Business management is a multifaceted task that needs to be done right to micromanage businesses’ shards, including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Financial management is crucial because any business’s outcome and overall performance are evaluated based on its financial position.
That is why if you own a business account, you must implement accounting software that helps you generate reports to analyze business performance from various angles.
- Accounting software is the ultimate tool that tracks and manages the account’s payables and receivables, records payments, generates invoices, and reconciles transactions.
- The latest business practices, which focus more on leveraging advanced technology for better outcomes, depend on accounting information systems (AIS) for streamlining financial processes.
- By integrating cloud-based platforms, artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics, such accounting software generates more efficient and accurate results and provides data-driven insights for better financial decision-making.
Why should you consider having an accounting information system for your business?
- The financial management of any business includes collecting, storing, managing, analyzing, retrieving, and reporting financial data; AIS does it all apart from providing the accuracy and confidentiality of the highest level.
- Since multiple professionals within a business organization are designated to use financial data, such as chief financial officers, account managers, auditors, regulators, and tax authorities, an expert accountant can leverage AIS to provide required data to the respective authorities without compromising security.
- This system is ideal for streamlining the operations of multiple departments as it is in-built to perform several functions related to bookkeeping. It has internal and external controls designed to keep the data intact while providing the required information to several officials.
Let us have a look at the basic components of an AIS, on which its daily functions and outcomes directly depend:
System users are the ultimate driver of AIS, and as mentioned above, they range from high-level officers like CFO(chief financial officer), auditors, and consultants to business analysts, accountants, and managers. For any sale, AIS can be used in the following ways:
- The purchase department enters the customer order details within the AIS.
- The AIS invoices the customer, and the warehouse processes the order.
- Once the shipping department despatches the order, the account’s receivables are notified to the accounting department, which can be paid in the predetermined period.
- Finance managers generate sales reports and perform inventory, shipping, and manufacturing cost analyses.
The entire process becomes hassle-free if the AIS is well designed, and it also simplifies the process of sharing data to the external domain in cases where consultants want to analyze sales reports to analyze a company’s pricing structure. Similarly, auditors must access financial data to assess the company’s financial performance, tax compliance, and internal control.
2. Procedures and instructions involved:
How AIS responds and generates the output largely depends on the data it receives from internal and external sources and how the instructions are coded within the software. These procedures can be manual or automated depending on the requirements, which are as follows:
- To maintain consistency and accuracy, there must be a standardized approach to delivering instructions to handle financial transactions, data, and reporting.
- It must ensure that any error or discrepancy in the financial records does not jeopardize the uniformity of data.
- Businesses must stick to their respective financial regulations and reporting standards. Hence AIS must comply with these regulations to avoid penalties and lawsuits.
- Efficient procedures ensure no unauthorized access to data, even within the internal infrastructure, to minimize any risk and avoid data mismanagement.
3. Data is the fuel that keeps all the elements of AIS working toward a common goal:
- SQL is the most common database infrastructure businesses use worldwide.
- It allows data manipulation of the ones stored in the AIS; this is only the financial data pertinent to the organization.
- Data types can vary from customer billing details, sales orders, and analysis to vendor invoices, purchase requisitions, etc. exact usage of this data includes the preparation of accounting statements, financial reports, and other miscellaneous records.
- The set of computer programs that enable the smooth operation of AIS can vary depending on the size of business organizations that are looking forward to implementing it.
- Software packages like Intuit’s Quickbooks and SAP’s Business One exist for small to midsize businesses. Then there are the ones for mid-sized to large companies, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, Oracle PeopleSoft, etc.
5. IT Infrastructure:
- Is the collection of tools, devices, and peripherals that maintain the smooth running of AIS apart from other electronic devices of any organization.
- Professionals who represent the IT team should be well-acquainted with the basic operating systems, including AIS, and they should be able to ensure that the hardware involved in the functioning of AIS is intact, up and running.
An AIS system should be able to perform the above functions in a streamlined manner, and the organization should ensure that the software they are integrating with the system is accurate, updated, and standard because it will directly impact the indispensable components of business success.