Not JUST an Accounting System

Alice* shared one of her constant frustrations in a meeting about their accounting system.  She is an accounting supervisor in a medium sized company with offices across the country.  Her problem is the staff in other departments saying that the computer system belongs to the Finance department, so they don’t have to take responsibility for the quality of the information.  It’s not their responsibility if the information in the accounting system is wrong or out of date.

Accounting systems used to be confined to recording entries, producing invoices and making payments.  Current accounting systems integrate into other business software, so that the Sales, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Distribution and Human Resources systems are now part of the “Accounting System.”  More and more, other systems, such as Document Imaging and Customer Relationship Management, are integrating with the accounting system.

In a world where computer reporting is expected to be detailed and instantaneous, there is no room for error.  In short, EVERYONE owns the data.

By the same token, information needs to be shared.  There should be no arguments about who “owns” the data.  If it is needed in decision making, it needs to be made available to the decision makers, regardless of their department.

The more that operational data gets married to the financial data, the more focused the reports and the better the decision making.  The more integrated the systems, the easier it is to marry the data.  But can systems be too integrated?  Stay tuned for the next blog!

* Not her real name.

5 Comments on “Not JUST an Accounting System

  1. I definitely agree with you, Billy. Information about the company should be shared within the company’s key personnel/department, so they can follow the track as to where the company is heading. If there are amendments needed, everyone can play their role accordingly to address the problem. In that case, the problem can be solved before it gets severe and before it damages the company’s overall assets.

  2. Accounting systems are used in all these different departments because each one is involved in the flow of financial resources in an organization. The aspect of accounting takes into account all the actions taken by a specific department, whether it’s manufacturing or human resources, and factors it into the health of the monetary flow of the organization. In other words, if a specific piece of information in the database is not updated, it can lead to errors in computation and estimation.

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