Business Accounts Computerization

I will explain the steps that need to be taken to computerize business
accounts. The steps are planning and informed selecting of hardware, software, and training.

I. Making the decision to computerize II. Choosing the correct tools A. Software

B. Hardware C. New and old technology III. Installation and training In the
normal course of a day our lives are affected by the technology of computers in
ways we can only begin to imagine. "The word ubiquitous means ever-present or
occurring everywhere. This term could be used to describe the use of the
computer in the business"(Perry 11). The business world’s benefit alone is
enough to make your head spin. Every time you go to the grocery store, the bank,
the local ATM, or even the neighborhood gym you cannot help but benefit by the
use of computers in modern society. The common civilians’ encounter with
computers is not the only area where technology has changed our lives. Many
fields in business such as accounting depend on the convenience, speed,
accuracy, and reliability that computers have become known for. But not all
companies are large enough to benefit from the use of computers. First a company
must research the impact a computer will have on keeping track of its accounts.

Then they must choose the correct hardware and software to best suit their
particular needs, while at the same time making themselves familiar with the new
enhancements that increase productivity. Finally, the company must allow time
for installation and training. When evaluating the need to convert from a manual
accounting system to a computerized accounting system you also need to forecast
the future demands of your company. After all to survive in the business world
you must anticipate the future and not react to the past. How do you know when
it is time to make the critical transition? "It is when management finds
itself unable to keep track of its business. Which products are profitable?

Which are not? Which customers pay on time ? Which are delinquent? Having easy
access to this data is essential to running a healthy and competitive
business"(Stevens 106). When your company has grown so large that management
no longer has access to the data used to make informed decisions, then it is
probably time to switch to a computerized data management system. These
computerized data management systems are often called information systems. The
company now has two choices. It can either hire a professional consulting firm
to help select and install the computer system, or venture out on its own to
make these important decisions. "Adequate planning is the most important step
in assuring the successful use of computer technology" (Perry 23). Most
companies would be better off seeking the aid of a consulting firm. They are
better informed on the different types of hardware and software that would best
suit your computing needs. An outside firm is a better choice because they are
less likely to make a costly mistake when choosing the new system. Another
benefit to using a consulting firm would be their help in setting-up the
procedures for using the new computer system and the necessary training to
implement those procedures. Once you have decided that your company can benefit
from computer enhancements it is then a matter of choosing which software and
hardware at would be most useful. Software is just another name for the
programming that computers run on. It is the language that tells computers what
to do. When choosing accounting software it is important to, "make sure to
select the right number and combination of software ‘modules’ to meet your
company’s accounting needs. Most software packages include modules for
accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, inventory and payroll"
(Stevens 108). The objective is to come up with an integrated system by
selecting the modules important to your company. Here is an example of an
integrated accounting system. "Say you send a bill to customer. With manual
systems you would have to post it three times: to the sales journal, to a
customer receivable account and to the general ledger. But with an integrated
computer system you can make one entry and the data will be posted automatically
to all the appropriate files" (Stevens 108). There is an alternative to buying
packaged software. You can have a custom program written for your company.

Custom programs are very expensive. Costing, "up to $25,000 more, depending on
the number of modules you buy"(Stevens 108). They are generally uneconomical
and unnecessary. In most cases you are able to purchase pre-packaged software at
a fraction of the cost of custom software. The software will be able to handle
up to 80% of your accounting needs while you learn to live without the rest or
find other ways to accomplish your needs. So when it time to choose computer
software, "never take any thing for granted. Price is not the only
consideration. Before you buy, find out what comes in a software package. Read
the manuals and determine if the features satisfy everything that you
require"(Clark 36). The next step is selecting the appropriate hardware to
handle your computing needs. Hardware comprises all the physical items that
allow a computer to run programs, such as a printer, a monitor, a mouse, a
keyboard, and a modem among other things. The memory where information is stored
on a computer is also considered hardware. When choosing the proper hardware you
should not base your decision on price alone. "Compare several vendors,
selecting the one with the best combination of service, training, and
warranties" (Stevens 108). Your company will start to rely on that computer,
so make certain that you can get it serviced. Try and look for a vendor with a
strong service outlet near your company. Also steer clear of systems that have
just entered the market, considering the high mortality rate in the computer
industry. The company may not be around when it comes time to get service. There
are many things to consider when purchasing hardware as well as software, so be
sure to give proper consideration to using a consulting firm. They could end-up
saving you money. A good word to describe computers is ever changing, and
accounting systems are no different. You should always be on the lookout for new
and old computer technology to help your company. Very often you can increase
productivity with just a few enhancements. For example, two products have grow
more important to accounting over the past few months and are sure to become
more popular as time goes on, they are the mouse and multilingual programs.

"The mouse became popular in the early days of personal computers because it
simplified their use. Today the mouse and other pointing devices increasingly
are being integrated into mainstream accounting programs, especially those for

Windows" (Johnson 91). A mouse is most useful when accessing shortcut menus or
by selecting icons which are jump gates that perform commonly use commands by
merely clicking a mouse button. Icons are the graphical representations of
commands. "Software publishers continue to integrate the mouse and other
pointing devices into their programs, making the program easier and faster to
use and enhancing accountants’ productivity" (Johnson 91). As trade barriers
in the world crumble and new accounting opportunities continue to grow. More
mid-sized and even small businesses expand their market beyond U.S. boarders,
they are then faced with using multilingual computer systems. "The basic tools
that do these jobs constitute a unique class of accounting software especially
designed for the international arena"(Lebow and Adhikari 66). As you can see
technology does not have to be new in order to be useful. The need for it is
what is important. So do not over look anything when searching for new
accounting tools. When you finally make the decision to computerize and you have
selected the suitable hardware and software. You must then allow an appropriate
amount of time to install the system and also train the employees. The new
system may take several months before it is thoroughly up and running, so be
patient. When training employees, they can sometimes be hesitant toward
computerization. So you must " extend assurances that the computer is a tool
to help them, not to replace them" (Louvau and Jackson 118). The rule of
thumb, as with anything, is to be patient. This whole process of computerizing
may at first leave you totally confused. However, if you take everything step by
step, before you know it you will be up and running. First make sure it is time
change from a manual system. You may only confuse things with a new system.

Second, make informed choices when choosing your hardware and software. Perhaps
a consulting firm would be the smart way to go. Also remember to keep track of
new technology, it can sometimes make your company more productive. Finally,
allow plenty time for installing and training. Taking your time may help prevent
costly time delays. The most important things to remember are take your time and
make informed decisions.

Bibliography

Clark, Frank J. The Accountant and the Personal Computer. Englewood Cliffs:

Prentice Hall, 1986. Cushing, Barry E., and Marshall B. Romney. Accounting

Information Systems. 6th ed. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.

Johnson, Richard A. "Computer/Technology : The mighty mouse. " Journal
of Accountancy Aug. 1993: 91-94. Lebow, Marc I., and Ajay Adhikari.
"Software That Speaks Your Language." Journal of Accountancy July.

1995: 65-72. Li, David H. Accounting, Computers, Management Information Systems.

New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968. Louvau, Gordon E., and Marjorie E.

Jackson. Computers in Accountants' Offices. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1982. Perry,

William E. The Accountants' Guide to Computer Systems. New York: John Wiley
& Sons, 1982. Siegel, Joel G., et al., Accountant's Microcomputer Handbook.

Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1987. Stevens, Mark. "Let Your Computer Do

The Work." Working Woman Apr. 1986: 102+.