary accounts cannot be easily analyzed and reported in

more detail. Consequently, it is important that the chart of accounts contain sufficient detail

to meet an organization’s information needs. To illustrate, consider the consequences if S&S

were to use only one general ledger account for all sales transactions. It would be easy to produce

reports showing the total amount of sales for a given time period, but it would be very

difficult to prepare reports separating cash and credit sales. Indeed, the only way to produce

these latter reports would be to go back to original sales records to identify the nature of each

sales transaction. If S&S used separate general ledger accounts for cash and credit sales, then

reports showing both types of sales could be easily produced. Total sales could also be easily

reported by summing each type of sale.

Table 2-2 shows the chart of accounts Ashton developed for S&S. Each account number

is three digits long. The first digit represents the major account category and indicates where

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACCOUNT                                                               ACCOUNT

                     

                                                                                   CODE ACCOUNT NAME

 CODE ACCOUNT NAME

100–199      Current Assets                                      400–499           Equity Accounts

101         Checking Account                                          400              Common Stock

102         Savings Account                                            410         Retained Earnings

103          Petty Cash

120      Accounts Receivable                                         500–599            Revenues

125       Allowance for Doubtful Accounts                    501                     Cash Sales

130       Notes Receivable                                               502                  Credit Sales

150      Inventory                                                             510                   Sales                                   Returns & Allowances                                                     160                 Supplies                                                                   511             Sales Discounts

170      Prepaid Rent                                                           520                     Interest                       

180    Prepaid Insurance                                                     530           Miscellaneous Revenue

200–299   Noncurrent Assets                                        600–799             Expenses

200            Land                                                                  600           Cost of    Goods Sold

210          Buildings                                                             611           Wages Expense

215       Accumulated Depreciation—Buildings               612             Commissions Expense

230  Equipment                                                                  613           Payroll Tax Expense

235  Accumulated Depreciation—Equipment                   620             Rent Expense

240 Furniture & Fixtures                                                   630               Insurance Expense

245 Accumulated Depreciation—Furniture & Fixtures    640                Supplies Expense

250 Other Assets                                                               650         Bad Debt Expense

701 Depreciation Expense—Buildings

300–399   Liabilities                                                  702     Depreciation Expense —Equipment

300     Accounts Payable                                                  703 Depreciation Expense—Furniture &              Fixtures

310 Wages Payable                                                       710 Income Tax Expense

321 Employee Income Tax Payable

322 FICA Tax Payable                                                900–999 Summary Accounts

323 Federal Unemployment Tax Payable                      910 Income Summary

324 State Unemployment Tax Payable

330 Accrued Interest Payable

360 Other Liabilities

 

 

 

it appears on S&S’s financial statements. Thus, all current assets are numbered in the 100s, noncurrent assets are numbered in the 200s, and so on.

The second digit represents the primary financial subaccounts within each ategory.

Again, the accounts are assigned numbers to match the order of their appearance in financial statements (in order of decreasing liquidity). Thus, account 120 represents accounts receivable, and account 150 represents inventory.The third digit identifies the specific account to which the transaction data will be posted. For example, account 501 represents cash sales, and account 502 represents credit sales. imilarly,

accounts 101 through 103 represent the various cash accounts used by S&S.

A chart of accounts is tailored to the nature and purpose of an organization. For example,the chart of accounts for S&S indicates that the company is a corporation. In contrast, a partnership would include separate capital and drawing accounts for each partner, instead of commonstock and retained earnings. Likewise, because S&S is a retail organization, it has onlyone type of general ledger inventory account. A manufacturing company, in contrast, wouldhave separate general ledger accounts for raw materials, work in process, and finished goodsinventories.

Ashton left gaps in S&S’s chart of accounts to allow for additional accounts. For example,when S&S has excess cash to invest in marketable securities, a new general ledgeraccount can be created and assigned the number 110. When S&S opens stores in the future, hewill add three digits to the chart of accounts to represent each store in the chain, so that S&S can track items in each store.

Subsidiary ledger accounts often have longer account codes than general ledger accounts.At S&S, each account receivable will have a seven-digit code. The first three digits are 120, the code for accounts receivable. The next four digits identify up to 10,000 individual customers.receivable subsidiary ledger). Periodically, the total of all sales journal entries is posted to the general ledger (note the arrow showing the daily sales journal total of $15,511.00 posted to both the Accounts Receivable and the Credit Sales general ledger accounts).

AUDIT TRAIL Figure 2-2 shows how the posting references and document numbers provide an audit trail. An audit trail is a traceable path of a transaction through a data processing system from point of origin to final output, or backward from final output to point of origin. It is used to check the accuracy and validity of ledger postings. Observe that the SJ5 posting reference for the $15,511 credit to the sales account in the general ledger refers to page 5 of the sales journal. By checking page 5 of the sales journal, it is possible to verify that $15,511

represents the total credit sales recorded on October 15. Similarly, the posting reference for the $1,876.50 debit to the KDR Builders’ account in the subsidiary accounts receivable ledger also refers to page 5 of the sales journal as the source of that entry. Furthermore, note that the sales journal lists the invoice numbers for each individual entry. This provides the means for This accounts receivable file stores information about three separate entities: XYZ Company,ABC Company, and QRS Company. As a result, there are three records in the file. Five separate attributes are used to describe each customer: customer number, customer name, address, credit limit, and balance. There are, therefore, five separate fields in each record. Each field contains a data value that describes an attribute of a particular entity (customer). For example, the data value 19283 is the customer number for the XYZ Company.



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